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Telecom Alert - January 15th, 2019: 9th Circuit to Hear Appeals of Small Cell Order; Video Game Software Must Comply with ACS CVAA Requirements; Government Shutdown; CenturyLink 911 Outage, XVI, Issue 2

9th Circuit to Hear Appeals of Small Cell Order

Last week, two judges on the Tenth Circuit denied a motion filed by a group of cities to stay the FCC’s Small Cell Order, emphasizing the cities did not show irreparable harm if the stay were denied.  Because the stay was denied, the Order became effective on January 14, 2019.  Also last week, the Tenth Circuit granted a request to transfer the various petitions for review to the Ninth Circuit.  Additionally, on December 26, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) established a uniform deadline for oppositions and replies to oppositions to a petition for reconsideration of the Order.  The petition asks the FCC to reconsider the recurring fee structure, the definition of “effective prohibition,” undergrounding and minimum spacing issues in the Declaratory Ruling, and the presumptively reasonable time period for deployment applications in the Third Report and Order.  Oppositions will be due fifteen days after Federal Register publication of the Notice of Petition for Reconsideration.  Replies will be due ten days after the time for filing oppositions has expired. 

Video Game Software Must Comply with ACS CVAA Requirements

December 31, 2018 marked the expiration of a waiver of the Advanced Communications Services (ACS) accessibility requirements for video game software.  The waiver was initially granted in 2012 because “the class of video game software, though capable of accessing ACS, was designed primarily for purposes related to playing games” and that waiver would foster innovation.  The waiver was extended two times.  The most recent extension was conditioned on the submission of a progress report by the Entertainment Software Association.  Beginning January 1, 2019, new video game software that is capable of accessing ACS must comply with accessibility requirements. 

FCC Operations Suspended Due to Partial Government Shutdown  

Funding for a portion of the federal government expired on December 21, 2018, beginning a partial federal government shutdown.  The agencies affected by the lapse in funding include the FCC.  While the FCC managed to maintain operations longer than other agencies, the Commission suspended most operations starting mid-day on January 3, 2019.  For more details on the Commission’s current operations, please check out our recent blog post.

FCC to Investigate CenturyLink 911 Outage

Following the nationwide December 27 CenturyLink 911 outage, FCC Chairman Pai announced on December 28, that the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has launched an investigation into the cause and impact of the outage.  Charmain Pai called the CenturyLink service outage “completely unacceptable, and its breadth and duration are particularly troubling.” 

© 2019 Keller and Heckman LLP


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 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. 

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,...