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Volume XIII, Number 156


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Telecom Alert:FCC Auction Authority Expires; $66M in Affordable Broadband Outreach Grants; 3.45 GHz Band Clearinghouse RFP; CPF Grants [Vol. XX, Issue 11]

FCC Auction Authority Expires

The FCC’s legal authority to conduct auctions expired Thursday after the Senate failed to pass legislation that would have extended the Commission’s auction powers temporarily (Vol. XIX, Issue 14).  Legislation that sought unanimous consent was introduced in the Senate to extend the authority until September 30, but it ultimately failed after Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT) objected.  The House had previously passed a bill at the end of February that would have extended the Commission’s authority until May 19.  It is expected that Congress will ultimately reinstate the FCC’s auction authority at some point later this year.   

$66 Million in Affordable Broadband Outreach Grants

Last week, the FCC announced $66 million in target funding through the Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program (the “Program”) to drive awareness and enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program (“ACP”).  The Commission is providing financial support to 197 partner organizations nationwide to promote the ACP.  Funds from the Program will be used to conduct digital campaigns, operate phone banks, and host application enrollment and other outreach events. 

3.45 GHz Band Clearinghouse RFP

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau received a Request for Proposal last week containing the selection criteria and filing instructions for entities that wish to act as the neutral, independent Reimbursement Clearinghouse (“Clearinghouse”) in the 3.45 GHz band transition (Vol. XIX, Issue 46). The Clearinghouse is responsible for managing the collection and distribution of relocation reimbursement payments from new licensees and will be compensated for the duties it performs.  Interested entities have until April 3, 2023, to file proposals.     

CPF Grants

Last week, the Department of the Treasury announced the award of approximately $185.5 million in funding for South Carolina for broadband projects through the Capital Projects Fund (the “Fund”) (Vol. XX, Issue 9). The Fund provides $10 billion to states, territories, and Tribal governments to fund critical capital projects that enable work, education, and health monitoring.  South Carolina’s grant program is a competitive last-mile broadband grant program designed to provide 100/100 Mbps broadband service to rural areas currently lacking service.  To date, the Fund has awarded over $5 billion to states. 

Thomas Magee, Tracy Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean Stokes, and Wesley Wright also contributed to this article.

© 2023 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 73

About this Author


Jaimy “Sindy” Alarcon is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Licensing Specialist.

Sindy works in conjunction with the attorneys in the Telecommunications Practice to prepare FCC applications for clients seeking authority for new services, modifications, administrative updates, license cancellations, Requests for Special Temporary Authority (STA), Requests for Rule Waivers, Assignments of Authorization, Transfers of Control, Renewals, and Notifications of Construction for various radio services including microwave, land mobile, marine...

Jim Baller Communications Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC

James (Jim) Baller represents clients across the U.S. in a broad range of communications matters including high-capacity broadband network projects, public-private broadband partnerships, telecommunications, wireless facility siting, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, and barriers to community broadband initiatives.

Jim was the founder and president of the U.S. Broadband Coalition, a diverse group of more than 160 communications service providers, high technology companies, labor unions, public interest and consumer groups, state and local government entities,...

Law Graduate

Jason Chun is a Law Graduate with our Telecommunications practice (not yet licensed to practice law as he awaits admittance under the D.C. Bar's Emergency Examination Waiver).

Timothy A. Doughty, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Licensing Specialist, Lawyer, FCC Matters Attorney

Timothy Doughty joined Keller and Heckman in 2009 as a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Licensing Specialist.

Mr. Doughty assists clients with the preparation of FCC applications, modifications, special temporary authorities, requests for rule waiver, renewals and spectrum leases in various radio services including Private Land Mobile, Microwave, Coast and Ground and Aircraft. His capabilities also include the preparation of tower registrations with the FCC and Obstruction Evaluations and Aeronautical Studies with the Federal Aviation...

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...