FCC January Sunshine Agenda
It’s all about healthcare at the next FCC open meeting, set for Jan. 31. First, commissioners will address a Report and Order that revises and streamlines rules to modernize the Experimental Radio Service by creating a more flexible environment aimed at getting new products and services, particularly those for healthcare, into the marketplace. There then will be a presentation regarding the agency’s ongoing work to expand broadband access and spectrum availability for healthcare uses. The meeting starts at 10:30 a.m. at FCC headquarters, and it will be streamed at FCC.gov/live.

2013 Inaugural Goes Wireless
With an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 people expected to attend the 2013 Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 21, Sprint beefed up its Capital Area network to accommodate increased smartphone, tablet and hot-spot traffic along with addressing public-safety concerns. Three Cell Sites on Wheels (COWs) are located at key locations near and around the National Mall; in-building repeaters were installed at the Capital Hilton, the Washington Marriott Wardman Park and The Mayflower Renaissance hotels; and some cellsites in the D.C. metro area have been upgraded with Sprint’s new 3G and 4G Network Vision LTE capabilities. The Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT) added a Satellite Cell Site on Light Truck (SatCOLT), and it will provide Sprint Direct Connect and Nextel Direct Connect devices and services to first responders, public-safety and emergency-management officials for redundant, interoperable communications between the various agencies; it also is activating the government-run Wireless Priority Service for approved agencies.

Rockefeller Won’t Run In 2014
Earlier today, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) announced he will retire in 2014. He currently chairs the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and he has been a champion of the communications and public-safety arenas. 

Comment Cycle Set For USTA Petition
In a Dec. 19, 2012, petition, the U.S. Telecom Association asked the FCC to declare that incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) “are no longer presumptively dominant when providing interstate mass market and enterprise switched access services.” As a result, the Wireline Competition Bureau seeks input on WC Docket No. 13-3 regarding this petition and the ongoing technological transition of voice networks. Comments are due Feb. 25, and replies are due March 12.

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FCC Has No Verdict on ‘Cuties’

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said he’s not aware of any licensed television broadcaster that intends to air the controversial Netflix film, “Cuties,” and thus, the Enforcement Bureau hasn’t made a determination as to whether the program violates FCC rules concerning indecent or obscene programming.

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