It’s once again full speed ahead on spectrum and 5G deployment at the FCC, as the agency plans to take action at its next open meeting scheduled for April 12, 2019 on a slew of measures aimed at making additional millimeter wave (“mmW”) frequencies available to support 5G wireless technologies, the Internet of Things, and other advanced services. Topping the agenda, the agency expects to propose procedures for the simultaneous auction of spectrum for commercial wireless services in three mmW bands encompassing 3400 megahertz. As we previously reported, the proposal would clear the way for the FCC’s second-ever incentive auction (the first being the March 2017 broadcast spectrum incentive auction) designed to clear out incumbent licensees by offering payments in exchange for relinquishing current spectrum holdings. The agency also anticipates reforming access to mmW bands to facilitate the auction and extending long-standing protections for over-the-air reception devices (“OTARD”) to hub and relay antennas essential to 5G network deployment. Rounding out the major actions on the April agenda, the FCC plans to forbear from certain legacy long-distance regulations in the face of increased competition and eliminate the controversial rural “rate floor” for high cost universal service support.

You will find more details on the significant April meeting items after the break:


Continue Reading

On September 17, 2015, the FCC released a Report and Order with a long-awaited update to the Contest Rule that gives broadcasters substantially more flexibility as to the medium they choose to announce rules for contests (a term the FCC uses to encompass both contests and sweepstakes).  The Commission determined that it is in the public interest to allow television and radio broadcasters to disclose their contest terms and conditions on the Internet, as an alternative to announcing terms and conditions on the air.  However, the revised rule simultaneously creates a number of requirements for broadcasters that choose to post disclosures online.  The revisions were approved unanimously by all five FCC Commissioners and generally have been well-received by broadcasters.

Continue Reading