47 CFR 1.9030 - Long-term de facto transfer leasing arrangements.

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§ 1.9030 Long-term de facto transfer leasing arrangements.
(a) Overview. Under the provisions of this section, a licensee (in any of the included services) and a spectrum lessee may enter into a long-term de facto transfer leasing arrangement in which the licensee retains de jure control of the license while de facto control of the leased spectrum is transferred to the spectrum lessee for the duration of the spectrum leasing arrangement, subject to prior Commission consent pursuant to the application procedures set forth in this section. A “long-term” de facto transfer leasing arrangement has an individual term, or series of combined terms, of more than one year. The term of a long-term de facto transfer leasing arrangement may be no longer than the term of the license authorization.
(b) Rights and responsibilities of the licensee.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the licensee is relieved of primary and direct responsibility for ensuring that the spectrum lessee's operations comply with the Communications Act and Commission policies and rules.
(2) The licensee is responsible for its own violations, including those related to its spectrum leasing arrangement with the spectrum lessee, and for ongoing violations or other egregious behavior on the part of the spectrum lessee about which the licensee has knowledge or should have knowledge.
(3) The licensee must retain a copy of the spectrum leasing agreement and make it available upon request by the Commission.
(c) Rights and responsibilities of the spectrum lessee.
(1) The spectrum lessee assumes primary responsibility for complying with the Communications Act and applicable Commission policies and rules.
(2) The spectrum lessee is granted an instrument of authorization pertaining to the de facto transfer leasing arrangement that brings it within the scope of the Commission's direct forfeiture provisions under section 503(b) of the Communications Act.
(3) The spectrum lessee is responsible for interacting with the Commission regarding the leased spectrum and for making all related filings (e.g., all applications and notifications, submissions of any materials required to support a required Environmental Assessment, any reports required by Commission rules and applicable to the lessee, information necessary to facilitate international or Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC) coordination).
(4) The spectrum lessee is required to maintain accurate information on file pursuant to Commission rules (see§ 1.65 of subpart A of this part).
(5) The spectrum lessee must retain a copy of the spectrum leasing agreement and make it available upon request by the Commission.
(d) Applicability of particular service rules and policies. Under a long-term de facto transfer leasing arrangement, the service rules and policies apply in the following manner to the licensee and spectrum lessee:
(1) Interference-related rules. The interference and radiofrequency (RF) safety rules applicable to use of the spectrum by the licensee as a condition of its license authorization also apply to the use of the spectrum leased by the spectrum lessee.
(2) General eligibility rules.
(i) The spectrum lessee must meet the same eligibility and qualification requirements that are applicable to the licensee under its license authorization. A spectrum lessee entering into a spectrum leasing arrangement involving a licensee in the Educational Broadband Service (see§ 27.1201 of this chapter) is not required to comply with the eligibility requirements pertaining to such a licensee so long as the spectrum lessee meets the other eligibility and qualification requirements applicable to part 27 services (see§ 27.12 of this chapter). A spectrum lessee entering into a spectrum leasing arrangement involving a licensee in the Public Safety Radio Services (seepart 90, subpart B and § 90.311(a)(1)(i) of this chapter) is not required to comply with the eligibility requirements pertaining to such a licensee so long as the spectrum lessee is an entity providing communications in support of public safety operations (see§ 90.523(b) of this chapter).
(ii) The spectrum lessee must meet applicable foreign ownership eligibility requirements (see sections 310(a), 310(b) of the Communications Act).
(iii) The spectrum lessee must satisfy any qualification requirements, including character qualifications, applicable to the licensee under its license authorization.
(iv) The spectrum lessee must not be a person subject to denial of Federal benefits under the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (see§ 1.2001 et seq. of subpart P of this part).
(3) Use restrictions. To the extent that the licensee is restricted from using the licensed spectrum to offer particular services under its license authorization, the use restrictions apply to the spectrum lessee as well.
(4) Designated entity/entrepreneur rules.
(i) A licensee that holds a license pursuant to small business and/or entrepreneur provisions (see§ 1.2110 and § 24.709 of this chapter) and continues to be subject to unjust enrichment requirements (see§ 1.2111 and § 24.714 of this chapter) and/or transfer restrictions (see§ 24.839 of this chapter) may enter into a long-term de facto transfer leasing arrangement with any entity under the streamlined processing procedures described in this section, subject to any applicable unjust enrichment payment obligations and/or transfer restrictions (see§ 1.2111 and § 24.839 of this chapter).
(ii) A licensee holding a license won in closed bidding (see§ 24.709 of this chapter) may, during the first five years of the license term, enter into a spectrum leasing arrangement with an entity not eligible to hold such a license pursuant to the requirements of § 24.709(a) of this chapter so long as it has met its five-year construction requirement (see§§ 24.203, 24.839(a)(6) of this chapter).
(iii) The amount of any unjust enrichment payment will be determined by the Commission as part of its review of the application under the same rules that apply in the context of a license assignment or transfer of control (see§ 1.2111 and § 24.714 of this chapter). If the spectrum leasing arrangement involves only part of the license area and/or part of the bandwidth covered by the license, the unjust enrichment obligation will be apportioned as though the license were being partitioned and/or disaggregated (see§ 1.2111(e) and § 24.714(c) of this chapter). A licensee will receive no reduction in its unjust enrichment payment obligation for a spectrum leasing arrangement that ends prior to the end of the fifth year of the license term.
(iv) A licensee that participates in the Commission's installment payment program (see§ 1.2110(g) may enter into a long-term de facto transfer leasing arrangement without triggering unjust enrichment obligations provided that the lessee would qualify for as favorable a category of installment payments. A licensee using installment payment financing that seeks to lease to an entity not meeting the eligibility standards for as favorable a category of installment payments must make full payment of the remaining unpaid principal and any unpaid interest accrued through the effective date of the spectrum leasing arrangement (see§ 1.2111(c)). This requirement applies regardless of whether the licensee is leasing all or a portion of its bandwidth and/or license area.
(5) Construction/performance requirements. Any performance or build-out requirement applicable under a license authorization (e.g., a requirement that the licensee construct and operate one or more specific facilities, cover a certain percentage of geographic area, cover a certain percentage of population, or provide substantial service) always remains a condition of the license, and the legal responsibility for meeting such obligation is not delegable to the spectrum lessee(s).
(i) The licensee may attribute to itself the build-out or performance activities of its spectrum lessee(s) for purposes of complying with any applicable build-out or performance requirement.
(ii) If a licensee relies on the activities of a spectrum lessee to meet the licensee's performance or build-out obligation, and the spectrum lessee fails to engage in those activities, the Commission will enforce the applicable performance or build-out requirements against the licensee, consistent with the applicable rules.
(iii) If there are rules applicable to the license concerning the discontinuance of operation, the licensee is accountable for any such discontinuance and the rules will be enforced against the licensee regardless of whether the licensee was relying on the activities of a lessee to meet particular performance requirements.
(6) Regulatory classification. If the regulatory status of the licensee (e.g., common carrier or non-common carrier status) is prescribed by rule, the regulatory status of the spectrum lessee is prescribed in the same manner, except that § 20.9(a) of this chapter shall not preclude a licensee in the services covered by that rule from entering into a spectrum leasing arrangement with a spectrum lessee that chooses to operate on a PMRS, private, or non-commercial basis.
(7) Regulatory fees. The licensee remains responsible for payment of the required regulatory fees that must be paid in advance of its license term (see§ 1.1152). Where, however, regulatory fees are paid annually on a per-unit basis (such as for CMRS services pursuant to § 1.1152), the licensee and spectrum lessee each are required to pay fees for those units associated with its respective operations.
(8) E911 requirements. To the extent the licensee is required to meet E911 obligations (see§ 20.18 of this chapter), the spectrum lessee is required to meet those obligations with respect to the spectrum leased under the spectrum leasing arrangement insofar as the spectrum lessee's operations are encompassed within the E911 obligations.
(e) Applications for long-term de facto transfer leasing arrangements. Applications for long-term de facto transfer leasing arrangements will be processed either pursuant to the general approval procedures or the immediate approval procedures, as discussed herein. Spectrum leasing parties must submit the application by electronic filing using ULS and FCC Form 608, and obtain Commission consent prior to consummating the transfer of de facto control of the leased spectrum, except that parties falling within the provisions of § 1.913(d) may file the application either electronically or manually.
(1) General approval procedures. Applications for long-term de facto transfer leasing arrangements will be processed pursuant to the general approval procedures set forth in this paragraph unless they are submitted and qualify for the immediate approval procedures set forth in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.
(i) To be accepted for filing under these general approval procedures, the application must be sufficiently complete and contain all information and certifications requested on the applicable form, FCC Form 608, including any information and certifications (including those of the spectrum lessee relating to eligibility, basic qualifications, and foreign ownership) required by the rules in this chapter and any rules pertaining to the specific service for which the application is filed. In addition, the spectrum leasing application must include payment of the required application fee(s); for purposes of determining the applicable application fee(s), the application will be treated as a transfer of control (see§ 1.1102).
(ii) Once accepted for filing, the application will be placed on public notice, except no prior public notice will be required for applications involving authorizations in the Private Wireless Services, as specified in § 1.933(d)(9).
(iii) Petitions to deny filed in accordance with section 309(d) of the Communications Act must comply with the provisions of § 1.939, except that such petitions must be filed no later than 14 days following the date of the public notice listing the application as accepted for filing.
(iv) No later than 21 days following the date of the public notice listing an application as accepted for filing, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) will affirmatively consent to the application, deny the application, or determine to subject the application to further review. For applications for which no prior public notice is required, the Bureau will affirmatively consent to the application, deny the application, or determine to subject the application to further review no later than 21 days following the date on which the application has been filed and any required application fee has been paid (see§ 1.1102).
(v) If the Bureau determines to subject the application to further review, it will issue a public notice so indicating. Within 90 days following the date of that public notice, the Bureau will either take action upon the application or provide public notice that an additional 90-day period for review is needed.
(vi) Consent to the application is not deemed granted until the Bureau affirmatively acts upon the application.
(vii) Grant of consent to the application will be reflected in a public notice (see§ 1.933(a)) promptly issued after the grant, and is subject to reconsideration (see§§ 1.106(f), 1.108, 1.113).
(viii) If any petition to deny is filed, and the Bureau grants the application, the Bureau will deny the petition(s) and issue a concise statement of the reason(s) for denial, disposing of all substantive issues raised in the petition(s).
(2) Immediate approval procedures. Applications that meet the requirements of paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section qualify for the immediate approval procedures.
(i) To qualify for the immediate approval procedures, the application must be sufficiently complete, contain all necessary information and certifications (including those relating to eligibility, basic qualifications, and foreign ownership), and include payment of the requisite application fee(s), as required for an application processed under the general approval procedures set forth in paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section, and also must establish, through certifications, that the following additional qualifications are met:
(A) The license does not involve spectrum licensed in a Wireless Radio Service that may be used to provide interconnected mobile voice and/or data services under the applicable service rules and that would, if the spectrum leasing arrangement were consummated, create a geographic overlap with spectrum in any licensed Wireless Service (including the same service) in which the proposed spectrum lessee already holds a direct or indirect interest of 10% or more (see§ 1.2112), either as a licensee or a spectrum lessee, and that could be used by the spectrum lessee to provide interconnected mobile voice and/or data services;
(B) The licensee is not a designated entity or entrepreneur subject to unjust enrichment requirements and/or transfer restrictions under applicable Commission rules (see§§ 1.2110 and 1.2111, and §§ 24.709, 24.714, and 24.839 of this chapter); and,
(C) The spectrum leasing arrangement does not require a waiver of, or declaratory ruling pertaining to, any applicable Commission rules.
(ii) Provided that the application establishes that it meets all of the requisite elements to qualify for these immediate approval procedures, consent to the de facto transfer spectrum leasing arrangement will be reflected in ULS. If the application is filed electronically, consent will be reflected in ULS on the next business day after filing of the application; if filed manually, consent will be reflected in ULS on the next business day after the necessary data from the manually filed application is entered into ULS. Consent to the application is not deemed granted until the Bureau affirmatively acts upon the application, as reflected in ULS.
(iii) Grant of consent to the application under these immediate approval procedures will be reflected in a public notice (see§ 1.933(a)) promptly issued after grant, and is subject to reconsideration (see§§ 1.106(f), 1.108, 1.113).
(f) Effective date of a de facto transfer leasing arrangement. If the Commission consents to the de facto transfer leasing arrangement, the de facto transfer leasing arrangement will be deemed effective in the Commission's records, and for purposes of the application of the rules set forth in this section, on the date set forth in the application. If the Commission consents to the arrangement after that specified date, the spectrum leasing application will become effective on the date of the Commission affirmative consent.
(g) Expiration, extension, or termination of spectrum leasing arrangement.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (g)(2) or (g)(3) of this section, a spectrum leasing arrangement entered into pursuant to this section will expire on the termination date set forth in the application. The Commission's consent to the de facto transfer leasing application includes consent to return the leased spectrum to the licensee at the end of the term of the spectrum leasing arrangement.
(2) A spectrum leasing arrangement may be extended beyond the initial term set forth in the spectrum leasing application pursuant to the applicable application procedures set forth in § 1.9030(e). Where there is pending before the Commission at the date of termination of the spectrum leasing arrangement a proper and timely application seeking to extend the arrangement, the parties may continue to operate under the original spectrum leasing arrangement without further action by the Commission until such time as the Commission shall make a final determination with respect to the application.
(3) If a spectrum leasing arrangement is terminated earlier than the termination date set forth in the notification, either by the licensee or by the parties' mutual agreement, the licensee must file a notification with the Commission, no later than ten (10) days after the early termination, indicating the date of the termination. If the parties fail to put the spectrum leasing arrangement into effect, they must so notify the Commission consistent with the provisions of this section.
(4) The Commission will place information concerning an extension or an early termination of a spectrum leasing arrangement on public notice.
(h) Assignment of spectrum leasing arrangement. The spectrum lessee may assign its lease to another entity provided that the licensee has agreed to such an assignment, there is privity between the licensee and the assignee, and the assignment is approved by the Commission pursuant to the same application and approval procedures set forth in this section. In the case of a non-substantial (pro forma) assignment that falls within the class of pro forma transactions for which prior Commission approval would not be required under § 1.948(c)(1), the parties involved in the assignment must file notification of the assignment with the Commission, using FCC Form 608 and providing any necessary updates of ownership information, within 30 days of its completion. The Commission will place information related to the assignment, whether substantial or pro forma, on public notice.
(i) Transfer of control of a spectrum lessee. A spectrum lessee seeking the transfer of control must obtain Commission consent using the same application and Commission consent procedures set forth in this section. In the case of a non-substantial (pro forma) transfer of control that falls within the class of pro forma transactions for which prior Commission approval would not be required under § 1.948(c)(1), the parties involved in the transfer of control must file notification of the transfer of control with the Commission, using FCC Form 608 and providing any necessary updates of ownership information, within 30 days of its completion. The Commission will place information related to the transfer of control, whether substantial or pro forma, on public notice.
(j) Revocation or automatic cancellation of a license or the spectrum lessee's operating authority.
(1) In the event an authorization held by a licensee that has entered into a spectrum leasing arrangement is revoked or cancelled, the spectrum lessee will be required to terminate its operations no later than the date on which the licensee ceases to have authority to operate under the license, except as provided in paragraph (i)(2) of this section.
(2) In the event of a license revocation or cancellation, the Commission will consider a request by the spectrum lessee for special temporary authority (see§ 1.931) to provide the spectrum lessee with an opportunity to transition its users in order to minimize service disruption to business and other activities.
(3) In the event of a license revocation or cancellation, and the required termination of the spectrum lessee's operations, the former spectrum lessee does not, as a result of its former status, receive any preference over any other party should the spectrum lessee seek to obtain the revoked or cancelled license.
(k) Subleasing. A spectrum lessee may sublease spectrum usage rights subject to the following conditions. Parties entering into a spectrum subleasing arrangement are required to comply with the Commission's rules for obtaining approval for spectrum leasing arrangements provided in this subpart and are governed by those same policies. The application filed by parties to a spectrum subleasing arrangement must include written consent from the licensee to the proposed arrangement. Once a spectrum subleasing arrangement has been approved by the Commission, the sublessee becomes the party primarily responsible for compliance with Commission rules and policies.
(l) Renewal. Although the term of a long-term de facto transfer spectrum leasing arrangement may not be longer than the term of a license authorization, a licensee and spectrum lessee that have entered into an arrangement whose term continues to the end of the current term of the license authorization may, contingent on the Commission's grant of the license renewal, extend the spectrum leasing arrangement into the term of the renewed license authorization. The Commission must be notified of the renewal of the spectrum leasing arrangement at the same time that the licensee submits its application for license renewal (see§ 1.949). The spectrum lessee may operate under the extended term, without further action by the Commission, until such time as the Commission shall make a final determination with respect to the renewal of the license authorization and the extension of the spectrum leasing arrangement into the term of the renewed license authorization.
[68 FR 66277, Nov. 25, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 72027, Dec. 10, 2004; 69 FR 77554, Dec. 27, 2004]
Effective Date Note:
At 69 FR 77554, Dec. 27, 2004, § 1.9030(e) was revised. This paragraph contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

Title 47 published on 2013-10-01

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  • 2014-12-12; vol. 79 # 239 - Friday, December 12, 2014
    1. 79 FR 73844 - The Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure Relating to the Filing of Formal Complaints and Pole Attachment Complaints
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Title 47 published on 2013-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 47 CFR 1 after this date.

  • 2014-12-12; vol. 79 # 239 - Friday, December 12, 2014
    1. 79 FR 73844 - The Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure Relating to the Filing of Formal Complaints and Pole Attachment Complaints
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
      Final rules.
      Effective January 12, 2015.
      47 CFR Part 1