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Telecom Alert - Rural Tribal Priority Window Now Open; E911 Location Accuracy Comment Deadline Extended; Pai Proposes Updating TV White Space Rules; UMFUS Auction Assignment Phase Announced - Vol. XVII, Issue 6

Rural Tribal Priority Window Now Open

On February 3 the FCC announced that the Tribal priority window for federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Villages to apply for spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band officially opened (Vol. XVII, Issue 2).  This first-of-its-kind priority window allows tribes to obtain spectrum in the band for free before any commercial auction.  The Tribal priority window will be open for six months, until August 3, 2020, after which the remaining unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum will be made available for commercial use through a spectrum auction. 

E911 Location Accuracy Comment Deadline Extended

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued an Order last Tuesday extending the comment and reply comment deadlines for its Fifth Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on E911 location accuracy requirements (Vol. XVII, Issue 3).  Several 911 interest groups filed a petition to extend the filing deadlines in response to several major events in the 911 policymaking space happening during the original pleading cycle.  The new comment and reply comment filing deadlines are now February 21, 2020, and March 20, 2020, respectively. 

Pai Proposes Updating TV White Space Rules

Last Wednesday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed providing additional opportunities for unlicensed white space devices to deliver wireless broadband services in rural areas.  These devices operate in sections of unused television bands and spectrum and can be used to provide broadband service to rural and underserved communities.  Chairman Pai’s proposal would allow higher transmit power and higher antennas for fixed white space devices in rural areas, which would allow them to reach users at greater distances.  The proposal will be voted on at the Commission’s Open Meeting on February 28.

UMFUS Auction Assignment Phase Announced

On February 5th the FCC announced that the assignment phase of bidding will begin in Auction 103  on February 18, 2020.  Auction 103 is the incentive auction of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses in the Upper 37 GHz (37.6-38.6 GHz); 39 GHz (38.6-40 GHz); and 47 GHz (47.2-48.2 GHz) bands (Vol. XVI, Issue 50).  The assignment phase will allow bidders that won at least one generic block of spectrum in one Partial Economic Area (PEA) to place bids on specific frequency blocks.  Bidding in the clock phase of Auction 103 closed on January 30, with 35 bidders qualifying after 104 rounds to participate in the assignment phase. 

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 41



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,...