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Telecom Alert - Forms 499-A, 499-Q Released; NG911 NEAD Platform Decommissioned; FCC Seeks Record Refresh in Net Neutrality Ruling; T-Mobile, Sprint Amend Merger; Lifeline Eligibility Verifier Launch - Vol. XVII, Issue 8

FCC Releases Forms 499-A and 499-Q

The FCC issued a Public Notice last week announcing the release of the annual Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (Form 499-A) and the quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (Form 499-Q) for 2020.  Some of the revisions to the forms include an adjustment to the circularity factor and updated instructions reflecting that providers no longer need to file quarterly the traffic studies relied on to report interstate revenues.  Instructions for both Form 499-A and 499-Q are included as attachments to the Notice.  

Carriers Decommission NG911 NEAD Platform

Representatives of the National Emergency Address Database (NEAD) filed a letter with the FCC on February 14 announcing the decommissioning of the database.  NEAD was a platform that supported wireless carriers’ provision of dispatchable location information to 911 centers (Vol. XVI, Issue 47).  Its goal was to establish a national database of access points that would assist providers to deliver a dispatchable location to help 911 call centers respond to emergencies.

FCC Seeks Record Refresh in Net Neutrality Ruling

The Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice last week seeking to refresh the record in the Net Neutrality docket regarding some of the issues remanded back to the FCC by the D.C. Circuit (Vol. XVI, Issue 40).  In its ruling on the Restoring Internet Freedom Order (Net Neutrality Order), the D.C. Circuit remanded the Net Neutrality Order’s rulings on pole attachments, the Lifeline Program, and public safety.  The Commission now seeks to refresh the record on how the changes adopted in the Net Neutrality Order affect each of those issues, including how they might affect the regulation of pole attachments in states subject to federal regulation. 

T-Mobile and Sprint Amend Merger Agreement

T-Mobile issued a News Release last Thursday announcing that it, along with Sprint, had amended the merger agreement (Vol. XVII, Issue 7).  The revision will give SoftBank a smaller share of the New T-Mobile and give Deutsche Telekom a larger ownership stake in the company.  The amendment was added due to Sprint’s declining financials over the past two years.  After the deal officially closes and the revision is put in place, Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank will hold roughly 43% and 24% of the fully diluted New T-Mobile shares, respectively. 

Lifeline Eligibility Verifier Set to Launch in Five States

The FCC released a Public Notice last week announcing that eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) will be required to use the National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier (National Verifier) for all new Lifeline enrollments in Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin on March 24, 2020.  ETCs must cease using legacy eligibility processes for prospective Lifeline subscribers, and annual recertification will also now be conducted through the National Verifier.  Beginning on March 24, 2020, consumers in these five states can check their eligibility for Lifeline service directly online.

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLP

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Wesley K. Wright, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Lawyer, FCC Enforcement Attorney, DC
Partner

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,...

202.434.4239
Gregory E. Kunkle, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, FCC lawyer
Partner

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 wireless spectrum through a variety of means, including spectrum leasing, purchase and sale of licenses, and the FCC's auction process. His spectrum acquisition practice spans all of the FCC’s wireless frequency allocations, including the 220 MHz band, AMTS (217/219 MHz), VHF/UHF Part 22 Paging, the 1.4 GHz band, Part 90 800/900 MHz bands, MAS, the 2.5 GHz EBS/BRS band, and the 700 MHz band.

Mr. Kunkle counsels clients that become involved in the FCC's enforcement process including by responding to and vigorously defending against complaints and investigations and, where appropriate, negotiating settlements with the Commission. 

202-434-4178
Thomas B. Magee, Keller Heckman, transactional counsel, litigation attorney, FCC law, safety violation lawyer
Partner

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,...

202-434-4128
C. Douglas Jarrett, Keller Heckman, telecommunications lawyer, procurement law
Partner

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...

202-434-4180