Wireless Roundup (August 2021)

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Key Wireless Deadlines

FCC Requests Comment on the Operation of WMAS in the Part 74 LPAS Frequency Bands: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) seeks comment on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would revise certain technical rules for operation of Part 74 low-power auxiliary station (LPAS) devices to permit the recently developed Wireless Multi-Channel Audio System (WMAS), a type of wireless microphone system, to operate in the Part 74 LPAS frequency bands on a licensed basis. Among other things, the Commission has asked for comment on the definition of WMAS, the frequency bands in which WMAS would be permitted, and the appropriate technical requirements that would govern the operation of WMAS. Comments are due by August 2 and reply comments are due by August 30.

FCC Seeks Comment on Petitions for Reconsideration of Repurposing the 5.9 GHz Band: Replies to an opposition are due by August 2 on three Petitions for Reconsideration of the FCC’s First Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM), and Order of Proposed Modification (amended by an Erratum and a Second Erratum) that repurposed 45 megahertz of the 5.850-5.925 GHz band (5.850-5.895 GHz) for unlicensed use and designated the upper 30 megahertz of the band (5.895-5.925 GHz) for intelligent transportation system (ITS) operations. The Petitions for Reconsideration were filed by: (1) the Alliance for Automotive Innovation; (2) the 5G Automotive Association; and (3) the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network. Comments are due by August 2 and reply comments are due by August 30.

NIST Requests Comment on its IDaaS for PSOs Report: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) seeks comment on Draft NISTIR 8335, titled Identity as a Service for Public Safety Organizations. The objective of this report is to inform Public Safety Organizations (PSOs) about identity as a service (IDaaS) and how they can benefit from using it, including reducing costs and more easily adopting new standards and authenticators to provide authentication services for its own applications. Comments are due by August 2.

FCC Seeks Comment on the Operation of Devices Capable of Marking Fishing Equipment on AIS Channels: The Commission requests comment via an NPRM on whether to permit devices capable of marking fishing equipment to operate on channels currently assigned for Automatic Identification System (AIS) without undermining the core purpose of AIS to prevent maritime accidents. Section 8416 of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 mandated that the Commission initiate a rulemaking proceeding by June 30, 2021 to consider whether to authorize devices used to mark fishing equipment in radio frequencies assigned for AIS. Comments are due by August 6 and reply comments are due by September 7.

NIST Requests Comment on its Enterprise Risk Management Publication: NIST seeks comment on 2nd Draft NISTIR 8286A, titled Identifying and Estimating Cybersecurity Risk for Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). This draft report is intended to help organizations better implement cybersecurity risk management as an integral part of ERM. Comments are due by August 6.

FCC Seeks Comment on Accelerating Implementation of STIR/SHAKEN for Some Small Providers: Reply comments are due by August 9 on the FCC’s Third FNPRM that shortens the deadline to implement the STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication governance system from two years to one year for a subset of small voice service providers that are at a heightened risk of originating an especially large amount of robocall traffic. The Commission seeks comment on, among other things, how to define small voice service providers that are at a heightened risk of being a source of unlawful robocalls.

NIST Requests Comment on its Recommendations for Federal Vulnerability Disclosure Guidelines: NIST seeks comment on Draft SP 800-216, titled Recommendations for Federal Vulnerability Disclosure Guidelines. This draft publication is intended to provide a flexible, unified framework for establishing policies and implementing procedures for reporting, assessing, and managing vulnerability disclosures for systems within the Federal Government. Comments are due by August 9.

FCC Seeks Comment on Enabling Text Messaging to 988 to Reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Reply comments are due by August 10 on the FCC’s FNPRM that requires covered text providers to support text messaging to 988, which the Commission designated as the 3-digit dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by telephone in a July 2020 Report and Order

FCC Requests Comment on Commercial Space Launch Operations: The Commission seeks comment on a Report and Order and FNPRM intended to provide regulatory certainty and improved efficiency to promote innovation and investment in the commercial space launch industry. The FNPRM proposes to, among other things, add a non-Federal allocation in the 2025-2110 MHz band to support commercial space launch operations and adopt a licensing framework and technical rules to govern space launch operations services in the 2200-2290 MHz band. Opening comments were due last month, but reply comments are due by August 9. 

FCC Seeks TAC Membership Nominations: The Commission requests via Public Notice membership nominations for the Technological Advisory Council (TAC). The purpose of the TAC is to provide technical advice and recommendations to the Commission on the issues and questions presented to it by the FCC. Among other issues, Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will ask the TAC to start looking beyond 5G and conceptualize 6G. Membership nominations are due by August 20.

FCC Requests Comment on Changes to 911 Service: Reply comments are due by August 30 on the FCC’s Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks to enhance the regulatory framework governing notifications of disruptions to 911 service by, among other things, requiring that: (1) originating service providers and covered 911 service providers notify Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) about all outages that potentially affect 911 service; (2) originating service providers and covered 911 providers include “all available information” in PSAP outage notifications; and (3) cable, satellite, wireless, wireline, interconnected VoIP, and covered 911 service providers notify their customers when there is an outage that affects the availability of 911 voice or text-to-911 services.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

9-1-1 Strike Force Meeting: The second meeting of the FCC’s Ending 9-1-1 Fee Diversion Now Strike Force will be held on August 2. The Public Notice and tentative agenda for this meeting are available here.

FCC Open Meeting: The next FCC Open Meeting is scheduled for August 5. A tentative agenda for the meeting is accessible here.

FirstNet Emergency Management Webinar Series: The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) will host a webinar—titled FirstNet During the Pandemic: An Inside Look—on August 5. The webinar will focus on how public safety has utilized the FirstNet Network to support the COVID-19 pandemic response. Additional information, including registration, is available here.

NCCoE Zero Trust Webinar: On August 11, NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) will co-host a virtual webinar titled Making Sense of Zero Trust: Perspectives from Inside and Outside Government Organizations. The webinar will offer insights into real-world zero trust deployments in both the public and private sectors and share resources available to help organizations implement zero trust architectures. Additional information, including registration, can be accessed here.

Broadband Data Task Force Webinar: The Broadband Data Task Force will host a webinar on proposals for Broadband Data Collection mobile challenge, verification, and crowdsource technical requirements on August 12. The Commission released a Public Notice containing registration information and the agenda for the webinar. Additionally, the live webcast of the webinar will be available here.

IWG-1 Maritime, Aeronautical and Radar Services Meeting: The World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee’s (WAC) Informal Working Group 1 (IWG-1) on maritime, aeronautical, and radar services (WAC23) will hold its fourth meeting on August 17. Additional information for this meeting is accessible here.

IWG-2 Terrestrial Services Meeting: The WAC’s IWG-2 on terrestrial services (WAC23) will hold its fifth meeting on August 17. Additional information for this meeting is available here.

FirstNet Combined Board and Committee Meeting: FirstNet will convene an open public meeting of its Board and Board Committees on August 18. Additional information for this meeting can be accessed here.

Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force Meeting: The next meeting of the Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States (Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force) will be held on August 19. Additional information for this meeting is available here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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