Telecom Alert - FCC Seeks Additional C-Band Comments; FCC Targets Robocalls; California NG 911 Ruling; FCC UNICOM Rulemaking; Winning Bidders Announced for Spectrum Frontiers Auction - Vol. XVI, Issue 23
FCC Seeks Additional C-Band Comments
The FCC’s International Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau are seeking additional comment on proposals enabling additional terrestrial use of the C-Band (3.7-4.2 GHz) (Vol. XV, Issue 48). Specifically, the Commission seeks comment on whether licensed or registered receive-only earth station operators meet the definition of licensees that have licensed spectrum usage rights that they could voluntarily relinquish in an incentive auction, and whether the Commission’s incentive auction authority allows it to structure a reverse auction in which satellite operators and licensed receive-only earth station operators could compete to relinquish their spectrum usage rights. Comments are due by July 3, 2019 and Reply Comments are due by July 18, 2019.
FCC Targets Robocalls
At its Open Meeting last week, the FCC adopted a Declaratory Ruling and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemakingtargeting illegal and unwanted robocalls. The ruling allows voice service providers to block robocalls that they determine are illegal or unwanted before they reach consumers and give consumers a right to opt-out of such blocking. The ruling also allows providers to let consumers opt-in to blocking calls that do not originate from their contact lists (white-list programs). The Further NPRM seeks comment on a proposal to require voice service providers to implement the SHAKEN/STIR caller ID authentication framework if they do not meet the end of 2019 deadline for voluntary implementation, the creation of a safe harbor for providers that block calls for which caller ID authentication fails, and protections for “critical calls.” Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
California NG 911 Ruling
Late last month, a court in California denied a request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction filed by AT&T against the California Office of Emergency Services (“CalOES”). AT&T argued that CalOES should not be able to continue with its Request for Proposals (“RFP”) process to build a Next Generation 911 (“NG911”) system in California until the court has ruled on a Petition filed by AT&T. AT&T’s petition argued that AT&T would face irreparable harm if it were forced to file a tariff for NG911 services by the CalOES-imposed deadline of June 7, 2019. The court disagreed and denied AT&T’s request for injunctive relief. The crux of AT&T’s argument is essentially that the CalOES RFP process requires publicly-filed tariffs for NG911 services in contravention of state law. CalOES disagrees and cited statutory exceptions – which permits state regulation of 911 service – and the public contract code – which permits tariff requirements for information technology and telecommunications contracts.
FCC UNICOM Rulemaking
The Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on several rule changes related to the Aviation Radio Service, including Aeronautical Advisory (UNICOM) stations. Currently, frequency 122.950 MHz must be used at airports that have a full-time control tower or full-time FAA flight service station, while other airport stations may operate other UNICOM frequencies. The Commission’s NPRM proposes to require UNICOM stations at airports with control towers or FAA flight service stations to exclusively use the frequency 122.950 MHz. Comments and Reply Comments are due 60 and 90 days after publication in the Federal Register, respectively.
Winning Bidders Announced for Spectrum Frontiers Auction
Last week the Commission released the identities of bidders and net amounts of bids in Auction 101 (licenses in the 27.5-28.35 GHz band). The auction raised a total of $702,572,410 in gross bids with a total of 2,965 licenses won. Of the total bids, Verizon Wireless accounted for over $505 million in net payment.