Colorado to Release Public Safety LTE RFP for FirstNet Opt-Out Plan

Colorado plans to release a public safety LTE Request for Proposal in late March or early April. The RFP is intended to provide details about Colorado’s possible First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) opt-out scenario. Brian Shepherd, Colorado’s broadband program manager, explained to MissionCritical Communications that the objective is to “provide as thorough of an analysis as possible when it comes to the ultimate decision to opt-in/out of the FirstNet plan.” The State believes the best way to achieve this objective is to provide an option to which the FirstNet plan may be compared. The FirstNet contract is expected to be awarded this month, which means initial review of the draft plan could begin as early as June. For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

FirstNet Board Meeting

The FirstNet Board and Board Committees will convene an open public teleconference and webinar Combined Board Committees and Board meeting on March 14, 2017. The meeting will convene from 1-3 pm, and will be closed to the public from 2:05 to 2:35 pm. For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

Rewrite of Telecom Act Not a Congressional Priority

Standing in for House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), David Redl, Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee, stated last week that a comprehensive re-write of the Telecom Act is not a priority for 2017. In remarks before the Federal Communications Bar Association, Redl explained that the Subcommittee will advance amendments to the Act on which consensus is readily achievable. Thus, significant revisions to the 2015 Open Internet Order likely will originate at the FCC, if at all. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

FCC Investigating AT&T 911 Outage

Last week, law enforcement entities in multiple states, including Florida and Texas reported issues with AT&T wireless customers attempting to call 911. The outage lasted for approximately an hour, with AT&T announcing Wednesday evening that service had been restored. The following day, FCC Chairman Pai announced an investigation into the outage. Lisa Fowlkes, Acting Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, stated that the Commission “will fully investigate this outage and determine the root cause and its impact.” For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

FCC Extends 800 MHz Freeze Along US-Mexico Border

The FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released a Public Notice, extending the freeze on new 800 MHz applications along the US-Mexico border. The freeze preserves vacant channels needed for licensees to retune their systems in accordance with 800 MHz rebanding. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

KH Webinar: 5G Wireless-Challenges and Opportunities for Electric Utilities

On March 23, 2017, at 1:00 PM EST, Keller and Heckman will host a one-hour webinar on the impacts on investor-owned, cooperative and municipal electric utilities as wireless carriers roll out small cells and deploy 5G technology. An overview of these mega-trends will be provided as a backdrop for the discussion on the major challenges and possible opportunities for electric utilities with this phase of commercial wireless deployment. Legislative and regulatory developments will be highlighted. The session will include an overview of the new demands wireless carriers are placing on infrastructure providers. For more information and to register, please click here.

Beyond Telecom Law Blog: “A Better Way Forward for FirstNet?”

As we wait for the conclusion of a court challenge by Rivada Mercury to the federal government’s procedures in selecting FirstNet’s partner to build, operate and maintain the nationwide public safety broadband network, one wonders if there is a better way forward. Does FirstNet really need the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) procedures to select its partner? Please read “A Better Way Forward for FirstNet?” by KH Partner Al Catalano on the Beyond Telecom Law Blog.

Beyond Telecom Law Blog: “Enterprise Customers and Dark Fiber: An Important Connection”

This is the first of two entries on dark fiber arrangements for the dedicated, high-bandwidth requirements of businesses, medical and educational institutions, and state and local governments (collectively “enterprises”). Please read “Enterprise Customers and Dark Fiber: An Important Connection” by KH Partner Doug Jarrett on the Beyond Telecom Law Blog.