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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. 

Albert J. Catalano,  Timothy A. DoughtyKathleen Slattery Thompson and  Adam (AJ) Reust contributed to this article. 

© 2023 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 209

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,...