FCC Releases Final Report on False Missile Alert

The FCC released its Report and Recommendations on Hawaii’s false ballistic missile alert that occurred on Jan 13, 2018 (Vol. XV, Issue 4). The report concluded that “human error and inadequate safeguards” were responsible for the false alert that was sent through the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and by wireless emergency alert (WEA). Since the incident, the FCC launched an investigation, testified before Congress, and adopted an Order to improve emergency alert targeting (Vol. XV, Issue 6). On May 15, 2018, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will host a roundtable for further discussions on best practices.

Sprint & Mobilitie Fined $11.6 Million

The FCC released the settlement details resolving enforcement actions against Sprint and Mobilitie for failing to complete required environmental and historical reviews prior to constructing wireless facilities. Sprint agreed to pay $10 million and Mobilitie agreed to pay $1.6 million in fines. This follows the recently adopted Second Report and Order which, among other things, exempts small cell deployments from NEPA and NHPA review and updates the Section 106 tribal review process for larger structures (Vol. XV, Issue 13). 

One Federal Decision Memorandum of Understanding

The White House announced that several federal agencies have signed the One Federal Decision Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreeing to collaboratively streamline environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects. Last August, the White House issued an Executive Order to use “One Federal Decision” (Vol. XIV, Issue 34). This MoU established how the coordination process will work to timely review infrastructure projects.

FirstNet Update

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a preliminary list of devices approved for use on AT&T’s FirstNet system. To facilitate NIST approval, FirstNet created a standard based device testing and certification program. This follows the recent launch of AT&T’s core public safety network, which will serve the Radio Access Network portion of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (Vol. XV, Issue 4; Vol. XV, Issue 14). 

Satellite Enforcement Advisory

Last week, the FCC issued an Enforcement Advisory to remind satellite system operators that they must obtain FCC authorization prior to operating a space station or earth station. The Enforcement Advisory refers to previous guidance on obtaining licenses for small satellites, and states that failure to comply with licensing requirements will result in enforcement action. The Advisory also clarifies that even if all on-board transmitters are disabled, FCC authorization is required prior to launch.

Subcommittee Sets Hearing on Data Prioritization

On April 17, 2018, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing on data prioritization. The Press Release emphasized Chairwoman Blackburn’s desire to cultivate a “good faith” effort in addressing concerns regarding net neutrality. Specifically, to better understand the benefits and harms of paid prioritization. The Subcommittee views the hearing as a step toward bipartisan net neutrality legislation.