5G Rules

Last week the FCC released a Report Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issuing service rules in four bands above 24 GHz for 5G networks and technologies. The FCC’s new rules authorize mobile operations on a licensed basis in the 27.5-28.35 GHz, 38.6-40 GHz, and 37-38.6 GHz bands. The FCC also allocated the 64-71 GHz band for Part 15 use, which, when combined with the Part 15 57-64 GHz band will result in 14 GHz of spectrum for unlicensed operations such as WiGig service.

In the Further Notice portion of the release, the FCC sought comment on authorizing fixed and mobile service in several additional bands: 24.25- 24.45 GHz, 24.75-25.25 GHz, 31.8-33 GHz, 42-42.5 GHz, the 47.2-50.2 GHz, 50.4-52.6 GHz, and the 71-76 GHz band together with the 81-86 GHz bands (70/80 GHz bands) and the bands above 95 GHz. The FCC proposed a three-tiered approach to licensing in the 70/80 GHz band similar to the rules recently adopted for the 3.5 GHz band. The proposed tiers are (1) Incumbent Access users, which would receive the highest level of protection; (2) Priority Access Licensees (PALs); and (3) General Authorized Access (GAA) users. Comments are due September 30 and Reply Comments are due October 31. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

IP Transition

The FCC has released a Declaratory Ruling, Second Report and Order, and Order on Reconsideration identifying several rule changes associated with the transition from circuit-switched copper loops to Internet Protocol (IP) multi-media networks using copper, co-axial cable, wireless, and/or fiber infrastructure. Among other changes, the Commission eliminated unnecessary regulations and established an expedited review process to review carrier applications to transition from TDM to IP-based services. Specifically, providers’ applications to discontinue legacy TDM-based voice service in a technology transition can now be automatically granted in 30 days if the application meets a three-pronged test. Each carrier will decide when and where it will transition from TDM to IP-based voice services; urban areas will be the initial focus for the transition. A nationwide transition to IP-voice services could take years.

Outage Reporting Rules Published

Last week the FCC’s new Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) rules were published in the federal register. The new rules update several of the Commission’s outage reporting metrics, methodologies, and procedures concerning disruptions to communications (Vol. XIII, Issue 22). They also direct the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to further evaluate issues related to the sharing of information from the NORS with state and federal partners. In a separate release, the Commission’s proposal to expand reporting requirements to include certain broadband service and interconnected VoIP service disruptions has been published in the federal register, which established a Comment deadline on August 26 and a Reply Comment deadline on September 12. 

FCC Mapping Upgrades

The FCC recently revealed a modernized version of its maps web page aimed at improving the user experience with enhanced displays, improved usability, and streamlined publishing. Since the site’s launch, 53 maps have been published (15 of which have been in 2016). The site can be accessed here

RNC a “No-Drone Zone”

As Cleveland prepares to host the Republican National Convention this week, the FAA has placed Cleveland and its surrounding areas under a “No Drone Zone” restriction from 6pm July 17th until 3am July 22nd. The FAA is also restricting traditional aircrafts from entering the 30 mile radius zone but will allow gateway airports to continue with normal operating procedures. 

California Pole Attachment Rulemaking

The California Cable & Telecommunications Association last week petitioned the California PUC for an expedited ruling to extend CPUC’s recently-adopted wireless attachment rules to the wireless facilities installed by cable television companies on distribution poles, asserting there is no reason why the same wireless attachment rights should not be extended to cable operators.

Open Meeting Agenda Set

The FCC released the tentative agenda for its Open Meeting scheduled for August 4th. Among other items, the FCC will consider a Report and Order that would implement a portion of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) that would convert the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program from a pilot to a permanent program.