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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. X Issue 30

Date: Jul 22, 2013

FCC Order Modifying 900 MHz Licensing Freeze Published in Federal Register

The FCC’s Order on Reconsideration modifying the licensing freeze on new authorizations in the Business and Industrial Land Transportation (B/ILT) Pool in the 896-901/935-940 MHz band will be effective on August 16, 2013. The Commission recognized that Sprint does not need additional 900 MHz spectrum in some NPSPAC regions in order to meet its 800 MHz rebanding obligations.  As a result, entities who would have otherwise had to wait for the freeze to be lifted in order to submit applications for new authority may file new applications on August 16 if accompanied by a letter of concurrence from Sprint. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4296). 

NCCoE Drafts Use Cases for the Energy Sector

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) has drafted use cases addressing cybersecurity issues that are relevant to the energy sector. The first two cases released for comment are Identity and Access Management and Data Aggregation and Monitoring, which both outline security improvement for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Networks. Comments are due by August 12, 2013 to energy_nccoe@nist.gov. For more information, please contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).

 Michael O’Reilly Recommended to Replace Open Slot from FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) formally recommended Michael O’Reily, a top staffer with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), for the open  Republican Commissioner seat , replacing  Robert McDowell, who left the FCC in May. Barring issues regarding O’Reily that may surface in the next several weeks, the White House  is expected to  concur in the recommendation and nominate O’Reily so that his nomination may be  paired with that of the President’s nominee for Chairman, Thomas Wheeler,  to ease confirmation by the Senate, potentially before the end of September.

FCC Seeks Comment on Auction of H Block Licenses

The FCC released a Public Notice requesting comment on the competitive bidding procedures for Auction 96 of licenses in the 1915-1920 MHz (Lower H Block) and 1995-2000 MHz (Upper H Block) bands, which could take place as early as January 14, 2014. One license will be offered in each of the 176 Economic Areas (EA), including the Gulf of Mexico, and will be licensed as paired 5 MHz blocks with a bandwidth of 10 MHz. The auction is being offered pursuant to the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (“Spectrum Act”) and will fund FirstNet, the national wireless network for first responders. The Spectrum Act requires that the Commission allocate and license spectrum in the H Block using a system of competitive bidding no later than February 23, 2015. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

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