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.