July 2, 2022

Volume XII, Number 183

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Telecom Alert: Letter Urges USF Reform; MTE Competition R&O; $100K USF Penalty Proposed; Spectrum Coordination Initiative [Vol. XIX, Issue 8]

Letter Urges USF Reform

Last week, a group of 332 public interest groups, communications companies, trade associations, and other industry organizations filed a letter with the FCC urging it to expand the services that pay into the Universal Service Fund (“USF”).  Specifically, the letter asks the FCC to include broadband internet access services (“BIAS”) revenue to the contribution base.  The groups stress that the current funding revenues are not sustainable and have declined by over 60% in the past twenty years.  

MTE Competition Report and Order

The FCC released a Report and Order last week adopting rules to promote competition and increase choice for broadband services for people living and working in multiple tenant environments (“MTEs”) (Vol. XIX, Issue 4).  The new rules (1) prohibit service providers from entering into graduated revenue sharing agreements or exclusive revenue-sharing agreements with a building owner; (2) require providers to disclose to tenants in plain language the existence of exclusive marketing arrangements they have with building owners; and (3) clarify that existing rules prohibit sale-and-leaseback arrangements.  

$100,000 Penalty Proposed for USF Worksheet Violations

Last week, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) against IK Communications, Inc. and IK Communications Corp., d/b/a Amantel (collectively “IK Communications”), for allegedly willfully and repeatedly failing to file its annual telecommunications reporting worksheet.  According to the NAL, IK Communications failed repeatedly to file a total of six Telecommunications Reporting Worksheets between April 1, 2016, and April 1, 2021.  IK Communications did not respond to a Letter of Inquiry that the FCC issued.  The Commission proposes a $100,000 penalty for these apparent violations.  

FCC, NTIA Spectrum Coordination Initiative

The FCC issued a News Release last week announcing a new initiative alongside the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) to improve U.S. government coordination on spectrum management.  The Spectrum Coordination Initiative aims to improve the two agencies’ ability to address gaps in governmental coordination through information sharing and new decision-making processes.  FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel and NTIA Assistant Secretary Alan Davidson have already committed to reinstating high-level meetings between the agencies’ leadership teams, renewing efforts to develop a national spectrum strategy, and revamping the technical collaboration between agencies and industry.  

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 53
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About this Author

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
Casey Lide Communication Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC
Partner

Casey Lide represents clients on a broad range of communications matters including telecommunications, cable television, broadband Internet access service, wireless communications, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, and barriers to community broadband initiatives.

Casey counsels public- and private-sector clients on contract drafting and negotiation matters, including fiber optic IRUs and leases, easements, franchises, attachment agreements, ISP service agreements, interconnection and collocation agreements, strategic MoUs and others.   

He collaborates...

202-434-4186
Sean Stokes Communications Attorney Keller and Heckman Washington, DC
Partner

Sean Stokes represents clients nationally on a wide range of communications matters including broadband, cable television, wireless communications, right-of-way management, pole attachments, barriers to community broadband initiatives, and public-private partnerships. He counsels clients in developing and negotiating agreements involving access to poles, ducts, conduits, dark fiber, and towers. He has represented municipal utilities and local governments in complex negotiations developing city-wide fiber-to-the-home networks and wireless small cell siting agreements.

Sean has...

202-434-4193
Jim Baller Communications Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC
Partner

James (Jim) Baller represents clients across the U.S. in a broad range of communications matters including high-capacity broadband network projects, public-private broadband partnerships, telecommunications, wireless facility siting, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, and barriers to community broadband initiatives.

Jim was the founder and president of the U.S. Broadband Coalition, a diverse group of more than 160 communications service providers, high technology companies, labor unions, public interest and consumer groups, state and local government entities,...

202-434-4175
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
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