47 CFR 27.14 - Construction requirements; Criteria for renewal.

Status message

There are 13 Updates appearing in the Federal Register for 47 CFR 27. View below or at eCFR (GPOAccess)
§ 27.14 Construction requirements; Criteria for renewal.
(a) AWS and WCS licensees, with the exception of WCS licensees holding authorizations for Block A in the 698-704 MHz and 728-734 MHz bands, Block B in the 704-710 MHz and 734-740 MHz bands, Block E in the 722-728 MHz band, Block C, C1, or C2 in the 746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz bands, Block D in the 758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz bands, Block A in the 2305-2310 MHz and 2350-2355 MHz bands, Block B in the 2310-2315 MHz and 2355-2360 MHz bands, Block C in the 2315-2320 MHz band, and Block D in the 2345-2350 MHz band, must, as a performance requirement, make a showing of “substantial service” in their license area within the prescribed license term set forth in § 27.13. “Substantial service” is defined as service which is sound, favorable and substantially above a level of mediocre service which just might minimally warrant renewal. Failure by any licensee to meet this requirement will result in forfeiture of the license and the licensee will be ineligible to regain it.
(b) A renewal applicant involved in a comparative renewal proceeding shall receive a preference, commonly referred to as a renewal expectancy, which is the most important comparative factor to be considered in the proceeding, if its past record for the relevant license period demonstrates that:
(1) The renewal applicant has provided “substantial” service during its past license term; and
(2) The renewal applicant has substantially complied with applicable FCC rules, policies and the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
(c) In order to establish its right to a renewal expectancy, a WCS renewal applicant involved in a comparative renewal proceeding must submit a showing explaining why it should receive a renewal expectancy. At a minimum, this showing must include:
(1) A description of its current service in terms of geographic coverage and population served;
(2) An explanation of its record of expansion, including a timetable of new construction to meet changes in demand for service;
(3) A description of its investments in its WCS system; and
(4) Copies of all FCC orders finding the licensee to have violated the Communications Act or any FCC rule or policy; and a list of any pending proceedings that relate to any matter described in this paragraph.
(d) In making its showing of entitlement to a renewal expectancy, a renewal applicant may claim credit for any system modification applications that were pending on the date it filed its renewal application. Such credit will not be allowed if the modification application is dismissed or denied.
(e) Comparative renewal proceedings do not apply to WCS licensees holding authorizations for Block A in the 698-704 MHz, 728-734 MHz bands, Block B in the 704-710 MHz and 734-740 MHz bands, Block C in the 710-716 MHz and 740-746 MHz bands, Block D in the 716-722 MHz band, Block E in the 722-728 MHz band, Block C, C1, or C2 in the 746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz bands, or Block D in the 758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz bands. Each of these licensees must file a renewal application in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 1.949, and must make a showing of substantial service, independent of its performance requirements, as a condition for renewal at the end of each license term.
(f) Comparative renewal proceedings do not apply to WCS licensees holding authorizations for the 698-746 MHz, 747-762 MHz, and 777-792 MHz bands. These licensees must file a renewal application in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 1.949 of this chapter.
(g) WCS licensees holding EA authorizations for Block A in the 698-704 MHz and 728-734 MHz bands, cellular market authorizations for Block B in the 704-710 MHz and 734-740 MHz bands, or EA authorizations for Block E in the 722-728 MHz band, if the results of the first auction in which licenses for such authorizations are offered satisfy the reserve price for the applicable block, shall provide signal coverage and offer service over at least 35 percent of the geographic area of each of their license authorizations no later than June 13, 2013 (or within four years of initial license grant if the initial authorization in a market is granted after June 13, 2009), and shall provide such service over at least 70 percent of the geographic area of each of these authorizations by the end of the license term. In applying these geographic benchmarks, licensees are not required to include land owned or administered by government as a part of the relevant service area. Licensees may count covered government land for purposes of meeting their geographic construction benchmark, but are required to add the covered government land to the total geographic area used for measurement purposes. Licensees are required to include those populated lands held by tribal governments and those held by the Federal Government in trust or for the benefit of a recognized tribe.
(1) If an EA or CMA licensee holding an authorization in these particular blocks fails to provide signal coverage and offer service over at least 35 percent of the geographic area of its license authorization by no later than June 13, 2013 (or within four years of initial license grant, if the initial authorization in a market is granted after June 13, 2009), the term of that license authorization will be reduced by two years and such licensee may be subject to enforcement action, including forfeitures. In addition, an EA or CMA licensee that provides signal coverage and offers service at a level that is below this interim benchmark may lose authority to operate in part of the remaining unserved areas of the license.
(2) If any such EA or CMA licensee fails to provide signal coverage and offer service to at least 70 percent of the geographic area of its license authorization by the end of the license term, that licensee's authorization will terminate automatically without Commission action for those geographic portions of its license in which the licensee is not providing service, and those unserved areas will become available for reassignment by the Commission. Such licensee may also be subject to enforcement action, including forfeitures. In addition, an EA or CMA licensee that provides signal coverage and offers service at a level that is below this end-of-term benchmark may be subject to license termination. In the event that a licensee's authority to operate in a license area terminates automatically without Commission action, such areas will become available for reassignment pursuant to the procedures in paragraph (j) of this section.
(3) For licenses under paragraph (g) of this section, the geographic service area to be made available for reassignment must include a contiguous area of at least 130 square kilometers (50 square miles), and areas smaller than a contiguous area of at least 130 square kilometers (50 square miles) will not be deemed unserved.
(h) WCS licensees holding REAG authorizations for Block C in the 746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz bands or REAG authorizations for Block C2 in the 752-757 MHz and 782-787 MHz bands shall provide signal coverage and offer service over at least 40 percent of the population in each EA comprising the REAG license area no later than June 13, 2013 (or within four years of initial license grant, if the initial authorization in a market is granted after June 13, 2009), and shall provide such service over at least 75 percent of the population of each of these EAs by the end of the license term. For purposes of compliance with this requirement, licensees should determine population based on the most recently available U.S. Census Data.
(1) If a licensee holding a Block C authorization fails to provide signal coverage and offer service over at least 40 percent of the population in each EA comprising the REAG license area by no later than June 13, 2013 (or within four years of initial license grant if the initial authorization in a market is granted after June 13, 2009), the term of the license authorization will be reduced by two years and such licensee may be subject to enforcement action, including forfeitures. In addition, a licensee that provides signal coverage and offers service at a level that is below this interim benchmark may lose authority to operate in part of the remaining unserved areas of the license.
(2) If a licensee holding a Block C authorization fails to provide signal coverage and offer service over at least 75 percent of the population in any EA comprising the REAG license area by the end of the license term, for each such EA that licensee's authorization will terminate automatically without Commission action for those geographic portions of its license in which the licensee is not providing service. Such licensee may also be subject to enforcement action, including forfeitures. In the event that a licensee's authority to operate in a license area terminates automatically without Commission action, such areas will become available for reassignment pursuant to the procedures in paragraph (j) of this section. In addition, a REAG licensee that provides signal coverage and offers service at a level that is below this end-of-term benchmark within any EA may be subject to license termination within that EA.
(3) For licenses under paragraph (h), the geographic service area to be made available for reassignment must include a contiguous area of at least 130 square kilometers (50 square miles), and areas smaller than a contiguous area of at least 130 square kilometers (50 square miles) will not be deemed unserved.
(i) WCS licensees holding EA authorizations for Block A in the 698-704 MHz and 728-734 MHz bands, cellular market authorizations for Block B in the 704-710 MHz and 734-740 MHz bands, or EA authorizations for Block E in the 722-728 MHz band, if the results of the first auction in which licenses for such authorizations in Blocks A, B, and E are offered do not satisfy the reserve price for the applicable block, as well as EA authorizations for Block C1 in the 746-752 MHz and 776-782 MHz bands, are subject to the following:
(1) If a licensee holding a cellular market area or EA authorization subject to this paragraph (i) fails to provide signal coverage and offer service over at least 40 percent of the population in its license area by no later than June 13, 2013 (or within four years of initial license grant, if the initial authorization in a market is granted after June 13, 2009), the term of that license authorization will be reduced by two years and such licensee may be subject to enforcement action, including forfeitures. In addition, such licensee that provides signal coverage and offers service at a level that is below this interim benchmark may lose authority to operate in part of the remaining unserved areas of the license. For purposes of compliance with this requirement, licensees should determine population based on the most recently available U.S. Census Data.
(2) If a licensee holding a cellular market area or EA authorization subject to this paragraph (i) fails to provide signal coverage and offer service over at least 75 percent of the population in its license area by the end of the license term, that licensee's authorization will terminate automatically without Commission action for those geographic portions of its license in which the licensee is not providing service, and those unserved areas will become available for reassignment by the Commission. Such licensee may also be subject to enforcement action, including forfeitures. In the event that a licensee's authority to operate in a license area terminates automatically without Commission action, such areas will become available for reassignment pursuant to the procedures in paragraph (j) of this section. In addition, such a licensee that provides signal coverage and offers service at a level that is below this end-of-term benchmark may be subject to license termination. For purposes of compliance with this requirement, licensees should determine population based on the most recently available U.S. Census Data.
(3) For licenses under paragraph (i), the geographic service area to be made available for reassignment must include a contiguous area of at least 130 square kilometers (50 square miles), and areas smaller than a contiguous area of at least 130 square kilometers (50 square miles) will not be deemed unserved.
(j) In the event that a licensee's authority to operate in a license area terminates automatically under paragraphs (g), (h), or (i) of this section, such areas will become available for reassignment pursuant to the following procedures:
(1) The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is delegated authority to announce by public notice that these license areas will be made available and establish a 30-day window during which third parties may file license applications to serve these areas. During this 30-day period, licensees that had their authority to operate terminate automatically for unserved areas may not file applications to provide service to these areas. Applications filed by third parties that propose areas overlapping with other applications will be deemed mutually exclusive, and will be resolved through an auction. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, by public notice, may specify a limited period before the filing of short-form applications (FCC Form 175) during which applicants may enter into a settlement to resolve their mutual exclusivity, subject to the provisions of § 1.935 of this chapter.
(2) Following this 30-day period, the original licensee and third parties can file license applications for remaining unserved areas where licenses have not been issued or for which there are no pending applications. If the original licensee or a third party files an application, that application will be placed on public notice for 30 days. If no mutually exclusive application is filed, the application will be granted, provided that a grant is found to be in the public interest. If a mutually exclusive application is filed, it will be resolved through an auction. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, by public notice, may specify a limited period before the filing of short-form applications (FCC Form 175) during which applicants may enter into a settlement to resolve their mutual exclusivity, subject to the provisions of § 1.935 of this chapter.
(3) The licensee will have one year from the date the new license is issued to complete its construction and provide signal coverage and offer service over 100 percent of the geographic area of the new license area. If the licensee fails to meet this construction requirement, its license will automatically terminate without Commission action and it will not be eligible to apply to provide service to this area at any future date.
(k) WCS licensees holding authorizations in the spectrum blocks enumerated in paragraphs (g), (h), or (i), including any licensee that obtained its license pursuant to the procedures set forth in subsection (j), shall demonstrate compliance with performance requirements by filing a construction notification with the Commission, within 15 days of the expiration of the applicable benchmark, in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 1.946(d). The licensee must certify whether it has met the applicable performance requirements. The licensee must file a description and certification of the areas for which it is providing service. The construction notifications must include electronic coverage maps, supporting technical documentation and any other information as the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau may prescribe by public notice.
(l) WCS licensees holding authorizations in the spectrum blocks enumerated in paragraphs (g), (h), or (i) of this section, excluding any licensee that obtained its license pursuant to the procedures set forth in subsection (j) of this section, shall file reports with the Commission that provide the Commission, at a minimum, with information concerning the status of their efforts to meet the performance requirements applicable to their authorizations in such spectrum blocks and the manner in which that spectrum is being utilized. The information to be reported will include the date the license term commenced, a description of the steps the licensee has taken toward meeting its construction obligations in a timely manner, including the technology or technologies and service(s) being provided, and the areas within the license area in which those services are available. Each of these licensees shall file its first report with the Commission no later than June 13, 2011 and no sooner than 30 days prior to this date. Each licensee that meets its interim benchmarks shall file a second report with the Commission no later than June 13, 2016 and no sooner than 30 days prior to this date. Each licensee that does not meet its interim benchmark shall file this second report no later than on June 13, 2015 and no sooner than 30 days prior to this date.
(m) The WCS licensee holding the authorization for the D Block in the 758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz bands (the Upper 700 MHz D Block licensee) shall comply with the following construction requirements.
(1) The Upper 700 MHz D Block licensee shall provide a signal coverage and offer service over at least 75 percent of the population of the nationwide Upper 700 MHz D Block license area within four years from June 13, 2009, 95 percent of the population of the nationwide license area within seven years, and 99.3 percent of the population of the nationwide license area within ten years.
(2) The Upper 700 MHz D Block licensee may modify, to a limited degree, its population-based construction benchmarks with the agreement of the Public Safety Broadband Licensee and the prior approval of the Commission, where such a modification would better serve to meet commercial and public safety needs.
(3) The Upper 700 MHz D Block licensee shall meet the population benchmarks based on a performance schedule specified in the Network Sharing Agreement, taking into account performance pursuant to § 27.1327 as appropriate under that rule, and using the most recently available U.S. Census Data. The network and signal levels employed to meet these benchmarks must be adequate for public safety use, as defined in the Network Sharing Agreement, and the services made available must include those appropriate for public safety entities that operate in those areas. The schedule shall include coverage for major highways and interstates, as well as such additional areas that are necessary to provide coverage for all incorporated communities with a population in excess of 3,000, unless the Public Safety Broadband Licensee and the Upper 700 MHz D Block licensee jointly determine, in consultation with a relevant community, that such additional coverage will not provide significant public benefit.
(4) The Upper 700 MHz D Block licensee shall demonstrate compliance with performance requirements by filing a construction notification with the Commission within 15 days of the expiration of the applicable benchmark, in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 1.946(d) of this chapter. The licensee must certify whether it has met the applicable performance requirement and must file a description and certification of the areas for which it is providing service. The construction notifications must include the following:
(i) Certifications of the areas that were scheduled for construction and service by that date under the Network Sharing Agreement for which it is providing service, the type of service it is providing for each area, and the type of technology it is utilizing to provide this service.
(ii) Electronic coverage maps and supporting technical documentation providing the assumptions used by the licensee to create the coverage maps, including the propagation model and the signal strength necessary to provide service.
(n) At the end of its license term, the Upper 700 MHz D Block licensee must, in order to renew its license, make a showing of its success in meeting the material requirements set forth in the Network Sharing Agreement as well as all other license conditions, including the performance benchmark requirements set forth in this section.
(o) BRS and EBS licensees originally issued a BRS or EBS license prior to November 6, 2009 must make a showing of substantial service no later than May 1, 2011. With respect to initial BRS licenses issued on or after November 6, 2009, the licensee must make a showing of substantial service within four years from the date of issue of the license. Incumbent BRS licensees that are required to demonstrate substantial service by May 1, 2011 must file their substantial service showings with their renewal applications. “Substantial service” is defined as service which is sound, favorable, and substantially above a level of mediocre service which just might minimally warrant renewal. Substantial service for BRS and EBS licensees is satisfied if a licensee meets the requirements of paragraph (o)(1), (o)(2), or (o)(3) of this section. If a licensee has not met the requirements of paragraph (o)(1), (o)(2), or (o)(3) of this section, then demonstration of substantial service shall proceed on a case-by-case basis. Except as provided in paragraphs (o)(4) and (o)(5) of this section, all substantial service determinations will be made on a license-by-license basis. Failure by any licensee to demonstrate substantial service will result in forfeiture of the license and the licensee will be ineligible to regain it.
(1) A BRS or EBS licensee has provided “substantial service” by:
(i) Constructing six permanent links per one million people for licensees providing fixed point-to-point services;
(ii) Providing coverage of at least 30 percent of the population of the licensed area for licensees providing mobile services or fixed point-to-multipoint services;
(iii) Providing service to “rural areas” (a county (or equivalent) with a population density of 100 persons per square mile or less, based upon the most recently available Census data) and areas with limited access to telecommunications services:
(A) For mobile service, where coverage is provided to at least 75% of the geographic area of at least 30% of the rural areas within its service area; or
(B) for fixed service, where the BRS or EBS licensee has constructed at least one end of a permanent link in at least 30% of the rural areas within its licensed area.
(iv) Providing specialized or technologically sophisticated service that does not require a high level of coverage to benefit consumers; or
(v) Providing service to niche markets or areas outside the areas served by other licensees.
(2) An EBS licensee has provided “substantial service” when:
(i) The EBS licensee is using its spectrum (or spectrum to which the EBS licensee's educational services are shifted) to provide educational services within the EBS licensee's GSA;
(ii) the EBS licensee's license is actually being used to serve the educational mission of one or more accredited public or private schools, colleges or universities providing formal educational and cultural development to enrolled students; or
(iii) the level of service provided by the EBS licensee meets or exceeds the minimum usage requirements specified in § 27.1214.
(3) An EBS or BRS licensee may be deemed to provide substantial service through a leasing arrangement if the lessee is providing substantial service under paragraph (o)(1) of this section. The EBS licensee must also be otherwise in compliance with this Chapter (including the programming requirements in § 27.1203 of this subpart).
(4) If the GSA of a licensee is less than 1924 square miles in size, and there is an overlapping co-channel station licensed or leased by the licensee or its affiliate, substantial service may be demonstrated by meeting the requirements of paragraph (o)(1) or (o)(2) of this section with respect to the combined GSAs of both stations.
(5) If the GSA of a BTA authorization holder, is less than one-half of the area within the BTA for every BRS channel, substantial service may be demonstrated for the licenses in question by meeting the requirements of paragraph (o)(1) or (o)(2) of this section with respect to the combined GSAs of the BTA authorization holder, together with any incumbent authorizations licensed or leased by the licensee or its affiliates.
(p) This section enumerates performance requirements for licensees holding authorizations for Block A in the 2305-2310 MHz and 2350-2355 MHz bands, Block B in the 2310-2315 MHz and 2355-2360 MHz bands, Block C in the 2315-2320 MHz band, and Block D in the 2345-2350 MHz band.
(1) For mobile or point-to-multipoint systems, a licensee must provide reliable signal coverage and offer service to at least 40 percent of the license area's population by March 4, 2014, and to at least 75 percent of the license area's population by September 1, 2016. If, when filing the construction notification required under § 1.946(d) of this chapter, a WCS licensee demonstrates that 25 percent or more of the license area's population for Block A, B or D is within a coordination zone as defined by § 27.73(a) of the rules, the foregoing population benchmarks are reduced to 25 and 50 percent, respectively. The percentage of a license area's population within a coordination zone equals the sum of the Census Block Centroid Populations within the area, divided by the license area's total population.
(2) For point-to-point fixed systems, except those deployed in the Gulf of Mexico license area, a licensee must construct and operate a minimum of 15 point-to-point links per million persons (one link per 67,000 persons) in a license area by March 4, 2014, and 30 point-to-point links per million persons (one link per 33,500 persons) in a licensed area by September 1, 2016. The exact link requirement is calculated by dividing a license area's total population by 67,000 and 33,500 for the respective milestones, and then rounding upwards to the next whole number. For a link to be counted towards these benchmarks, both of its endpoints must be located in the license area. If only one endpoint of a link is located in a license area, it can be counted as a one- half link towards the benchmarks.
(3) For point-to-point fixed systems deployed on any spectrum block in the Gulf of Mexico license area, a licensee must construct and operate a minimum of 15 point-to-point links by March 4, 2014, and a minimum of 15 point-to-point links by September 1, 2016.
(4) Under paragraph (p)(2) and (p)(3) of this section, each fixed link must provide a minimum bit rate, in bits per second, equal to or greater than the bandwidth specified by the emission designator in Hertz (e.g., equipment transmitting at a 5 Mb/s rate must not require a bandwidth of greater than 5 MHz).
(5) If an initial authorization for a license area is granted after September 1, 2010, then the applicable benchmarks in paragraphs (p)(1), (p)(2) and (p)(3) of this section must be met within 42 and 72 months, respectively, of the initial authorization grant date.
(6) Licensees must use the most recently available U.S. Census Data at the time of measurement to meet these performance requirements.
(7) Licensees must certify compliance with the applicable performance requirements by filing a construction notification with the Commission, within 15 days of the expiration of the relevant performance milestone, pursuant to § 1.946(d) of this chapter. Each construction notification must include electronic coverage maps, supporting technical documentation, and any other information as the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau may prescribe by public notice. Electronic coverage maps must accurately depict the boundaries of each license area (Regional Economic Area Grouping, REAG, or Major Economic Area, MEA) in the licensee's service territory. Further, REAG maps must depict MEA boundaries and MEA maps must depict Economic Area boundaries. If a licensee does not provide reliable signal coverage to an entire license area, its map must accurately depict the boundaries of the area or areas within each license area not being served. Each licensee also must file supporting documentation certifying the type of service it is providing for each REAG or MEA within its service territory and the type of technology used to provide such service. Supporting documentation must include the assumptions used to create the coverage maps, including the propagation model and the signal strength necessary to provide reliable service with the licensee's technology.
(8) If a licensee fails to meet any applicable performance requirement, its authorization will terminate automatically without further Commission action as of the applicable performance milestone and the licensee will be ineligible to regain it.
[62 FR 9658, Mar. 3, 1997, as amended at 65 FR 3146, Jan. 20, 2000; 69 FR 5715, Feb. 6, 2004; 71 FR 35189, June 19, 2006; 72 FR 27709, May 16, 2007; 72 FR 48846, Aug. 24, 2007; 72 FR 67578, Nov. 29, 2007; 73 FR 26038, May 8, 2008; 74 FR 8878, Feb. 27, 2009; 75 FR 33731, June 15, 2010; 75 FR 45069, Aug. 2, 2010]

Title 47 published on 2013-10-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 47.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-07-16; vol. 79 # 136 - Wednesday, July 16, 2014
    1. 79 FR 41448 - Facilitating the Provision of Fixed and Mobile Broadband Access, Educational and Other Advanced Services in the 2150-2162 and 2500-2690 MHz Bands
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
      Final rule.
      Effective August 15, 2014.
      47 CFR Part 27

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code

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 27 after this date.

  • 2014-08-06; vol. 79 # 151 - Wednesday, August 6, 2014
    1. 79 FR 45752 - Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
      Petition for reconsideration.
      Oppositions to the Petitions must be filed by August 21, 2014. Replies to an opposition must be filed by September 2, 2014.
      47 CFR Parts 1, 2, and 27