Archives: Telecommunications

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Selected New Developments in Broadband – November

Capitol Hill As the year’s legislative calendar winds down, a large new infrastructure spending program with dedicated funding for broadband appears dead. Attention is on smaller pieces of bi-partisan legislation addressing unwanted robocalls, narrowly targeted funding for “digital dead zones,” and mapping. Targeted infrastructure funding is partly addressed by a Senate appropriations bill that devotes … Continue Reading

New Developments in Broadband – October

Capitol Hill As the year’s legislative calendar winds down, a large new infrastructure spending program with dedicated funding for broadband appears dead.  Attention now is on smaller but important pieces of bi-partisan broadband legislation such as the Secure and Trusted Communications Act, introduced in the House of Representatives on September 24.  The bill would prohibit … Continue Reading

New Developments in Broadband – September

Capitol Hill House Democrats’ “Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act” (LIFT America Act) –containing $40 billion dedicated for broadband, largely through reverse auctions – remains pending.  While prospects for significant federal spending on a new broadband program remain in limbo, Congress has allocated further funding to the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) ReConnect funding … Continue Reading

Finding Out Where You Are When You Call 911

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has adopted new rules requiring manufacturers, importers, vendors, installers and managers of multi-line telephone systems (“MLTS”) to configure those systems to provide automated location information (called “dispatchable location”) and a location-specific callback number when a caller makes an emergency call to 911, at least to the extent feasible using technology … Continue Reading

Robocall Roundup: New Robocall Act Goes to the Senate

Amidst the polarization in Washington, there remains one thing nearly everyone agrees on; no one likes robocalls. Last month, the House passed the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, which directs the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) to take several steps to curb robocallers and adopts stiffer penalties for robocallers (particularly robocallers who intentionally violate the … Continue Reading

Welcoming Elizabeth Craig to Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C.

Washington-area based telecommunications, media, and technology law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C. is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Craig has joined the firm as an Associate. A recent law school graduate from American University’s Washington College of Law, Elizabeth interned with the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Mobility Division in 2018.… Continue Reading

Reminder: EAS National Test Scheduled for August 7

Unless it is delayed by a real national emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) are on track to conduct a combined nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, August 7, at 2:20 p.m. EDT.  For most participants, this year’s test will be disseminated only using the broadcast … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for August – October

Broadcast Deadlines: August 1, 2019: License Renewal Pre-Filing Announcements – Radio stations located in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands must begin broadcasts of their pre-filing announcements with regard to their applications for renewal of the license.  These announcements must be continued on August 16, September 1, and September 16.… Continue Reading

Barreling Down the Road to 5G, FCC Votes to Relax EBS Spectrum Rules

On June 20, 2019, I blogged about the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) plan to vote on July 10 to relax the rules governing the Educational Broadband Service (“EBS”), including eliminating the requirement to devote part of the air time to educational purposes and opening up license eligibility to commercial entities. Sure enough, the FCC voted, … Continue Reading

New Developments in Broadband – June

Capitol Hill We continue to expect that House Democrats will pass their “Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act” (LIFT America Act) infrastructure proposal, however, any deal with President Trump on infrastructure remains on hold.  The House bill includes $45 billion in broadband funding – $30 billion in reverse auction funds to be administered by the … Continue Reading

Restrictions to Be Lifted from Educational Broadband Service, as FCC Hunts for more Mid-Band Wireless Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has released a tentative Report and Order, scheduled for a vote on July 10, which, if adopted, will lift many restrictions from the Educational Broadband Service (EBS), including allowing educational institutions to sell their licenses to commercial entities and eliminating the requirement that 5% of system capacity be reserved for … Continue Reading

New Developments in Broadband – May

Broadband on Capitol Hill House Democrats have unveiled their $2 trillion dollar infrastructure package called the “Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act” (LIFT America Act).  A House hearing was held May 22 with testimony from, among others, former FCC Commissioner Clyburn.  The legislation includes $45 billion in broadband funding: $30 billion in reverse auction funds to … Continue Reading

New Developments in Broadband – April

Broadband on Capitol Hill Although optimism for a broadband infrastructure spending bill this year is fading, it is still a possibility.  Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Pelosi (D‑CA) plan met with President Trump today  to discuss infrastructure legislation.  Schumer recently said that an overall infrastructure plan (including broadband and traditional infrastructure such … Continue Reading

FCC Poses New Questions to Improve Secondary Market Spectrum Transactions

On March 15, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking comment on how the Commission can improve its secondary market rules for spectrum transactions. Specifically, the FCC wants to know whether and how it can improve its secondary market rules to get more spectrum in … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for April-June

Broadcast Deadlines: April 1, 2019:         License Renewal Pre-Filing Announcements – Radio stations located in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia must begin their pre-filing announcements with regard to their applications for renewal of license.  These announcements must be continued on April 16, May 1, and May 16.… Continue Reading

Reversing the Trend of Deregulation, FCC Tackles Caller ID Spoofing Head-on

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) continued its long-running fight against unwanted robocalls earlier this month, but the steps the Commission proposed may not make a significant impact immediately. On Friday, February 15th, the FCC released a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking comment on issues associated with implementing new caller ID spoofing … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for March-May

Broadcast Deadlines – March 11, 2019: Additional Steps to Revitalize the AM Radio Service – Reply comments are due in response to the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with regard to revised alternative proposals regarding interference protection to Class A AM radio stations.… Continue Reading

Jeffrey Mitchell Joins Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C.

Washington-area based telecommunications, media, and technology law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C. is pleased to announce that Jeffrey A. Mitchell has joined the firm as Of Counsel. Jeffrey brings with him more than two decades of Telecommunications experience both in private practice and in multiple roles for the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). The … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for February-April

You’ll find below the list of deadlines* facing broadcasters and telecommunications providers during the upcoming months of February, March, and April. If you noted the asterisk, it’s because the government shutdown may affect many of these deadlines, either because the relevant online filing system or the required information is not accessible. If that is the … Continue Reading

Possible Ramifications for TCPA After FCC Reclassification of Text Messages

On December 12, the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC” or “Commission”) three Republican Commissioners were in a self-congratulatory mood for standing with consumers against unwanted robotexts by classifying text messaging as a Title I service, but did the Commission’s classification decision really mark a major TCPA victory for consumers? Probably not. As Sekoia Rogers detailed on … Continue Reading

FCC Classifies Texting as an Information Service

On December 12, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) adopted a Declaratory Ruling that finds Short Messaging Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) are “information services” under the Communications Act and that these services are not “telecommunications services” or “commercial mobile services”.  As a result, SMS/MMS won’t be subjected to the regulatory … Continue Reading

The FCC Sets the Wheels in Motion to Clear More Spectrum for 5G

At its December open meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) took a significant step toward facilitating the deployment of fifth-generation (5G) wireless advanced services. For those still wondering what exactly 5G is, we have written about the highly touted mobile broadband technology several times, including here and here. The FCC has already cleared … Continue Reading
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