December 1, 2022

Volume XII, Number 335

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Telecom Alert: USF Report to Congress; Lumen ToC Approved; $25M to Expand Broadband in Texas; 900 MHz Applications Granted [Vol. XIX, Issue 34]

USF Report to Congress

Last week, the FCC released a report to Congress on the future of the Universal Service Fund and how to improve its effectiveness in light of the broadband provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 51).  The Commission makes several recommendations on how to best utilize IIJA funds, including opening a proceeding to consider reorienting the High-Cost Program and considering continuing Lifeline support for voice-only service.  It also recommends Congress give the Commission explicit authority to broaden the base of contributors to the Universal Service Fund.

FCC Approves Lumen Technologies Transfer of Control

The Wireline Competition, International, and Wireless Telecommunications bureaus issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order and Declaratory Ruling last week approving Lumen Technologies, Inc.’s (“Lumen”) and Connect Holding, LLC’s (“Connect Holding”) applications to transfer control of domestic and international licenses.  The applications involve the sale of Lumen’s incumbent local exchange carrier business in twenty states and is subject to several conditions.  Lumen and Connect Holding committed to making $2 billion in private investments for fiber deployment over the next five years and participating in affordable broadband programs such as Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program.

$25 Million to Expand Broadband Access in Texas

Last week, Bexar County approved $25 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) to expand broadband internet access across in remote areas of the county. Service providers have until October 6 to respond to a request for proposal to provide plans to build infrastructure in these areas either themselves or to partner with the county or the city of San Antonio.  An estimated 5,422 households in the target areas lack broadband access due to insufficient infrastructure. 

900 MHz Applications Granted

The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice last week granting nine 900 MHz broadband segment license applications (Vol. XVIII, Issue 32).  The FCC realigned the 900 MHz band in May 2020 to make available six megahertz of low-band spectrum for the development of critical wireless broadband technologies and services, while reserving four megahertz of spectrum for continued narrowband operations.  The Commission granted nine applications PDV Spectrum Holding Co. LLC for markets in Kansas and Missouri and has received full anti-windfall payments for the licenses. 

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 235
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About this Author

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
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
Wesley K. Wright, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Lawyer, FCC Enforcement Attorney, DC
Partner

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,...

202.434.4239
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
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
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