At its Open Meeting on Thursday (September 26), the FCC will be set to adopt a Public Notice that seeks comment on bidding procedures for Auction 105 – the long-anticipated auction of Priority Access Licenses (“PALs”) in the 3550-3650 MHz (“3.5 GHz”) band. According to a draft of the Public Notice released in early September, the Commission will auction seven unpaired 10-megahertz channels in each county-based license area for a total of 22,631 PALs nationwide. The Public Notice also seeks comment on allowing bidders the option to bid at a Cellular Market Area (“CMA”) level in the 172 top CMAs that incorporate multiple counties and are classified as Metropolitan Statistical Areas (“MSAs”). We identified this “package bidding” as a potential cause for dispute at this bidding procedures stage in our November 5, 2018 post on the Report and Order that modified the 3.5 GHz Band licensing regime.

Continue Reading FCC Will Seek Comment on Auction Procedures for 3.5 GHz PALs

News reports last week that the FCC is investigating possible violations by Google underscore the expansive view that this FCC is taking of its enforcement powers.  According to reports such as this Wash Post article, the FCC has confirmed that it is investigating Google’s alleged capture of user data from open WiFi connections when it gathered information for its Street View product.  The FCC investigation comes on the heels of an FTC no action letter released in late October concerning the same actions by Google.

So what is the FCC investigating?

Continue Reading Google Street View Investigation Indicates Expansive View of FCC Enforcement Powers

Earlier this month, Verizon and Google announced an agreement on the vexing issue of net neutrality.  The agreement has been criticized by net neutrality advocates for allegedly permitting a "private Internet," and for excluding wireless services, among other things.  Until recently, the provisions in the Verizon-Google "Legislative Framework" that radically alter FCC enforcement have been overlooked.

Four elements of the Legislative Framework are described in detail in this post.  These elements would restrict the tools available to the FCC and would raise the standard for FCC fines.  In addition, one provision strips the Federal Trade Commission of any potential jurisdiction over broadband Internet access service. 

Continue Reading Overlooked Elements of the Verizon-Google Net Neutrality Proposal