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Telecom Alert - Pole Attachment Order Effective Date; 800 MHz Guard Band Petition for Rulemaking; Auction 102 Clock Phase Closes; Auction 103 Bidding Procedures; FCC Proposes to Reallocate 1675-1680 MHz Band - Vol. XVI, Issue 16

Pole Attachment Order Effective Date

For investor-owned utilities in the 30 “FCC States,” the effective date of the remaining, operational provisions of the FCC’s August 3, 2018 Pole Attachment Order will be May 20, 2019.  These new provisions include one-touch make-ready, attacher self-help remedies, new survey and make-ready requirements, and others.  

800 MHz Guard Band Petition for Rulemaking

The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) filed a Petition for Rulemaking last week requesting the Commission designate the 800 MHz Guard Band (816-817/861-862 MHz) as “green space” to relocate Business/Industrial (B/ILT) incumbents operating on T-Band channels (470-512 MHz) and certain 900 MHz narrowband channels (896-901/935-940 MHz).  The 800 MHz Guard Band is intended to be used by B/ILT users.  However, the Commission is not accepting applications for operations in this band in many parts of the country because the Frequency Advisory Committees (“FACs”) charged with implementing frequency coordination procedures have not reached an agreement on the coordination process.  This Petition seeks to make the band available for incumbent T-Band licensees and certain 900 MHz band licensees that may be impacted by the band realignment proposed by pdvWireless.  

Auction 102 Clock Phase Closes

Last week the FCC announced that bidding has concluded in the clock phase of the auction of 24GHz Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses (Auction 102).  The Public Notice also contains information about the assignment phase of Auction 102 and declares assignment phase eligibility for bidders that won at least one generic block of spectrum in one Partial Economic Area (PEA) during the clock phase.  Eligible bidders will be able to access the bidding system between 10:00 a.m. on April 26 and 12:00 p.m. EST on April 29.  A mock auction will be conducted on April 30 and the first round of assignment phase bidding will begin on May 3.  

Auction 103 Bidding Procedures

Following the Commission’s April 15 Public Notice, the Comment and Reply Comment deadlines have been set for the FCC’s proposed competitive bidding procedures for the incentive auction of the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands (Auction 103) (Vol. XVI, Issue 15).  The Commission again proposes to use an ascending clock auction design to offer licenses for spectrum held by the Commission and for spectrum relinquished by incumbent licensees.  Comments are due by May 15 and Reply Comments are due by May 30.  

FCC Proposes to Reallocate 1675-1680 MHz Band

On April 18, Chairman Pai’s office released a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which seeks to reallocate the 1675-1680 MHz band for shared use between incumbent federal operations and non-federal fixed or mobile operations on a co-primary basis.  The NPRM proposes to make the spectrum available as an unpaired 5 MHz block on a geographic basis.  The Commission is scheduled to vote on the NPRM at its May 9, 2019 Open Meeting.  

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 112



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. 

Mr. Jarrett represents technology companies in securing amendments to the FCC rules to enable the...

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,...