FCC Wireless Bureau clarifies ULS automatic termination questions

February 22, 2006

A Feb. 13 letter from the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to the Society of Broadcast Engineers seeks to clarify questions surrounding how the automatic termination of wireless radio service authorizations in the Universal Licensing System will affect Part 74 Broadcast Auxiliary Services (BAS).

The letter from deputy bureau chief Cathleen Massey to SBE General Counsel Chris Imlay said that Part 74 BAS is covered by the automatic termination provisions. The SBE previously inquired about whether or not Part 74 was covered because it was not listed in two footnotes of the 2005 Declaratory Ruling establishing the automatic termination.

The letter also clarified the issue of “reversion” after automatic termination. The Massey letter drew a distinction between modifications to an application that seeks to change “parameters on an existing license but does not add frequencies” and those in which frequencies are added or modified. In the former case, no notification of completion of construction filing is required. In the latter, such notification is required.

The letter also stated that it is incorrect for a license to revert to the prior licensed status if a notification of completion of construction is not filed in a timely manner. According to Massey’s letter, there is only a single automatic termination scenario where the license reverts to its previous status. The letter from Massey endorsed a two-step approach the SBE devised to protect existing parameters during the construction period for modified parameters. The SBE recommended that a licensee file an application for a new facility instead of a modified facility and upon constructing the new facility, file a notification of completion of construction and cancellation of the old license simultaneously in a timely manner.

To read the letter, visit http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-334A1.pdf.

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