FCC Extends Mid-Band Spectrum Reply Comment Deadline

Last week, the FCC issued an Order extending the deadline to file Reply Comments related to its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) requesting input on providing additional spectrum for mobile broadband services on so-called “Mid-Band spectrum” identified as extending from 3.7 GHz to 24 GHz. The NOI focuses on the 4 GHz (3.7-4.2 GHz) and the 6 GHz (5.925-6.425 GHz and 6.425-7.125 GHz) bands. The NOI elicited requests by wireless carriers to make spectrum at 4-8 GHz available for terrestrial broadband services immediately, strong opposition from common carrier and private licensees that rely heavily on 6 GHz assignments for terrestrial point-to-point microwave networks, and from satellite stakeholders urging the FCC to proceed with caution in revising the rules governing the 3.7–4.2 GHz band utilized for Fixed Satellite Service downlinks. Reply Comments are now due by November 15, 2017. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Verizon E-rate Non-Compliance Settlement

In an Order and Consent Decree, the FCC resolved its investigation of Verizon’s non-compliance with the E-rate program in connection with payments received and services provided to the New York City School District. The settlement calls for Verizon to return over $17 million to USAC and forego claims to additional E-rate funds in connection with services provided to the NYC School District. The FCC resolved this matter in conjunction with the closure of the parallel investigation conducted by the Department of Justice. Commissioner Clyburn criticized the Order and Consent Decree as the FCC declined to assess a monetary forfeiture for Verizon’s non-compliance. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

Revised 3.65 GHz Rules Expected

At its Open Meeting later this week, the FCC will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise its rules for the 3.5 GHz spectrum band (3.550–3700 MHz) dubbed the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS). Among the issues, the NPRM proposes extending the license term for Priority Access Licenses (PAL), creating a license renewal expectancy for PALs, authorizing the FCC to auction a PAL in an area even if there is only a single bidder, and eliminating PAL spectrum aggregation limits. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FirstNet Update

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (R.) signed an Executive Order last week establishing a committee to review the “regulatory and financial risks” associated with opting-out of the plan jointly submitted to the state by FirstNet and AT&T to build and maintain the state’s Radio Access Network (RAN). The Governor issued a statement last week indicating his initial determination that it was in the state’s best interest from a technical standpoint to opt-out of the FirstNet plan. However, he urged the state to conduct a thorough review of an opt-out plan from Rivada from a financial, regulatory and technology standpoint. For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

Heartland Joint Use Conference

KH Partner Tom Magee will be giving a “Pole Attachment Regulatory Update” presentation at the Heartland Joint Use Conference in Blue Ash, Ohio on October 24. For more information, please contact Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128).

Broadband Communities: 2017 Economic Development Conference

Broadband Communities Magazine will hold its 2017 Economic Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on November 7-9. KH Partners Doug Jarrett and Greg Kunkle will conduct a workshop entitled “Hands-On Workshop: Get Acquainted with the CAF II Reverse Auction.” For more information and to register, please click here.