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Telecom Alert - October 22, 2018- Reconsideration of Pole Attachment Order; Small Cell Order; ESC Sensor Registration for CBRS; C-Band Earth Station Filing Deadline Extended; Cell Outages Continue Due to Hurricane Michael

Reconsideration of Pole Attachment Order

The Coalition of Concerned Utilities (Arizona Public Service, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Eversource, Exelon, FirstEnergy, South Carolina Electric and Gas, and The AES Corporation) last week filed a Petition for Reconsideration of the FCC’s August 3, 2018 Pole Attachment Order, asking the FCC to reconsider its rulings pertaining to joint use rates, self-help in the electric space, overlashing, pre-existing safety violations, make-ready estimates, joint ride-outs, double wood, contractor specifications, one-touch make-ready, and completed applications.

FCC Small Cell Order Effective January 14, 2019

On October 15, the FCC’s controversial Small Cell Order was published in the Federal Register, establishing an effective date of January 14, 2019.  The Order sets nationwide standards under Sections 332(c)(7) and 253 of the Communications Act for the installation of “Small Wireless Facilities” (small cells) in public rights of way (ROW) and the collocation of small cells on state and municipal streetlight poles, utility poles and other facilities in the public ROW.  The decision limits the ability of state and local governments to assess charges for processing small cell applications and to set annual rent for small cell facilities, and establishes “shot clocks” for state and local governments to process small cell applications.

ESC Sensor Registration for 3.5 GHz Band

On October 16, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) and Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) released a Public Notice summarizing the registration and review process for Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) sensors, which will allow Spectrum Access Systems (SAS) to coordinate access among the three tiers of the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS).  ESC Sensor registrants (generally SAS providers) must include RF site configuration details for each ESC sensor in a proposed deployment, including site location, elevation, azimuth, gain, and the make and model of the antenna equipment.  The FCC began accepting ESC Sensor Registrations after October 16 and will post approved registrations on a rolling basis. 

C-Band Earth Station Information Filing Deadline Extended

Last week the FCC’s International Bureau announced that the filing deadline for operators of fixed satellite service (FSS) earth stations to register systems that were constructed and operational as of April 19, 2018 has been extended to October 31, 2018.  This registration process is related to the Commission’s efforts to allow commercial wireless services to use or share use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz spectrum band.

Cell Outages Continue Due to Hurricane Michael

As of October 20, the FCC reported that 33.9 percent of cell sites in Bay County, Florida were still out of service as a result of Hurricane Michael, which made landfall on October 10 as a Category 4 hurricane near Mexico Beach, Florida.  The slow pace of wireless recovery and restoration efforts in Florida prompted FCC Chairman Pai to initiate an investigation and to join Governor Rick Scott in calling on wireless carriers to waive the bills of Floridians in affected areas for the month of October. 

© 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. 

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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,...