Telecom Alert: August 21, 2017 – Court Upholds One-Touch Make-Ready; FirstNet Update; GWTCA 800 MHz Letter; Infrastructure Executive Order; CSMAC Meeting; APCO and NG-911 Legislation
Court Upholds One-Touch Make-Ready
A federal district court in Kentucky upheld the city of Louisville’s one-touch make-ready ordinance, allowing third parties like Google Fiber the right to perform pole attachment make-ready work on existing communications company attachments largely without prior consent. The FCC had supported Louisville’s one-touch make-ready ordinance.
Last week, Nevada became the 14th state to express its intent to opt-in to the FirstNet-AT&T plan. The US Virgin Islands remains the only territory to have accepted the plan. Verizon executives announced at the APCO Annual Conference and Exhibition their plan to build a dedicated public-safety LTE core network and offer priority service and preemption to public safety customers. Verizon is looking to establish a viable alternative to FirstNet’s nationwide public safety broadband network being built and maintained by AT&T. Verizon’s senior vice president, Mike Maiorana stated the company’s core public safety network will operate separately from their commercial core but will still have access to Verizon’s “extensive” 4G LTE nationwide network. It has also been reported in the trade press that Verizon will respond to Request for Proposals released by individual states looking for an alternative to the FirstNet/AT&T plan.
GWTCA Requests Release of Rebanded 800 MHz Spectrum
In a Letter to the Acting Chief of the Policy and Licensing Division, the Government Wireless Technology & Communications Association (GWTCA) requested the FCC release unassigned NPSPAC 800 MHz frequencies where rebanding has occurred, noting the success of the FCC’s December 2016 release of 800 MHz frequencies. GWTCA requested the FCC release unused 800 MHz spectrum in Arkansas, northern California, Florida, Mississippi. Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas-Dallas, Texas-Austin, Texas-San Antonio, and Washington State.
Infrastructure Executive Order
President Trump signed an Executive Order last week requiring federal agencies to collaborate with other federal, state, and local agencies regarding environmental reviews on major infrastructure projects, including broadband infrastructure. The executive order also instructs the Office of Management and Budget to create and define a Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal on Infrastructure Permitting Modernization focused on reducing the time for the Federal Government's processing of environmental reviews and authorization decisions for new major infrastructure projects to 2 years. For major infrastructure projects, the executive order requires agencies to use “One Federal Decision,” in which one Federal agency acts as the lead and is responsible for shepherding the project through the review and authorization process at all agencies.
CSMAC Provides Updates at Meeting
Last week, the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC) held an open meeting of representatives from the FCC, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) to report on their respective spectrum-related initiatives. Paige Atkins of NTIA stated that all four CSMAC subcommittees have made significant advancements in the areas of AWS-3 transitions and the establishment of a 3.5 GHz frontier band. She noted that NTIA recently submitted its 10th report to Congress on the progress of federal agencies regarding transitions from AWS-3 and AWS-1 bands.
APCO Counsel Hopeful of NG-911 Legislation
The Association of Public- Safety Communications Officials’ international chief lobbyist, Jeff Cohen, announced last week at the annual APCO Conference and Exhibition that he is hopeful that next generation 911(NG-911) legislation will press forward through Congress. He stated that he has never seen such bipartisan interest in both the House and Senate regarding this topic. While he didn’t have any insight into when the legislation may advance, he did note that the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing in March to discuss NG-911 issues.