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Telecom Alert - CBRS Getting Closer; 800 MHz EB/GB Coordination Update; NIST Privacy Framework; Rural Digital Fund Docket Opens – Vol. XVI, Issue 18

CBRS Getting Closer

On May 1 the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) concluded its testing stage of five Spectrum Access System (SAS) vendors proposing to operate in the CBRS (3.5 GHz). The SAS manages parameters upon which CBRS systems will rely.  NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunications Services (ITS) projects that test reports will be submitted to the FCC in June.  Separately, on April 29, the FCC released a Public Notice approving the Environmental Sensing Capabilities (ESCs) of CommScope, Federated Wireless, and Google for use in the 3.5 GHz band.  ESCs will be used to detect and communicate the presence of any incumbent federal radar transmissions within specified geographic areas to SASs to determine priority of CBRS operations. 

800 MHz EB/GB Coordination Update

On April 25, the FCC announced in a Public Notice the dates and procedures for submitting applications in the 800 MHz band for Expansion Band and Guard Band (EB/GB) channels in a number of National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) regions, including 21 NPSPAC regions where EB/GB licensing was deferred (Vol. XVI, Issue 12).  EB/GB channels in these NPSPAC regions will be available for licensing on July 18.  Pre-coordination procedures may begin no sooner than May 9 at 8:00 a.m. ET. 

NIST Privacy Framework

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a discussion draft of its Privacy Framework, NIST Privacy Framework: An Enterprise Risk Management Tool, a set of industry standards and best practices designed to assist organizations large and small in managing cybersecurity risks.  The structure of the Privacy Framework aligns with that of NIST’s 2014 Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (Cybersecurity Framework), a similar voluntary risk-based guideline created through collaboration between the government and private sector to help manage cybersecurity risks in a way that is cost-effective and does not subject businesses to additional regulatory requirements.  NIST invites public feedback on whether the discussion draft could be readily used as part of an enterprise’s broader risk management processes and scalable to organizations of various sizes, which will help NIST craft a preliminary draft of the Privacy Framework. 

Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Docket Opens

On April 30, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (WBC) issued a Public Notice opening a new docket, the “Rural Digital Opportunity Fund,” WC Docket No. 19-126.  Earlier last month, Chairman Pai expressed his intention to create the Fund, which would make up to $20.4 billion of support available to connect approximately four million rural homes and small businesses to high-speed broadband networks via a reverse auction. 

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 126

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,...