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Telecom Alert, April 10, 2017 - 3.65 Public Notice; FirstNet, AT&T Ensure Preemption for Opt-In States; Auction Task Force & BDAC Members Announced; WiMax Forum Petition for Rulemaking; NTIA Workshop; Connected Product Intensive

WTB Issues 3.65 GHz Public Notice

On April 7, the Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice announcing the start of a four-month window for incumbent 3.65 GHz (3650-3700 MHz) license holders to file supplemental information necessary to define their Grandfathered Wireless Protection Zones within the parameters of the deployment of the Citizens Broadband Radio Service. The Public Notice outlines the process and procedures incumbent licensees must follow to establish a protection zone for incumbent operations.  The deadline for filing is August 7, 2017.

FirstNet and AT&T Ensure Preemption for Opt-In States

FirstNet and AT&T officials announced that public safety entities in “opt-in” states will have preemptive priority on FirstNet’s 700 MHz Band 14 network and AT&T’s nationwide commercial networks. AT&T was awarded the $46.5 billion contract to build, deploy, operate, and maintain the nationwide public safety network. The network will be deployed in phases over the next five years, and prior to its completion, AT&T will grant preemptive access to 150 MHz of spectrum across various bands. AT&T already gives priority to public safety agencies to operate on commercial spectrum, and plans to implement preemptive access by the end of the year. States must either opt-in to the FirstNet-AT&T plan or build their own network, which must be interoperable with FirstNet.  State governors will make this decision by the end of the year.

Chairman Pai Sets Auction Task Force & Broadband Development Advisory Committee Members

Last Week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the formation of a Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force to facilitate upcoming auctions relating to the Connect America Fund Phase II and Mobility Fund II. He also announced the members of the Broadband Development Advisory Committee that is focused on promoting broadband in rural and unserved areas. Jim Matheson, CEO of NRECA, is among those named to the Advisory Committee, ensuring electric cooperatives will have a voice in shaping future broadband policies. 

WiMAX Forum Petitions FCC to Adopt Airport Communication Rules

The Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access Forum (WiMAX Forum) filed a Petition for Rulemaking to initiate the process for promulgating rules for the aeronautical mobile airport communication system (AeroMACS). As defined by the WiMax Forum, “AeroMACS is a standardized airport surface communications system for high capacity aeronautical mobile and fixed broadband communications relating to safety and regularity of flight.” In 2015 and 2017 the FCC allocated spectrum in the 5 GHz band for AeroMACS services. The WiMax Forum states that although AeroMACS is being tested domestically and internationally, implementation in the U.S. has been delayed due to the Commission failing to adopt service rules.

NTIA Technical Workshop Announcement

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced it will be hosting a technical assistance workshop to explain the funding and planning associated with broadband infrastructure projects for state and local governments.  The workshop will be held on April 19, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona.

© 2017 Keller and Heckman LLP

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

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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.

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Thomas B. Magee, Keller Heckman, transactional counsel, litigation attorney
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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.

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