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