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.