• 800 MHz Channels, ILEC Joint Use Disputes, FirstNet, Annual CPNI Certifications Due, 76-81 GHz Radar Systems, Complimentary Emergency Communications Plan Webinar, Net Neutrality , Vol XII Issue 7
  • March 27, 2015 | Authors: C. Douglas Jarrett; Gregory E. Kunkle; Thomas B. Magee
  • Law Firm: Keller and Heckman LLP - Washington Office
  • Interstitial 800 MHz Channels

    Last week, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would create full power, 12.5 kHz channels offset between currently allocated 25 kHz channels in the 809-817/854-862 MHz band. The 25 kHz channels in this band would remain, and licensees would not be required to reduce bandwidth to 12.5 kHz. The Commission proposes making these interstitial channels available for licensing once 800 MHz rebanding has been completed in a region. The proposed rules also assign eligibility to each new interstitial channel based on the eligibility assignment of the lower-adjacent existing 25 kHz channel. Frequency coordination will still be required for licensees seeking a new 12.5 KHz interstitial channel. Comments will be due 45 days after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register, and Reply Comments are due 15 days thereafter.

    FCC Guidance on ILEC Joint Use Disputes

    The FCC Enforcement Bureau last week released its first Order in a series of pending ILEC pole attachment complaint proceedings against electric utilities. The Order addresses a number of important areas and in some respects should be helpful to utilities negotiating rates and other terms and conditions of attachment with their ILEC joint use partners.

    FirstNet State Consultation Process

    FirstNet completed an initial Consultation Meeting with the State of Texas last week as it continues its outreach efforts.FirstNet already has completed initial consultation meetings with 13 states, and consultations with 16 additional states are scheduled between now and early September. In an article published last week in Radio Resource Mission Critical Communications magazine, Keller and Heckman Attorney Al Catalano explained that the statutorily-mandated state consultation process is the perfect vehicle for FirstNet and the states to design and implement early builder/pilot projects with specific learning objectives to demonstrate immediate, real-world success. A handful of early builder projects already have been approved by FirstNet, and additional projects will result in long-range learning with immediate real-world benefits to public safety.

    Annual CPNI Certifications Due March 1, 2015

    Earlier this month, the Commission issued an Enforcement Advisory reminding telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers to file their Customer Proprietary Network Information (or "CPNI") compliance report with the FCC by March 1, 2015. In the past, the Commission has taken enforcement action against companies failing to file their CPNI certifications with the Commission. The FCC has indicated it intends to continue strict enforcement of the CPNI requirements.

    FCC Proposes Rules for 76-81 GHz Radar Systems

    Earlier this month, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to authorize licensed radar operations in the 76-81 GHz band. This band has multiple existing users, including unlicensed, level probing radar systems used by many critical infrastructure companies. Portions of the band also are used for automotive collision avoidance radar applications and radar systems that detect foreign object debris at airports. The NPRM proposes rules that would permit fixed radar infrastructure applications for detection of stopped vehicles or pedestrians on roads, obstacle detection capability for industrial machinery, and security monitoring. Comments are due 30 days after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register, and Reply Comments are due 45 days after Federal Register publication.

    Complimentary Emergency Communications Plan Webinar

    At 1:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 12, Keller and Heckman will host a complimentary webinar discussing the National Emergency Communications Plan and the critical role of the nation’s utilities in national security. Al Catalano, Keller and Heckman Counsel, will be joined by Rear Admiral Ronald Hewitt, USCG (Ret.), Director, Office of Emergency Communications, DHS. The webinar is complimentary, but registration is required.