FCC Rejects IMSA Part 90 Proposal

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Office of Engineering and Technology issued an Order denying a Waiver Request filed by the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) asking the Commission to waive section 90.203(j)(4)-(5) of the Commission’s rules. The rule requires Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR) to operate 6.25 kilohertz channels or with equivalent efficiency. The rule went into effect at the start of 2015, and IMSA filed the waiver request mid-2016. IMSA argued that the requirement would raise costs and reduce deployment, and requested that implementation of the rule be delayed until 2020. The Commission disagreed and denied the waiver. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FCC Investigating Unlawful Tower Transactions

The FCC is investigating Aura Holdings, a Wisconsin telecommunications contractor, for incorrectly changing the ownership of over 40 towers in the FCC’s tower registration database to reflect their company name. William M. Nix, the President of Aura, had been communicating with the Commission, committing to repair obstruction lighting on towers over 1,100 feet on more than one occasion. In each instance, Nix assured the Commission he would correct the lighting issues but never took any action to do so. A change of ownership occurs when a party logs in under their FCC Registration Number (FRN) and submits a form stating that they are the new owner. The prior owner does not need to approve the ownership change, and, while they are supposed to receive a notification, two of the owners in this situation did not receive any correspondence indicating a change had been made. The FCC confirmed it will send a Letter of Inquiry to Aura Holdings, but has not commented on any further actions that may be taken. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

E-Rate Update

The FY2018 FCC Form 470 is now available on the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). Eligible Schools and Libraries may now complete and file Form 470 to open competitive bidding for desired services. Service providers can login to the EPC to view submitted Forms 470. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

FirstNet Update

Last week FirstNet released final programmatic environmental impact statements (PEIS) for the following non-contiguous areas: Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands . For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).