FirstNet Approves Release of RFP 

In a much anticipated action, the FirstNet Board approved release of the final Request for Proposal (RFP) for construction, operation and maintenance of the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN).  The RFP will be released in January 2016.  Responses to the RFP will be due around mid-year 2016.

3.5 GHz Band Incumbent Protection Zone

In October, the Commission released a Public Notice seeking comment on how to define the “Grandfathered Wireless Protection Zone,” created in April 2015 under new rules establishing a new Citizens Broadband Radio Service in the 3550-3700 MHz band (“3.5 GHz Band”).  Incumbents in the 3.5 GHz Band will be protected for a limited time for operations that fall within the Protection Zone.  The Commission has extended the comment deadline to December 28, 2015 and the reply comment deadline to January 12, 2016.

FCC Enforcement

Last week, the Commission imposed a $493,327 penalty against PTT Phone Cards Inc. (PTT) for violating various obligations imposed on international telecommunications service providers.  Under the Forfeiture Order, from 2010 through 2014 PTT failed to register as a telecommunications provider, file certain reporting worksheets, contribute to certain public service programs, and file its annual Customer Proprietary Network Information certifications.

USF and USAC

The FCC released a Public Notice last week announcing that the 2016 first quarter Universal Service Fund (“USF“) contribution factor will be 18.2%.  The Public Notice also contains information pertaining to the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (“USAC”) projections of demand and administrative expenses and industry revenues projections for the first quarter of 2016.  The total projected collected interstate and international end-user revenues for the 2016 first quarter are $14.9 billion.