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Telecom Alert - Portal for Public Safety Interference Complaints; FCC Approves T-Mobile/Sprint Merger; WV PSC Pole Attachment Rules; IEEE 802.16 Working Group; NG911 Institute Board Election Results — Vol. XVI, Issue 42

New Online Portal for Public Safety and Enterprise Interference Complaints

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a Public Notice earlier this month announcing the launch of a new online portal for submitting public safety and enterprise service interference complaints.  As a central complaint intake point, the portal will streamline the process by categorizing and prioritizing complaints, sending receipt confirmations, and providing a time period for an expected initial response from a field agent.  The initial response timeline for high priority issues is within one calendar day of filing with the FCC, and medium priority and low priority issues will receive an initial response within two business days and five business days, respectively.

FCC Officially Approves T-Mobile and Sprint Merger

Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks announced that they voted against the T-Mobile and Sprint merger (Vol. XV, Issue 18) last Wednesday, signaling approval of the deal by a 3-2 vote.  Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a draft Order formally recommending approval in August (Vol. XVI, Issue 33), which Commissioners Brendan Carr and Michael O’Rielly supported.  With the votes officially cast, the Order approving the merger will likely be released in the coming weeks.

West Virginia PSC Proposes Pole Attachment Rules

Last week the West Virginia Public Service Commission issued a Commission Order seeking comment on proposed pole attachment regulations.  In March, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 3, which granted the PSC regulatory jurisdiction and required it to adopt the FCC’s pole attachment regulations and dispute resolution process.  The proposed rules are nearly identical to the FCC’s regulations, with some revisions that do not substantively affect their application such as requiring formal complaints to include the West Virginia Bar identification number of the complainant’s attorney.  Written comments and reply comments are due by 4:00 p.m. on October 30, 2019, and November 14, 2019, respectively.

IEEE 802.16 Working Group Proposal

A Project Authorization Request (PAR) will be presented to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) plenary executive committee in November seeking to establish an IEEE 802.16 working group.  IEEE 802.16, which was last updated in 2017, is a series of broadband standards that specify the physical layer (PHY) and media access control layer (MAC) of the air interface.  The current standards allow for use of channel sizes down to 100 kHz, but many users only have access to smaller channels such as 25 kHz, 12.5 kHz, and 6.25 kHz.  The working group will seek to update the standard to allow use of smaller channel sizes, among other things, to promote spectrum for Industrial Internet of Things (“IIoT”) applications.  Once approved, the working group will meet for approximately 18 months.  Critical Infrastructure end user organizations are encouraged to join the standards setting process to ensure their requirements are being met.

NG911 Institute 2019 Board Election Results

The NG911 Institute issued a press release last week announcing the results of its 2019 Board of Directors election.  Neil Horden (Federal Engineering, Inc.) and Jill Canfield (NCTA) were reelected for the Member at Large (General) and Consumer Telco (Small Provider) positions, respectively.  Susan Ornstein (Comtech) and George Rice (RedFlash Group) were elected to the Vendor (Public Safety) positions, while Peter Beckwith (South Bend 911) and Liz Graeber (City of Phoenix) were elected to the Member at Large (Public Safety) positions. 

© 2020 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. 

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,...