New FCC Private Land Mobile Radio Rules in Federal Register
In October, the Commission adopted a Report and Order and Order to update its policies regarding the 800 MHz band and other private land mobile radio (PLMR) spectrum (Vol XV, Issue 44). Last week, the Order was published in the Federal Register, setting December 27, 2018 as the effective date. The changes made largely focused on the 800 MHz band. Specifically, the action creates new interstitial channels in the 800 MHz band, broadens use of central station alarm channels, and expands conditional licensing provisions. The new rules will go into effect on December 27.
WISPA/UTC Requests CBRS Transition Deadline Extension
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) issued a Public Notice seeking comment on requests by the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) and Utilities Technology Council (UTC) for waiver of the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) transition deadline. WISPA and UTC seek additional time for grandfathered wireless broadband licensees operating in the 3650-3700 MHz (3.65 GHz) band to complete transition of operations to the Part 96 CBRS rules (Vol XV, Issue 44). Depending on the grant and expiration date of each license, the transition period for the 3.65 GHz band licensees ends between April 17, 2020 and January 8, 2023. WISPA and UTC request that the transition period for grandfathered 3.65 GHz band licensees extend through January 8, 2023. Comments and reply comments are due by December 12 and 24, respectively.
BRETSA Files Petition on FirstNet Interoperability
On November 21, 2018, the Boulder Regional Emergency Telephone Service Authority (“BRETSA”) filed a Petition for Reconsideration, or in the alternative, a Petition for Declaratory Rulemaking and Petition for Rulemaking. The Petition asks the Commission to reconsider its dismissal of the Request for Clarification regarding the interoperability of FirstNet filed by Colorado Public Safety Broadband Governing Body (CPSBGB) (Vol. XV, Issue 35). The Request asked the Commission to clarify that FirstNet must support interoperability at all levels and to initiate a rulemaking to establish rules for roaming agreements to ensure interoperability. The Request for Clarification was supported by Verizon, C Spire, Southern Line, and the Competitive Carriers Association.
Comment Deadline Set for Business Data Services Second FNPRM
In October, the FCC adopted a Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) regarding business data services (BDS). The Second FNPRM proposes to eliminate ex ante pricing regulation of price cap carriers’ TDM-based transport services in response to a remand from the Eight Circuit (Vol. XV, Issue 46). The FCC seeks comment on the appropriate regulatory treatment of electing carriers’ TDM-based transport services. Comments and reply comments are due by January 14 and February 12, 2019, respectively.
Toll Free Assignment Modernization Rule Revisions Take Effect
On September 27, 2018, the FCC adopted a Toll Free Assignment Modernization (TFAM) Report and Order to experiment with the use of competitive bidding to assign toll free numbers (Vol. XV, Issue 40). Included in the rules are provisions concerning an auction to secure usage rights to the 17,000 mutually-exclusive applications for “833” toll free numbers (Vol. XV, Issue 39). As instructed by the TFAM Order, published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2018, the FCC announced that the rule revisions are effective as of November 23, 2018.