Telecom Alert - TMA Withdraws 800 MHz Band Reconsideration Petition; USDA Invests Over $40 Million in ReConnect Funding; RF Exposure Rules; FCC Grants 24 GHz Band License Applications - Vol. XVII, Issue 4
TMA Withdraws 800 MHz Band Reconsideration Petition
Earlier this month, The Monitoring Association (TMA) filed a Request to Withdraw its petition for reconsideration of the Commission’s 800 MHz Report and Order updating its policies pertaining to the band and other private land mobile radio spectrum. TMA originally petitioned the Commission to preserve certain channels for central station alarm use. Since then, TMA and the Land Mobile Communications Council were able to revise their central station frequency Consensus Plan and address TMA’s primary concerns.
USDA Invests Over $40 Million in ReConnect Funding
Over the past two weeks, the Department of Agriculture has invested $42.5 million in first-round funding of the agency’s ReConnect Pilot Program. Of the total investments so far, $7.1 million was awarded to communities in rural Arkansas, $5.7 million to communities in rural Nebraska, $18.7 million to communities in rural West Virginia, and $11 million to communities in rural Minnesota and Iowa. In early January, Montgomery County, Maryland mailed a survey to its residents to identify broadband lacking or deficient households to gauge the need to apply for the ReConnect program.
RF Exposure Rules
Last week, Keller and Heckman attorney Mike Fitch posted a thorough analysis of the FCC’s radiofrequency (RF) exposure limit rules on the firm’s Beyond Telecom Law Blog. In the matter of greatest interest to the public, the FCC determined that no changes should be made to the agency’s existing RF exposure limits. These limits have been in place since being adopted by the FCC in 1996. The Commission also changed the application of its RF exposure limits. Finally, the FCC also adopted rules that will require licensees and operators of fixed RF sources to use signs when certain RF sources in an area create locations where exposure is above the permissible exposure limit for the general public. The Commission determined, however, that indicators such as chains, railing, paint, and diagrams may alternatively be used.
FCC Grants 24 GHz Band License Applications
Last week, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice announcing that it granted eight licenses in Auction 102, the auction of 24GHz Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses. Auction 102 raised $2,022,676,752 in net bids and awarded 29 bidders a total of 2,904 licenses.