February 27, 2021

Volume XI, Number 58

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Telecom Alert - Rosenworcel Named Acting Chairwoman; Pole Attachment Declaratory Ruling; T-Band Application Suspension Modifications; C-Band Earth Stations Filing; White House Regulatory Freeze Vol. XVIII, Issue 4

Rosenworcel Named Acting Chairwoman

Last Thursday, President Joseph Biden designated Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as Acting Chairwoman of the FCC.  Rosenworcel, who has served as a Commissioner for two terms starting in 2012, replaces former Chairman Ajit Pai after he stepped down following President Biden’s inauguration.  With a 2-2 split among FCC Commissioners, President Biden will ultimately nominate an additional Commissioner to establish a 3-2 Democratic majority.  President Biden has not yet indicated his choice of a permanent chair for the Commission.  

Pole Attachment Declaratory Ruling

The Wireline Competition Bureau released a Declaratory Ruling last week clarifying that utilities cannot impose the entire cost of a pole replacement on a requesting attacher when the attacher is not the sole cause of the pole replacement.  This ruling came in response to a petition for expedited declaratory ruling filed by NCTA in July.  Other NCTA requests were not granted, including for expedited pole replacements and expedited complaint processes.  

T-Band Application Suspension Modifications

The FCC issued a Public Notice last week modifying the suspensions on the acceptance and processing of certain licenses in the T-Band.  Following the enactment of the T-Band Mandate in 2012, the FCC imposed a suspension on the acceptance and processing of certain applications for Part 22 and Part 90 services in the T-Band to maintain a stable spectral environment.  After terminating the T-Band auction proceeding earlier this month (Vol. XVIII, Issue 3), the FCC will resume processing T-Band renewal applications within 30 days of the Public Notice’s release.  From March 22, 2021, until June 21, 2021, the FCC will accept certain incumbent licensee applications for modifications.  

C-Band Earth Stations Filing

The FCC’s International Bureau issued a Public Notice last week announcing that incumbent C-Band earth station operators have 90 days to submit filings confirming the continued operation of their stations.  RSM US LLP (RSM), the C-Band relocation coordinator, recently filed documents listing earth station antennas that have been reported as being no longer operational, as well as earth station operators and associated antennas that have failed to respond to communications from RSM or the incumbent satellite operators.  Station operators have until April 19, 2021 to affirm their continued operations.  Failure to affirm in a timely manner will result in the termination of authorizations.  

White House Regulatory Freeze Memo

On July 20, the White House issued a Memorandum to the heads of all executive departments and agencies requesting that they halt all non-emergency rulemaking and regulatory activity pending review by the new administration.  Specifically, the Memorandum asks executive agencies to not propose or issue any rules until a department or agency head appointed or designated by President Biden reviews and approves the rule, withdraw any rules that have already been sent to the Federal Register, and to consider postponing by 60 days the effective date of any such rules already sent to the Federal Register but have not yet taken effect.  

Beyond Telecom Law Blog: “Broadband Funding Opportunities in the COVID-19 Relief Act”

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provided funding for several broadband-related support programs.  Please read “Broadband Funding Opportunities in the COVID-19 Relief Act” by KH Partner Casey Lide and KH Law Graduate Jason Chun on Beyond Telecom Law Blog.

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© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 25
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Jim Baller Communications Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC
Partner

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,...

202-434-4175
Gregory E. Kunkle, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, FCC lawyer
Partner

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...

202-434-4178
Casey Lide Communication Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC
Partner

Casey Lide represents clients on a broad range of communications matters including telecommunications, cable television, broadband Internet access service, wireless communications, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, and barriers to community broadband initiatives.

Casey counsels public- and private-sector clients on contract drafting and negotiation matters, including fiber optic IRUs and leases, easements, franchises, attachment agreements, ISP service agreements, interconnection and collocation agreements, strategic MoUs and others.   

He collaborates...

202-434-4186
Thomas B. Magee, Keller Heckman, transactional counsel, litigation attorney, FCC law, safety violation lawyer
Partner

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,...

202-434-4128
Tracy Marshall, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, for-profit company lawyer
Partner

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...

202-434-4234
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