Incentive Auction Update

Last week the initial stage of the FCC’s broadcast incentive auction ended after 52 rounds and the Commission established a clearing cost of $86.4 billion for repurposing 126 MHz of licensed and unlicensed spectrum for wireless data use. In a blog post, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Incentive Auction Task Force announced that a list of qualified bidders will be released in mid-July as well as user guides for the forward auction bidding system.

Foreign Ownership Enforcement

The FCC announced that Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC) and its parent company América Móvil will pay $1.1 million to resolve an investigation by the Enforcement Bureau. The Bureau found that PRTC and its parent exceeded their approved foreign ownership three times in five years. In addition, PRTC and its parent agreed to adopt compliance plans and implement monitoring of compliance with the rules governing foreign ownership. 


A federal court in West Virginia recently held in Mey v. Got Warranty, Inc. et al that a consumer who sued two companies for making autodialed telemarketing calls (“robocalls”) to her cell phone in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) suffered concrete and particularized injuries sufficient to support standing under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins,and can proceed with her lawsuit. Among other things, the TCPA prohibits robocalls to wireless numbers without consent and calls to numbers registered on the National Do Not Call Registry. 

FirstNet Resolutions

Last week the Board of Directors of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) met in Chicago, Illinois and adopted resolutions approving a new five-year lease for its technical headquarters in Boulder, Colorado and updated the charter for the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). FirstNet’s leadership also provided strategic guidance to position itself for a public-private partnership and eventual deployment of the network following the award of the contract, which remains on track for November 2016.