Straight Path Enters Consent Decree for LMDS Licenses

The FCC Enforcement Bureau entered into a Consent Decree with Straight Path Communications, and its subsidiary Straight Path Spectrum, under which Straight Path will pay up to $100 million in civil penalties and forfeit 196 of its licenses. This concludes the Enforcement Bureau’s investigation into whether Straight Path submitted misleading information as part of its substantial service showing. In July, Straight Path performed an internal investigation, which concluded that equipment referenced in its substantial service showing was present for only a short period of time. Straight Path must pay $15 million immediately, and the remaining $85 million will be forgiven if Straight Path assigns 780 LMDS licenses within a year. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

Funding for NIST Public Safety Communications Research program

The NIST Public Safety Communications Research Program has announced a federal funding opportunity that will provide up to $30 million to fund research projects designed to accelerate innovation in six technology areas: Mission-critical voice, Location-based services, Public-safety analytics, Communications-demand modeling, Research and prototyping platforms and Resilient systems. Projects should relate to research, development, production, and testing of key broadband technologies and capabilities for first responders. Any non-federal-government entity can apply for the awards, which will range from $10,000 to $1 million annually for two years. Applications are due by Feb. 28, 2017. For more information, please contact Al Catalano (catalano@khlaw.com; 202.434.4207).

FCC Expected to Act on Matters After Inauguration.

Based on discussions with FCC staff, the Republican majority, three-member Commission may take action on several matters, including a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the 4.9 GHz band and the CAF II reverse auction. The FCC is expected to review closely the Petitions for Reconsideration submitted in response to the FCC’s Broadband Privacy Report and Order adopted in October 2016. For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

Acumen Order to Show Cause and Hearing Designation Order

The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) issued an Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing to determine whether Acumen Communications is qualified to remain an FCC licensee. The WTB has evidence indicating that Acumen repeatedly failed to disclose a prior felony conviction as required in its wireless license applications. The hearing will examine this evidence and determine if an Order of Forfeiture will be issued against Acumen. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

States Divert E911 Fees

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released a report, which indicates that eight states and Puerto Rico have diverted enhanced 911 (E911) fees for other purposes in 2015. According to the report, nearly $220.3 million were diverted in total. This report indicates a trend of states diverting E911 fees for other purposes. The Bureau seeks comment on the report, due February 13. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4249).

NIST Issues Draft Update of Cybersecurity Framework

Last week, NIST issued a draft update of its voluntary cybersecurity framework for critical infrastructure. The original framework was issued in 2014 and the update is intended “to refine and enhance the original document and to make it easier to use,” according to a statement made by Matt Barrett, NIST’s program manager for cyber framework. The framework remains voluntary, and NIST seeks comment on the update, with a deadline of April 10. For more information, please contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).