FCC to Review Small Cell Deployments

Following up on a Petition by Mobilitie and other reports that local government review of proposed small cell deployments has been slow and expensive, the FCC has asked for public comment on local government approval processes and local government fees to use public rights-of-way. If you have any questions about this proceeding, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202-434-4128) or Tim Doughty (doughty@khlaw.com; 202-434-4271).

Petitions for Reconsideration of FCC’s Broadband Privacy Order Filed

Petitions filed by a number of organizations, including the U.S. Telecom Association, NCTA, CTIA, the American Cable Association (ACA), and several advertising organizations, requested the FCC to either scrap its October 2016 broadband privacy Report and Order entirely or reconsider major aspects. All of the petitions alleged errors, with ACA referring to the Order as a “train wreck” and the advertising organizations describing it as “fundamentally flawed.” A lack of FCC authority was a common argument, and some petitions emphasized that the FCC’s rules must be better aligned with existing privacy frameworks. For more information on the Report and Order, click here, or contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).

Senators Thune and Nelson Reintroduce MOBILE NOW

Last week, on the first day of the new Congress, Senators Thune and Nelson reintroduced the MOBILE NOW Act (S.19). The bill seeks to advance wireless technologies by freeing up spectrum and removing barriers to infrastructure deployment. If adopted, MOBILE NOW would require Federal users to give up 255 MHz below 6 GHz by 2020, at least 100 MHz of which would be made available for unlicensed use. Regarding licensed spectrum, the bill requires NTIA to examine the feasibility of authorizing commercial operations in certain bands, which are currently being studied by the Commission for 5G use. In addition to unlicensed and licensed spectrum, MOBILE NOW also focuses on shared spectrum, requiring NTIA to study the potential for sharing by both Federal and commercial users. Last Congress, a nearly identical bill passed the Senate Commerce Committee by voice vote, but was never brought to the Senate Floor. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

PLMRS Consent Decree

Precision Castparts Corp. entered into a consent decree with the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau regarding its operation of private land mobile radio service (PLMRS) stations. The consent decree resolves an investigation into whether PCC used the stations “without Commission authority, failed to timely file for authority to continue operating these stations, and failed to obtain Commission consent prior to transferring control of PLMRS station authorizations.” PCC admitted to its non-compliance, and agreed to pay a $60,000 civil penalty. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

800 MHz TA Reports Progress on Band Realignment

In its last report of 2016, the 800 MHz band transition administrator (TA) reported that the focus was still on the reconfiguration of Mexican border licenses. All anticipated frequency reconfiguration agreements (FRA) for the Mexican border have been submitted to the TA, and once they are approved, licensees may proceed with implementation. By the end of the third quarter, 98.1% of non-public safety licensees along the Mexican border had their FRAs approved, 52% had completed physical retuning, and 26.4% had closed on their realignment. For public safety licensees, 100% had their FRAs approved, 41.9% had completed retuning, and 16.2% had closed on their realignment. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (Kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).