FCC Implements Emergency Procedures in Response to Hurricane Harvey

In addition to the FCC releases we reported on in Vol. XIV, Issue 35 (24/7 Emergency Contact Information and emergency processes for Special Temporary Authority (STA)), the Commission also announced the activation of the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. DIRS is a voluntary system that asks communication providers in areas affected to provide information to the Commission regarding the status of their equipment, restorations efforts, and power. The Commission is using the information to assess the telecommunications infrastructure damage to regions and is therefore soliciting participation from entities’ operating facilities in Louisiana and Texas. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

FirstNet Update

Last week, Hawaii, Alaska, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, and Nebraska all announced their decisions to opt-into the FirstNet-AT&T nationwide plan. Eighteen states and two territories have accepted the First Responder Network Authority plan and will allow AT&T to build and maintain their state’s NPSBN. Also last week, NTIA published its final rule for its review of FirstNet’s fees. NTIA will focus on the reasonableness of the overall fees assessed, rather than the reasonableness of each fee. For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

Texas Small Cell Deployment Law Goes Into Effect

The recently adopted Texas law, that aims to expedite the deployment of small cell facilities in public rights of way, went into effect on September 1. The law seeks to do so by allowing private telecommunications providers to access, control, and manipulate city light or traffic poles for private use. The City of Austin has filed a lawsuit, requesting an injunction. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

WTB Proposes 700MHz Relicensing Process

The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the process for relicensing 700 MHz spectrum in unserved areas. In the 2007 700 MHz Second Report and Order, the Commission tasked the Wireline Telecommunications Bureau with implementing rules and policies to relicense 700 MHz spectrum returned to the Commission due to the licensee’s failure to meet buildout requirements. Comments and Reply Comments are due 20 days and 30 days, respectively, after publication in the Federal Register. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

CAF II Fund Webinar

The Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force announced that they will be hosting a webinar to discuss proposals put forth in the Connect America Fund Phase II Auction Comment Public Notice on September 11, from 1pm – 3pm (EST). The webinar will cover proposed application procedures and proposed bidding procedures. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).