What are the potential enforcement consequences to VHF/UHF licensees of failing to narrowband by January 1, 2013?
As of January 1, 2013, the Commission’s rules will prohibit Industrial/Business and Public Safety Radio Pool licensees in the 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz bands from operating with wideband channels (unless their equipment meets the narrowband efficiency standard), even if the license still lists a wideband emission designator. Licensees operating in wideband mode after January 1, 2013 that have not received a waiver from the Commission extending the deadline will be in violation of these rules. Operation in violation of the Commission’s rules may subject licensees to appropriate enforcement action, including admonishments, license revocation, and/or monetary forfeitures of up to $16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation and up to $112,500 for any single act or failure to act.
Do I risk losing my license, location, or frequency if my buildout deadline occurred before deployment of the Auto Term process in ULS and I have not filed the Required Notification?
A license, location, or frequency cancels automatically, without specific Commission action, for failure to meet construction or coverage requirements. 47 C.F.R. ¤ 1.946(c). Accordingly, whether your buildout deadline occurred before deployment of the Auto Term process in ULS or after, if you fail to timely construct or timely meet coverage requirements, your license, location, or frequency cancels automatically. The Bureau is developing a program to identify licenses, locations, and frequencies that have buildout deadlines prior to Auto Term implementation where the licensee has not filed a Required Notification of Construction.
What should I do if I need additional time to meet my construction or coverage requirement?
You can request additional time to meet the construction or coverage deadline by filing a Request for Extension of Time (FCC Form 601, Main Form and Schedule L). The Request must be filed prior to the construction or coverage requirement deadline, but the Request does not automatically extend the construction or coverage period. Once the construction or coverage deadline has passed, you cannot request an extension of time because your license, location, or frequency has canceled automatically.
I met my buildout requirement in a timely manner, but did not notify the FCC within 15 days of the buildout deadline on my license. What can I do?
To be considered timely filed, the Required Notification must be filed no more than 15 days after the buildout deadline. 47 C.F.R. ¤ 1.946(d). If you met your construction or coverage requirement in a timely manner, but failed to notify the FCC within 15 days of the deadline, you need to take one of the following actions, depending on whether Auto Term has been implemented in ULS.
Am I required to file the Required Notification on time even though I did not receive a construction or coverage reminder letter?
In May 2002, the Bureau began sending construction and coverage reminder letters to a licensees mailing address in ULS approximately 90 days prior to the expiration of the relevant construction or coverage period. Like the renewal reminder letters sent to licensees by the FCC, the construction and coverage reminder letters are a courtesy service to the licensee and failure to receive a reminder letter does not eliminate the licensees responsibility to comply with the rules.
Licensees can also use the Buildout Deadline Search, which is a new enhancement to the ULS License Search. This search enables licensees to identify licenses, locations, and frequencies that have a construction or coverage requirement within a specific date range.
How will I know if my license, location, or frequency has been presumed to have failed to meet the construction or coverage requirement and, as a result, been placed in termination pending status in ULS?
Provided your mailing address in ULS is current, you will receive a letter notifying you that the license, location, or frequency has been placed in termination pending status. The change in status of the license, location, or frequency to termination pending will also be listed in a Weekly Termination Pending Public Notice. See the timeline of events for more information.
I received notice that my license, location, or frequency is in termination pending status in ULS. I tried to file an application for the license, location, or frequency in ULS, but the system prevented the filing. How do I file an application to have the termination pending status removed from my license?
The answer differs slightly depending on whether the entire license is in termination pending status, or whether, for example, two locations or frequencies out of five on a license are in termination pending status. Once ULS has placed your entire license in termination pending status, you will not be able to file an application in ULS against that license for any reason. If you constructed or met the coverage requirements in a timely manner, you must file a Petition for Reconsideration within 30 days of the Weekly Termination Pending Public Notice showing that you timely met the construction or coverage requirement to have the termination pending status removed from the entire license.
If a location or frequency on your license is in termination pending status and you have other active locations or frequencies on the license, you will not be able to file an application to modify the location or frequency that is in termination pending status. You may file an application to modify other locations or frequencies on the license, or certain applications that pertain to the full license, including administrative updates, requests for duplicate licenses, or renewal applications. If, however, you file a renewal application, for example, the location or frequency that is in termination pending status will not appear on the updated license unless or until a Petition for Reconsideration is filed in a timely manner and the request to remove the termination pending status for that location or frequency is granted.
What happens if I do not file a Petition for Reconsideration within 30 days of the Weekly Termination Pending Public Notice?
Once the 30-day reconsideration period has closed, the termination pending status in ULS will change to Terminated effective as of the construction or coverage requirement deadline on your license. The spectrum will then be available for reassignment.
Are there any services where I can file an application for a new license after my license has automatically terminated?
In some wireless services, including, but not limited to, Business Industrial (MG) and Common Carrier Point-to-Point (CF) microwave services, Local Television Transmission Service (CT), Broadcast Auxiliary (AB, AI, AS, LP, LV, TB, TI, TS, and TT), Commercial, Conventional Industrial/Business Pool (IK), Commercial, Trunked Industrial/Business Pool (YK), Private Carrier Paging 929-930 MHz (GS shared frequencies), Private, Conventional Industrial/Business Pool (IG), and Private, Trunked Industrial/Business Pool (YG), you may re-apply for a license or modify an existing license to add a location or frequency, as if the location or frequency were new. Depending on the radio service, however, frequency coordination may be required and the application process may be time consuming. If you have constructed or met your coverage requirements in a timely manner, but failed to file a Required Notification, the quicker way to retain your license may be to file a Petition for Reconsideration in a timely manner. If you decide not to file a Petition for Reconsideration in favor of waiting to file an application, you may risk losing the location or frequency to another eligible applicant.
We further note that applying to re-license facilities may not be an option for licenses that were operating on a grandfathered channel plan or under some other grandfathered parameters that no longer comply with current Commission rules, because those grandfathered privileges may have been lost when the license cancelled automatically. In addition, this option is not available for licenses won by auction, or for incumbent site-specific licenses that automatically cancel where the spectrum reverts automatically to an existing geographic area licensee.
(Source: FCC Website)