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Telecom Alert – FCC Reauthorization Bill; LMCC Letter Regarding Non-FCC Compliant Devices; Reply Comments Filed on Overlashing Pole Attachments; 700 MHz Report and Order; Havens Petitions Denied - Vol. XV, Issue 8

FCC Reauthorization Bill

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee cleared H.R. 4986 in a Committee Markup.  The Committee renamed the bill the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services (“RAY BAUMS”) Act of 2018 in honor of Ray Baum, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Staff Director who passed away on February 9, 2018.  This bill brings together language from a number of other FCC-related bills exclusive of the MOBILE NOW Act (Vol. XIV, Issue 32).  The bill includes multiple FCC process reforms and authorizes additional funds for the TV incentive auction repacking.  If enacted, this would be the first FCC reauthorization in over 25 years. 

LMCC Letter Regarding Non-FCC Compliant Devices

The Land Mobile Communications Council (“LMCC”) sent a letter to Rosemary Harold, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, requesting a meeting to address use of non-rule compliant wireless devices.  These devices include programming instructions for operation on any channel from 136-174 MHz and 400-520 MHz.  LMCC states these devices present “serious risk of harmful interference to Federal systems and FCC-compliant systems operated by Public Safety and Business/Industrial licensees.”  The letter emphasized that LMCC wishes to work collaboratively with the Enforcement Bureau to develop a solution. 

In response to misleading Comments filed by communications company attachers last month, the “Utility Coalition on Overlashing” composed of K&H clients Arizona Public Service, Consumers Energy, Exelon, FirstEnergy, Hawaiian Electric Companies, Puget Sound Energy and The AES Corporation, explained the pole loading and mid-span sag issues pertaining to overlashing, which can create significant safety and reliability issues.  

700 MHz Report and Order

Last week, the Commission released a Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration regarding the interoperability and technical rules for the Public Safety 700 MHz narrowband channels.  The Report and Order exempts 700 MHz low-power Vehicular Repeater Systems (VRS) from trunking requirements, provides rules for testing and documentation of P25 equipment interoperability, and reinforces the principle that all narrowband mobile and portable 700 MHz public safety radios be capable of operating on all narrowband nationwide interoperability channels.  The Order on Reconsideration provides a uniform effective date for some previously adopted rules and the rules adopted in the Second Report and Order. 

Havens Petitions Denied

Last week, the Commission issued an Order denying petitions filed by Warren Havens, which requested the denial of several assignment applications pertaining to the assignment of AMTS licenses from Choctaw Holdings, LLC to several critical infrastructure companies (Vol. XIV, Issue 40).  In the Order, the Commission explains that Havens lacks standing to challenge the assignment applications. 

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 51



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,...