October 26, 2020

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October 26, 2020

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Telecom Business Alert - FirstNet RFP, TCPA, Vehicular Repeaters

FirstNet Issues RFP

Last week, FirstNet released its long-awaited Request for Proposal (RFP) to build a nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN). Although one nationwide bid will be selected, no one entity is capable of meeting all of FirstNet’s objectives. Nationwide bidders will need to form partnerships, including those with infrastructure owners in rural America.  FirstNet will hold a pre-proposal conference on March 10, 2016 in Reston, Virginia.  Pre-Registration is required for in-person attendance at the conference.  Questions on the RFP are due no later than February 12, 2016 but FirstNet is encouraging questions to be submitted sooner.  Capability statements are due March 17, 2016.  Proposals in response to the RFP are due April 29, 2016 and FirstNet anticipates making an award in the fourth quarter of 2016.

FCC Addresses TCPA Liability of Text Broadcasters

Last week, the FCC released an Order denying a petition by Club Texting, Inc. for a declaratory ruling that text broadcasters who transmit text messages on behalf of others should be held to a different, lower standard under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  Club Texting, which provides software to facilitate text messages, urged that, unlike their customers whose goods and services are promoted through text messages, text broadcasters should only be liable for texts sent in violation of the TCPA if they demonstrate a high degree of involvement in, or actual notice of, the unlawful activity and fail to take steps to prevent it.  In denying the petition, the FCC reiterated that the determination of liability for autodialed text messages is fact-based, and deferred to existing precedent for determining the liability of text broadcasters.

Vehicular Repeaters

Last week a final rule was published in the Federal Register implementing changes to Part 90 of the FCC’s rules to allow licensing and operation of vehicular repeater systems and other mobile repeaters on six offset channels in the 173 MHz band.  The rule change permits operations on the 11.25 kHz channels on a co-primary basis with adjacent land mobile operations, and the Commission removed certain restrictions on omni-directional antennas, fixed station power limits, and antenna heights for telemetry operations (past alert).  The rule change will become effective on February 16, 2016. 

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume VI, Number 19



About this Author

Albert J. Catalano, Keller and Heckman, Domestic Joint Ventures Attorney, FCC Regulation Lawyer, DC

Albert Catalano joined Keller and Heckman in 2014.  Mr. Catalano has 30 years of experience in telecommunications regulatory and legislative matters, domestic and international joint ventures, litigation, and transactions involving communications, properties and investments.  Mr. Catalano represents States and other entities in matters related to the buildout of the 700 MHz nationwide public safety broadband network on spectrum licensed to FirstNet.  He has extensive experience in spectrum relocation proceedings.  Mr. Catalano’s practice focuses on wireless...

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 Administration (FAA). He maintains a wide-ranging knowledge of the FCC's rules and procedures and regularly interfaces with various certified frequency coordinators.

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...

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...