February 16, 2022 Weekly Wireless Wrap-Up

Good afternoon from Washington, DC!  Below you will find this week’s Weekly Wireless Wrap-Up, your update on the wireless telecommunications regulatory landscape, important wireless decisions, and more!  Of note this week, the FCC released the Agenda for the February Open Meeting, sought further comment on the 2.5 GHz auction, and released a Report and Order promoting competitive choice in Multiple Tenant Environments.  Here’s your wrap-up:

FCC:

  • Last Wednesday, February 9, 2022, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking further comment on the competitive bidding procedures for Auction 108, which will auction approximately 8,300 geographic overlay licenses in the 2.5 GHz band. The Notice seeks comment on the use of an ascending clock auction format, a simultaneous multiple-round (“SMR”) auction with bidding for frequency-specific blocks in a geographic area, which the FCC has labeled a “Clock-1” Auction Structure.  Comments are due on or before February 23, 2022.  For more information and to view a copy of the Notice, see our post here.
  • On Friday, February 11, 2022, the FCC released the Agenda for the February Open Meeting, scheduled for this Friday, February 18, 2022 at 10:30 AM. The FCC is scheduled to consider four items.  For more information, and to view a copy of the Agenda, see our post here.
  • On Monday, the FCC published in the Federal Register the Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Affordable Connectivity Program. The Report and Order is effective March 16, 2022, with the exception of a handful of provisions, which are effective April 15, 2022.  Comments on the FNPRM are due on or before March 16, 2022, and reply comments are due on or before April 15, 2022.  For more information and to view a copy of the Notice, see our post here.
  • Yesterday, February 15, 2022, the FCC and NITA announced the Spectrum Coordination Initiative, which will seek to improve U.S. government coordination on spectrum management. The agencies have initially committed to five steps they believe will help coordination on this matter.  For more information, and to view a copy of the FCC’s press release, see our post here.
  • Also yesterday, the FCC released a Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling adopting new rules and clarifying existing rules regarding communications services in Multiple Tenant Environments (“MTEs”). The Order adopts rules prohibiting exclusive and gradual revenue sharing agreements and mandating a disclosure requirement for exclusive marketing arrangements.  The declaratory ruling clarifies that section 76.802(j) prohibits sale-and-leaseback arrangements.  For more information and to view a copy of the Order, see our post here.

Congress:

  • Today, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing entitled “Connecting America: Oversight of NTIA.” NTIA Secretary Alan Davidson was the sole witness, and his testimony focused NTIA’s management of funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and 2021 Appropriations Act, what NTIA is doing to ensure access to spectrum, and its work bolstering cybersecurity and public safety. For more information on the hearing, see the Committee’s website here.

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