Bennet & Bennet, PLLC

Posts Tagged ‘Licensing

H Block Auction Procedures Released – No Package Bidding

Posted on September 17, 2013

The FCC has released a Public Notice establishing the procedures, reserve price, minimum opening bid amounts, and deadlines for filing short-form applications and making upfront payments for the upcoming H Block (1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz) auction. The rules include prohibitions on communications between bidders, outline cost sharing obligations related to the clearing and relocation of incumbent users, set minimum upfront payments, establish bidding credits for small businesses and tribal lands and set minimum opening bids and bid increments.  Bidding will be conducted in a standard simultaneous multiple round format without package bidding.  Many small and rural carriers opposed the Commission’s proposal to allow package bidding as it would make it extremely difficult for small carriers to compete with large nationwide bidders.  Relevant deadlines are as follows:

Short Form applications Filing Window Opens:  October 23, 2014 (12:00 noon ET)
Short-Form Application Filing Window Closes:  November 5, 2013 (6:00 PM ET)
Upfront Payments Due (Wire Transfer):  December 11, 2013 (6:00 PM ET).
Mock Auction:  January 10, 2014
H Block Auction (Auction 96):  January 14, 2014.

DISH Looking to Use AWS-4 Uplink Band for Downlink Operations & Seeks Buildout Extension

Posted on September 17, 2013

The FCC has asked for comments on DISH Network Corporation’s Petition for Waiver and Request for Extension of time.  DISH has asked the Commission for a waiver of the FCC’s technical rules to allow it to use the lower AWS-4 block (2000-2020 MHz), which is currently designated as an uplink band, for either uplink or downlink operations.  DISH proposes to notify the Commission within 30 months after grant of its petition whether it will use the block for downlink or uplink operations. DISH argues this flexibility will allow it to use the AWS-4 block in conjunction with the adjacent PCS band and will harmonize with the H and J Blocks because it could provide up 30 MHz of contiguous downlink spectrum. DISH also requested a one year extension of the final buildout deadline for its AWS-4 licenses.

Reply Comment Deadline Extended in 5 GHz U-NII Proceeding

Posted on June 17, 2013

On April 10, 2013, the Federal Register published the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the proceeding addressing the licensing of Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices in the 5 GHz band. Comments were due May 28, 2013 and replies were supposed to be due June 24, 2013. However, the WiFi Alliance and  the IEEE 802 both requested extensions of the filing deadline for reply comments.  Both parties argued there was insufficient time to thoroughly review the record.  The WiFi Alliance also noted that the IEEE 802′s Plenary Session and the 2013 Wi-Fi Alliance Member Meeting fall after the reply comment deadline and the reply comments will be more thorough and better informed by the discussions that occur during these meetings.  The Commission agreed that good cause exists for an extension of the reply comment filing deadline. Therefore, reply comments in this proceeding are now due July 24, 2013.

Progeny Authorized to Operate Commercial Location Service Covering Outdoor, In-Building and Urban Canyons

Posted on June 10, 2013

The FCC has granted a petition for waiver filed by Progeny LMS, LLC (Progeny) to operate a commercial multilateration location and monitoring service (M-LMS) network that provides precise indoor and outdoor location information in hard-to-serve areas such as inside buildings and urban canyons where Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) signals are generally blocked.  In granting Progeny’s application, the Commission found the service will provide significant public safety benefits without causing unacceptable levels of interference to unlicensed Part 15 devices operating in the 902-928 MHz Band.

FCC Reconsiders Changes to Experimental Radio Licensing Rules

Posted on May 29, 2013

On its own motion, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has reconsidered and modified the Experimental Radio Service (ERS) rules adopted in its January 31, 2013 Report and Order. In the January Order, the Commission made several changes to the ERS rules, including the creation of three new types of ERS licenses: (1) program license; (2) medical testing license; and (3) compliance testing license. In addition to other changes, the Commission amended the title of Section 5.79 of its rules, which addresses ERS license transfers, to include these three new types of licenses. Upon further consideration, the Commission finds that changing the title of Section 5.79 gave the erroneous impression that these new ERS licenses may be transferred with the written approval of the Commission.  The Commission now amends Section 5.79 to specifically prohibit the transfer of program, medical testing and compliance testing experimental radio licenses. The Commission will continue to allow conventional experimental licenses to be transferred with the Commission’s written approval.

PLMR Narrowband Guidance Released

Posted on March 15, 2013

Guidance has been issued regarding compliance with the FCC’s narrowband operation requirements by private land mobile radio (PLMR) licensees in the 150-174 MHz and 421-470 MHz (VHF/UHF) bands which took effect on January 1.  The Public Notice issued by the FCC’s wireless and public safety bureaus and Office of Engineering and Technology addresses licensees, frequency coordinators, equipment vendors, and other interested parties regarding narrowband operation at a maximum 12.5 kHz channel bandwidth or equivalent efficiency and provides information regarding licensing, enforcement, and waiver requests.

NTIA Issues Spectrum Report

Posted on February 21, 2013

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Tax Relief Act) gave the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) one year from February 22, 2012 to identify 15 MHz of federal spectrum between 1675 and 1710 MHz to be reallocated for commercial use.  NTIA has released a tw0 page report to the President recommending the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reallocate the 1695-1710 MHz band for wireless broadband on a shared basis with federal operators.  This same recommendation was made to the President in 2011, but that recommendation included exclusion zones around meteorological-satellite earth station sites. Unfortunately, NTIA soon discovered that these exclusion zones would limit the deployment of wireless broadband service in several top U.S. markets.  After consulting with its Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (Committee), which formed a joint government/industry working group, NTIA has now determined that significant progress has been made toward an effective and efficient sharing framework.  The Committee’s next meeting is scheduled for February 21, 2013, and it has not yet made its final recommendations to NTIA.  However, NTIA is confident the Committee and working group will develop processes and procedures to ensure sharing will work on these frequencies. NTIA believes the Committee will recommend a regulatory framework for sharing that includes the coordination of commercial and federal operations around meteorological-satellite earth station sites, rather than exclusion zones.
Once NTIA has the Committee’s report, it will provide the FCC with additional recommendations for proposing rules to govern the use of the 1695-1710 MHz band. The Tax Relief Act requires the FCC to auction this spectrum by February 22, 2015.

FCC Extends Comment Deadline on AT&T Service Area Boundary Matter

Posted on February 21, 2013

The FCC has release a public notice extending the comment deadline regarding AT&T’s multiple requests for waiver of the Commission’s service area boundary (SAB) rules.  Earlier this month AT&T had filed applications to modify cellular facilities to reflect existing SAB extensions where AT&T does not have extension agreements from various neighboring licensees.  AT&T and Verizon Wireless jointly filed a request for an extension of time, for a period of 30 days.  The FCC has granted that 30 day extension, but only for comments relating to those markets where Verizon Wireless is the neighboring licensee.  Accordingly, solely for the markets listed in the appendix to the public notice, the new deadline for filing comments is now Friday, March 22, 2013.