Public Safety, Homeland Security & Defense

The Arent Fox Communications, Mobile, and Technology practice has a dedicated practice area focused on issues related to public safety, homeland security, and defense, representing a wide range of clients that include manufacturers, aerospace companies, and government contractors.

Effective representation in these areas requires not only knowledge of the substantive rules and policies of the FCC, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Department of Defense/Department of Homeland Security (DOD/DHS), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but also longstanding relationships with decision makers in each of these agencies.

Arent Fox provides these comprehensive services to our clients, with the goal of ensuring timely contract performance and completion of IR&D efforts well ahead of schedule. Jeff Rummel, head of the Public Safety, Homeland Security, and Defense group, has extensive experience in matters relating to experimental licensing for military, homeland security and other high-tech applications, and is a frequent speaker on issues related to public safety and defense-related telecommunications topics. Jeff was recognized as a leading telecommunications attorney by Legal 500 for 2011 and 2012. The Public Safety, Homeland Security & Defense group periodically issues newsletters on relevant FCC issues and proceedings.

Representative Services

Our services in the areas of public safety, homeland security, and defense include:

  • Experimental licensing of communications systems before the FCC, with an emphasis on next-generation technologies
  • Ensuring existing government contracts are expressly supported by FCC licenses
  • Negotiating frequency requirements with the FCC, NTIA, DOD, and FAA
  • Waiver requests for systems not compliant with existing rules
  • DD1494 form requirements
  • Frequency coordination with APCO, PCIA, NTIA, FAA, SBE, etc. 
  • Avoiding enforcement action related to interference, unlicensed transmissions, and marketing/importation activities 
  • Monitoring industry/competitor licensing activity 
  • Establishing relationships between our clients and the FCC, NTIA, FAA, etc. 
  • Conversion of military applications to commercial usage 
  • Legislative monitoring 
  • Funding and appropriations 
  • Ensuring interoperability of military, state/local public safety, and commercial systems 

Experimental Licensing

Arent Fox is a leader in the provision of services designed to ensure that manufacturers of telecommunications systems and equipment are fully licensed by the FCC to test and operate equipment during IR&D and contract implementation. Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of the FCC’s experimental licensing rules, which apply to virtually all RF transmissions occurring outside of fully shielded environments. We provide clients with a full and complete range of services necessary to obtain licenses, and we advise those who discover that their transmissions are not properly licensed by the FCC. At every step of the licensing process, we work closely with our clients and the FCC to ensure full compliance with all requirements. 

Regulatory Monitoring and Counseling

Constant and comprehensive regulatory monitoring is necessary to maintain and increase market share, and to avoid enforcement action, fines, and other penalties. Arent Fox’s regulatory monitoring and update services address numerous issues, including:

  • Cybersecurity
  • 700 MHz re-banding 
  • E911
  • Emergency preparedness 
  • Implementation of the public safety aspects of the National Broadband Plan 
  • Emergency alert and warning systems 
  • Communications for first responders 
  • Implementation of NTIA’s Federal Strategic Spectrum Plan 
  • The FCC’s Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC) 
  • Response to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, etc. 
  • Prohibitions on the use of contraband cell phones in correctional facilities