CTIA Files Petition for Declaratory Ruling

CTIA filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling on September 6, asking the FCC to clarify its pole attachment rules. Specifically, CTIA requests that the Commission regulate attachments to streetlight-only poles owned by investor-owned electric utilities (IOUs), declare that no IOU agreement can contain terms and conditions inconsistent with FCC rules, and allow wireless carriers to install equipment on all portions of a pole. CTIA seeks several additional rulings to accelerate local government approvals of wireless tower and base station modification requests.

FCC Issues NPRM on Mandating Electronic ULS Filings

On September 6, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on requiring all Universal Licensing System (ULS) filings to be made electronically (Vol. XVI, Issue 30). The NPRM also proposes mandatory electronic filing in the Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) System as well as for certain filings and communications made in the Tower Construction Notification System (TCNS) and E-106 System. These changes are aimed at modernizing the FCC’s systems to increase public access to data and improve transparency. 

DoE Concerned about 6 GHz Interference

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai expressing its concerns over opening the 6 GHz band to unlicensed use (Vol. XV, Issue 44). The DoE is concerned that such use will cause interference to licensees in the energy and water industries currently operating on the band. The letter asks the Commission to consider utilizing other spectrum bands to expand public WiFi capabilities or, if it chooses to use the 6 GHz band, to adequately test its interference control systems and implement other safeguards before doing so. 

FCC Dismisses BRETSA Reconsideration, Seeks Comment on Rulemaking Petition

On September 11, the FCC issued an Order dismissing, as untimely, the Boulder Regional Emergency Telephone Service Authority’s (BRETSA) Petition for Reconsideration, or in the Alternative, a Petition for Declaratory Rulemaking and Petition for Rulemaking of a previous order, requesting the FCC clarify interoperability and roaming guidelines between wireless carriers and FirstNet (Vol. XV, Issue 49). However, on the same day, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on BRETSA’s Petition for Declaratory Ruling and Petition for Rulemaking. BRETSA asked that the NPRM address the responsibility of providers other than FirstNet to cooperate with FirstNet in developing interoperability solutions and providing full interoperability, the issue of roaming and prioritization, and the availability of FCC processes for dispute resolution. Comments and reply comments are due by September 26 and October 11, 2019, respectively.

FCC Proposes USF Contribution Factor for Q4

In a Public Notice issued Thursday, the FCC proposed a 25 percent universal service contribution factor for the fourth quarter of 2019. The quarterly contribution factor is based on the ratio of total projected quarterly costs to end-user interstate and international telecommunications revenues. For the fourth quarter, USAC projects industry revenues to be just over $11 million. The FCC also proposed a 0.198252 circularity discount factor. 

FCC Releases Form 477 Data

The FCC issued a Public Notice last week announcing the release of updated data on fixed broadband deployment and mobile voice and broadband deployment as of June 20, 2018. These data were collected via Form 477. The Fixed Deployment Data includes revisions through August 28, 2019, and the Mobile Deployment Data includes revisions made through April 8, 2019.