June 18, 2019

June 18, 2019

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June 17, 2019

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Telecom Alert - 700 MHz Spectrum Relicensing Process; New Procedure for ASR Ownership Changes; CAF II Auction; Enforcement Advisory for Equipment Authorizations - Vol. XVI, Issue 7

Relicensing Process for 700 MHz Spectrum in Unserved Areas

On February 12, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) issued a Public Notice outlining the process for relicensing unserved areas in the 700 MHz band.  The Public Notice includes the keep-what-you-serve rules for failing licenses.  The rules allow a licensee to keep the area currently served by their existing license(s).  The FCC reclaims the unused portion.  The Public Notice also provides coverage rules for licensees that acquire unserved areas through this reclamation and relicensing process.  

New Procedure for Reporting Ownership Changes in Antenna Structure Registration System

Last week, the FCC issued a Public Notice implementing a new process to report changes in ownership of towers and other structures registered in its Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) System.  The new process revises the agency’s previous process and requires both the assignor (owner) and assignee (buyer) of a structure to coordinate with the filing of an application to update the ownership information.  Previously, the FCC allowed the assignee to update the ownership information for a registered tower.  This created opportunities for fraud that the Commission is addressing.  

CAF Phase II Auction Winners Awaiting FCC Action

The partial government shutdown has delayed the FCC’s action on the long-form applications submitted last year by CAF II auction winners.  We expect the Commission to begin to act on these applications as the 25 February 2019 due date for submitting Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designations from state commissions and the applicant’s letter certifying its ETC designation covers all areas included in its winning bids.  The FCC will issue a public notice as it completes its review of a winning bidder’s application as opposed to releasing a comprehensive public notice.  Relatedly, on February 14, the FCC adopted a Report and Order setting rules for the transition from legacy Connect America Fund (CAF) support in certain price cap areas to new auction-based support for voice and broadband (Vol. XVI, Issue 6).  

Enforcement Advisory for Equipment Authorizations

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has issued an Enforcement Advisory regarding the marketing of devices subject to the Commission’s Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) procedure.  The SDoC procedure, which replaced the Verification and Declaration of Conformity procedures, generally applies to devices that do not intentionally transmit an RF signal for communications purposes.  Devices subject to the SDoC procedure include Part 15 unintentional radiators and Part 18 ISM devices.  Such devices may only be marketed in the U.S. if they are properly authorized under the FCC’s rules.  The Enforcement Advisory states that anyone violating the SDoC rules may be subject to monetary penalties that could total more than $150,000. 

© 2019 Keller and Heckman LLP


About this Author

C. Douglas Jarrett, Keller Heckman, telecommunications lawyer, procurement law

Douglas Jarrett joined Keller and Heckman in 1979. Mr. Jarrett specializes in telecommunications law, policy and procurement matters.

Mr. Jarrett is a recognized expert in representing enterprises in negotiating telecommunications services agreements with the major wireline and wireless carriers, domestically and globally.  He also advises enterprises on M2M services, cloud computing and IVR technology procurements. 

Mr. Jarrett represents technology companies in securing amendments to the FCC rules to enable the...

Gregory E. Kunkle, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, FCC lawyer

Gregory Kunkle joined Keller and Heckman in 2006. Mr. Kunkle practices in the area of telecommunications, with an emphasis on assisting corporate clients and trade associations with various legal and regulatory matters before the Federal Communications Commission.

Mr. Kunkle regularly counsels critical infrastructure companies, such as electric utilities, oil and gas companies, and railroads, public safety agencies, and commercial providers regarding FCC wireless licensing and compliance issues.  He assists clients in identifying and acquiring wireless spectrum through a variety of means, including spectrum leasing, purchase and sale of licenses, and the FCC's auction process. His spectrum acquisition practice spans all of the FCC’s wireless frequency allocations, including the 220 MHz band, AMTS (217/219 MHz), VHF/UHF Part 22 Paging, the 1.4 GHz band, Part 90 800/900 MHz bands, MAS, the 2.5 GHz EBS/BRS band, and the 700 MHz band.

Mr. Kunkle counsels clients that become involved in the FCC's enforcement process including by responding to and vigorously defending against complaints and investigations and, where appropriate, negotiating settlements with the Commission. 

Thomas B. Magee, Keller Heckman, transactional counsel, litigation attorney, FCC law, safety violation lawyer

Thomas Magee joined Keller and Heckman in 2000. Mr. Magee provides regulatory, transactional and litigation counsel to investor-owned electric utilities, electric cooperatives and municipalities regarding pole attachments and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing of private wireless telecommunications services.

Mr. Magee has helped to resolve dozens of pole attachment disputes affecting make-ready costs, safety violations, unauthorized attachments, annual rental rates and other terms and conditions of access. He negotiates,...

Tracy Marshall, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, for-profit company lawyer

Tracy Marshall joined Keller and Heckman in 2002. She assists clients with a range of business and regulatory matters.

In the business and transactional area, Ms. Marshall advises for-profit and non-profit clients on corporate organization, operations, and governance matters, and assists clients with structuring and negotiating a variety of transactions, including purchase and sale, marketing, outsourcing, and e-commerce agreements.


Wesley K. Wright, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Lawyer, FCC Enforcement Attorney, DC

Wesley Wright joined Keller and Heckman in 2006 and practices in the areas of telecommunications law.  He assists corporate clients and trade associations with various legal and regulatory matters before the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Aviation Administration, courts and state agencies.

Mr. Wright’s practice includes private wireless licensing, FCC enforcement, and related transactional matters.  He counsels clients on internal operations and governance matters and has drafted and negotiated asset purchase agreements,...