• On August 9, 2011, the FCC released a Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Memorandum Opinion and Order on allowing use of fixed microwave links for wireless backhaul. The Report and Order permits fixed microwave links to operate in several bands, which previously were reserved for specialized microwave services, through use of “adaptive modulation” that allows licensees to use the latest technology to maintain the reliability of critical links. It also permits broadcasters to use fixed microwave links more freely, by eliminating the outdated “final link rule”. The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on allowing smaller antennas to be used in certain microwave bands and on exempting licensees from the FCC’s efficiency standards in non-congested areas. Comments on the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are due October 4, 2011, and Reply Comments are due October 25, 2011. For more information, click here. To view the item, click here.
  • The FCC has combined its review of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger with the pending application for transfer of control between AT&T and Qualcomm. In a letter to AT&T and Qualcomm, Rick Kaplan, Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, explained that “The Commission’s ongoing review has confirmed that the proposed transactions raise a number of related issues, including, but not limited to, questions regarding AT&T’s aggregation of spectrum throughout the nation, particularly in overlapping areas. As a result, we have concluded that the best way to determine whether either or both of the proposed transactions serve the public interest is to consider them in a coordinated manner at this time, without prejudice to independent treatment at a later date.” The FCC has not yet, however, formally consolidated the two transactions. To read the letter, click here.
  • The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week announced the availability of draft guidelines for “Mobile Medical Applications”. Due to the increasing use and expansive applicability of mobile applications, the FDA has issued the draft guidance to “clarify the types of mobile apps to which FDA intends to apply” its regulatory requirements. Consumers and interested parties may submit comments on the draft through October 19, 2011. The draft guidelines are available here. Filing instructions are provided in the document.