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.