FCC Clarifies Rules for Modification of Wireless Infrastructure

At its June 9 meeting, the FCC  adopted a declaratory ruling that clarified: 1) the rules for modifications of wireless facilities that are not located on public rights of way and; 2) issued an NPRM seeking comment on how to treat modifications that would expand the boundaries of existing facilities[1]. The Declaratory Ruling.  The Ruling clarified a number of issues that have generated controversy between wireless service providers and local governments. A. The Shot Clock.  Under the current rules, a local government must approve, within 60 days, requests for modifications of existing wireless facilities that do not substantially change the... READ MORE >

FCC Votes to Allow Wi-Fi and Other Unlicensed Uses in the 6 GHz Band

At its meeting on April 23, the FCC adopted a Report and Order to permit Wi-Fi and other unlicensed uses in the 5.925-7.125 GHZ BAND (the “6 GHz band”), ET Docket 18-295, GN Docket 17-183 (released April 24, 2020).  Two types of devices will be allowed – those operating at low power indoors and others operating at higher power both indoors and outdoors.  This should allow a variety of low power devices such as access points for computers and Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices to use the band. It will also permit unlicensed 5G operations to be used in conjunction... READ MORE >

The FCC’s Reallocation of Spectrum for Advanced Vehicle Communications

Recently, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking ways to promote vehicle safety communications and unlicensed uses in the 5.9 GHz band.  That band was originally allocated for vehicle safety communications but has not been widely used. By way of background, some two decades ago, the Commission allocated the 5.9 GHz band for a vehicular safety-related service called Digital Short-Range Communications (“DSRC”) and established rules and protocols therefor. DSRC has never caught on, and, in in an initial effort to promote better utilization of the band, in 2013, the FCC issued an NPRM proposing to reallocate it... READ MORE >

Recent Developments at the FCC

The FCC adopted the following items at its meeting on February 22, 2018. FCC Proposes to Eliminate Requirement to File EEO Mid-Term Reports The FCC issued  a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) at its Feb. 22 meeting proposing to eliminate the requirement for broadcast stations to file Form 397 mid-term reports.  The Rules currently require stations with 5 or more employees (or commonly-owned stations in the same market) to file Form 397 in conjunction with the statutorily-required mid-term EEO review.  The NPRM states that most of the information contained in such reports is available in the public inspection file.  The... READ MORE >

FCC Approves “Power-at-a Distance” Wireless Charging

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently approved a wireless charger for small devices such as smartphones, tablets, and watches.  The device, named WattUP®, was developed by Energous Corp.  Martin Cooper, who is generally recognized as the inventor of the cell phone and is one of the company’s directors, recently said, “[t]his ground-breaking technology allows users to automatically charge their WattUP-enabled devices without having to remove them from their wrist or pocket, plug them in or place them on a mat to charge.” Devices to be charged may be placed up to 3 feet from the charger, and multiple devices may... READ MORE >

Amazon’s New “Key” Delivery System: A Threat to Consumer Rights?

Amazon has launched its new “Amazon Key” delivery system which enables packages to be delivered inside of consumer homes. The system provides convenience for consumers, yet it also raises important privacy and security concerns. By accepting the “Key” system, consumers surrender their right to take legal action against Amazon in the courts, agreeing instead to use binding arbitration to resolve claims arising from use of Amazon Key. When evaluating the merits of Amazon Key, consumers and policymakers should consider whether or not the Amazon requirement of mandatory binding arbitration for disputes serves the interests of consumers. Amazon provides a keyless... READ MORE >