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Telecom Alert: WV Abandoned Pole Rules; Broadband Data Maps Released; 900 MHz Applications Granted; ECF Funding [Vol. XIX, Issue 47]

Broadband Data Maps Released

The FCC announced the release if a pre-production draft of its new National Broadband Map (the “Broadband Map”) last Friday, which shows fixed and mobile broadband availability data (Vol. XIX, Issue 46). The Broadband Map is the most comprehensive and standardized data the Commission has ever made available on broadband availability, will show specific location-level information about broadband services throughout the country.  The public will be able to view the maps and search for their address to see information and may file challenges with the FCC if any discrepancies arise.

WV PSC Adopts Abandoned Pole Rules

Last week, the West Virginia Public Service Commission adopted rules to implement legislation aimed at expediting broadband expansion in the state.  The bill, HB2002, was approved in 2021 and requires the Commission to promulgate rules to address abandoned cable, conductor, and other related facilities attached to utility poles.  Specifically, the rules provide for the pole owner to fully recover the costs for the removal and disposal of abandoned facilities.  The new rules also govern the timely transfer of facilities from an old pole to a new pole. 

900 MHz Applications Granted

Last week, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice granting nine 900 MHz broadband segment license applications (Vol. XIX, Issue 44).  The FCC realigned the 900 MHz band in May 202 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 of PDV Spectrum Holding Company, LLC for markets in Kansas and Missouri.  

Nearly $84 Million in ECF Funding

Last week, the FCC announced that it is committing nearly $84 million in a new funding round through the Emergency Connectivity Program (the “Program”).  These commitments will support applications from all three applications windows and will support over 180 schools, 20 libraries, and five consortia.  To date, the Program has provided support to approximately 10,500 schools, 1,000 libraries, and 100 consortia.  

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 325

About this Author

Sean Stokes Communications Attorney Keller and Heckman Washington, DC

Sean Stokes represents clients nationally on a wide range of communications matters including broadband, cable television, wireless communications, right-of-way management, pole attachments, barriers to community broadband initiatives, and public-private partnerships. He counsels clients in developing and negotiating agreements involving access to poles, ducts, conduits, dark fiber, and towers. He has represented municipal utilities and local governments in complex negotiations developing city-wide fiber-to-the-home networks and wireless small cell siting agreements.

Sean has...

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,...

Timothy A. Doughty, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Licensing Specialist, Lawyer, FCC Matters Attorney

Timothy Doughty joined Keller and Heckman in 2009 as a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Licensing Specialist.

Mr. Doughty assists clients with the preparation of FCC applications, modifications, special temporary authorities, requests for rule waiver, renewals and spectrum leases in various radio services including Private Land Mobile, Microwave, Coast and Ground and Aircraft. His capabilities also include the preparation of tower registrations with the FCC and Obstruction Evaluations and Aeronautical Studies with the Federal Aviation...

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...

Casey Lide Communication Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC

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...