The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has released a Public Notice in which it seeks comment on certain aspects of the process for relicensing 700 MHz spectrum in unserved areas.

Under the 700 MHz Second Report and Order, the FCC set forth rules governing wireless licenses in the 700 MHz Band that, among other things, established interim and end-of-term construction requirements.  Under the FCC’s keep-what-you-serve rules, if a licensee fails to meet its end-of-term construction deadline, its authorization to operate will terminate automatically without FCC action for those geographic areas of its license authorization in which the licensee is not providing service on the date of the end-of-term deadline, and those areas will become available for reassignment by the FCC.  The FCC delegated to WTB the authority to establish by Public Notice the process by which licenses will become available for relicensing.

Licensees that fail to meet their end-of-term construction benchmark will be required to make additional keep-what-you-serve filings.  In the Public Notice, WTB proposes a process whereby the licensee would demonstrate their serve area in order to determine the area that they would keep – and the area that would be relicensed

WTB seeks comment on its proposed methodology for determining such service area (smooth enclosed dBuV/m field strength contour of existing facilities as of the end-of-term deadline, with a potential alternative approach), the process for applying to serve unserved areas available for relicensing, and the process for meeting buildout requirements once a licensee obtains any such unserved area.

The comment dates, pursuant to the Federal Register are as follows:

Comments are due September 27, 2017.

Reply Comments are due October 10, 2017.

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