Archives: Wireless Telephony

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FCC, Straight Path Execute $100 Million Settlement of Wireless Probe

Decision has 5G implications Wow—FCC enforcement actions don’t get any juicier than this:  an anonymous whistleblower, alleged misrepresentations to the FCC, and a complex $100 million fine to Straight Path Communications, Inc. for apparently misrepresenting that it had constructed 28 and 39 GHz licenses on applications to renew those licenses! All this is revealed in a … Continue Reading

Do Excessive Rights-of-Way Costs Get in The Way of 5G?

The FCC is asking for public input on streamlining its rules governing deployment of small cell infrastructure to support 5G services by improving the agency’s wireless facilities siting policies. The effort by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau stems in part from a petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by Mobilitie, LLC titled: “Promoting Broadband for All Americans … Continue Reading

The FCC’s Foray Into 5G, IoT Device Cybersecurity

Public Safety Bureau asks wide-ranging questions in NOI The Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has put out a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking information about the security of communications in 5G networks and devices. The Bureau raises these questions especially in light of the expected Internet-of-Things-related proliferation of wireless devices that have the … Continue Reading

Microwave Group Seeks Access to Reserved but Unused Spectrum

Rulemaking petition objects to satellite earth stations’ setting aside frequencies they may never need. Managing the radio spectrum is one of the FCC’s toughest, least appreciated jobs. The goal is to squeeze in as many users as possible, with the least interference among them. Often the FCC can get more out of a frequency band … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Finds FCC’s Unlawful Give-Away of Licenses Unreviewable

In a unanimous decision, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals this week rejected a claim by small wireless carrier NTCH, Inc. the FCC had unlawfully awarded thousands of licenses to Verizon Wireless in violation of the Communications Act. The case arose out of Verizon’s application in 2012 to acquire numerous licenses from SpectrumCo, a consortium … Continue Reading

DIRS Activated as Hurricane Matthew Approaches Southeast States

As we had anticipated, the Commission has officially activated its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) in connection with the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Because of the urgency of the situation, the FCC has asked the NAB to get the word out to broadcast stations, and we here in the CommLawBlog bunker are more than happy … Continue Reading

As Matthew Makes Its Move, FCC Provides Emergency Response Information

With Matthew, the first big hurricane to threaten Florida and the Carolinas in several years, barreling up the coast, the FCC has started its anticipatory disaster response. A public notice released this afternoon alerts the public that Commission personnel will be available, 24/7, to assist communications providers as they deal with the effects of the storm. … Continue Reading

Six-Figure Fine for Failing to Focus on Former Felonies

Many FCC forms completed on a “routine” basis may need extra attention. Anyone who fills in pretty much any FCC form should be familiar with the certifications required by those forms. Anyone who “signs” an FCC form (whether electronically or otherwise) must be familiar with them; more importantly, the signatory must be sure that the … Continue Reading

2016 Reg Fees Set, But Payment Deadline Yet to be Announced

On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, the Commission released the final listing of regulatory fees for 2016. Those fees will have to be paid sometime before September 30, but as of September 4, the Commission had neither announced the deadline nor opened up its Fee Filer system for acceptance of reg fees. Maybe the … Continue Reading

Update: Effective Date of Revised Application Fees Announced

A couple of weeks ago we reported on the FCC’s adoption of a new schedule of application fees. Since the new schedule ups fees across-the-board, anybody who was planning to file a fee-able application in the near term might want to file sooner rather than later, to take advantage of the outgoing fees before they, … Continue Reading

Update: Comment Deadlines Announced in Alien Ownership Inquiry

Last month we reported on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) through which the FCC is seeking comment on the way it processes proposals involving reportable levels of foreign ownership. The NPRM has now wended its way into the Federal Register, which means that the deadlines for comments and replies have been set. Get out … Continue Reading

Pursestrings 2016: New Application Fee Schedule Announced

Normally non-controversial biennial action spiced up this year by partial dissent from Commissioner O’Rielly Thanks to Congress, the FCC has got to charge application fees and, also thanks to Congress, those fees have got to be adjusted every two years in light of changes in the Consumer Price Index. The last time the Commission tweaked … Continue Reading

FCC Forfeiture Limits Increased Across the Board

Keeping up with the cost-of-living … If you happened to feel a vague, somewhat disturbing, shudder recently, don’t worry: it was just the upper limit of potential FCC fines being raised across the board. By Order effective July 1, 2016 (or maybe August 1 – we’ll get to that), the Commission followed up on a … Continue Reading

Alien Ownership: FCC Seeks Comment on “Streamlined” Review Process

Proposal would put other agencies on 90-day clock to complete review of possible national security issues. In an effort to facilitate foreign investment in U.S. common carrier and broadcast licensees, the FCC has proposed changes in the way it processes proposals involving reportable levels of foreign ownership. Historically, a major source of delay in the … Continue Reading

Update: Effective Dates, Reconsideration/Appeal Deadlines Set in Lifeline Overhaul

Just last week we reported on the FCC’s overhaul of the Lifeline program. The Commission’s sweeping decision has now been published in the Federal Register. As frequent visitors here know, that publication does a couple of things. First, it sets the effective date for some, but by no means all, of the new rules. That … Continue Reading

Want Unlicensed? Tell It To The Hill

Congress increasingly focused on dictating spectrum use. If you have your eye on some spectrum for a particular use, you’d likely go to the FCC and participate in a rulemaking proceeding, or perhaps initiate one, proposing that the rules be revised to specify that your preferred spectrum could be used for your preferred use. Maybe … Continue Reading

2016 Regulatory Fees Proposed: Larger Market TV Fees Going Up, Most Radio Fees Heading Down

If it’s May, it must be time for  proposed regulatory fees – and sure enough, here they are! In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the FCC has got the ball rolling down the road that, for many regulatees, will lead us to a payment deadline sometime in September (or maybe August, but don’t count … Continue Reading
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