Free Download: Keller & Heckman Telecom Business Alert - Vol. VIII Issue 38

Jobs Act Includes Public Safety and Spectrum Provisions

Last week, President Obama unveiled the American Jobs Act proposing to allocate the 700 MHz D-Block to public safety, fund network construction through spectrum auctions and to impose additional fees on licensees. The bill would grant the D-block license to a newly established Public Safety Broadband Corporation that would be permitted to lease access to the network on a secondary basis for non-public safety services. The bill also would provide $7 billion from incentive auction proceeds to build and fund the public safety network. These incentive auctions would include spectrum currently held by broadcasters and perhaps some federal agencies. One of the most controversial provisions of the bill would permit the Commission to charge fees to licensees for spectrum not acquired at auction. The fees will be based on opportunity costs for spectrum use, such as mobile satellite spectrum which is also licensed for ancillary terrestrial services. If this provision is included in the final bill, the FCC would initiate a rulemaking within 60 days of the bill's passage and establish a fee methodology enabling the Commission to collect fees from private licensees by September 30, 2012. Please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com) with questions.

LightSquared Offers Operational Adjustments to Address GPS Concerns

Last week, the FCC issued a Public Notice requiring additional testing to ensure that LightSquared's commercial terrestrial services will not cause harmful interference to GPS operations. Before this Public Notice was released, LightSqured submitted proposed mitigation techniques as part of a technical presentation that it hopes will allay the GPS industry's interference concerns. LightSquared offered, among other things, to operate terrestrial transmitters only in the lower 10 MHz of its spectrum and to decrease power on the ground. Further tests will be conducted in the coming months to determine whether these concessions satisfactorily resolve the GPS industry's interference concerns. To date, more than three thousand comments have been filed by federal agencies and GPS users raising interference concerns. Please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com) with questions.

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