May 26, 2020

Telecom Alert - Circuit-Shopping Concerns for FCC Small Cell Order; Restoring Internet Freedom Order Oral Argument; Spectrum Frontiers Auction Closes; Form 477 Deadline Extended; NG911 Grant Funding; KH Broadband Webinar - Vol. XVI, Issue 5

Circuit-Shopping Concerns for FCC Small Cell Order Persist

In light of recent speculations that FCC staff may have influenced CMRS licensees to file petitions challenging the FCC’s Small Cell Order, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to FCC Chairman Pai on January 30, seeking additional information about the FCC’s role in looking to avoid the Ninth Circuit’s review of the Small Cell Order.  The Senators’ letter raises abuse of power and ethical concerns that the FCC may have pressured interested parties to file frivolous petitions to consolidate the appeals before the Tenth Circuit.  The Senators ask that the FCC respond to their questions by February 8. 

Restoring Internet Freedom Order Oral Argument

Last Friday, petitioners, the FCC, and intervenors, presented their oral arguments against and in support of the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  Including a brief break, the trade press reports that oral argument continued for 4.5 hours.  While unusual, it is not surprising as the RIF Order reversed the basic policy decisions in the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order which the same court affirmed in 2016.  The D.C. Circuit is expected to issue its opinion later this year. 

Spectrum Frontiers Auction Closes

On January 31 the FCC announced that bidding ended in Auction 101 (licenses in the 27.5-28.35 GHz band).  The auction raised a total of $702,572,410 in gross bids with a total of 2,965 licenses won.  The identities of winning bidders will not be disclosed until after the close of Auction 102, the upcoming auction of 24 GHz UMFUS licenses (24.25-24.45 GHz and 24.75-25.25 GHz bands).  

Form 477 Deadline Extended from March 1 to March 8

The FCC has extended the filing deadline from March 1 to March 8, 2019 for submitting Forms 477  reporting service provider data as of December 31, 2018.  The FCC’s Form 477 filing interface is now accepting Forms 477 for this year-end data.  

NG911 Grant Funding Allocated

On Friday the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it has reviewed initial applications for funding under the 911 Grant Program.  The program will allocate more than $109 million for next-generation 911 grants.  The program provides funding to states for the implementation and operation of 911 services, E-911 services, migration to an IP-enabled emergency network, and adoption and operation of NG911 services and applications.  Complete applications will be accepted until April 2, 2019. 

Additional Author: Albert J. Catalano

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLP


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,...