Laura Stefani

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Leggo Our Spectrum – The Auto Industry’s Win for Vehicular Radar

FCC Order Represents One More Step Towards Fully-Autonomous Vehicles I’ve written on connected and autonomous vehicles in the past, including about an ongoing spectrum fight at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding use of spectrum set aside years ago for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications (specifically, for a technology called DSRC). The FCC now has revised … Continue Reading

FCC Tweaks Mic Rules, Microsoft Launches Spectrum Fight

In late 2015, major wireless microphone manufacturers requested that the FCC “reconsider” various mostly-technical rules that it had adopted as part of a wide-ranging strategy to reallocate spectrum for wireless microphones. (We’ve written about recent regulatory changes for wireless mics here, here and here.) The Commission now has responded via an Order aimed at fine-tuning … Continue Reading

NTIA Seeks Comments on Cybersecurity Threats

We’ve previously reported on a drone-related multistakeholder process convened by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is part of the Department of Commerce and is responsible for telecommunications and technology policy. For several years, NTIA has considered important policy issues related to emerging technologies through these “multistakeholder processes,” which bring together industry, public … Continue Reading

Drones for Tower Inspections? Lookout for FAA Regulations

FAA Waivers May Be Required Last summer, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued its first regulations allowing commercial flights of small unmanned aircraft (sUAS, colloquially known as drones). As we reported, those rules place a number of restrictions on flying drones for commercial use, although the agency provided the opportunity to obtain waivers of some … Continue Reading

Mobile Now Legislation, Moving Along

High-stakes spectrum lobbying gears up Last year, we reported on the proposed Mobile Now Act, the darling of U.S. Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-FL), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Committee, respectively. The bill aims to encourage broadband deployment. At that time, we noted that the Act had a … 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

Blanket Import Waiver, Extended

FCC extends waiver of Form 740 import declarations As we’ve reported here and here, the Commission is proposing to modify some of its import declaration rules (i.e. Sections 2.1203 and 2.1205). These require, in part, that importers of RF equipment into the United States make certain certifications either electronically or on paper. The proposed rule … Continue Reading

Making Your Airport Great Again: FCC Waiver Allows Updated Body Scanners

We reported earlier this year that the FCC was seeking comment on a waiver request to allow certification of an updated, wider-band version of airport body scanners, ones that will meet new TSA standards. That waiver, which was not opposed, now has been granted, allowing L-3 Communications Security and Detection Systems to obtain equipment certification for its … Continue Reading

Some 5G Rules Take Effect Soon

(More rules recently went through public comment and are still pending)   Last July we reported on the FCC’s progress toward future wireless “5G” technologies, which promise blindingly fast data speeds. The rules adopted then are now slated to take effect on December 14, except for those on satellite earth stations in the 27.5-28.35 and … Continue Reading

What Will a Trump FCC Look Like?

(Speculation Abounds, But Much Will Stay the Same) A new administration always brings many questions from clients about how their FCC issues may be impacted. A Trump presidency brings even more questions than usual, because his campaign did not set out detailed proposals on telecommunications and spectrum policy. While much speculation brews inside the Beltway, … 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

Heads Up! New Drone Rules Now In Effect

Era of widespread small UAS commercial operation takes off. As of August 29, the FAA’s new rules permitting commercial operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, also known as “drones”) have taken effect. (And, just in time, the FAA has announced that the Office of Management and Budget has signed off on the “information collections” … Continue Reading

10+ GHz for 5G: FCC Expands Spectrum Frontiers for Fifth Generation Connectivity

U.S. aims to get ahead of the rest of the world in advanced wireless technology. As we’ve reported, the FCC has been hard at work on the regulatory regime for future wireless “5G” technologies, which promise blindingly fast data speeds. Would-be 5G wireless providers and device manufacturers particularly want wide swaths of millimeter wave (mmWave) … Continue Reading

More Time, More Guidance for Test Lab Accrediting Bodies Seeking FCC Recognition

Action paves way for continued equipment approvals in China, elsewhere As we’ve reported, about 18 months ago the Commission issued new rules modifying its equipment authorization procedures. Those procedures, of course, have long relied in large measure on independent labs that test devices and certify their compliance with FCC standards. In a key change, in … Continue Reading

DSRC vs. Wi-Fi – Let the Games Begin!

This summer, many competition-hungry spectators will flock to Rio for the Olympics. But others may prefer to stay home and watch a different competition unfold: the Spectrum Olympics, pitting Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) against Wi-Fi. The prize? Determining how best to share the 5.850-5.925 GHz band (also referred to as the “U-NII-4 band”). Two … Continue Reading

Stakeholders Reach Consensus on “Best Practices” for Commercial UAS

Year-long multistakeholder process convened by NTIA produces voluntary standards for protecting privacy in drone use. As we reported last year, at the request of the President, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has been overseeing a multistakeholder process looking toward the development of a set of “best practices” for the commercial and private use … 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

As Deadline Looms, Location Monitoring Service Licensee Looks to Locate Plan B

PCS Partners seeks 3GPP LTE use for thus-far-unused – and soon-to-be-expired – licenses. Nearly two years ago, we reported that the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau put Multilateration Location Monitoring Service (M-LMS) licensees in the hot seat: build out soon, or lose your licenses. “Soon” is almost upon us – the Bureau’s 2014 Order requires that all … Continue Reading

The Citizens Broadband Radio Service Proceeding Advances – But When Will The Service Be Up and Running?

FCC wraps up additional work on 3.5 GHz proceeding, but more remains As we reported a year ago, the FCC has been hard at work developing the Citizens Broadband Radio Service in the 3550-3700 MHz (3.5 GHz) band. Under the new regulatory scheme, the Commission aims to try out a three-tiered access framework. Three different … Continue Reading

White Space Database Clean-up

FCC opens rulemaking to address white space geolocation questions. Everybody interested in 600 MHz – whether broadcasters sweating the repacking process, carriers planning to bid on new spectrum, or one of the many other current spectrum users wondering what the future will look like – share a common concern: How will the FCC ensure that … Continue Reading

Update: New Experimental Licensing Program, One Step Closer to Implementation

OMB finally approves rules, but expect delays Back in January, 2013, the FCC reorganized and simplified the experimental rules processes. (You can find our post describing the changes here.) The overhaul included creation of several new types of experimental licenses: for example, Program Experimental Licenses, which will eventually make it easier for manufacturers, research universities … Continue Reading
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