Archives: Telecommunications

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Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for October – December

Broadcast Deadlines: October 1, 2020 Must-Carry/Retransmission Consent Election Deadline – By October 1, all full power and Class A commercial TV stations must upload their must-carry/retransmission consent elections for the 2021-2023 election cycle to their online public inspection files.  Stations are now required to send copies of their elections to MVPDs and to the FCC … Continue Reading

Spectrum Scarcity? What Spectrum Scarcity?

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) under Chairman Pai has been nothing if not relentless in its quest to seek out underused or vacant spectrum and repurpose it for 5G uses. To that end, the FCC has announced its tentative agenda for its September 30, 2020 open meeting and it includes some pre-holiday gifts for spectrum-hungry … Continue Reading

Assessing the Benefits of the $100 Million Connected Care Pilot Program

The Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC” or “Commission”) Wireline Bureau on September 3, 2020, released a Public Notice providing additional information regarding the upcoming $100 million Connected Care Pilot Program. You will recall that the Commission launched the pilot in April – joining it together in the same order approving the COVID-19 Telehealth Program (FCC 20-44). … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Guidance on Filing Requests for Waiver, Reduction, Deferral, and Installment Payment Plans for 2020 Regulatory Fees – the Bar Is Still High but FCC Has Streamlined and Loosened Some Requirements

On September 4, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice laying out the procedures governing the filing of requests for waiver, reduction, deferral, and installment payment plans for the 2020 regulatory fees.  As we explained yesterday in our blog post regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Report and Order announcing … Continue Reading

Selected New Developments in Broadband

Capitol Hill Negotiations on a second large COVID-19 relief legislation effectively broke down August 7. While the President responded with several stop-gap executive actions, both parties seem to recognize relief legislation is urgently needed and there is speculation that some kind of deal will be cut by mid-September. In the meantime, with the Senate technically … Continue Reading

FCC Announces 2020 Regulatory Fees Calculation, No Widespread Forgiveness for COVID-19 Pandemic

On August 31, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released its Report and Order (Order) establishing new methodologies for calculating 2020 annual regulatory fees, which are due September 25, 2020. In the Order, the FCC flatly rejected arguments by the National Association of Broadcasters and others that the FCC’s new calculation methodology … Continue Reading

FCC Moves to Add New Fees (and Lower the Cost of Others)

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing the first major overhaul of FCC application fees in 30 years. Licensees (and hopeful licensees) should take heed: while certain fees are proposed to be lowered, many are proposed to increase, some by a substantial amount. Of particular … Continue Reading

FCC Establishes Procedures for Auction of C-Band Spectrum – Auction to Begin on December 8, 2020

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released a Public Notice that establishes the procedures for Auction 107, which will make available spectrum in the lower portion of the C-Band, at 3.7-3.98 GHz.   The auction will be for new flexible-use overlay licenses, intended primarily to further the deployment of fifth-generation (5G) wireless, the Internet … Continue Reading

Mobile Service Providers Will Need to Provide Z-Axis Location Data

In an Order adopted July 17th, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) took another step in its mission to make the precise location of wireless emergency calls more and more granular, to help emergency responders to determine the location of a caller who is injured or held captive and unable to communicate his or her … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for August – October

Broadcast Deadlines:  August 1, 2020 Radio Post-Filing Announcements – Radio stations licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin must begin broadcasts of their post-filing announcements concerning their license renewal applications on August 1. If the renewal application is not filed until the August 3 deadline, wait until then to begin the post-filing announcements. Either way, these announcements … Continue Reading

Safe Harbor Order Could Help Carriers Kick Robocalls to the Curb

On July 17, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) released its latest Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Order”) attempting to stop unwanted and illegal robocalls. The Order creates a “safe harbor” (i.e., legal protection from liability) to protect carriers that block calls based on reasonable analytics or other permissible criteria. … Continue Reading

Getting to the Bottom of the Recent Rural Health Care Funding Announcement

Last month the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) ordered the carry-forward of $198 million in Rural Health Care (RHC) funding for use in 2020.  Seems like good news, but it depends on how you look at it.  But note this action simply makes the funding available — it does not waive or increase the RHC caps for 2020. … Continue Reading

The FCC Designates “988” as a 3-Digit Dialing Code to Reach Suicide Hotline

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has adopted its proposal to establish “988” as a nationwide abbreviated telephone dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis hotline. “988” will replace or supplement the existing 800 number (1-800-273-TALK). The proposal was discussed in our blog post on January 7, 2020.… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Confirmation of C-Band Earth Stations Entitled to Reimbursement. Deadline for Filing is July 16th.

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has just released a Public Notice that impacts operators of C-Band (3.7-4.2 GHz) earth station dishes to receive or transmit programming or data. Previously, the FCC reallocated the lower portion of that band for auction, with incumbents earth stations entitled to reimbursement for their expenses to move their operations to … Continue Reading

240,000 Reasons to File Proper FCC Applications When You Buy a Business That Holds Wireless Licenses

The FCC recently released a Consent Decree in which the Archer Daniel Midlands Company (“ADM”) agreed to pay a $240,000 penalty for violating the FCC’s rules by engaging in transactions where five FCC wireless licenses were transferred without filing for and obtaining the prior consent of the FCC, and by failing to reveal in numerous … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for July – September

Broadcast Deadlines:  July 10, 2020 Children’s Television Programming Reports – For the first time, and after two delays, all commercial television and Class A television stations must file electronically annual children’s television programming reports with the Commission, although the first one will cover only the portion of the year which began with the effective date … Continue Reading

Selected New Developments in Broadband – through June 16

Selected New Developments in Broadband – through June 16 Capitol Hill The Trump Administration has again voiced support for a $2 trillion stimulus and infrastructure package (that would presumably have a broadband component), but Senate Republicans are not there yet. In May, the House passed the Democrats’ multi-trillion dollar Heroes Act on a party-line vote. … Continue Reading

FCC Invites Comment on Cost Reimbursements for C-Band Satellite Rebanding Expenses

As is well known, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has decided to truncate the C-band satellite downlink band (3.7-4.2 GHz) from a bandwidth of 500 MHz to 200 MHz, with the other 300 MHz to be auctioned for terrestrial wireless services. Earth station (satellite dish) operators who have licensed or registered their dishes will be … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for June – August

Broadcast Deadlines: June 1, 2020 Radio License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in Michigan and Ohio must be filed in the Licensing and Management System (“LMS”). These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Program Report, also filed in LMS, regardless … Continue Reading

FCC Invites Comments on its Attempts to Stop Scam Calls

On May 6, 2020, we wrote about several steps taken by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to deter robocalls, implementing new authority given by Congress last year in the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (“TRACED Act”).  In addition to adopting several new rules to be effective immediately, the FCC invited comments … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Order to Realign the 900 MHz Band

On May 13, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) adopted on circulation a Report and Order (“Order”) during its open meeting that would transform the 900 MHz band to enable broadband deployment. We wrote an article about the proposed changes last month. That article is still relevant as the draft report was adopted essentially as … Continue Reading

Extended Comment Deadlines for Regulation of RF Emissions in Higher Frequency Bands

On January 9, 2020, we blogged about a Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) decision resolving many of the issues that it had been considering with respect to limits on exposure of human beings to radiofrequency (“RF”) energy. The FCC also invited comments as to whether it should extend its regulation of RF emissions from the present range … Continue Reading

FCC Lobs More Fireballs at Robocallers and Spoofers

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has taken several steps in recent years to deter robocalls of all kinds, with some success, but not enough to give us poor ordinary folks the telephone peace and quiet for which we yearn. Last year, Congress passed the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (“TRACED Act”), … Continue Reading
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