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Keller & Heckman LLP Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VIII Issue 33

FCC Moves to Expand Wireless Microwave Backhaul in Rural Areas

On August 9th, the Commission adopted a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("Order") making up to 650 MHz of spectrum in the 7 GHz (6875-7125 MHz) and 13 GHz (12,700-13,100 MHz) bands available for fixed service wireless microwave backhaul in certain largely rural areas. These bands are currently used by cable TV relay (CARS) and broadcast auxiliary services (BAS) licensees for TV pickup stations primarily in urban areas. The Order protects these TV licensees and makes the 7 GHz and 13 GHz bands available to private licensees in areas covering approximately half the land mass of the United States but only 10 percent of the population. The Order also eliminated the "final link" rule, which prohibited broadcasters from using fixed service stations as the final radiofrequency link in the chain of distribution of program material to broadcast stations providing broadcasters with greater access to microwave spectrum nationwide. Finally, the Order allows microwave licensees to operate on wider channels, use smaller antennas and use adaptive modulation to enhance the reliability of microwave links. Please contact Jack Richards (202.434.4210; with questions.

Communications Companies Oppose Electric Coalition

Last week communications attachers opposed efforts by a K&H client, the Coalition of Concerned Utilities (Consumers Energy, Detroit Edison, FirstEnergy, Hawaiian Electric, NSTAR, Pepco and Xcel), to make deadlines and other requirements in the FCC's April 7 Pole Attachment Order more compatible with real world operations of electric utilities across the country. For additional information about this proceeding, please contact Tom Magee (; 202-434-4128) or Jack Richards (; 202-434-4210).

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