Spectrum Frontiers Proposal
Last week, the FCC released a Fact Sheet outlining a draft Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking the Commission will vote on in July. The proposal would make additional licensed spectrum available in the 28, 37 and 39 GHz bands. It also would make 7 GHz of spectrum available for unlicensed use in the 64-71 GHz band. Finally, the item proposes shared use of the 37-37.6 GHz band between commercial and federal users. The Further Notice will consider additional rule changes that could increase access to various bands above 24 GHz, including 70 GHz (71-76 GHz) and 80 GHz (81-86 GHz) bands.
FAA Finalizes Drone Rules
Last week, the FAA finalized its rules for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (drones). The new rules govern the operation and certification of small drones weighing less than 55 pounds for non-hobby and non-recreational purposes. The rules will permit UAS operations for applications such as the delivery of consumer goods, inspections of cell phone towers, bridges, pipelines, electric lines, and oil rigs, crop monitoring, search and rescue missions, research and development, and aerial photography, to name a few. The rules will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Last week, the FCC extended the deadline for filing reply comments in response to its broadband privacy Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to July 6, due to the large number of comments received. Keller and Heckman partners Doug Jarrett and Tracy Marshall recently published an article on the NPRM in Law360, and a copy is available on our website at https://www.khlaw.com/9166.
Foreign Ownership NPRM
As a result of discussions with NTIA, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking last week to streamline review of applications by entities having “reportable foreign ownership interests” seeking initial or transfers of international Section 214 authorizations and submarine cable landing licenses, and petitions for §310(b) foreign ownership declaratory rulings of common carrier wireless and satellite earth station licenses and broadcast licenses. While these applications will still be reviewed by Team Telecom (which is comprised of persons from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security and the FBI), the NPRM proposes that information on ownership and network operations and certifications to certain commitments be included in applications. The NPRM also proposes quicker timelines for Team Telecom reviews.
Arkansas Pole Attachment Regulations
The Arkansas Public Service Commission late Friday released its long-awaited new pole attachment regulations, which include a rate approximately 2.5 times the FCC Cable rate and other important provisions affecting the pole owner/attacher relationship. The PSC adopted a middle position between higher rates the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives proposed (Keller and Heckman represented AECC) and the FCC Cable rate that communications attachers proposed.
FCC Boot Camp
Keller and Heckman Partner Wes Wright will be presenting at the American Conference Institute’s FCC Boot Camp in San Francisco, California this week. Mr. Wright will be discussing FCC Enforcement: Best Practices, Tips, Tricks, and Pitfalls to Avoid at 3:45 pm Pacific Time on Tuesday, June 28th.