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Telecom Alert: November 5, 2018 - BDAC Working Group; California Will Not Enforce Net Neutrality Rules; Legal Challenges to Small Cell Order; Spectrum Frontiers Auction; Hurricane Michael Reporting System Deactivated - Vol. XV, Issue 45

BDAC Disaster Recovery Working Group

The Commission last week announced the formation of a new “Disaster Response and Recovery Working Group” of the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC).  As explained in its Public Notice and News Release, the working group is charged with recommending “actions that can be taken to more quickly restore broadband infrastructure following a disaster.”  Chairman Pai is asking the working group to develop “best practices for coordination among wireless providers, backhaul providers, and power companies during and after a disaster.”

California Will Not Enforce New Internet Regulations

California has agreed not to enforce its new net neutrality law while the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order is pending before the D.C. Circuit, and, if aggrieved parties seek and obtain review before the Supreme Court, until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the further appeals.  The agreement follows a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in September, which alleged that California’s recently enacted net neutrality law is unlawful and preempted by the Restoring Internet Freedom Order

Legal Challenges to FCC’s Small Cell Order

Five different appeals of the FCC’s controversial Small Cell Order filed in the First, Second, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits have been consolidated and will be heard by the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado.  In addition, a group comprised of the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Counties, the National Association of Regional Councils, the National Association of Towns and Townships, and over 50 individual cities, towns, and counties filed a Motion for Stay of the Order last week. 

User Guide Available for Spectrum Frontiers Auction

On October 30, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) announced the availability of the Auction Bidding System User Guide for the upcoming “spectrum frontier” auctions of almost six thousand Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses in the 27.5-28.35 GHz (28 GHz); 24.25-24.45 GHz; and 24.75-25.25 GHz (24 GHz) bands (Auction 101).  The Guide provides detailed instructions for bidding and viewing round results, and it includes specifications for data file formats.  Bidding in Auction 101 is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, November 14. 

Hurricane Michael Disaster Information Reporting System Deactivated

At the request of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Coordinating Center for Communications and FEMA, the FCC announced the deactivation of its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) for Hurricane Michael.  The FCC will continue to monitor the status of communications services and provide support to providers and government partners as needed for remaining restoration efforts.  The FCC’s final daily status report for Hurricane Michael was released on October 26, disclosing 12 percent of cell sites out of service in Bay County and 14 percent of cell sites out of service in Gulf County. 

© 2019 Keller and Heckman LLP

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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...

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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. 

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Thomas B. Magee, Keller Heckman, transactional counsel, litigation attorney, FCC law, safety violation lawyer
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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,...

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Tracy Marshall, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, for-profit company lawyer
Partner

Tracy Marshall joined Keller and Heckman in 2002. She 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.

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

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