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Drew Svor is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm’s TelecomTeam.

Following up on an important FCC Law Blog item from 2013, entities subject to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (“CVAA”) should be aware that the April 1, 2014 deadline to electronically file the second annual recordkeeping certification is only a month away.  The CVAA is a far-reaching law designed to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to fully utilize communications services and obtain better access to advanced communication systems and video programming.  Unsurprisingly, many different types of communications providers are required to file the annual certification, including (but not limited to): traditional wireline telephony operators; wireline equipment manufacturers; mobile network operators; wireless handset manufacturers; cable MSOs; and streaming entertainment device makers.
Continue Reading Regulatory Reminder: Annual CVAA Compliance Certifications due April 1

The FCC – pursuant to a 2012 Congressional mandate – will be prepared to auction the recently-cleared H-block spectrum as early as January 14, 2014. The spectrum will be auctioned as 5 MHz pairs, with each license having a total of 10 MHz of bandwidth; 1915-1920 MHz for mobile and low power fixed (uplink) operations and 1995-2000 MHz for base station and fixed (downlink) operations. As a result of the significant expenses incurred by UTAM, Inc. and Sprint Nextel, Inc. in clearing incumbents from this band, all future H-block licensees will be subject to cost-sharing allocations apportioned on a pro rata basis against the relocation costs attributable to that particular band. For a graphical illustration, see the H-block band plan below:
Continue Reading Auction 96 – FCC Prepares for Upcoming H Block Spectrum Auction

In August 2012, the Coalition for Broadcast Investment (“CBI”), a group comprising national broadcast networks, radio and television station licensees, and community and consumer organizations, filed a letter with the FCC requesting clarification of the foreign ownership rules contained in Section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act. Specifically, CBI requested clarification that “the FCC will conduct a substantive, facts, and circumstances evaluation of proposals for foreign investment in excess of 25 percent in the parent company of a broadcast licensee.…” If adopted, this approach would represent a marked change of course for the FCC, which has in the past “categorically refused” to consider transactions involving investment in broadcasters above the 25% benchmark, according to CBI.
Continue Reading FCC Considers Proposal To Lift 25% Cap On Indirect Foreign Investment In Broadcast Licensees

Recently, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding the providers and equipment manufacturers of advanced communications services (ACS) of their obligation to maintain records evidencing their efforts to comply with the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). In addition, these entities are also required to submit an annual certification stating that such records are being kept in accordance with the statute. The CVAA is a 2010 law ensuring access to ACS for people with disabilities, and the FCC began issuing regulations implementing the legislation in 2011.
Continue Reading FCC Reminds Advanced Communications Services Providers and Equipment Manufacturers of CVAA Recordkeeping Obligations and Compliance Certification