Tag Archives: wireless

3GPP Paves Way for Accelerated 5G Standards Development

During a plenary meeting held March 6-9 in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) a standards-developing collaboration between groups of telecommunications associations approved an accelerated time frame for the completion of specifications which will facilitate standards-based 5G deployment to begin in 2019 instead of 2020. … Continue Reading

Commission Adopts Long-Awaited Mobility Fund Phase II

On February 23, 2017, during the second open meeting under Chairman Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) unanimously approved an order launching the long-awaited second phase of the Mobility Fund.  The Mobility Fund offers financial support to service providers to preserve and extend mobile broadband and voice services in unserved and … Continue Reading

3GPP Releases Guidance on 5G Labeling

On February 7, 2017, the Organizational Partners of the 3rd Generation Partnership (3GPP), a leading mobile standards body, released a new logo for use with products based on 5G specifications.  According to 3GPP, the logo will be available throughout various phases of development of 5G up through 2020, when the standard is scheduled for completion. … Continue Reading

Chairman Pai Launches Rollback of Recent FCC Actions

*J. Bradford Currier co-authored this post. The FCC retracted actions related to net neutrality, network security, media ownership, and other hot-topic issues in a series of orders issued late Friday. The orders represent the first major salvo in Chairman Pai’s promised rollback of actions undertaken during the final days of former Chairman Wheeler’s tenure. Chairman … Continue Reading

The FCC Fines Straight Path $ 100 Million for Failing to Meet License Obligations

Last week, the Enforcement Bureau (“EB”) of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commision”) reached a $ 100 million Consent Decree with Straight Path Communications Inc (“Straight Path” or “The Company”) for fraudulently violating FCC buildout and discontinuance rules with respect to their licenses in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz spectrum bands.  Under … Continue Reading

DOT Weighs Whether to Permit Voice Calls on Airlines with Advance Notice to Passengers

Imagine boarding a cross-country flight and finding yourself next to someone who will be talking on his or her cell phone for the next three hours. Would it make a difference if you knew ahead of time that the flight allowed voice calls?  This scenario is exactly what the Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing.… Continue Reading

FCC Flexes Muscle: T-Mobile to Pay $48 Million for Failing to Disclose Limits on ‘Unlimited’ Data

Showing that it’s not about to slow down its aggressive enforcement of its open Internet regulations, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a settlement yesterday resolving claims that T-Mobile USA Inc. (T-Mobile) failed to adequately disclose material restrictions on T-Mobile and MetroPCS data plans that were advertised as “unlimited” from August 2014 to June 2015.  … Continue Reading

NTIA’s BroadbandUSA Announces a Community Connectivity Initiative Workshop, one of the Recommendations from the Broadband Opportunity Council

This month marks the one year anniversary of the Presidential Memorandum that created the Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), a federal inter-agency council, tasked with using all available and appropriate authorities to identify and address regulatory barriers to broadband deployment and adoption.  My former BroadbandUSA colleagues at the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications & Information (NTIA) … Continue Reading

FCC Expands Hearing Aid Compatibility Rules to Wi-Fi Calling and VoIP and Proposes Compatibility for All Handsets

On November 19, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) adopted a Fourth Report and Order (R&O) and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), expanding its hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rules to cover additional modes of voice communications access, including Wi-Fi calling and VoIP applications.  In the NPRM, the FCC seeks comment on a joint … Continue Reading

FCC Form 740 Importation Filings for Radio Frequency Devices Will Be Temporarily Suspended Late Next Year

Imported Radio Frequency (RF) devices must be compliant with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) equipment authorization rules, but importers can look forward to some relief in their paperwork next year.  These entities will receive a 6-month and possibly longer break from filing FCC Form 740 (Form 740) documentation with Customs and Border Protection … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Another Fine for Wi-Fi Blocking: Smart City Fined $750,000 for Blocking Mobile Hotspots

On August 18, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a $750,000 settlement with Smart City Holdings, Inc.  (Smart City) to resolve an investigation into the company’s blocking consumer Wi-Fi hotspots at multiple convention center locations across the United States.  To settle the case, Smart City agreed to cease all Wi-Fi blocking, implement a compliance plan … Continue Reading

Unpacking the TracFone Cellphone Unlocking Settlement

On June 30th, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s or the Commission’s) Enforcement Bureau (EB) reached a projected $3.2 million consent decree to resolve an investigation into whether TracFone, the nation’s largest prepaid wireless carrier, violated Commission rules related to its cellphone unlocking capabilities.  The FCC has estimated an aggregate consumer benefit of close to $80 … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Lifeline Item

Yesterday, the FCC adopted a Second Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Memorandum Opinion and Order to comprehensively restructure and modernize the Lifeline program.  While we do not yet have the order, the FCC issued a news release and the Chairman and Commissioners issued statements on the proceeding. … Continue Reading

AT&T Reaches $25 Million Settlement with FCC over Privacy and Data Security Violations

On April 8, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Enforcement Bureau (“EB”) reached a $25 million consent decree with AT&T over privacy and data security breaches involving its customers’ proprietary information (“PI”) and customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”) at three of AT&T’s international call centers.  Under the terms of the settlement, AT&T … Continue Reading

In a Shift, FCC Shelves Prior Forfeiture Methodology For Failure to Pay Into USF and Other Federal Programs

Today, the Federal Communications Commission released a Policy Statement announcing a “treble damages” methodology to assess forfeitures for failure to make payment to a series of federal programs, a move which the agency anticipates will allow it to begin “significantly more investigations.”    The new policy appears to allow the FCC to impose significantly larger fines than … Continue Reading

FCC Faces Propriety of Management of Wi-Fi Systems to Guard Against Radio Frequency Interference

The FCC has solicited comment on the rights of a Wi-Fi operator to manage its network through the use of FCC-authorized equipment to monitor and mitigate threats to the security and network interference. On November 19th, the Commission issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a joint petition filed by the American Hospitality & Lodging … Continue Reading

FCC Clarifies New Medical Telemetry Rules, Finalizes MBAN Coordinator Selection Process

Late last week, on August 21, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released an Order on Reconsideration and Second Report and Order regarding the authorization of Medical Body Area Networks (“MBANs”) on a secondary basis in the 2360-2400 MHz band to enhance patient safety, care and comfort, as well as protect against interference to primary aeronautical mobile … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Report and Order for New Tower Rules

The FCC released the Report and Order for its revised Part 17 antenna structure rules late last Friday.  As noted in our recent blog post, through the new rules, the FCC intends to clarify and streamline its rules regarding construction, marking and lighting of antenna structures, while generally harmonizing them with the FAA’s rules and recommendations … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Report and Order to Streamline Tower Rules

By a 5-0 vote at its August 8th Open Meeting, the Commission approved a Report and Order to streamline and update the rules governing the construction and marking and lighting of antenna structures (i.e. structures housing communications equipment). Modernization of these rules has been in the works for many years and is being addressed as … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Wireless Microphone Small Entity Compliance Guidance

The Federal Communications Commission today released a small entity compliance guide regarding its June 2, 2014 Second Report and Order expanding the types of entities that are eligible to operate wireless microphones.  When all of the new rules become effective, professional sound companies and the owners and operators of large venues that routinely use 50 … Continue Reading

FCC Wades Back Into Cramming Issue

 In a move that appears aimed to maximize options for new Chairman Tom Wheeler when he assumes office, the FCC turned its attention again to its rules to address unauthorized charges on telephone bills, known colloquially as "cramming."  The FCC is asking parties to refresh the record in its docket considering rules for landline and … Continue Reading

Questions About Scope of Local Authority May Come to Fore Given Expanded Opportunities for Unlicensed Deployments

Mike Dover contributed to this blog post. The Federal Communications Commission continues to pave additional avenues for building out wireless broadband networks and installing other high speed links, but questions linger over the authority of state and local governments to review and even block wireless infrastructure trying to capitalize on the FCC decisions. For example, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Confirms the FCC’s Ability to Interpret the Scope of its Own Authority and Allows the Antenna Siting Application “Shot Clock” To Remain in Effect

In a much anticipated decision with potentially widespread ramifications across all federal agencies charged with implementing federal statutes, the United States Supreme Court has permitted the so-called “shot clock” rules of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) applicable to wireless siting applications to remain in effect. By a 5-4 margin on May 20, 2013, … Continue Reading

FCC Requires Mobile Phone Manufacturers and Service Providers to Make Internet Browsers Accessible to the Blind and Visually Impaired by October 2013

Josh Guyan contributed to this post. In the latest of its orders to implement the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“CVAA”), the FCC released a Second Report and Order addressing the accessibility requirements of Internet browsers on mobile phones for the blind and visually impaired. This order adopted requirements for which … Continue Reading
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