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Telecom Alert - FCC Chairman Announces Modernization Proposal; Massachusetts Contract with Verizon; FCC Denies Paging Application for Review; Beyond Telecom Law Blog Post - Vol. XVI, Issue 30

FCC Chairman Announces Modernization Proposal

Last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced two proposals to modernize the FCC’s processes.  The first proposal would be to fully convert the Universal Licensing System (ULS) from paper to electronic.  The vast majority of ULS filings are already submitted electronically.  The second proposal is to streamline hearing proceedings by providing for more written hearings.  Through written hearings, parties submit their testimony in writing, rather than appearing in person.

Massachusetts Contract with Verizon

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has authorized Verizon to offer services to public safety entities through the state’s public safety wireless agreement.  This is the first multi-vendor procurement deal for state and local public safety in the country.  Verizon issued a press release stating that Verizon is “committed to supporting interoperability and open technology standards with other wireless providers who provide public safety products and solutions.”  While Massachusetts opted-in to FirstNet, this does not mandate that all local public safety agencies use FirstNet.

FCC Denies Paging License Application for Review

Last week, the Commission issued an Order denying an application for review regarding Part 22 paging licenses.  The licensee Charles E. Bade, filed requests for extension of time to meet the construction requirements for five Part 22 geographic area paging licenses.  In the requests, the licensee cited delays in gaining regulatory approvals from Canada.  In the Order, the Commission explained that they had instructed bidders that sites north of Line A would need to clear Canadian coordination.  In this specific case, the licensee’s applications failed Canadian coordination.  The licensee filed a second round of applications, two of which passed Canadian coordination.  The others were dismissed when the licensee did not file amendments.

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLP


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,...