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Telecom Alert - Senate Hearing in Hawaii; PSHSB Guidance on 911 Certifications; Spectrum Horizons Pleading Cycle; Associations Request Guidance for 911 Apps - Vol. XV, Issue 15

Senate Commerce Committee Hearing in Hawaii

Last week, the Senate Commerce Committee held a field hearing in Honolulu, Hawaii to examine the false missile alert that occurred in January (Vol. XV, Issue 4) and explore options to improve alerts to ensure public safety.  The hearing was led by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and consisted of three panels.  The first panel was FCC Commissioner Rosenwercel, who stated that the false missile alert in Hawaii was unacceptable and provided a list of actions the FCC can take to prevent similar problems. The second panel had representatives from the Department of Defense, the FCC, and FEMA.  The third panel was Major General Arthur J. Logan of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, who provided background on missile alerts and the specific timeline of events regarding the false missile alert.  

PSHSB Guidance on 911 Certifications

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) released a Public Notice providing guidance to Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) providers on compliance certification requirements and upcoming deadlines. On February 3, 2015, the Commission adopted a rule that required CMRS providers to file quarterly reports regarding location technologies used on their networks. The rule includes a progressive timeline where CMRS providers must meet particular benchmarks with the ultimate goal of, among other things, providing “dispatchable location” or latitude/longitude location within 50 meters of all wireless 911 calls. The three-year benchmark was April 3, 2018; therefore, providers have until June 4, 2018 to certify compliance. 

Spectrum Horizons Pleading Cycle Published

The spectrum horizons NPRM adopted at the FCC’s February Open Meeting was also published in the Federal Register. As previously reported (Vol. XV, Issue 9), the NPRM proposes expanding access to spectrum above 95 GHz to encourage innovation of technology that can utilize the unlicensed, but usable spectrum. Comments are due May 2, 2018 and reply comments are due May 17, 2018. 

Associations Request Guidance for 911 Apps

Last week, CTIA (the wireless industry’s association), APCO, and NENA submitted an ex parte filing stating that the associations met with the PSHSB to request guidance on how 911 apps should be regulated to ensure proper coordination of their use among 911 stakeholders.  The parties emphasized that guidance is important to ensure that testing, trialing, or use of 911 apps do not have unintended consequences.  Specifically, the parties requested guidance stating that 911 stakeholders should provide reasonable notice to the FCC, appropriate state or local public safety authorities, and wireless providers operating within the area of testing, trialing or use of 911 apps and that 911 apps and data service solution providers should disclose their testing methodology. 

© 2019 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,...