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Telecom Alert — CBRS Auction Closes; 6 GHz Open Letter; FAA BVLOS Waiver Guide; NPSTC Emerging EMS Technology Report; 911 Location Accuracy Testing Delayed — Vol. XVII, Issue 35

CBRS Auction Closes

The FCC’s auction of Priority Access Licenses (PALs) in the 3550-3650 MHz Band (Vol. XVII, Issue 34) concluded last week.  The auction consisted of 76 bidding rounds, with bidders winning 20,625 of 22, 631 available licenses.  According to the Commission’s News Release, the gross proceeds exceeded $4.5 billion.  This week, the Commission is expected to release a Public Notice detailing auction results and providing instructions for the post-auction procedures.

6 GHz Open Letter

On August 21, 2020, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Edison Electric Institute (EEI), Utilities Technology Council (UTC), American Gas Association (AGA), American Public Power Association (APPA), American Petroleum Institute (API), APCO International, National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) filed an open letter with the Commission regarding unlicensed use of the 6 GHz band.  The letter outlines key issues and operating principles for the 6 GHz multi-stakeholder group, with an emphasis on addressing testing, processes, and best practices to prevent, detect, and eliminate interference to mission-critical communications that are essential for public safety, energy and water services, and transportation.  Last month, the FCC’s rules permitting unlicensed operations on 1,200 MHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band took effect (Vol. XVII, Issue 22). 

FAA Provides BVLOS Waiver Guide for Public Safety

The FAA released a Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Waiver Guide for Public Safety organizations operating drones.  The waivers will allow first responders to operate unmanned aircraft (UAS) BVLOS to safeguard human life in emergencies.  The FAA will issue in advance, upon receipt of a complete and accurate application, a 14 CFR 91.113(b) waiver that will allow temporary UAS TBVLOS operations within specific conditions and requirements.  The UAS will remain within 1,500 feet of the pilot and the pilot must not operate any higher than 50 feet above or greater than 400 feet laterally of the nearest obstacle.  The 50 feet above an obstacle cannot exceed the 400 feet above ground level hard ceiling.  The waivers are only to be used temporarily during extreme emergencies to safeguard human life.

NPSTC Emerging EMS Technology Report

The National Public Safety Technology Council (NPTSC) recently released three reports, including one that focuses on the future state of public-safety broadband for emergency medical services (EMS) and communications centers.  The “Emerging EMS Technology: Use Case Analysis of Broadband Capabilities to Support Operations and Patient Care” provides four use cases, examining how broadband may support emergency medical services (EMS) patient care technologies.  Regarding 911, the report shows that emergency communications centers will need new technology solutions to receive data alerts and to manage new methods of interacting with 911 callers. 

911 Location Accuracy Testing Delayed

On August 21, 2020, CTIA, on behalf of the 9-1-1 Location Technologies Test Bed, LLC (Test Bed), notified the Commission that the next round of 911 vertical (Z-axis) location will be delayed due to COVID-19.  According to the filing, the pandemic has restricted access to buildings affecting the ability to safely and effectively test Z-axis technologies.  Based on these challenges, the Test Bed has decided to postpone testing and will inform the Commission when testing can safely resume. 

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 244



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...

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,...