Keller and Heckman LLP Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. IX Issue 9

Spectrum Legislation Provides for Shared Access to 700 MHz Band

The Payroll Tax Cut passed by Congress and signed by President Obama last week (Vol. IX Issue 8) includes spectrum provisions permitting the use of the 700 MHz public safety spectrum for non-public safety services on a secondary basis. The legislation also permits unlicensed use of spectrum in the 5350-5470 MHz band and guard bands. Lease and network user fees will apply to critical infrastructure entities operating on the public safety network and must cover, but not exceed, the administrative costs. The public safety network will be managed by the newly-created "First Responder Network Authority" ("FirstNet"), which is part of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with questions.

D.C. Circuit Court Rejects Gulf Power Pole Attachment Appeal

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied an appeal by Gulf Power Company of an FCC Order rejecting Gulf Power's claims for pole attachment rates above the maximum FCC rate because the poles were at full capacity. The Court agreed with the FCC that a pole is not at full capacity if existing attachments can be relocated on the pole to accommodate new attachments. The Court also rejected Gulf Power's argument that the FCC ruling was an unconstitutional "taking" because its sister company Alabama Power already had made and lost that argument at the 11th Circuit. Please contact Jack Richards (richards@khlaw.com; 202.434.4210) or Tom Magee (magee@khlaw.com; 202.434.4128) with questions.

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