Telecom Alert: 6 GHz Licensee Reminder; Florida PSC Proposes Pole Rules; $35K Consent Decree; $100K Reporting Violations Penalty[Vol. XIX, Issue 11]
ULS Reminder for 6 GHz Licensees
Last week, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding incumbent 6 GHz band licensees to maintain accurate information in the Universal Licensing System (“ULS”) database. The Commission authorized certain unlicensed operations in the U-NII-5 and U-NII-7 bands in April 2020 (Vol. XVII, Issue 17) through the use of an automated frequency coordination (“AFC”) system. The ULS database provides AFC systems with information on fixed microwave links to ensure that incumbents are protected from harmful interference. Licensees are required to keep information filed in the ULS current and complete. We recommend 6 GHz licensees confirm their authorized systems in ULS accurately reflect actual operations.
Florida PSC Proposes Strict ILEC Pole Maintenance Rules
The Florida Public Service Commission last week proposed rules that would require telephone company owners of poles with electric facilities to inspect such poles every 8 years, ensure proper vegetation management, and comply with emergency response and storm restoration protocols. Penalties for failing to comply would be strict, increasing from $500 for the first violation to $5,000 for the fifth and subsequent violations.
$35K Consent Decree for Unauthorized Transfers
Last week, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau entered into a Consent Decree with Atrium Hospitality LP (“Atrium”) for failing to seek the Commission’s prior approval before acquiring wireless radio licenses from several entities. In June 2016, numerous commonly owned entities, which held 25 private land mobile licenses, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A holding company for Atrium subsequently acquired the entities, including the wireless radio licenses, without obtaining prior FCC approval. Atrium must now pay a $35,000 penalty, implement a compliance plan, and submit annual reports to the Commission over the next three years.
$100K Penalty for Universal Service Reporting Violations
The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture last week against Telnexus, LLC (“Telnexus”) for failing to file its Annual and Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheets (“Annual Worksheet” and “Quarterly Worksheet”) (Forms 499-A and 499-Q) failing to respond to an FCC inquiry. Telnexus did not file its Quarterly Worksheets due on November 1, 2013, and February 1, 2014, and any of the required Quarterly or Annual Worksheets between August 2017 and February 2022. The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau sent a Letter of Inquiry to Telnexus three separate times and Telnexus did not respond. The Bureau proposes a forfeiture of $100,000 for Telnexus’ violations.
Gregory E. Kunkle, Casey Lide, Thomas B. Magee, Tracy P. Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean A. Stokes, and Wesley K. Wright also contributed to this article.