5.9 GHz U-NII

On June 1, 2016, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on potential sharing solutions between devices such as Wi-Fi and Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) used by automotive vehicles in the 5.850-5.925 GHz band. The automotive industry and the Department of Transportation had previously raised concerns regarding potential interference to DSRC. Among other things, the FCC is seeking comment on whether rechannelizing the band or requiring detect and avoid capability for U-NII devices will mitigate the potential for interference to DSRC. Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred.

New York Pole Attachment Rules

On May 20, CTIA – The Wireless Association filed a petition with the New York Public Service Commission to initiate a new proceeding to clarify that the "protections it has previously created by regulating access, rates, and terms and conditions for utility pole attachments apply equally and consistently to the attachment of wireless communications facilities to utility poles." The petition seeks to update New York’s pole attachment policies and clarify that wireless carriers have the right to attach to utility pole, and update policies to ensure that regulation of pole attachments applies “with equal force, in a non-discriminatory manner, to wireless facilities attached to utility poles.” 

WCS and D Block Construction

Last week the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on a Supplement to a Petition filed by AT&T Mobility Spectrum LLC for Limited Waiver of Interim Performance Requirement for Wireless Communication Service (WCS) and D Block Licenses. The original waiver request was filed on March 29, 2016. AT&T’s Supplement (filed on May 18) proposes an alternate construction schedule by which AT&T’s planned smart grid deployment will satisfy the Commission’s WCS construction requirements.

USF Funding

Originally introduced in August 2015 by Senator Thune (R-SD), the Rural Health Care Connectivity Act of 2015 (H.R. 4111) has been added as a provision to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform bill H.R. 2576. The amendment would make rural skilled nursing facilities eligible for Universal Service Fund (USF) funds through the rural health-care program.

FCC Enforcement

Last week the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Violation to an industrial/business pool licensee for violation of the Commission’s identification procedures. The FCC’s rules require Industrial/Business pool licensees to identify the transmission of assigned Call Signs during each transmission or exchange of transmissions, or once each 15 minutes during periods of continuous operation. The FCC’s Notice stated that the Anchorage School District failed to transmit any assigned Call Sign on any assigned frequency during the period monitored. 

Real-Time Text

On June 2, the FCC published a blog post by the Chief of the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Alison Kutler outlining a recently adopted Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding a proposal to use real-time text (RTT) as a replacement technology for TTY – teletypewriter technology (Vol. XIII, Issue 18). Many people who are deaf or hard of hearing have relied on TTY to communicate by text over phone lines for more than 50 years. Using RTT, individuals would be able to send messages as they are being typed-without having to hit the send key – and messages could be read and received in real time. Comments are due for the NPRM on July 11, 2016 and Reply Comments are due by July 25.