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Telecom Alert - 800 MHz Expansion Band/Guard Band Access Update; TV White Space Rules; FCC Small Cell Order Appeals Consolidated; Upper 37, 39, and 47 GHz Bands Auction - Vol. XIV, Issue 12

800 MHz Expansion Band/Guard Band Access Update

The frequency advisory committees (FACs) eligible to certify 800 MHz channels have submitted an amended Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to the FCC that will govern the frequency coordination and licensing of the 800 MHz Expansion/Guard Band (EB/GB) channels recently made available by the FCC (Vol. XIV, Issue 11).   Importantly, the MOA limits any applicant from licensing more than 5 channels within a 70-mile radius.  Following FCC approval, FACs will execute the MOA. Shortly thereafter, the FCC  is expected to establish the dates on which FACs may share certified application information and submit coordinated applications to the Commission.  

TV White Space Rule Changes

On March 19, the FCC adopted a Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration that amends its rules on governing the operation of unlicensed TV white space devices (Vol. XV, Issue 46).  Among the changes in the Report and Order are: a requirement that all fixed white space devices incorporate a geo-location capability and eliminate the option allowing geographic coordinates to be determined by professional installers; rules permitting the use of geo-location sources by a fixed white space device when used at a location that inhibits function of its internal geo-location capability; and a requirement that fixed white space devices periodically re-check and report on their geographic coordinates.  The Order on Reconsideration affirms most of the FCC’s decisions in its original TV White Spaces Order, however, it increases the maximum fixed white space device antenna height in less congested areas.  

FCC Small Cell Order Appeals Consolidated

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted the FCC’s motion to consolidate 12 different appeals of the Commission’s Small Cell Order (Vol. XVI, Issue 5).  The Ninth Circuit Order also assigned the consolidated appeals to the same panel of judges that will consider appeals of the Commission’s declaratory ruling in the One-Touch Make-Ready (OTMR) pole attachment proceeding.  Briefing in all cases has been suspended pending a further order of the Court following a case management conference between all petitioners. 

Auction in Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz Bands

The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announced in a March 20 Public Notice that it will reconfigure the 39 GHz band by way of an incentive action to offer new flexible use licenses in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands (Auction 103).  Incumbents in the 39 GHz band will be required to choose to either 1) relinquish licenses in exchange for an incentive payment, with the opportunity to bid on new licenses in the incentive auction if they choose to do so, or 2) elect to receive modified licenses and not apply to participate in the auction for new licenses.  Comments and Reply Comments on the Bureau’s proposed auction procedures will be due April 15 and April 26, respectively.

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 84


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 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.

In the privacy, data security, and advertising areas, she helps clients comply with privacy, data security, and consumer protection laws, including laws governing telemarketing and...

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,...