FCC Issues BAS Termination Clarification

The FCC has issued a Clarification Order concerning broadcast auxiliary spectrum license terminations, in response to earlier requests from the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

The original FCC BAS ruling was issued in 2005 and contained elements about automatic termination that were unclear. The SBE received many inquiries about the FCC termination process, not only from engineers who found the original ruling confusing, but also from communications lawyers.

"The clarification letter is long overdue," said Chris Imlay, SBE general counsel. "BAS licensees are entitled to understand what obligations they have to fulfill in order to avoid the ultimate sanction of license termination, and they are entitled to know what the effect of the new requirements in on longstanding licenses that have been modified."

The FCC clarification letter was released on Feb. 13 and confirms that Part 74 licenses are subject to automatic termination provisions; clarifies the effect on modified licenses if the modification is subject to termination for failure to file a timely Notification of Completion of Construction; and describes the best means to protect old license parameters during the period after a modified license is granted, but before modified facilities are constructed.