47 CFR § 54.1014 - Application process.

§ 54.1014 Application process.

(a) Application to participate in competitive bidding for 5G Fund support. In addition to providing the information specified in § 1.21001(b) of this chapter and any other information required by the Commission, an applicant to participate in competitive bidding for 5G Fund support shall:

(1) Certify that the applicant is financially and technically capable of meeting the public interest obligations and performance requirements in § 54.1015 in each area for which it seeks support;

(2) Disclose its status as an eligible telecommunications carrier in any area for which it will seek support and associated study area code(s) or as an entity that will file an application to become an eligible telecommunications carrier in any such area after being identified as a winning bidder for such area in a 5G Fund auction, and certify that the disclosure is accurate;

(3) Describe the Commission licensed spectrum to which the applicant has exclusive access that the applicant plans to use to meet its public interest obligations and performance requirements in areas for which it will bid for support, including whether the applicant currently holds a license for or leases the spectrum, including any necessary renewal expectancy, and whether such spectrum access is contingent upon receiving support in a 5G Fund auction, the license applicable to the spectrum to be accessed, the type of service covered by the license, the particular frequency band(s), the call sign, and the total amount of bandwidth (in megahertz) to which the applicant has access under the license applicable to the spectrum to be accessed, and certify that the description is accurate, that the applicant has access to spectrum in each area for which it intends to bid for support, and that the applicant will retain such access for at least ten (10) years after the date on which it is authorized to receive 5G Fund support;

(4) Submit specified operational and financial information;

(i) Indicate whether the applicant has been providing mobile wireless voice and/or mobile wireless broadband service for at least three years prior to the short-form application deadline (or is a wholly-owned subsidiary of an entity that has been providing such service for at least three years). An applicant for a 5G Fund auction will be deemed to have started providing mobile wireless broadband service on the date it began commercially offering service to end users. If the applicant is applying as a consortium or joint venture, the applicant will be permitted to rely on the length of time a member of the consortium or joint venture has been providing mobile service prior to the short-form application deadline in responding to this question;

(ii) If the applicant has been providing mobile wireless voice and/or mobile wireless broadband service for at least three years prior to the short-form application deadline (or is a wholly-owned subsidiary of an entity that has been providing such service for at least three years), it must:

(A) Certify that the applicant has been providing mobile wireless voice and/or mobile wireless broadband service for at least three years prior to the short-form application deadline (or is a wholly-owned subsidiary of an entity that has been providing such service for at least three years),

(B) Specify the number of years it (or its parent company, if it is a wholly-owned subsidiary) has been providing such service,

(C) Certify that it (or its parent company, if it is a wholly-owned subsidiary) has submitted mobile wireless voice and/or mobile wireless broadband data as required on FCC Form 477 and/or in the Digital Opportunity Data Collection, as applicable, during that time period,

(D) Provide each of the FCC Registration Numbers (FRNs) that the applicant or its parent company (and in the case of a holding company applicant, its operating companies) has used to submit mobile wireless voice and/or mobile wireless broadband data on FCC Form 477 and/or in the Digital Opportunity Data Collection, as applicable, during that time period.

(iii) If the applicant has been providing mobile wireless voice and/or mobile wireless broadband service for fewer than three years prior to the application deadline (or is not a wholly-owned subsidiary of an entity that has been providing such service for at least three years), it must:

(A) submit information concerning its operational history and a preliminary project description as prescribed by the Commission or the Office of Economics and Analytics and the Wireline Competition Bureau in a public notice;

(B) submit a letter of interest from a qualified bank that meets the qualifications set forth in § 54.1016 stating that the bank would provide a letter of credit as described in section to the applicant if the applicant becomes a winning bidder for bids of a certain dollar magnitude, as well as the maximum dollar amount for which the bank would be willing to issue a letter of credit to the applicant; and

(C) submit a statement that the bank would be willing to issue a letter of credit that is substantially in the same form as the Commission's model letter of credit.

(5) Certify that it will be subject to a forfeiture pursuant to § 1.21004 in the event of an auction default; and

(6) Certify that the party submitting the application is authorized to do so on behalf of the applicant.

(b) Application by winning bidders for 5G Fund support -

(1) Deadline. Unless otherwise provided by public notice, winning bidders for 5G Fund support shall file an application for 5G Fund support no later than ten (10) business days after the public notice identifying them as winning bidders.

(2) Application contents. An application for 5G Fund support must contain:

(i) Identification of the party seeking the support, including ownership information as set forth in § 1.2112(a) of this chapter;

(ii) Updated information regarding the agreements, arrangements, or understandings related to 5G Fund support disclosed in the application to participate in competitive bidding for 5G Fund support. A winning bidder may also be required to disclose in its application for 5G Fund support the specific terms, conditions, and parties involved in any agreement into which it has entered and the agreement itself;

(iii) Certification that the applicant is financially and technically capable of providing the required coverage and performance levels within the specified timeframe in the geographic areas in which it won support;

(iv) Proof of the applicant's status as an eligible telecommunications carrier, or a statement that the applicant will become an eligible telecommunications carrier in any area for which it seeks support within 180 days of the public notice identifying them as winning bidders, and certification that the proof is accurate;

(v) A description of the Commission licensed spectrum to which the applicant has exclusive access that the applicant plans to use to meet its public interest obligations and performance requirements in areas for which it is winning bidder for support, including whether the applicant currently holds a license for or leases the spectrum, along with any necessary renewal expectancy, the license applicable to the spectrum to be accessed, the type of service covered by the license, the particular frequency band(s), the call sign, and the total amount of bandwidth (in megahertz) to which the applicant has access under the license applicable to the spectrum to be accessed, and certification that the description is accurate, that the winning bidder has access to spectrum in each area for which it is applying for support, and that the applicant will retain such access for the entire ten (10) year 5G Fund support term;

(vi) A detailed project description that describes the network to be built, identifies the proposed technology, demonstrates that the project is technically feasible, discloses the complete project budget, and discusses each specific phase of the project (e.g., network design, construction, deployment, and maintenance), as well as a complete project schedule, including timelines, milestones, and costs;

(vii) Certifications that the applicant has available funds for all project costs that exceed the amount of support to be received from 5G Fund and that the applicant will comply with all program requirements, including the public interest obligations and performance requirements set forth in § 54.1015;

(viii) Any guarantee of performance that the Commission may require by public notice or other proceedings, including but not limited to the letters of credit and opinion letter required in § 54.1016, or a written commitment from an acceptable bank, as defined in § 54.1016, to issue such a letter of credit;

(ix) Certification that the applicant will offer services in supported areas at rates that are reasonably comparable to the rates the applicant charges in urban areas;

(x) Certification that the party submitting the application is authorized to do so on behalf of the applicant; and

(xi) Such additional information as the Commission may require.

(3) Application processing.

(i) No application will be considered unless it has been submitted in an acceptable form during the period specified by public notice. No applications submitted or demonstrations made at any other time shall be accepted or considered.

(ii) Any application that, as of the submission deadline, either does not identify the applicant seeking support as specified in the public notice announcing application procedures, or does not include required certifications, shall be denied.

(iii) An applicant may be afforded an opportunity to make minor modifications to amend its application or correct defects noted by the applicant, the Commission, the Administrator, or other parties. Minor modifications include correcting typographical errors in the application and supplying non-material information that was inadvertently omitted or was not available at the time the application was submitted.

(iv) Applications to which major modifications are made after the deadline for submitting applications shall be denied. Major modifications include, but are not limited to, any changes in the ownership of the applicant that constitute an assignment or change of control, or the identity of the applicant, or the certifications required in the application.

(v) After receipt and review of the applications, a public notice shall identify each winning bidder that may be authorized to receive 5G Fund support, after the winning bidder submits a Letter of Credit and an accompanying opinion letter from its outside legal counsel as required by § 54.1016, in a form acceptable to the Commission, and any final designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier that any applicant may still require. Each such winning bidder shall submit a Letter of Credit and an accompanying opinion letter from its outside legal counsel as required by § 54.1016, in a form acceptable to the Commission, and any required final designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier no later than ten (10) business days following the release of the public notice.

(vi) After receipt of all necessary information, a public notice will identify each winning bidder that is authorized to receive 5G Fund support.

Effective Date Note:
At 85 FR 75822, Nov. 25, 2020, § 54.1014 was revised, however, paragraphs (a) and (b)(2) have a delayed effective date.

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