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Telecom Alert —– FCC Denies Petitions for Stay of 6 GHz Order; Comment Sought on Broadband Mapping; AT&T's E911 Galileo Request Granted; 3.5 GHz Band Auction Update —– Vol. XVII, Issue 34

FCC Denies Petitions for Stay of 6 GHz Order

The FCC has denied petitions filed by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International, Inc. (APCO) to stay the application of the rules adopted in the Commission’s 6 GHz Order (Vol. XVII, Issue 17).  EEI is concerned that unlicensed operations in the band without the use of an automated frequency coordination system would result in harmful interference.  The band is heavily utilized by utilities for microwave backhaul and other internal critical communications operations.  In response, the Commission pointed to its extensive record in this proceeding, which included numerous technical studies submitted over almost three years.  The agency remains convinced that low-power indoor unlicensed devices can operate without causing significant harmful interference to incumbent users in the band.  

Comment Sought on Broadband Mapping

The FCC’s recently adopted Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has been published in the Federal Register, setting the Comment and Reply Comment deadlines as September 8 and September 17, 2020, respectively (Vol. XVII, Issue 26).  Specifically, the Commission’s Third Further Notice looks to implement the recently enacted Broadband Data Act, seeking comment on additional processes for verifying broadband availability, proposes a process to allow parties to challenge the accuracy of broadband maps, and seeks comment on implementing the fabric of broadband-serviceable locations.  

AT&T’s E911 Galileo Request Granted

Last week, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau granted a Request for Authorization filed by AT&T Services, Inc. to use the European Union Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), known as GNSS, for Enhanced 911 (E911) purposes.  AT&T sought authorization to use Galileo in conjunction with the U.S. GPS system to improve mobile device location determination to support emergency response.  This is consistent with several efforts undertaken by the FCC in recent years to provide more accurate location information with 911 calls.  

3.5 GHz Band Auction Update

On Friday afternoon the FCC conducted the 66th round of the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) auction (Auction 105).  14 County licenses still have demand in excess of supply, and gross bids have reached almost $4.6 billion.  Beginning on Tuesday, the FCC will conduct 5 bidding rounds per day. 

Kathleen Slattery Thompson contributed to this alert.

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 237



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,...