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Telecom Alert - CTIA Pole Attachment Petition; Electronic Filing NPRM; DoE 6 GHz Letter; BRETSA Petition; Q4 USF Contribution Factor; Form 477 Data - Vol. XVI, Issue 37

CTIA Files Petition for Declaratory Ruling

CTIA filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling on September 6, asking the FCC to clarify its pole attachment rules.  Specifically, CTIA requests that the Commission regulate attachments to streetlight-only poles owned by investor-owned electric utilities (IOUs), declare that no IOU agreement can contain terms and conditions inconsistent with FCC rules, and allow wireless carriers to install equipment on all portions of a pole.  CTIA seeks several additional rulings to accelerate local government approvals of wireless tower and base station modification requests.  

FCC Issues NPRM on Mandating Electronic ULS Filings

On September 6, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on requiring all Universal Licensing System (ULS) filings to be made electronically (Vol. XVI, Issue 30).  The NPRM also proposes mandatory electronic filing in the Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) System as well as for certain filings and communications made in the Tower Construction Notification System (TCNS) and E-106 System.  These changes are aimed at modernizing the FCC’s systems to increase public access to data and improve transparency. 

DoE Concerned about 6 GHz Interference

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai expressing its concerns over opening the 6 GHz band to unlicensed use (Vol. XV, Issue 44).  The DoE is concerned that such use will cause interference to licensees in the energy and water industries currently operating on the band.  The letter asks the Commission to consider utilizing other spectrum bands to expand public WiFi capabilities or, if it chooses to use the 6 GHz band, to adequately test its interference control systems and implement other safeguards before doing so.  

FCC Dismisses BRETSA Reconsideration, Seeks Comment on Rulemaking Petition

On September 11, the FCC issued an Order dismissing, as untimely, the Boulder Regional Emergency Telephone Service Authority’s (BRETSA) Petition for Reconsideration, or in the Alternative, a Petition for Declaratory Rulemaking and Petition for Rulemaking of a previous order, requesting the FCC clarify interoperability and roaming guidelines between wireless carriers and FirstNet (Vol. XV, Issue 49). However, on the same day, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on BRETSA’s Petition for Declaratory Ruling and Petition for Rulemaking.  BRETSA asked that the NPRM address the responsibility of providers other than FirstNet to cooperate with FirstNet in developing interoperability solutions and providing full interoperability, the issue of roaming and prioritization, and the availability of FCC processes for dispute resolution.  Comments and reply comments are due by September 26 and October 11, 2019, respectively.  

FCC Proposes USF Contribution Factor for Q4

In a Public Notice issued Thursday, the FCC proposed a 25 percent universal service contribution factor for the fourth quarter of 2019.  The quarterly contribution factor is based on the ratio of total projected quarterly costs to end-user interstate and international telecommunications revenues.  For the fourth quarter, USAC projects industry revenues to be just over $11 million.  The FCC also proposed a 0.198252 circularity discount factor.  

FCC Releases Form 477 Data

The FCC issued a Public Notice last week announcing the release of updated data on fixed broadband deployment and mobile voice and broadband deployment as of June 20, 2018.  These data were collected via Form 477.  The Fixed Deployment Data includes revisions through August 28, 2019, and the Mobile Deployment Data includes revisions made through April 8, 2019.  

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 259


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,...