EWA Recommends Census Tracts for PALs at 3.5 GHz
In comments filed December 28, 2017, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “not to over-correct … the novel regulatory structure adopted for the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS).” Specifically, “the FCC should resist efforts to convert it into a band in which only the major nationwide carriers will be likely to secure opportunities.” For this purpose, EWA recommended that the FCC retain census tracts as the Priority Access License (PAL) geographic areas to be auctioned to create greater opportunities for smaller parties and supported an increase from a 3 to a 5-year license term with the opportunity for a single renewal period. Most entities commenting on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) recommended similar positions while the largest operators pressed for longer license terms and larger licenses, similar to other wireless auctioned spectrum. Reply Comments are due on January 29, 2018. (GN Docket No. 17-258; GN 12-354; DA 17-340; DA 17-609)
Category: EWA On Your Side
Public Safety Mobilizing on T-Band Repurposing
On December 13, 2017, EWA participated via teleconference in a meeting of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) held in New York City, to respond to the repurposing of T-Band and its effect on public safety (PS) communications. The meeting was well attended by representatives from the eleven T-Band impacted metro areas demonstrating that PS is organizing aggressively on this issue. The attendees agreed that Section 6103 needs to be rescinded, the specific provisions in the Communications Act that call for the removal of this spectrum for use by public safety entities so that it may be used for general consumer-oriented commercial services. Issues include the lack of comparable spectrum for public safety licensees, the possibility that any auction proceeds required to fund public safety relocation activities would fall woefully short of what would be required, and that recent broadcast station repacking has further limited the viability of this band for consumer broadband solutions. (PS 13-42)Category: EWA On Your Side
LMCC to Address Noncompliant Products
EWA will be preparing a letter for review by the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) membership that will be sent to the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau (EB) requesting that the Commission respond to the growing number of products imported from Asia that are sold largely over the internet, for use on Part 90 spectrum that are not certified for Part 90 use, do not meet Part 90 technical requirements, and permit front-panel programming of frequencies. These devices are being purchased by public safety as well as business users and present serious interference opportunities to both the device users themselves and incumbent operations. EWA also plans to alert radio dealers and their customers as well as to make national distributors aware that certain products that they are distributing do not comply with Federal regulations.Category: EWA On Your Side
CMRS Presumption Removed?
On December 14, 2017, the FCC approved a Report and Order described as an effort to eliminate unnecessary rules and streamline paperwork requirements by removing the presumption that certain wireless bands are used to provide Commercial Mobile Radio Services (CMRS) offerings. Instead, licensees will identify the nature and regulatory treatment of their mobile services as common carrier, non-common carrier, and/or private internal, based on how they use their spectrum. The selection must reflect the current CMRS and Private Mobile Radio Services (PMRS) definitions. This action will eliminate the need for private internal applicants to request a waiver when acquiring either from the FCC or by assignment what has been considered commercial spectrum. It also should allow 800/900 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) licensees to identify their service as non-common carrier/PMRS, as long as the system is not interconnected, an action that is not permitted today by FCC staff. Based on discussion with the staff, it does not appear that this issue was actively considered in the context of this proceeding. EWA is waiting for feedback from the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) as to its current interpretation. (WT 16-240)Category: EWA On Your Side
PN on Twilight Towers Clarifies and Relaxes
On December 14, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice (PN) requesting comments on its proposal to exempt from routine historic preservation review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, towers that began construction between March 16, 2001 and March 7, 2005 (Twilight Towers). It would not take any enforcement action based on the “good faith deployment” of a Twilight Tower even if it failed to consider historic preservation issues.
In coming weeks, EWA will contact members in order to ascertain the importance of this PN to the industry. Comments on this proposal will be due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and Reply Comments 45 days after publication. (FCC 17-165; WT 17-79)
LMCC Stands Firm on 800 MHz EB/GB Petition
During its December meeting, the LMCC voted not to withdraw its Petition regarding incumbent access to 800 MHz spectrum in the Expansion Band and Guard Band, in response to a recommendation that it do so. The proposal is still awaiting FCC action; however, the membership did agree to seek further information from the FCC regarding the status of this matter. EWA and other LMCC members are in favor of providing incumbent 800 MHz licensees initial priority access, while WIA continues to oppose early access for incumbents. (WP 16-261).
Category: EWA On Your Side
ASRI and TMA to Investigate UHF Central Station Proposed Rule Change
During the LMCC meeting, Aviation Spectrum Resources, Inc. (ASRI) raised concerns about the potential impact of The Monitoring Association’s proposed rule changes to allow increased access to certain central station channels by non-central station entities. ASRI members use adjacent spectrum that may be affected. The organizations have agreed to investigate and resolve any potential adjacent channel issues. (WP Docket 16-261)Category: EWA On Your Side
6 GHz Microwave
Organizations such as NPSTC, the American Association of Railroads, the Utilities Technology Council, and the Fixed Wireless Coalition; state and local government users; and companies such as AT&T and US Cellular have urged the FCC not to include the 6 GHz band as spectrum available for unlicensed wireless broadband use, including shared federal and non-federal use. The FCC included this spectrum in a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) examining frequencies between 3.7 GHz and 24 GHz (“Mid-Band”) for possible unlicensed broadband use, despite the fact of approximately 27,000 6 GHz microwave licenses. EWA will monitor this proceeding when and if a NPRM is released. (GN 17-183)Category: EWA On Your Side
LMCC Concerned About ITU Activity
At its December 2017 meeting, LMCC members discussed at length concerns about FCC/US support for the World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee (WRC-19) recommendation regarding Resolution No. 766, which proposes to allow various space agencies to use the 460-470 MHz band on a co-primary basis for weather satellite communications. The LMCC will monitor this issue and, as necessary, oppose any action advancing this proposal. This effort will include pressing for representatives of land mobile users to be involved in the testing called for by the Resolution to ensure that terrestrial operations will be protected before an upgrade from secondary to primary status is approved. (IB 16-185)Category: EWA On Your Side
CGB Terminates Old Proceedings
On January 5, 2018, the FCC Consumers & Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) adopted an Order in which they terminated multiple, older proceedings, some of which were initiated in the mid-1990s. In doing so, CGB states its action “furthers the Commission’s organizational goals of increasing the efficiency of its decision-making, modernizing the agency’s processes in the digital age, and enhancing the openness and transparency of Commission proceedings for practitioners and the public.” After overcoming the audacity of the FCC’s prepared statement, EWA reminded itself that it would be a good idea to review the list to ensure that no items should remain open. (DA 18-13)Category: EWA On Your Side
FCC Revokes Acumen Licenses for Misrepresentation
On January 4, the EB issued an Order of Revocation to Acumen Communications, revoking all currently held licenses and dismissing pending applications. The EB found that Acumen had misrepresented its qualifications by not disclosing that its principal had a 1992 felony conviction for sale of a controlled substance. Acumen was given several opportunities by the FCC to respond to inquiries, but failed to do so on multiple occasions. Based on precedent, it is likely that the FCC would have granted the applications had the felony been disclosed. (DA 18-5)Category: In the news
Forfeiture Levels Adjusted
In the “why are we reporting this news” tidbit category, we wanted to alert our readers that on January 5, the FCC is adjusting its forfeiture penalties to reflect inflation. The 2018 adjustment is an increase of 1.02041%, rounded to the nearest dollar. The increase arises from Federal law and is not imposed by the FCC. (DA 18-12)Category: In the news
Enforcement Bureau Actions for January 16, 2018
- Notices of Unlicensed Operation of an FM station were issued to multiple East Coast residences and properties. Those receiving notices have 10 days to respond with any evidence that they have authority to operate granted by the FCC.
- From a property in Waterbury, Connecticut
- From a residence in Irvington, New Jersey
- From a property in Union City, New Jersey
- From a residence in Union City, New Jersey
- From a property in Brooklyn, New York
- From a residence in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
- A Notice of Violation was issued to the owner of an antenna structure in Kunia, Hawaii for not responding to a tower top beacon outage in a timely manner. The owner must respond within 20 days of receipt of the notice.
- A Notification of Harmful Interference issued in response to interference produced by radiofrequency (RF) lighting devices attached to a pole in a parking lot in Austin, Texas. The RF devices were interfering with a wireless network operated by AT&T Mobility LLC. Failure to resolve this interference may result in forfeiture actions. The party receiving the notice has 30 days to provide an interim report of actions taken and 60 within which to file a final report.
- A Notification of Harmful Interference and Unlicensed Operation was issued to the owner of a residence in Ft. Bragg, California after a complaint was received from the United States Coast Guard for interfering with 156.8 MHz (the VHF marine safety and calling Channel 16). The interference was produced by a radio that was operating in a defective manner. The owner must respond by providing a report of steps taken to ensure the unauthorized operation has ceased and will not occur again within 20 days of receipt of the notice.