Small Cell Appeals Update

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied the FCC’s motion to stay proceedings of the 12 different consolidated appeals of the Commission’s Small Cell Order (Vol. XVI, Issue 12). The same panel of judges has also denied the FCC’s motion to continue a stay of the proceedings involving consolidated appeals of the Commission’s declaratory ruling in the One-Touch Make-Ready (OTMR) pole attachment proceeding.

May Open Meeting

A tentative agenda has been posted for the FCC’s May Open meeting scheduled for May 9. Among other items, the Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which proposes to reallocate the 1675-1680 MHz band for shared use between federal operations and non-federal fixed or mobile operations (Vol. XVI, Issue 16), as well as a Public Notice seeking comment on proposed auction procedures for toll-free numbers in the 833 area code (Vol. XV, Issue 40).

Congress Seeks Answers on 5G/RF Health Impacts

On April 15, Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Pai and acting FDA Commissioner Sharpless inquiring about the status of the government’s research into the potential health effects of radiofrequency (RF) radiation and its relation to the FCC’s guidelines for safe human RF exposure levels, given the Commission’s impending rollout of 5G technology. Rep. DeFazio notes that, although the Commission sought comment on whether its RF safety guidelines should be reassessed in 2013, no further action has been taken and the guidelines have not been updated since their implementation in 1996. The letter asks for specific health-related studies conducted and efforts taken by the agencies to educate the public about its RF/5G technology research.

700 MHz Licensee Guidance

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released a Public Notice on April 25 providing guidance to 700 MHz narrowband state licensees regarding their upcoming final service benchmark showing (Vol. XVI, Issue 7). Such licensees must demonstrate by June 13 that they are providing or are prepared to provide “substantial service” to two-thirds of their population territory. The Public Notice also recommends details licensees should include with their final benchmark filings and addresses return of unused state license channels.