Telecom Alert—Collocation Amendment; Equipment Fine; T-Band Repeal; Vermont Pole Attachments; FCC Seeks Input on CVAA Accessibility; KH Webinar on Dark Fiber—Vol. XVII, Issue 30
FCC Amends Wireless Collocation Agreement
In a Public Notice last week, the FCC announced it worked with Tribal and Historic Preservation groups to amend Nationwide Programmatic Agreement for the Collocation of Wireless Antennas (“Collocation Agreement”). The amendment makes the Collocation Agreement consistent with the Nationwide Programmatic Agreement by excluding from environmental review of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) a tower replacement that involves deploying and excavating within a 30-foot radius of the boundaries of an existing tower site. The amended agreement will be effective upon publication in the Federal Register.
$2.8 Million Fine for Equipment Authorization Violations
Last week, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a Forfeiture Order that fined the retailer Hobby King more than $2.8 million for violating the FCC’s equipment certification rules. The FCC requires most radio frequency (RF) devices to be authorized through an FCC-sanctioned certification process before the devices can be marketed or sold to consumers in the U.S. The Commission found that Hobby King marketed 65 models of noncompliant RF accessories and also failed to respond to several inquiries and Orders issued by the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau throughout the investigation, which was initiated in 2018.
T-Band Repeal Bill Introduced
Last week, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced legislation to repeal the statutory mandate that requires the FCC to auction public safety T-Band channels next year and to relocate public safety incumbents out of the T-Band by 2023. Similar legislation has been previously introduced to ensure public safety and Business Industrial users can continue to rely on T-Band systems (470-512 MHz) in major metropolitan areas (Vol. XVI, Issue 44).
Vermont Pole Attachment Rule
The Vermont Public Utilities Commission approved a rule proposed earlier this year that requires pole-owning entities to have a single pole-attachment rate. The rule establishes a single pole-attachment presumption of 1.25 feet for all entities attaching equipment to utility poles in Vermont, no matter the function of those attachments or the type of entity attaching. The new rule requires pole owners in the state to file new pole-attachment tariffs that comply with this single-rate rule.
FCC Seeks Input on CVAA Accessibility
Last week, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau released a Public Notice seeking comment on its tentative findings on the accessibility and usability of telecommunications and advanced communications services and equipment under the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). The CVAA requires that providers take reasonable steps to ensure that certain advanced communications services and video programming be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Comments in response to this Public Notice must be filed by August 4, 2020.