47 CFR 27.1252 - Involuntary relocation procedures.

§ 27.1252 Involuntary relocation procedures.

(a) If no agreement is reached during the mandatory negotiation period, an AWS licensee may initiate involuntary relocation procedures under the Commission's rules. AWS licensees are obligated to pay to relocate BRS systems to which the AWS system poses an interference problem. Under involuntary relocation, the BRS licensee is required to relocate, provided that the AWS licensee:

(1) Guarantees payment of relocation costs, including all engineering, equipment, site and FCC fees, as well as any legitimate and prudent transaction expenses incurred by the BRS licensee that are directly attributable to an involuntary relocation, subject to a cap of two percent of the “hard” costs involved. Hard costs are defined as the actual costs associated with providing a replacement system, such as equipment and engineering expenses. There is no cap on the actual costs of relocation. AWS licensees are not required to pay BRS licensees for internal resources devoted to the relocation process. AWS licensees are not required to pay for transaction costs incurred by BRS licensees during the mandatory period once the involuntary period is initiated, or for fees that cannot be legitimately tied to the provision of comparable facilities; and

(2) Completes all activities necessary for implementing the replacement facilities, including engineering and cost analysis of the relocation procedure and, if radio facilities are used, identifying and obtaining, on the incumbents' behalf, new microwave frequencies and frequency coordination.

(b)Comparable facilities. The replacement system provided to an incumbent during an involuntary relocation must be at least equivalent to the existing BRS system with respect to the following three factors:

(1)Throughput. Communications throughput is the amount of information transferred within a system in a given amount of time. System is defined as a base station and all end user units served by that base station. If analog facilities are being replaced with analog, the AWS licensee is required to provide the BRS licensee with a comparable number of channels. If digital facilities are being replaced with digital, the AWS licensee must provide the BRS licensee with equivalent data loading bits per second (bps). AWS licensees must provide BRS licensees with enough throughput to satisfy the BRS licensee's system use at the time of relocation, not match the total capacity of the BRS system.

(2)Reliability. System reliability is the degree to which information is transferred accurately within a system. AWS licensees must provide BRS licensees with reliability equal to the overall reliability of their system. For digital data systems, reliability is measured by the percent of time the bit error rate (BER) exceeds a desired value, and for analog or digital video transmissions, it is measured by whether the end-to-end transmission delay is within the required delay bound.

(3)Operating costs. Operating costs are the cost to operate and maintain the BRS system. AWS licensees must compensate BRS licensees for any increased recurring costs associated with the replacement facilities (e.g., additional rental payments, increased utility fees) for five years after relocation. AWS licensees may satisfy this obligation by making a lump-sum payment based on present value using current interest rates. Additionally, the maintenance costs to the BRS licensee must be equivalent to the replaced system in order for the replacement system to be considered comparable.

(c) AWS licensees are responsible for the relocation costs of end user units served by the BRS base station that is being relocated. If a lessee is operating under a BRS license, the AWS licensee shall on the throughput, reliability, and operating costs of facilities in use by a lessee at the time of relocation in determining comparable facilities for involuntary relocation purposes.

(d)Twelve-month trial period. If, within one year after the relocation to new facilities, the BRS licensee demonstrates that the new facilities are not comparable to the former facilities, the AWS licensee must remedy the defects or pay to relocate the BRS licensee to one of the following: Its former or equivalent 2 GHz channels, another comparable frequency band, a land-line system, or any other facility that satisfies the requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section. This trial period commences on the date that the BRS licensee begins full operation of the replacement system. If the BRS licensee has retained its 2 GHz authorization during the trial period, it must return the license to the Commission at the end of the twelve months.