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Volume XIII, Number 152


June 01, 2023

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Telecom Alert: NTIA Spectrum Repurposing Proposal; USF Contribution Factor; ECF Funding; 900 MHz Applications Granted [Vol. XX, Issue 12]

NTIA Seeks 1,500 MHz Repurposing

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) is working with the FCC to identify at least 1,500 megahertz of spectrum for in-depth study to determine whether the spectrum can be repurposed for more intensive use by federal and on-federal users.  As part of this effort, NTIA issued a Request for Comment last week seeking input on the three pillars of its National Spectrum Strategy: creating a spectrum pipeline (which includes identifying federal and non-federal spectrum bands that could be re-allocated for new and additional uses); long-term spectrum planning (including how federal and non-federal users can coordinate for future spectrum sharing); and spectrum management (with a focus on research for technical advancements).  Comments are due by April 17, 2023.  

USF Contribution Factor

The FCC’s Office of Managing Director issued a Public Notice last week announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the second quarter of 2023 will be 29% absent any action from the Commission.  The 29% assessment on end-user interstate and international telecom service revenues is projected to meet the fourth quarter’s requirement of $1.951 billion for the four original universal service programs (E-Rate, rural health care, high-cost, and Lifeline) and the Connected Care Pilot Program. 

ECF Funding

The FCC announced that it is committing over $1.7 million in a new funding round through the Emergency Connectivity Program.  The Commitment will support applications from all three filing windows and will support approximately 15 schools and two libraries.  To date, the Commission has approved over $6.6 billion in funding commitments. 

900 MHz Applications Granted

Last week, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice granting two 900 MHz broadband segment license applications (Vol. XIX, Issue 47).  The FCC realigned the 900 MHz band in May 2020 to make available six megahertz of low-band spectrum for the development of critical wireless broadband technologies and services, while reserving four megahertz of spectrum for continued narrowband operations.  The Commission granted two applications of PDV Spectrum Holding Company, LLC for markets in Texas. 

Thomas Magee, Tracy Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean Stokes, and Wesley Wright also contributed to this article.

© 2023 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 80

About this Author


Jaimy “Sindy” Alarcon is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Licensing Specialist.

Sindy works in conjunction with the attorneys in the Telecommunications Practice to prepare FCC applications for clients seeking authority for new services, modifications, administrative updates, license cancellations, Requests for Special Temporary Authority (STA), Requests for Rule Waivers, Assignments of Authorization, Transfers of Control, Renewals, and Notifications of Construction for various radio services including microwave, land mobile, marine...

Jim Baller Communications Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC

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,...

Law Graduate

Jason Chun is a Law Graduate with our Telecommunications practice (not yet licensed to practice law as he awaits admittance under the D.C. Bar's Emergency Examination Waiver).

Timothy A. Doughty, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Licensing Specialist, Lawyer, FCC Matters Attorney

Timothy Doughty joined Keller and Heckman in 2009 as a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Licensing Specialist.

Mr. Doughty assists clients with the preparation of FCC applications, modifications, special temporary authorities, requests for rule waiver, renewals and spectrum leases in various radio services including Private Land Mobile, Microwave, Coast and Ground and Aircraft. His capabilities also include the preparation of tower registrations with the FCC and Obstruction Evaluations and Aeronautical Studies with the Federal Aviation...

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...