Hogan Lovells partner Trey Hanbury enjoyed a lively and frank conversation with Steve Sharkey, Vice President of Government Affairs, Engineering and Technology Policy at T-Mobile as part of the 2020 INCOMPAS Show. The interview covered T-Mobile’s running start on 5G broadband deployment following the company’s merger with Sprint, insight into T-Mobile’s plans for meeting its commitments under the merger agreement, and the outlook for 5G deployment in the US. INCOMPAS has made the entire interview available on video, and we offer a few highlights of the conversation here. T-Mobile is
President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order creating a new multiagency process for Executive Branch review of telecommunications-related applications and licenses involving foreign participation in the telecommunications sector. The newly established Executive Branch committee ostensibly replaces the review currently conducted by an informal, multiagency group known as “Team Telecom.” But the Committee’s mandate includes several novel features that expand the reach and scope of national security review beyond what Team Telecom could accomplish.
Trump signed the Broadband DATA Act, which requires the FCC to collect and disseminate data about broadband availability and establish processes to ensure data accuracy.
I’m headed to #CES2020 this week with a backup battery, comfortable shoes, and a lot of questions. After eyeing the new televisions and fancy cars, I intend to focus on learning more about the following areas: 5G. Each of the major wireless operators has their own blend of frequencies and their own conception of what will move consumers to take advantage of an immensely more capable and robust wireless 5G NR technology platform. How are the carriers using their preexisting technology choices and spectrum mixes to capture market share and
The FCC recently issued a Public Notice that sought comment on whether to make the 960-1164 MHz and 5030-5091 MHz bands available to support unmanned aerial system operations (UAS). The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 required the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the FCC to submit a report to Congress on whether to allow UAS communications in these frequencies. The joint agency report must discuss: (1) whether the FCC should permit, but not require, UAS operations in these bands on an unlicensed, shared,
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, announced the members of the Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States (Task Force). The Task Force, an advisory body to the FCC, will investigate the current state of broadband access in agricultural lands and recommend policies and regulatory solutions to the FCC to promote broadband deployment and precision agriculture, standardize data collections, and target funding towards unserved areas. The Task Force is also slated to identify ways for
In a Public Notice released October 7, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the status of the 39 short-form applications for Auction 103, which is scheduled to begin on December 10, 2019. Auction 103 will offer 14,144 licenses covering some 3,400 megahertz of spectrum in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands. The FCC announced 29 complete and 10 incomplete applications for Auction 103. All applicants with complete applications will become qualified bidders upon receipt by the FCC of the required upfront payment by October 22,
The proposed procedures for Auction 105 resemble other competitive bidding processes, but include a few key differences to accommodate shared use of the band, encourage 5G deployments, and increase flexibility for participants.
Mobile phone applications are already tracking intimate health data, including our sleep habits, steps walked, body measurements, nutrition, and more. Apps draw this information from the devices many of us now religiously maintain along with our daily wardrobe. In this data-hungry age, doctors and health care providers can apply artificial intelligence (“AI”) to the data to help them provide patients personalized and immediate help. The mobile applications, wearable devices, and artificial intelligence use are here to stay. But how will the federal government push its regulatory frontiers to permit the
Congress recently introduced a bipartisan proposal to enhance cybersecurity for the network of Internet-connected devices, known as the Internet of things (IoT).
The Enforcement Bureau (“Bureau”) proposed a $20,000 penalty against Viaero Wireless (“Viaero”) for allegedly transmitting in the 3650-3700 MHz band without authorization.
The federal government shutdown that began at midnight December 29, 2018 shows no sign of ending soon. The Federal Communications Commission tapped on-hand funds to continue operations uninterrupted but ran out of time – and money – last week. The FCC earlier issued a statement that the agency had enough funding to remain open through January 2, 2019, but has furloughed most staff as the shutdown continues.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission auctions wireless broadband spectrum to the highest bidders, and the agency’s latest spectrum auction continues to march toward a conclusion.
Auction 101 is the first of several auctions offering high-frequency “millimeter wave” spectrum that the Federal Communications Commission has committed to hold in 2018 and 2019. At the close of bidding in Round 78 Tuesday, total provisionally winning bids surpassed $689 million, although this total has not changed much over the past several days. While bidding has slowed recently, the FCC has said the auction will run through the end of the week, or as long as bidding continues, and then resume in the new year, if necessary.
On August 2, 2018 the FCC unanimously adopted a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) seeking comment on creating the “Connected Care Pilot Program,” a Universal Service Fund (“USF”) pilot program. The program aims to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs by promoting broadband-enabled telehealth service adoption among low-income families, particularly in rural, unserved, or underserved parts of America, as well as with veterans. The NOI seeks comment on numerous aspects of the proposed pilot program: The goals of the connected care telehealth support; The statutory authority for the program under
Amid the ongoing discussion surrounding “net neutrality,” the FTC’s role in overseeing broadband Internet access service (BIAS) has received increasing scrutiny following the recent passage of the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order (“RIF Order”). Several recent developments indicate that, although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will continue to have a shared role in monitoring broadband markets, the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) will take the lead in investigating and bringing enforcement actions against Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for practices that raise anticompetitive concerns. Therefore, commercial stakeholders should pay careful attention to
The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to bring a $2.8 million penalty against HobbyKing for marketing drone-attachable audio/video (AV) transmitters that operate on unauthorized frequencies. For marketers and retailers of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) and attachable devices, this penalty signals that the FCC is cracking down on the makers and marketers of noncompliant UAS and UAS-attachable devices. This penalty also serves as a reminder to operators, who are required to have an FCC license to operate a drone, even if it only operates on amateur frequencies. According the FCC’s Notice of
The federal government is open. But less than three weeks remain under the current reprieve and another shutdown seems possible. Although the Federal Communications Commission tapped on-hand fees to support uninterrupted operations earlier this week, the FCC will start to run out of time – and money – if the stalemate over the budget continues and another shutdown occurs. How would a protracted shutdown affect the technology, media and telecom industries and the billions of dollars of investment that depend on regulatory action by the FCC? How soon before Samsung
The FCC has proposed to exclude so-called “Twilight Towers” from routine historic preservation review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (“NHPA”) and its regulations. Section 106 requires a federal agency to engage in a consultation process, which involves identification of a project’s adverse effects on historic and cultural properties and engagement with various interested parties, such as state or tribal historic preservation officers, the project sponsor, and other interested stakeholders, to address such effects. Twilight Towers are towers that were built between March 16, 2001 and March
Regulators in the European Union and United States are racing to rewrite telecom rules for a host of new technologies ranging from over-the-top voice to ultra high-speed wireless broadband. But does the regulatory mantra of “new rules for new times” represent the foundation of the new digital economy or its undoing? Are regulations mandating an open internet the key to unlocking new innovation or a risky drag on investment? Do we need common spectrum assignments to scale deployment or can technically agile radios manage a pastiche of spectrum allocations? Will
In December 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that could change the way Americans watch television. In a closely watched proceeding, the FCC proposed new rules to define which entities should be considered multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). The FCC sought comment on whether providers of IP-delivered video programming should have the same regulatory status as cable and satellite providers. If—as seems likely—the Commission adopts the rules proposed, qualified providers of video programming over the Internet could gain unprecedented access to programming, but
As the keynote speaker for the Winnik Forum, U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen sat down with Chris Wolf, Director of Hogan Lovells’ Privacy and Information Management Practice to discuss the evolving role of the FTC as we enter an era of “Big Data” and the “Internet of Things.” Commissioner Ohlhausen offered her views on a flexible approach to protecting consumer data privacy as connected devices continue to evolve. As opportunities arise for additional potential uses of collected data, Commissioner Ohlhausen said organizations and policymakers should consider a
The primary law in the United States governing the telecommunications industry is the Communications Act of 1934 (the “Act”). Congress adopted the Act during the Great Depression, at a time when the latest consumer technology was broadcast radio, and last updated the law nearly twenty years ago, when most people accessed the Internet using dial-up and “smartphones” were still science fiction. The Communications Act has strained to keep up with the incredible changes in the telecommunications landscape in the last eighty years, and rumors of a “rewrite” of the Act
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is deep in the midst of planning the world’s first broadcast incentive auction, currently slated for mid-2015. The auction will give over-the-air television broadcasters an opportunity to sell their valuable spectrum rights in a reverse auction process, and the FCC will then repackage this cleared spectrum and auction it to broadband wireless companies, enabling them to better meet consumer’s exploding demand for wireless data. The Commission issued initial rules for the auction in its Report and Order in May of this year, but its work is far from
As part of the constitutional reform in telecommunications matters published on 11 June 2013 (the Constitutional Reform), the new Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law (the Law) was finally published on 14 July, and went into effect this past 13 August. The new Law establishes a new regulatory framework in the telecommunications and broadcasting sector in Mexico, which contains the principles based on the Constitutional Reform, whose principal objectives are: the creation of more rights, the promotion of competition, and the provision of better services at lower prices. Additionally, along with