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One Small Step for Cell Sites: FCC Finds that Replacing Utility Poles is Unlikely to Affect Historical Properties

The Federal Communications Commission has taken a very tiny step toward eliminating unnecessary obstacles to the installation of communications facilities on existing structures without triggering historic review obligations. For the last year, the FCC has been reviewing the various regulatory obstacles that are hindering, delaying, and making more expensive the process of establishing new cell … Continue Reading

Do You Know Where Your Domain Names Are?

At CommLawBlog, we follow domain name issues closely. Unlike lightning, we find two recurring problems striking regularly. These problematic issues are: the failure to renew domain names and a continuing tendency to register valuable domain names in someone else’s name. While both may seem innocuous, they can cause major problems down the line.  Let’s took … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Market-Based Changes to Toll Free Number Administration

On Sept. 28, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks to permit the assignment of toll free numbers via alternative market-based approaches, including the auctioning of numbers. Furthermore, consistent with such a market-based approach, the Commission proposed the development of a secondary market allowing subscribers to reassign their … Continue Reading

The FCC Seeks Comment on 911 Access in Enterprise Communications Systems

Last week, the FCC released a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comment on a variety of issues related to 911 capabilities and Enterprise Communications Systems (ECS). While you may not be familiar with the term “Enterprise Communications Systems,” you are certainly familiar with the concept. As the FCC’s NOI explains, ECS are telecommunications systems that … Continue Reading

Autonomous Vehicles, 2.0: A Conversation with George Soodoo

The Trump Administration recently took some major steps toward providing a regulatory framework that encourages the safe development, testing, and deployment of autonomous vehicles. Several weeks ago, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao released Automated Driving Systems 2.0 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a document aimed at supporting automotive industry innovators in the … Continue Reading

Fletcher, Heald, & Hildreth Joins Competitive Carriers Association

October 2, 2017– Washington, D.C.-based telecommunications, and broadcasting law firm, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth (“FHH”), today announced it is a new member of Competitive Carriers Association. FHH provides comprehensive legal services for the technology, telecommunications, and media industries, partnering with clients on transformative deals and innovative solutions to cutting-edge business issues and regulatory concerns. FHH … Continue Reading

Busy Times Lie Ahead in Telecom as Pai Lays Out Modernization Plans

As we wrote about last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is planning to make some major overhauls at the FCC. Eight months into his term, Pai is preparing to “modernize [the FCC’s] rules to match the realities of today’s marketplace.” At this year’s National Broadcast Association’s Radio Show, Pai announced he would present to his … Continue Reading

FCC Activates DIRS for Second Time in Two Weeks as Irma Approaches

Just a week after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc in Texas and Louisiana, Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, has already hit parts of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. This is a major storm, with wind gusts measured at 155 mph in Barbuda. This weekend Irma is set to make its way into Florida … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Annual Regulatory Fee Order – Payments Due Sept. 26, 2017

Now that summer and beach season is over, the Commission has finally released the final listing of regulatory fees for 2017 and their due date. While it might not be as big of news as a Taylor Swift release, this is an important time for the Commission which has announced the final amounts due for … Continue Reading

Approaching FCC Broadcast and Telecom Filing Deadlines

Time to mark your calendars for FCC filing deadlines for broadcasting and telecommunications. Find our list of upcoming deadlines in the industry below. Note our list is not comprehensive. Other proceedings may apply to you. Please do not hesitate to contact FHH if you have any questions.  September 1, 2017: Local Telephone Competition and Broadband Report – Facilities-based … Continue Reading

Last of Citizens Broadband Radio Service Rules Become Final

The FCC’s rules for Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) have become final, after many years in the works. No, it’s not your grandfather’s “Ten-four, good buddy” citizens band, but a high-end, super-Wi-Fi-type service that someday will serve your portable devices with fast digital signals. But don’t run down to Best Buy quite yet. The engineers are … Continue Reading

How to Find Renewal – For Wireless Licenses

The FCC has rewritten the rules on renewing wireless radio licenses. Unlike renewing, say, a car registration, these require more than an application form and a check. The FCC also wants assurance that you have been using the license. Because if you haven’t, they want to let it expire and make room for somebody else. … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Mid-Band Spectrum Opportunities

Being in “the middle” has historically gotten a bad rap. There’s the underappreciated “middle child,” and of course no one wants to be the unneeded “middle man.” This concept has even proven true with the Commission’s wireless spectrum policies. While the FCC has made it a priority to promote industry access to wireless spectrum, these … Continue Reading

Major Changes Sought in Nascent Citizens Broadband Radio Service

The Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) has not even been born yet, but already major industry players want to change its basic character.  CBRS, as its name implies, was conceived and approved by the FCC a couple of years ago as a broadband service for locally-focused businesses.  The regulatory paradigm included both a large swathe … 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

FCC Temporarily Waives International Traffic Reporting Requirements

The Federal Communications Commission recently issued a temporary waiver of its international traffic and revenue reporting requirements while it contemplates a more permanent scaling-back of regulatory burdens associated with international telecommunications services. Long-time readers of our blog may recall that we reported on FCC “reductions” to international reporting obligations a few years ago – but … Continue Reading

FCC Public Notice Seeks 411 on Broadband for Health IT

Imagine if all Americans had seamless remote access to doctors and hospitals throughout the country, if an individual in Angle Inlet, MN (total population of 60) could consult with a doctor in Minneapolis without ever having to leave the comfort of his own home, or if a surgeon in Washington, DC, could perform an operation … Continue Reading

The FCC is Now Granting Program Experimental Licenses (Finally!)

The FCC has always been kind to people who tinker with radio equipment, whether teenagers blowing out their parents’ fuses (that was us) or manufacturers’ research labs (maybe you). Licenses in the Experimental Radio Service allow work with radio transmitters that don’t otherwise meet FCC standards. The problem with these experimental licenses was that most … Continue Reading
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