[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 5 (Tuesday, January 8, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 1166-1188]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00157]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 1 and 27

[WT Docket No. 12-357; FCC 12-152]


Service Rules for the Advanced Wireless Services in the H Block--
Implementing Section 6401 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job 
Creation Act of 2012 Related to the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz 
Bands

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Commission proposes rules for the 
Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) H Block that would make available ten 
megahertz of spectrum for flexible use. The proposal would extend the 
widely-deployed Personal Communications Services (PCS) band, which is 
used by the four national providers as well as regional and rural 
providers to offer mobile service across the nation. The additional 
spectrum for mobile use will help ensure that the speed, capacity, and 
ubiquity of the nation's wireless networks keeps pace with the 
skyrocketing demand for mobile service.

DATES: Submit comments on or before February 6, 2013. Submit reply

[[Page 1167]]

comments on or before March 6, 2013. Written comments on the proposed 
information collection requirements, subject to the Paperwork Reduction 
Act (PRA) of 1995, Public Law 104-13, should be submitted on or before 
March 11, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20554. A copy of any comments on the Paperwork Reduction 
Act information collection requirements contained herein should be 
submitted to the Federal Communications Commission via email to 
PRA@fcc.gov and to Nicholas A. Fraser, Office of Management and Budget, 
via email to Nicholas_A._Fraser@omb.eop.gov or via fax at 202-395-
5167. You may submit comments, identified by FCC 12-152, or by WT 
Docket No. 12-357, by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking 
Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Federal Communications Commission's Web Site: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request 
reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language 
interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: (202) 418-
0530 or TTY: (202) 418-0432.
     Availability of Documents. Comments, reply comments, and 
ex parte submissions will be available for public inspection during 
regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal 
Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW., CY-A257, Washington, 
DC 20554. These documents will also be available via ECFS. Documents 
will be available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe 
Acrobat.
    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional 
information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Daronco of the Broadband 
Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, at (202) 418-BITS. For 
additional information concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act 
information collection requirements contained in this document, contact 
Judith B. Herman at (202) 418-0214, or via the Internet at PRA@fcc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 12-152, adopted on December 11, 2012, and 
released on December 17, 2012. The full text of this document is 
available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in 
the FCC Reference Information Center, Room CY-A257, 445 12th Street, 
SW., Washington, DC 20554. The complete text may be purchased from the 
Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. 
(BCPI), Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 
20554, (202) 488-5300, facsimile (202) 488-5563, or via email at 
fcc@bcpiweb.com. The complete text is also available on the 
Commission's Web site at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachment/FCC-12-152A1doc. Alternative formats (computer diskette, 
large print, audio cassette, and Braille) are available by contacting 
Brian Millin at (202) 418-7426, TTY (202) 418-7365, or via email to 
bmillin@fcc.gov.
    Pursuant to Sec. Sec.  1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 
47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply 
comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this 
document. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic 
Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in 
Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998). All filings should 
reference the docket numbers in this proceeding, FCC 12-152, or by WT 
Docket No. 12-357.
    [ssquf] Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.
    [ssquf] Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file 
an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket or 
rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers 
must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or 
rulemaking number.
    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial 
overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service 
mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, 
Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
    [ssquf] All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for 
the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 
12th St., SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with 
rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of 
before entering the building.
    [ssquf] Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton 
Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
    [ssquf] U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail 
must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington DC 20554.
    [ssquf] People with Disabilities: To request materials in 
accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, 
electronic files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or 
call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 
(voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).
    [ssquf] Document FCC 12-152 contains proposed information 
collection requirements subject to the PRA. It will be submitted to the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under section 3507 of 
the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies are 
invited to comment on the proposed information collection requirements 
contained in this document. PRA comments should be submitted to Judith 
B. Herman at (202) 418-0214, or via the Internet at PRA@fcc.gov and to 
Nicholas A. Fraser, Office of Management and Budget, via email to 
Nicholas_A._Fraser@omb.eop.gov or via fax at 202-395-5167.
    [ssquf] To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) 
submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called ``Currently 
Under Review,'' (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the 
``Select Agency'' box below the ``Currently Under Review'' heading, (4) 
select ``Federal Communications Commission'' from the list of agencies 
presented in the ``Select Agency'' box, (5) click the ``Submit'' button 
to the right of the ``Select Agency'' box, (6) when the list of FCC 
ICRs currently under review appears, look for the title of this ICR and 
then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to 
OMB will be displayed.
    [ssquf] Initial Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis
    This document contains proposed new or modified information 
collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing 
effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information 
collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, 
pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 
107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we

[[Page 1168]]

might further reduce the information collection burden for small 
business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.
    OMB Control Number: 3060-[XXXX].
    Title: Sections 1.946, 1.949, 1.2105(a), etc.--Service Rules for 
Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) H Block.
    Form Number: N/A.
    Type of Review: New collection.
    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities, not-for-profit 
institutions, and state, local, or tribal government.
    Number of Respondents: 50 respondents; 50 responses.
    Estimated Time per Response: .25 hours to .5 hours.
    Frequency of Response: Annual, one time, and on occasion reporting 
requirements; recordkeeping requirement; and third party disclosure 
requirement.
    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. 
Statutory authority for the information collection is contained in 15 
U.S.C. 79 et seq.; 47 U.S.C. sections 151, 154(i), 154(j), 155, 157, 
225, 227, 303(r), 309, 1404, and 1451.
    Total Annual Burden: 14 hours.
    Total Annual Cost: N/A.
    Privacy Impact Assessment: N/A.
    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for 
confidentiality.
    Needs and Uses: The Commission is submitting this information 
collection to the Office of Management and Budget as a new collection. 
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposes rules for the 
Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) H Block to make available ten 
megahertz of spectrum for flexible use, extending the current Personal 
Communications Services (PCS) band, which is used by the four national 
providers as well as regional and rural providers to offer mobile 
service across the Nation. The NPRM begins the Commission's 
implementation of the Congressional directive in the Middle Class Tax 
Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Spectrum Act) to grant new initial 
licenses for the 1915-1920 MHz (Lower H Block) and 1995-2000 MHz (Upper 
H Block) bands through a system of competitive bidding--unless doing so 
would cause harmful interference to commercial mobile service licensees 
in the 1930-1995 MHz (PCS downlink) band.

Summary

I. Introduction

    1. We propose rules for the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) H 
Block that would make available ten megahertz of spectrum for flexible 
use. The proposal would extend the widely-deployed Personal 
Communications Services (PCS) band, which is used by the four national 
providers as well as regional and rural providers to offer mobile 
service across the nation. The additional spectrum for mobile use will 
help ensure that the speed, capacity, and ubiquity of the nation's 
wireless networks keeps pace with the skyrocketing demand for mobile 
service.
    2. The Commission's action is a first step in implementing the 
Congressional directive in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation 
Act of 2012 (Spectrum Act) that we grant new initial licenses for the 
1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands (the Lower H Block and Upper H 
Block, respectively) through a system of competitive bidding--unless 
doing so would cause harmful interference to commercial mobile service 
licensees in the 1930-1995 MHz (PCS downlink) band (collectively, the 
Lower H Block and Upper H Block are referred to as the ``H Block'').

II. Discussion

    3. To implement the Spectrum Act provisions pertaining to the H 
Block, and in keeping with our goal of expanding the amount of spectrum 
available for wireless broadband services, we propose terrestrial 
service rules for the H Block that would generally follow the 
Commission's part 27 rules. In some instances, we propose rules that 
are modified from part 27 to account for issues unique to the H Block, 
particularly to protect PCS licensees from harmful interference. With 
this NPRM, we seek comment on a number of proposals regarding the 
licensing, use, and assignment of the spectrum, including the costs and 
benefits of the proposals.
    4. Although the Commission previously sought comment on many of 
these issues in the AWS-2 NPRM, Service Rules for Advanced Wireless 
Services in the 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz and 2175-
2180 MHz Bands, 69 FR 63489 (Nov. 2, 2004) (AWS-2 NPRM), and the 2008 
FNPRM, Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 2155-2175 
MHz Band; Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 1915-1920 
MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz and 2175-2180 MHz Bands, 73 FR 35995 
(June 25, 2008) (2008 FNPRM), wireless broadband technologies and the 
wireless industry have evolved since the Commission last sought comment 
on these issues such that, in our assessment, the development of a 
fresh record is warranted. As a result, we will adopt H Block rules 
based on the record developed in response to this NPRM (WT Docket No. 
12-357). Parties may re-file in this docket earlier comments with any 
necessary updates.
    5. For each of the issues identified below, we seek comment on the 
most efficient manner to address the issue. Commenters should also 
identify the various costs and benefits associated with a particular 
proposal. We ask that commenters take into account only those costs and 
benefits that directly result from the implementation of the particular 
rules that could be adopted, including any proposed requirement or 
potential alternative requirement. Further, to the extent possible, 
commenters should provide specific data and information, such as actual 
or estimated dollar figures for each specific cost or benefit 
addressed, along with a description of how the data or information was 
calculated or obtained, and any supporting documentation or other 
evidentiary support.

A. Spectrum Act Provisions for 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz

    6. We discuss the Spectrum Act's four main statutory elements 
related to the H Block--allocation for commercial use, flexible use, 
assignment of licenses, and a determination regarding interference--in 
greater detail below.
1. Allocation for Commercial Use
    7. Section 6401 of the Spectrum Act requires the Commission to 
allocate the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands for commercial use. 
The Spectrum Act does not define the phrase ``allocate [the H Block] 
for commercial use.'' When this phrase is read in the context of the 
Spectrum Act as a whole, we conclude it requires the Commission to make 
any changes necessary to, or otherwise ensure that, the Non-Federal 
Table of Allocations reflects that the spectrum identified in section 
6401 can be used commercially and licensed to non-federal entities 
under flexible use service rules through a system of competitive 
bidding. All of the H Block spectrum is within the 1850-2000 MHz band, 
which is allocated exclusively for non-federal, fixed and mobile use on 
a primary basis and designated for use in the commercial PCS/AWS bands. 
We believe the Commission's prior allocation of the H Block is fully 
consistent with section 6401's allocation language because the existing 
allocation is the broadest allocation possible consistent with 
international allocations. We further read section 6401 as directing 
the Commission to maintain this existing allocation. Given the 
requirement to license under flexible use service rules, we do not read 
the requirement to allocate the H

[[Page 1169]]

Block for commercial use to specifically limit eligible uses to 
commercial uses.
    8. Therefore, we tentatively conclude that the existing allocation 
of the H Block for non-federal fixed and mobile use on a primary basis 
meets the allocation requirement of section 6401(b)(1)(A) for the H 
Block, and seek comment on this tentative conclusion. We seek comment 
on whether there are any additional actions the Commission should take 
to comply with the requirement to allocate the H Block for commercial 
use. We ask commenters that believe further action is needed to comply 
with Congress's mandate to detail what other action is necessary, 
including the costs and benefits of such action.
2. Flexible Use
    9. Consistent with the Spectrum Act's mandate that we license the H 
Block under flexible use service rules, we propose service rules for 
the H Block that permit a licensee to employ the spectrum for any non-
Federal use permitted by the United States Table of Frequency 
Allocations, subject to the Commission's part 27 flexible use and other 
applicable rules (including service rules to avoid harmful 
interference). Congress recognized the potential benefits of flexible 
spectrum allocations and amended the Communications Act in 1997 to add 
section 303(y), which grants the Commission the authority to adopt 
flexible allocations if certain factors are met. Thus, we propose that 
the H Block may be used for any fixed or mobile service that is 
consistent with the allocations for the band. If commenters think any 
restrictions are warranted, they should describe why such restrictions 
are needed, quantify the costs and benefits of any such restrictions, 
and describe how such restrictions would comport with the statutory 
mandates of section 303(y) of the Communications Act and section 6401 
of the Spectrum Act.
3. Assignment of Licenses
    10. Section 6401(b) of the Spectrum Act requires the Commission to 
assign initial licenses for the 1915-1920 and 1995-2000 MHz bands 
through a system of competitive bidding pursuant to section 309(j) of 
the Communications Act. Accordingly, below, we seek comment on 
proposals regarding competitive bidding rules that would apply to 
resolve any mutually exclusive applications accepted for H Block 
licenses.
4. Determination of No Harmful Interference to the 1930-1995 MHz Band
    11. The Commission is prohibited from granting initial licenses 
under the Spectrum Act for the H Block if the Commission determines 
that the H Block ``cannot be used without causing harmful 
interference'' to commercial mobile licensees in the 1930-1995 MHz band 
(PCS downlink band). We note that the Spectrum Act does not define the 
term ``harmful interference,'' and we propose to use the existing 
definition of ``harmful interference'' in the Commission's rules. Under 
the Commission's rules harmful interference is ``[i]nterference which 
endangers the functioning of a radionavigation service or of other 
safety services or seriously degrades, obstructs, or repeatedly 
interrupts a radiocommunication service operating in accordance with 
[the International Telecommunications Union] Radio Regulations.''
    12. Upper H Block. As detailed in the Band Plan section below, the 
Commission allocated this spectrum for fixed and mobile use in 2003, 
and it designated it for PCS/AWS base station operations and proposed 
service rules to that effect in 2004. During the eight years that WT 
Docket No. 04-356 has been pending, no party has filed technical data 
and/or analysis indicating that base station operations in the Upper H 
Block would cause harmful interference to licensees in the PCS downlink 
band. Accordingly, we tentatively conclude that licensing the Upper H 
Block under flexible use service rules will not cause harmful 
interference to commercial mobile licensees in the 1930-1995 MHz band. 
We seek comment on this tentative conclusion.
    13. Lower H Block. In 2004 the Commission designated this spectrum 
for PCS/AWS mobile operations; paired with Upper H Block, after 
concluding that harmful interference from Lower H Block to the PCS 
downlink band could be addressed through appropriate service rules. In 
WT Docket No. 04-356, commenters vigorously debated the power and out-
of-band emission limits necessary to avoid interference to mobiles 
receiving in the PCS downlink band. Four PCS licensees proposed 
technical rules for Lower H Block to avoid interference to PCS and at 
least one PCS licensee continues to advocate for one of the earlier 
proposals. As discussed in detail below, we propose a band plan and are 
seeking comment on technical rules to avoid interference, including the 
earlier proposals by PCS licensees. Accordingly, we tentatively 
conclude that it will be possible to auction and license the Lower H 
Block under flexible use service rules without causing harmful 
interference to commercial mobile licensees in the PCS downlink (1930-
1995 MHz) band. We seek comment on this tentative conclusion. Regarding 
the proposed band plan and technical issues discussed in the sections 
below, we ask that commenters proposing alternative band plans and/or 
technical rules--including any alternative proposals that have been 
previously submitted to the Commission--provide detailed analyses of 
how their proposal will avoid harmful interference to licensees in the 
PCS downlink band.
    14. Alternatives, if Harmful Interference to PCS. If, contrary to 
our expectation, the record results in a determination that licensing 
the Upper H Block, the Lower H Block, or both, would cause harmful 
interference to licensees in the PCS downlink band, section 6401(b)(4) 
of the Spectrum Act nullifies the initial requirement in section 
6401(b)(1)(a) that the Commission to allocate the interfering spectrum 
for commercial use. We do not, however, believe that Congress intended 
section 6401(b)(4)(a) to disturb allocations adopted prior to the 
Spectrum Act. Rather, Congress intended section 6401(b)(4) to avoid 
harmful interference to the millions of existing customers of PCS 
licensees that might otherwise result from Commission actions 
implementing the requirements in section 6401(b)(1) related to H Block. 
Therefore, if we determine that the Lower H Block, the Upper H Block, 
or both, cannot be used without causing harmful interference to PCS 
licensees, we tentatively conclude that we may not under the Spectrum 
Act auction and grant initial licenses, subject to flexible use service 
rules, for the interfering spectrum. If we determine that half of the H 
Block cannot be auctioned and licensed, we tentatively conclude that 
the statute requires us to auction and license the half of the H Block 
that would not cause harmful interference to PCS downlinks (i.e., 
either the Upper or Lower H Block). Accordingly, we ask commenters to 
address what should be done in the alternative with the H Block or any 
portion of the H Block that we determine cannot be licensed under the 
Spectrum Act due to harmful interference to licensees in the PCS 
downlink band. In particular, should any such spectrum be designated 
for Unlicensed PCS (UPCS)?

[[Page 1170]]

B. Band Plan

    15. In the following sections, we propose to license the H Block as 
paired 5 megahertz blocks, with the Upper H Block used for high-power 
base stations and the Lower H Block used for mobile and low power fixed 
operations. We further propose to license the H Block by Economic 
Areas. We invite commenters to propose other licensing areas including 
for the Gulf of Mexico.
1. Block Configuration
    16. In 2004, the Commission adopted the AWS Sixth Report and Order, 
Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission's Rules to Allocate Spectrum 
Below 3 GHz for Mobile and Fixed Services to Support the Introduction 
of New Advanced Wireless Services, Including Third Generation Wireless 
Systems, 69 FR 62615 (Oct. 27, 2004), designating the H Block for 
licensed fixed and mobile services, including advanced wireless 
services, and pairing the 1915-1920 MHz band with the 1995-2000 MHz 
band. The Commission decided to pair the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 
MHz bands because it found that pairing this spectrum would promote 
efficient use of the spectrum, would allow for the introduction of 
high-value services, and was otherwise preferable to the other options 
that had been put forth.
    17. In addition, the Commission contemplated that mobile operations 
would be conducted in the Lower H Block. The Commission reasoned that 
using the Lower H Block for low power operations would be advantageous 
because the adjacent 1910-1915 MHz PCS band is used for mobile 
operations and using the Lower H Block for high power base station 
operations could result in harmful interference to the PCS band.
    18. We see no reason to diverge from the reasoning in the AWS Sixth 
Report and Order. Accordingly, we tentatively conclude that the 1915-
1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands should be paired as a single band. In 
addition, we propose that high power base station operations will be 
prohibited in the Lower H Block. We seek comments on the costs and 
benefits of licensing the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands in this 
manner. We also seek comment on alternate configurations of the H 
Block. Commenters should address any technical issues implicated in an 
alternate band plan, and should discuss the costs and benefits of any 
alternative proposal.
2. Service Area
    19. Geographic Area Licensing: We propose to adopt a geographic 
area licensing scheme for the H Block because it is well-suited for the 
types of fixed and mobile services that would likely be deployed in 
these bands. Additionally, geographic-area licensing is consistent with 
the Commission's licensing approach for the AWS-1, Broadband PCS, 
Commercial 700 MHz bands, and AWS-4 bands. Based on the Commission's 
experience administering these services, geographic area licensing: (1) 
Provides licensees with substantial flexibility to respond to market 
demand, which results in significant improvements in spectrum 
utilization; (2) permits economies of scale because licensees can 
coordinate usage across an entire geographic area to maximize spectrum 
use; and, (3) reduces the regulatory burdens and transaction costs 
because wide-area licensing does not require site-by-site approval so a 
licensee can aggregate its service territories without incurring the 
administrative costs and delays associated with site-by-site licensing. 
We seek comment on this approach, including the costs and benefits of 
adopting a geographic area licensing scheme.
    20. In the event that commenters do not support geographic-area 
licensing for the H Block, commenters should explain their position and 
identify any alternative licensing proposals that they support, 
including the costs and benefits associated with such alternative 
proposals. Commenters should also address how an alternative licensing 
approach would be consistent with the statutory requirement to assign 
licenses in the H Block through competitive bidding and the statutory 
objectives that the Commission is required to promote in establishing 
methodologies for competitive bidding.
    21. Service Area Size. We seek to adopt a service area size for the 
H Block that meets several statutory goals. These include facilitating 
access to spectrum by both small and large providers, providing for the 
efficient use of the spectrum, encouraging deployment of wireless 
broadband services to consumers, especially those in rural areas, and 
promoting investment in and rapid deployment of new technologies and 
services consistent with our obligations under section 309(j) of the 
Communications Act.
    22. To accomplish these goals, we propose to license the H Block on 
an Economic Area (EA) basis. The adjacent bands, both PCS and AWS-4, 
are licensed on an EA basis. EAs are small enough to provide spectrum 
access opportunities for smaller carriers but also may be aggregated up 
to larger license areas to achieve economies of scale. We seek comment 
on this approach and ask commenters to discuss and quantify the 
economic, technical, and other public interest considerations of any 
particular geographic scheme for this band, as well as the impact that 
any such scheme would have on rural service and competition.
    23. We also seek comment on whether we should license the H Block 
on a nationwide basis. We seek comment on the extent to which 
nationwide licenses maximize or limit the opportunity for licensees to 
provide the widest array of services, and whether nationwide licenses 
provide the necessary incentives to foster the growth of existing 
technologies and the development of new technologies. We also ask 
commenters to compare the advantages and disadvantages of nationwide 
licensing to those of licensing by EAs, including economic and 
financial considerations.
    24. In response to the AWS-2 NPRM, some commenters argued that 
licensing the H Block using smaller geographic areas than EAs would 
accommodate its possible use as complementary spectrum to existing PCS 
offerings. Other commenters agreed and also noted that small and rural 
wireless providers would benefit if the Commission licensed the H Block 
using smaller geographic areas than EAs. Would licensing the H Block by 
areas smaller than EAs (e.g., Cellular Market Areas comprising 
Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Rural Service Areas (RSAs)) 
facilitate its use by smaller and rural operators? Would the benefits 
of smaller licenses outweigh any potential diseconomies of scale? We 
also seek comment on whether we should license the H Block by BTAs and 
the associated costs and benefits of this approach. Are there other 
geographic licensing methods that would better meet the stated goals 
for this band?
3. Licensing the Gulf of Mexico
    25. In addition, we seek comment on how to license the Gulf of 
Mexico. Should the Gulf of Mexico be part of another service area(s) or 
should we separately license a service area(s) to cover the Gulf of 
Mexico? Are there any public interest benefits that would be served by 
creating a Gulf of Mexico licensing area? Further, would the interests 
of the land based licensees be protected if we proceeded to license the 
Gulf of Mexico? Commenters that advocate a separate service area(s) to 
cover the Gulf of Mexico should discuss what boundaries should be used, 
and whether special interference protection criteria or performance 
requirements are

[[Page 1171]]

necessary due to the unique radio propagation characteristics and 
antenna siting challenges that exist for Gulf licensees.

C. Technical Issues

    26. As discussed above, we are proposing that the Upper H Block be 
used for base station (i.e., high power) operations, and the Lower H 
Block for mobile and other low-power operations. In this section we 
consider whether technical standards generally applicable to AWS and 
PCS stations are appropriate for these bands, or whether different 
standards are necessary to provide interference protection to services 
operating in adjacent spectrum bands. In light of the Spectrum Act, and 
our assessment of the relevant public interest benefits, a key goal in 
this proceeding is to develop technical rules that will permit optimal 
use of the H Block without causing harmful interference to commercial 
mobile service licensees in the 1930-1995 MHz PCS band. In responding 
to our inquiries, we ask commenting parties to provide test data and 
specific technical analysis to support their positions.
1. Upper H Block: 1995-2000 MHz
    27. Immediately below the Upper H Block is the 1930-1995 MHz PCS 
band, which is used for base station transmit/mobile receive (i.e., 
downlink). The Commission has tentatively concluded that base stations 
operating in the Upper H Block would be compatible with similar use of 
the spectrum below 1995 MHz, and there would be no need to apply 
technical standards more restrictive than those established for other 
AWS stations. The record developed in WT Docket No. 04-356 does not 
demonstrate any disagreement with this approach.
    28. Immediately above the Upper H Block is the 2000-2020 MHz band, 
which is allocated on a co-primary basis for Fixed, Mobile, and Mobile 
Satellite (Earth-to-space, i.e., for uplink mobile transmit/satellite 
receive). In the AWS-4 Report and Order, we adopted service rules under 
which 2000-2020 MHz will be licensed terrestrially for mobile transmit/
base station receive. Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in 
the 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz Bands, FCC 12-151. The Commission 
has previously concluded that there is potential for mutual 
interference between these two bands, and in WT Docket No. 04-356 MSS 
commenters raised concerns. In the AWS-4 Report and Order, we concluded 
that the public interest is best served by requiring AWS-4 uplinks to 
operate at lower power levels in 2000-2005 MHz and emit lower emissions 
below 2000 MHz. We further concluded that 2 GHz MSS operators and AWS-4 
licensees must accept any harmful interference from future, lawful 
operations in the Upper H Block due to out of band emissions in the 
2000-2005 MHz band or receiver overload from transmitters operating 
within the 1995-2000 MHz band.
a. Upper H Block Power Limits
    29. We also propose to adopt the standard base station power limits 
that apply to AWS and PCS stations: 1640 watts peak equivalent 
isotropically radiated power (EIRP) in non-rural areas and 3280 watts 
peak EIRP in rural areas. We seek comment on this proposal.
b. Upper H Block Out of Band Emissions Limits
    30. Given the considerations addressed above, we propose an out-of 
band-emission (OOBE) limit for base stations of 43 + 10 
log10 (P) dB, where P is the transmit power in watts, 
outside of the 1995-2000 MHz band. To provide some interference 
mitigation to AWS-4 uplink operations above 2000 MHz while ensuring 
that all of the Upper H Block spectrum can be used for more valuable 
downlink operations, we propose a further OOBE limit of 70 + 10 
log10 (P) dB above 2005 MHz. We seek comment on our 
proposals and any alternative proposals, including comments on the 
associated costs and benefits of each proposal.
c. Co-Channel Interference Between Licensees Operating in Adjacent 
Regions
    31. If we ultimately decide to license this band on the basis of 
geographic service areas that are less than nationwide (e.g., EAs), we 
will have to ensure that such licensees do not cause interference to 
co-channel systems operating along their common geographic borders. In 
other services, the Commission has offered either a ``boundary limit'' 
or a ``coordination'' approach to provide interference protection 
between co-channel licensees operating in these bands. Both approaches 
have certain advantages and disadvantages. For example, coordination 
would likely minimize the potential for interference to coordinated 
stations, but could also impose unnecessary costs in coordinating 
facilities that have a low potential for interference. A boundary limit 
approach would establish an accepted standard, which would enable 
licensees to deploy facilities in boundary areas without the need for 
coordination; but could require some additional planning between 
licensees to ensure that potential interference does not occur.
    32. In other bands where spectrum has been allocated for fixed and 
mobile services, we have uniformly adopted the boundary limit method to 
minimize co-channel interference. For example, for the PCS and AWS-1 
bands, which are closest in frequency to the H Block, there is a field 
strength limit of 47 dB[mu]V/m at the boundary of licensed geographic 
areas. We propose that the boundary limit approach should be adopted 
for the H Block as the means for protecting licensees from co-channel 
interference at their borders, and propose to specify a boundary field 
strength limit of 47 dB[mu]V/m. We seek comment on these proposals. We 
also ask whether, if the boundary limit method is adopted, we should 
permit licensees operating in adjoining areas to employ alternative, 
agreed-upon signal limits at their common borders.
2. Lower H Block: 1915-1920 MHz
    33. Immediately below the Lower H Block is the 1850-1915 MHz PCS 
band, which is used for mobile transmit/base receive. Use of the Lower 
H Block for mobile transmit/base receive, as we have proposed, would be 
compatible with this adjacent PCS band. Thus there would be no need to 
apply technical standards more restrictive than those established for 
AWS and PCS stations to protect PCS operations below 1915 MHz.
    34. Above the Lower H Block is the 1920-1930 MHz unlicensed PCS 
(UPCS) band, which does not require protection, and the 1930-1995 PCS 
base transmit/mobile receive band. The latter presents protection 
challenges for use of the Lower H Block. The Commission has previously 
concluded that there is potential for mobile transmitters in the 1915-
1920 MHz band to cause out-of-band and overload interference to mobile 
receivers in the 1930-1995 MHz band, but only when certain worst-case 
conditions are all present. Specifically, ``[t]he worst case occurs 
when the mobile transmitter is operating at maximum power (near the 
edge of its service area) at the upper edge of the band (near 1920 MHz) 
and the mobile receiver is trying to receive a weak signal (near the 
edge of its service area) at the lower edge of the band (near 1930 MHz) 
and only free space loss is considered.'' Additionally, both mobiles 
must be in close proximity to each other, less than a few meters, and 
in line-of-sight conditions. The Commission found that the confluence 
of these worst-case circumstances is very infrequent and the risk of 
actual interference is further mitigated by

[[Page 1172]]

normal network management practices such as handoff and power 
management. Nevertheless, the Commission concluded that technical 
standards more restrictive for Lower H Block than those established for 
PCS may be appropriate to avoid impairing incumbent PCS operations 
above 1930 MHz.
    35. The Spectrum Act sharply focuses these concerns by requiring us 
to auction the H Block spectrum unless we determine that the 
frequencies cannot be used without causing harmful interference to 
commercial mobile service licensees in the frequencies between 1930 MHz 
and 1995 MHz (PCS downlink). We therefore wish to review previous 
proposals for Lower H Block power and emissions limits, evaluate how 
the interference environment may have changed since those earlier 
discussions, and determine what limits are appropriate for the current 
environment, and whether they may be increased in the future.
a. Lower H Block Power Limits
    36. Several parties have expressed concern about the potential for 
intermodulation interference, which can result from receiver overload, 
impacting PCS user equipment (UEs) receiving in the PCS B Block (1950-
1965 MHz). In the 2008 FNPRM, the Commission proposed a limit on the 
EIRP from H Block mobile transmitters of +23 dBm/MHz. In response, 
Sprint and Verizon Wireless (both licensees of significant portions of 
PCS including B Block) and Nextel reiterated their 2005 proposal for 
gradated power limits to avoid interference to PCS as follows: A limit 
on mobile EIRP of +6 dBm/MHz in the 1917-1920 MHz band, and a limit of 
+30 dBm/MHz in the 1915-1917 MHz band. This proposal was supported by 
testing of a variety of mobiles commissioned by CTIA in 2004. Sprint 
has repeatedly and recently stated that the H Block can be auctioned 
and licensed without interfering with PCS operations by using these 
earlier-proposed, gradated power limits. AT&T, also a licensee of a 
significant portion of PCS spectrum, including the B Block, did not 
concur with the plan put forth by Sprint, Verizon and Nextel and 
submitted an alternative solution. AT&T proposed a uniform, 
``technologically neutral,'' -13 dBm/MHz power limit on the Lower H 
Block to protect PCS, arguing that the split-band approach favored CDMA 
over GSM and wideband technologies, such as W-CDMA and UMTS/HSPA. In 
response to the AWS-4 NPRM AT&T favored leaving the H Block idle to 
serve as a guard band to protect AWS-4 and PCS. More recently, AT&T 
argues in the alternative that if the Commission proceeds with an 
auction of the entire H Block despite AT&T's concerns, we should adopt 
technical rules to protect PCS devices from harmful interference 
including appropriate power limits on H Block mobiles.
    37. We seek to establish technical requirements that will support 
flexible use of this spectrum in accordance with the Spectrum Act 
without causing harmful interference to PCS licensees. The record in WT 
Docket No. 04-356 was largely developed between four and eight years 
ago. Since then, the mobile broadband industry, including the wireless 
network equipment sector, has undergone a rapid evolution. The 
marketplace has seen greater adoption of wideband technologies such as 
UMTS and LTE, as well as the authorization and launch of PCS services 
in the G Block. Advances in mobile device development have unleashed 
new designs and ushered in the advent of the smartphone. We seek 
comment on how changes in the industry may have affected the 
assumptions underlying previous analyses. How have filtering techniques 
and duplex design improved? Given that the Commission's intentions to 
authorize mobile service in the H Block have been known in the industry 
since at least 2004, have better duplexer filters been employed in user 
equipment? How has the population of mobile devices changed, what is 
the mix of technologies in use in the marketplace, and what is the 
performance of this new generation of devices?
    38. We seek comment on the appropriate power limit for 1915-1920 
MHz mobile devices in order to prevent interference to PCS operations. 
Commenters are asked to submit detailed technical analyses or studies 
in support of their recommendations and are encouraged to provide test 
data wherever possible. The assumptions that underpin the analyses 
should identify how harmful interference is defined. What probability 
of interference is deemed acceptable (what percentage of mobiles, what 
percentage of locations)? For example, the Commission's earlier 
proposal, 23 dBm/MHz, was based on a mobile separation of two meters 
between users, while others argued for a one-meter separation. 
Likewise, is defining harmful interference based on degradation to a 
receiver's noise floor appropriate for a system which is inherently 
interference-limited? If stricter limitations on mobile transmit power 
are deemed necessary to protect current legacy devices, should the 
power limits sunset after a period of time, allowing time for new, more 
resilient mobiles to comprise the bulk of the mobile population? How 
much time will licensees need to obtain and deploy UEs with the better 
filters, if better filters are still needed? How long will consumers' 
legacy UEs need to be protected? We also seek comment on the costs and 
benefits of alternative power limits.
    39. The 1915-1920 MHz band is also allocated for fixed services, so 
fixed stations will be allowed to operate in the band. However, because 
fixed station antennas are generally located some distance above ground 
level, the possibility of interference from fixed stations to PCS 
mobiles will likely be less than the anticipated interference from 
1915-1920 MHz mobiles to PCS mobiles. We therefore believe that 1915-
1920 MHz fixed stations should be permitted to employ a higher power 
level than mobiles operating in that band. We seek comment as to what 
that power level should be.
b. Lower H Block Out of Band Emissions Limits
    40. The Commission has previously concluded that, in certain 
circumstances, attenuating transmitter OOBEs by 43 + 10 
log10 (P) dB is appropriate to minimize harmful 
electromagnetic interference between operators. This limit is generally 
applied in cases where adjacent services have similar characteristics, 
such as base-to-base or mobile-to-mobile and adhere to similar power 
limits. This limit has served well as a basis for development of 
industry standards which may impose tighter limits in some cases. An 
OOBE limit of 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB applies to most of the 
services authorized under parts 24 and 27. In particular, this is the 
limit imposed on transmitters operating in both the 1930-1995 MHz PCS 
band and the 1920-1930 MHz UPCS band adjacent to the Lower H Block. As 
both of these services in adjacent bands provide for mobiles with 
similar power, the same OOBE limit appears appropriate for the Lower H 
Block. The Commission therefore proposes to require attenuation of 43 + 
10 log10 (P) to emissions from transmitters in the 1915-1920 
MHz band.
    41. The risk of mobile-to-mobile interference discussed below may 
require a further OOBE limitation to protect against the potential for 
interference from the out-of band emissions of Lower H Block 
transmitters into PCS mobiles receiving in the 1930-1995 MHz band. 
Currently, the Commission's rules require licensees

[[Page 1173]]

operating in the 1850-1915 MHz PCS band to comply with the 43 + 10 
log10 P dB OOBE limit at the edge of their authorized 
spectrum block. This level of required attenuation of emissions with 
respect to the transmitter power can be translated into a power 
spectral density of -13 dBm/MHz for out-of-band emissions. We are aware 
that PCS-industry standards require equipment manufacturers to 
incorporate a stronger OOBE suppression capability in PCS mobiles. In 
the 2008 FNPRM, the Commission proposed a stricter limit on out of band 
emissions from Lower H Block transmitters of -60 dBm/MHz in the 
frequency range of 1930-1990 MHz (PCS downlink band), equivalent to an 
attenuation of 90 + 10 log10 (P) dB. The joint proposal of 
Sprint, Verizon and Nextel requested a limit of -76 dBm/MHz. Their 
analysis assumed a one-meter separation and mobile receivers operating 
in noise-limited faded signal conditions, and included test data 
commissioned by CTIA. Most of the mobiles tested met this limit. The -
76 dBm/MHz specification is also the industry standard for CDMA devices 
under TIA-98F. Ericsson and Motorola submitted comments supporting the 
use of industry standards as the basis for OOBE limits and cited -61 
dBm/MHz for the GSM Standard, with Motorola citing -76 dBm/MHz for the 
CDMA standard. Ericsson provided a later submission specifically 
supporting a limit of -66 dBm/MHz. Motorola, responding to CTIA's 
measurements, noted the failure of two GSM devices to meet the tighter 
CDMA-based OOBE limits of -76 dBm/MHz and thus advocated a limit of -71 
dBm/100 kHz, which is equivalent to -61 dBm/MHz.
    42. As discussed earlier, there has been considerable technological 
advancement in devices and technologies deployed in the mobile 
broadband industry since this issue was last under review. We note that 
many of the arguments for proposed OOBE limits were linked to industry 
standards at the time. The 3GPP standard for emerging 4G technology 
allows for a higher level of OOBE, generally -50 dBm/MHz in most bands, 
but has implemented a limit of -40 dBm/MHz in several bands. The 
current LTE standards for the use in PCS requires mobiles in 1850-1915 
MHz to meet a limit of -50 dBm/MHz in 1930-1995 MHz. In this and the 
concurrent AWS-4 proceeding, Sprint has expressed support for an OOBE 
limit of -40 dBm/MHz from AWS-4 transmitters into the PCS downlink band 
at 1930-1995 MHz. In the AWS-4 Report and Order we apply the limit of 
70 + 10 log10(P) dB, which is equivalent to -40 dBm/MHz, to 
all emissions below 2000 MHz. We believe that the current capabilities 
for mobile device manufacturers will support this level of tolerance 
for interference. Given that other operations may already be imposing 
out-of-band emissions at the -40 dBm/MHz level, should the Commission 
adopt this limit specifically for Lower H Block emissions in the 1930-
1995 MHz range?
    43. The consensus from the record developed in WT Docket No. 04-356 
supports the creation of a specific OOBE limit for emissions from Lower 
H Block transmitters into the 1930-1995 MHz band, even though no other 
PCS mobiles are subject to such tighter limits in this band. We seek 
comment on the appropriate OOBE limit for the Lower H Block necessary 
to prevent interference to PCS operations. Commenters are asked to 
submit detailed technical analyses or studies in support of their 
recommendations and are encouraged to provide test data wherever 
possible. As with comments regarding power limits, the assumptions that 
underpin the analyses should identify how harmful interference is 
defined. What probability of interference is deemed acceptable (what 
percentage of mobiles, what percentage of locations)? For example, the 
Commission's earlier proposal was based on a mobile separation of two 
meters between users, while others argued for a one-meter separation. 
Commenters should also discuss if certain limits favor or prohibit 
certain technologies, and are therefore not technologically neutral. 
For example, would imposing a limit of -76 dBm/MHz favor CDMA2000 over 
LTE, because CDMA2000 specifies -76 dBm/MHz for this band, while LTE 
specifies only -50 dBm/MHz? If stricter limitations on OOBE are deemed 
necessary to protect current legacy devices, should these limits sunset 
after a period of time, allowing time for new, more resilient mobiles 
to comprise the bulk of the mobile population? How much time will 
licensees need to obtain and deploy UEs with the better filters? How 
long will consumers' legacy UEs need to be protected? We also seek 
comment on the costs and benefits of alternative OOBE limits.
    44. To fully define an emissions limit, the Commission's rules 
generally specify details on how to measure the power of the emissions, 
such as the measurement bandwidth. For the Broadband PCS band, the 
measurement bandwidth used to determine compliance with this limit for 
mobile stations is one MHz or greater, with some modification in the 
one-MHz bands immediately outside and adjacent to the frequency block 
where a resolution bandwidth of at least one percent of the emission 
bandwidth of the fundamental emission of the transmitter may be 
employed. We believe that it is reasonable to apply this same procedure 
to transmissions in the 1915-1920 MHz band.
3. Canadian and Mexican Coordination
    45. Section 27.57(c) of our rules provides that AWS-1 operations 
are subject to international agreements with Mexico and Canada. We 
propose to use this approach for the H Block. Until such time as any 
adjusted agreements between the United States, Mexico and/or Canada can 
be agreed to, operations must not cause harmful interference across the 
border, consistent with the terms of the agreements currently in force. 
We note that our proposed rules, and any rules that may ultimately 
become effective pursuant to the above-captioned proceeding, may need 
to be modified to comply with any future agreements with Canada and 
Mexico regarding the use of the H Block. We seek comment on this issue, 
including the costs and benefits, and on any alternative approaches to 
this issue.
4. Other Technical Issues
    46. Part 27 contains several additional technical rules applicable 
to all part 27 services, including Sec.  27.51 (Equipment 
authorization), Sec.  27.52 (RF safety), Sec.  27.54 (Frequency 
stability), Sec.  27.56 (Antennas structures; air navigation safety), 
and Sec.  27.63 (Disturbance of AM broadcast station antenna patterns). 
As we are proposing to license the H Block as Advanced Wireless 
Services under part 27, we propose that all of these part 27 technical 
rules should apply to all H Block licenses and licensees, including 
licensees who acquire their licenses through partitioning or 
disaggregation. We seek comment on this approach including comments on 
the associated costs and benefits.
    47. We recognize that H Block, governed under part 27 rules, is 
adjacent to Broadband PCS spectrum administered under part 24. The 
adjacent blocks are harmonized with the same uplink/downlink 
configuration. It is possible that the licensee of a PCS G Block 
geographic area may also acquire the authorization for the adjoining H 
Block through the competitive bidding process. In that event, the 
licensee may wish to deploy a wider channel bandwidth operating across 
both bands, and we believe that such flexibility is appropriate. For 
one thing, wider channel bandwidths may provide higher data rates and 
potentially more efficient use of the spectrum. The potential for

[[Page 1174]]

this situation raises questions about the possible effects of the 
combined blocks operating under different rule parts. Under the 
technical rules proposed herein, the limits on OOBE and power are 
similar, but not precisely the same. We anticipate that the licensee's 
combined operations should satisfy the more restrictive limit if a 
conflict arises. For example, an OOBE limit of 43 + 10 log10 
(P) dB applies to both the Upper G Block and the Upper H block. 
However, the Upper H Block has an additional requirement to meet an 
OOBE limit of 70 + 10 log10 (P) dB above 2005 MHz. The 
combined operations of both blocks would still need to meet this 
tighter restriction above 2005 MHz. We further propose that to the 
extent a service provider establishes unified operations across the 
adjacent blocks, the operator may choose not to observe emission limits 
strictly between its adjacent block licenses in a geographic area, so 
long as it complies with other Commission rules and is not adversely 
affecting the operations of other parties by virtue of exceeding the 
emission limit. We seek comment on this observation. We also seek 
comment to identify potential conflicts between the two rule parts 
under this scenario and proposals on how they could be reconciled. 
Commenters should discuss and quantify any costs and benefits 
associated with such combined operations and any effects on 
competition, innovation and investment.

D. Cost Sharing

1. 1915-1920 MHz Band
    48. The 1915-1920 MHz band is a subset of a larger band at 1910-
1930 MHz that is allocated for Fixed and Mobile services on a primary 
basis. In 1993, the Commission designated the 1910-1930 MHz band for 
use by Unlicensed Personal Communications Service (UPCS) devices. Prior 
to 1993, the 1910-1930 MHz band was allocated for Fixed services and 
used for fixed point to point microwave links. To facilitate the 
introduction of UPCS systems, the Commission designated the Unlicensed 
PCS Ad Hoc Committee for 2 GHz Microwave Transition and Management (now 
known as ``UTAM, Inc.'') as the sole entity to coordinate and manage 
the transition. In accordance with the Commission's policies 
established in the Emerging Technologies proceeding, UTAM subsequently 
relocated virtually all of the incumbent microwave links, thereby 
clearing the 1910-1930 MHz band for use by UPCS systems.
    49. In 2003, the Commission sought comment on re-designating all or 
a portion of the 1910-1920 MHz segment for AWS use. In 2004, the 
Commission re-designated the 1910-1915 MHz band from the UPCS to Fixed 
and Mobile services and assigned that spectrum to Sprint Nextel, Inc. 
(``Sprint'') as replacement spectrum for Sprint's operations being 
relocated from the 800 MHz band. Shortly thereafter, the Commission re-
designated the 1915-1920 MHz band from UPCS for use by licensed AWS 
operations. In so doing, the Commission acknowledged that ``UTAM must 
be fully and fairly reimbursed for relocating incumbent microwave users 
in this band'' and agreed ``that UTAM should be made whole for the 
investments it has made in clearing the UPCS bands.'' Relative to the 
Lower H Block, the Commission specifically concluded that ``UTAM is 
entitled to reimbursement of twenty-five percent--on a pro-rata basis--
of the total costs it has incurred, including its future payment 
obligations for links it has relocated, as of the date that a new 
entrant gains access to the 1915-1920 MHz spectrum band.'' The 
Commission also determined that AWS licensees would be required to pay 
their portion of the 25 percent of costs prior to commencement of their 
operations.
    50. In the AWS-2 NPRM, the Commission requested comments on methods 
for apportioning the relocation costs among H Block licensees, 
including what method of allocating relocation costs would be most 
advantageous to reimbursing UTAM and for providing certainty for 
bidders. The AWS-2 NPRM also sought comment on what rules should govern 
the allocation of relocation costs among multiple AWS licensees in the 
1915-1920 MHz band. Because UTAM requested that reimbursement payments 
from AWS licensees be due as a precondition to the granting of a 
license, the Commission sought comment on whether it would be 
advantageous to require AWS licensees to reimburse UTAM for its band 
clearing costs ``earlier than the commencement of actual service.'' To 
the extent that the Commission opted not to do so, the Commission also 
sought comment on whether it should specify when AWS entrants will be 
considered to have commenced operations.
    51. In deciding how to apportion UTAM's reimbursement among H Block 
licensees in the 1915-1920 MHz band, we believe it is important to 
provide auction bidders with reasonable certainty as to the range of 
the reimbursement obligation associated with each license under various 
auction outcomes. We also believe it is important for UTAM to be fully 
reimbursed as soon as possible given that UTAM cleared the band over 
ten years ago. Accordingly, we propose to require H Block licensees to 
pay a pro rata amount of the 25 percent owed to UTAM based on the gross 
winning bids of the initial H Block auction. Specifically, we propose 
that the reimbursement amount owed (``RN'') be determined by dividing 
the gross winning bid (``GWB'') for an H Block license (i.e., an 
individual EA) by the sum of the gross winning bids for all H Block 
licenses won in the initial auction and then multiplying by 
$12,629,857. In other words, the cost-sharing formula would read as 
follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JA13.011

    52. This formula would ensure that UTAM receives full reimbursement 
after the first auction by effectively apportioning the reimbursement 
costs associated with any unsold H Block licenses among the winning 
bidders of H Block licenses in the first auction--with an exception in 
the event a successful bidder's long-form application is not filed or 
granted, and a contingency to cover an unlikely scenario. We further 
propose that winning bidders of H Block licenses in the first auction 
of this spectrum would not have a right to seek reimbursement from 
other H Block licensees including for licenses awarded in subsequent 
auctions. We believe this approach would avoid recordkeeping burdens 
and potential disputes and that it is appropriate given that--in the 
event that most licenses are awarded--the reimbursement obligation for 
an individual license will represent but a fraction of overall 
reimbursement to UTAM. We seek comment on our proposals including the 
following

[[Page 1175]]

contingency: in the unlikely event that licenses covering less than 40 
percent of the population of the United States are awarded in the first 
auction, we propose that winning bidders--in the first auction of this 
spectrum as well as in subsequent auctions--will be required to timely 
pay UTAM their pro rata share calculated by dividing the population of 
the individual EA awarded at auction by the total U.S. population and 
then multiplying by $12,629,857. This contingent proposal would ensure 
that UTAM is reimbursed as soon as possible while also protecting 
winning bidders of H Block licenses from bearing an undue burden of the 
reimbursement obligation due to UTAM. We seek comment on our proposal.
    53. Alternatively, we specifically seek comment on the relative 
costs and benefits of adopting a population based cost-sharing formula 
as the general rule for the H Block. We acknowledge that using a 
population based approach in all events would offer bidders certainty 
as to the obligation attached to each license but this approach could 
also defer UTAM's full reimbursement indefinitely if less than all of 
the licenses are awarded during the initial auction.
    54. We further propose that winning bidders promptly pay UTAM the 
amount owed, as calculated pursuant to the formula that we adopt, 
within 30 days of grant of their long form applications for the 
licenses. For PCS and AWS-1, and AWS-4, cost sharing obligations are 
triggered when a licensee proposes to operate a base station in an area 
cleared of incumbents by another licensee. In this case, however, 
UTAM's members received no benefit for clearing the Lower H Block 
nationwide over ten years ago, and the Commission determined in 2003 
that the new PCS/AWS licensees entering the band would reap the 
benefits of UTAM's efforts and that UTAM should be fully reimbursed. 
Moreover, as noted above, given the relative fraction of overall 
reimbursement to UTAM that will be owed by each winning bidder, we 
believe that it will not disincentivize parties from filing 
applications or impose a burden on winning bidders to reimburse UTAM 
within 30 days of the grant of their long-form applications. We seek 
comment on the above proposals, including the costs and benefits.
2. 1995-2000 MHz Band
    55. The 1995-2000 MHz band is part of the 1990-2025 MHz band that 
the Commission reallocated from the Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) 
to emerging technologies such as PCS, AWS, and MSS. Consistent with the 
relocation principles established by the Commission, each new entrant 
had an independent responsibility to relocate incumbent BAS licensees. 
In addition, as a general rule, the Commission's traditional cost-
sharing principles are applicable to the 1990-2025 MHz band. Sprint, 
which is the PCS licensee at 1990-1995 MHz, completed the BAS 
transition for the entire 35 megahertz in 2010. In 2011, Sprint 
notified the Commission that it entered in a private settlement with 
DISH to resolve the dispute with MSS licensees with respect to MSS 
licensees' obligation to reimburse Sprint for their share of the BAS 
relocation costs. Accordingly, the only remaining cost-sharing 
obligations in the 1990-2025 MHz band are attributable to the 
remaining, unassigned ten megahertz of spectrum in the 1990-2025 MHz 
band: 1995-2000 MHz and 2020-2025 MHz.
    56. In the AWS Sixth Report and Order, the Commission determined 
that all new entrants to the 1990-2025 MHz band may be required to bear 
a proportional share of the costs incurred in the BAS clearance, on a 
pro rata basis according to the amount of spectrum each licensee is 
assigned. However, the Commission did not decide specifically how to 
allocate that share. In the AWS-2 NPRM, the Commission sought comment 
on how the reimbursement rights and obligations of each AWS licensee 
could be most efficiently and equitably allocated if the H Block were 
licensed on a geographic area basis other than as a nationwide license. 
To the extent that not all spectrum in the 1990-2025 MHz band would 
have been licensed, the Commission sought comment on whether to require 
those entrants who are licensed at that time to bear a pro rata share 
of the relocation costs based on the amount of spectrum they have been 
assigned relative to the amount of 1990-2025 MHz spectrum that has been 
licensed. In addition, the Commission also sought comment on whether to 
impose reimbursement obligations on later arriving new entrants, on the 
appropriate length of such an obligation, and on the mechanism for 
applying those obligations.
    57. Consistent with the Commission's intent that all entrants to 
the 1990-2025 MHz band bear a proportional share of the costs incurred 
in the BAS clearance on a pro rata basis according to the amount of 
spectrum each entrant is assigned, H Block licensees will be 
responsible for reimbursing Sprint for one-seventh of the BAS 
relocation costs (i.e., the proportional share of the costs associated 
with Sprint relocating 5 megahertz of BAS spectrum that will be used by 
H Block entrants). We believe it is important to provide auction 
bidders with reasonable certainty as to the range of the reimbursement 
obligation associated with each license under various auction outcomes. 
We also believe it is important for Sprint to be fully reimbursed as 
soon as possible given that Sprint cleared the H Block so H Block 
licensees will receive unencumbered spectrum. Accordingly, we propose 
to require H Block licensees to reimburse Sprint based on the gross 
winning bids of the initial H Block auction. Specifically, we propose 
that the reimbursement amount owed (``RN'') be determined by dividing 
the gross winning bid (``GWB'') for an H Block license (i.e., an 
individual EA) by the sum of the gross winning bids for all H Block 
licenses won in the initial auction and then multiplying by 
$94,875,516. In other words, the cost-sharing formula would read as 
follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JA13.012

Because certain EAs, such as for the Gulf of Mexico, have a relative 
value that is not directly tied to population, our proposal seeks to 
allow the market to determine the value of each EA license and the 
associated amount of the reimbursement obligation. However, parties can 
comment on alternative cost-sharing formulas, including one based on 
population as described below. We seek comment on our proposals.
    58. This formula would ensure that Sprint receives full 
reimbursement after the first auction by effectively apportioning the 
reimbursement costs associated with any unsold H Block licenses among 
the winning bidders of

[[Page 1176]]

H Block licenses in the first auction--with an exception in the event a 
successful bidder's long-form application is not filed or granted, and 
a contingency to cover an unlikely scenario. We further propose that 
winning bidders of H Block licenses in the first auction of this 
spectrum would not have a right to seek reimbursement from other H 
Block licensees including for licenses awarded in subsequent auctions. 
We believe this approach would avoid recordkeeping burdens and 
potential disputes and that it is appropriate given that--in the event 
that most licenses are awarded--the reimbursement obligation for an 
individual license will represent but a fraction of overall 
reimbursement to Sprint. We seek comment on our proposals including the 
following contingency: In the unlikely event that licenses covering 
less than 40 percent of the population of the United States are awarded 
in the first auction, we propose that winning bidders--in the first 
auction of this spectrum as well as in subsequent auctions--will be 
required to timely pay Sprint their pro rata share calculated by 
dividing the population of the individual EA awarded at auction by the 
total U.S. population and then multiplying by $94,875,516. This 
contingent proposal would ensure that Sprint is reimbursed as soon as 
possible while also protecting winning bidders of H Block licenses from 
bearing an undue burden of the reimbursement obligation due to Sprint. 
We seek comment on our proposal.
    59. Alternatively, we specifically seek comment on the relative 
costs and benefits of adopting a population based cost-sharing formula 
as the general rule for the H Block. We acknowledge that using a 
population based approach in all events would offer bidders certainty 
as to the obligation attached to each license but this approach could 
also defer Sprint's full reimbursement indefinitely if less than all of 
the licenses are awarded during the initial auction.
    60. We further propose that winning bidders promptly pay Sprint the 
amount owed, as calculated pursuant to the formula that we adopt, 
within 30 days of grant of their long form applications for the 
licenses. For PCS and AWS-1, and AWS-4, cost sharing obligations are 
triggered when a licensee proposes to operate a base station in an area 
cleared of incumbents by another licensee. In this case, rather than 
Sprint itself benefiting from its band clearing efforts, other entrants 
in the band will reap the benefits of Sprint's efforts. Accordingly, we 
find no significant reason to treat Sprint any differently than UTAM 
and propose that Sprint be fully reimbursed by AWS licensees that will 
benefit from Sprint's clearing of the H Block. Moreover, as noted 
above, given the relative fraction of overall reimbursement to Sprint 
that will be owed by each winning bidder, we believe that it will not 
disincentivize parties from filing applications or impose a burden on 
winning bidders to reimburse Sprint within 30 days of the grant of 
their long-form applications. We seek comment on the above proposals, 
including the costs and benefits.
    61. Consistent with precedent, we propose a specific date on which 
the reimbursement obligation adopted above will terminate. In recent 
instances, the relocation and cost-sharing obligations sunset ten years 
after the first ET license is issued in the respective band. To the 
extent that Sprint had not completed the relocation of BAS from the 
1990-2025 MHz band, BAS operations in the band would have become 
secondary after December 9, 2013. However, in this instance, we do not 
believe that the public interest would be served by adopting December 
9, 2013 as the sunset date for terminating the requirement that H Block 
licensees collectively reimburse Sprint for one-seventh of the BAS 
relocation costs. Rather, we propose a sunset date for the cost-sharing 
obligations of H Block licensees to Sprint that is ten years after the 
first H Block license is issued in the band. We find that a number of 
factors support our proposal. As discussed above, Sprint relocated BAS 
incumbents from the 1995-2000 MHz band, even though H Block licensees 
and not Sprint itself will reap the benefits of Sprint's relocation of 
BAS. In addition, the integrated nature of BAS operations required 
relocations on a market-by-market basis, and such a requirement would 
have imposed significant costs on individual H Block entrants because 
isolated, link-by-link relocation was infeasible. It therefore served 
the public interest for Sprint to undertake the relocation on an 
integrated, nationwide basis. Because H Block licenses have yet to be 
auctioned and because interested applicants will be able to calculate 
their reimbursement obligation to Sprint in bidding on licenses, we do 
not believe that our proposal imposes a burden on the winning bidders 
of H Block licenses. We seek comment on our proposed sunset date, 
including the costs and benefits.

E. Regulatory Issues; Licensing and Operating Rules

    62. We are proposing licensing and operating rules that will 
provide H Block licensees with the flexibility to provide any fixed or 
mobile service that is consistent with the allocations for this 
spectrum. Specifically, we are seeking comment on the appropriate 
license term, criteria for renewal, and other licensing and operating 
rules pertaining to the H Block. In addition, we seek comment on the 
potential impact of all of our proposals on competition. In addressing 
these issues, commenters should discuss the costs and benefits 
associated with these proposals and any alternative that commenters 
propose.
1. Regulatory Status
    63. We propose to apply the regulatory status provisions of Sec.  
27.10 of the Commission's rules to licensees in the H Block. The 
Commission's current mobile service license application requires an 
applicant for mobile services to identify the regulatory status of the 
service(s) it intends to provide because service offerings may bear on 
eligibility and other statutory and regulatory requirements. Under part 
27, the Commission permits applicants who may wish to provide both 
common carrier and non-common carrier services (or to switch between 
them) under a single license to request status as both a common carrier 
and a non-common carrier. Thus, a part 27 applicant is not required to 
choose between providing common carrier and non-common carrier 
services. We propose to adopt this same approach here. Licensees in the 
H Block would be able to provide all allowable services anywhere within 
their licensed area at any time, consistent with their regulatory 
status. We believe that this approach is likely to achieve efficiencies 
in the licensing and administrative process, and provide flexibility to 
the marketplace. We seek comment on the appropriate licensing approach 
and ask that commenters discuss the costs and benefits of their 
proposed licensing approach.
    64. We further propose that applicants and licensees in the H Block 
be required to indicate a regulatory status for any services they 
choose to provide. Apart from this designation of regulatory status, we 
do not propose to require applicants to describe the services they seek 
to provide. We caution potential applicants that an election to provide 
service on a common carrier basis typically requires that the elements 
of common carriage be present; otherwise the applicant must choose non-
common carrier status. If potential applicants are

[[Page 1177]]

unsure of the nature of their services and their classification as 
common carrier services, they may submit a petition with their 
applications, or at any time, requesting clarification and including 
service descriptions for that purpose. We propose to apply this 
framework to H Block licensees and seek comment on this proposal, 
including the costs and benefits of this proposal.
    65. We also propose that if a licensee were to change the service 
or services it offers such that it would be inconsistent with its 
regulatory status, the licensee must notify the Commission. A change in 
a licensee's regulatory status would not require prior Commission 
authorization, provided the licensee was in compliance with the foreign 
ownership requirements of section 310(b) of the Communications Act that 
would apply as a result of the change, consistent with the Commission's 
rules for AWS-1 spectrum. Consistent with our part 27 rules, we propose 
to require licensees to file the notification within 30 days of a 
change made without the need for prior Commission approval, except that 
a different time period may apply where the change results in the 
discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of the existing service. We 
seek comment on this proposal, including the costs and benefits.
2. Ownership Restrictions
a. Foreign Ownership Reporting
    66. We propose to apply the provisions of Sec.  27.12 of the 
Commission's rules to applicants for licenses in the H Block. Section 
27.12 implements section 310 of the Communications Act, including 
foreign ownership and citizenship requirements that restrict the 
issuance of licenses to certain applicants. An applicant requesting 
authorization to provide services in this band other than broadcast, 
common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed services 
would be subject to the restrictions in section 310(a), but not to the 
additional restrictions in section 310(b). An applicant requesting 
authorization for broadcast, common carrier, aeronautical en route, or 
aeronautical fixed services would be subject to both sections 310(a) 
and 310(b). We do not believe that applicants for this band should be 
subject to different obligations in reporting their foreign ownership 
based on the type of service authorization requested in the 
application. Consequently, we propose to require all applicants to 
provide the same foreign ownership information, which covers both 
sections 310(a) and 310(b), regardless of which service they propose to 
provide in the band. We note, however, that we would be unlikely to 
deny a license to an applicant requesting to provide exclusively 
services that are not subject to section 310(b), solely because its 
foreign ownership would disqualify it from receiving a license if the 
applicant had applied for authority to provide such services. However, 
if any such licensee later desires to provide any services that are 
subject to the restrictions in section 310(b) we would require the 
licensee to apply to the Commission for an amended license, and we 
would consider issues related to foreign ownership at that time. We 
request comment on this proposal, including any costs and benefits.
b. Eligibility and Mobile Spectrum Holding Policies
    67. We propose to adopt an open eligibility standard for the H 
Block. We believe that adopting such a standard should encourage 
efforts to develop new technologies, products and services, while 
helping to ensure efficient use of this spectrum. An open eligibility 
standard is consistent with the Commission's past practice for mobile 
wireless spectrum allocations, as well as with section 6404 of the 
Spectrum Act. We seek comment on our open eligibility approach.
    68. We note that an open eligibility approach would not affect 
citizenship, character, or other generally applicable qualifications 
that may apply under our rules. Additionally, section 6004 of the 
Spectrum Act restricts participation in auctions required under the 
Spectrum Act, which includes the H Block, by ``person[s] who [have] 
been, for reasons of national security, barred by any agency of the 
Federal Government from bidding on a contract, participating in an 
auction, or receiving a grant.'' We seek comment on our proposal to 
address this issue in the competitive bidding procedures section below. 
Further, as the Commission observed in the Incentive Auction NPRM, 
Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through 
Incentive Auctions, 77 FR 69934 (Nov. 21, 2012) (Incentive Auction 
NPRM), section 6004 does not address eligibility to acquire licenses on 
the secondary market from the initial or subsequent licensee. We seek 
comment on whether section 6004 permits or requires the Commission to 
restrict eligibility of the persons described therein to acquire 
licenses in the secondary market, and whether and to what extent such 
restriction is consistent with other provisions of the Communications 
Act. If such restrictions should be implemented, should we do so by 
requiring certifications in applications similar to those required 
under our rules for enforcement of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988? 
Would it be permissible and appropriate to address such situations on a 
case-by-case basis in light of the specific facts and circumstances? 
Should we apply the same attribution rules in doing so, where the 
relevant person is not the sole owner of the proposed licensee?
    69. We seek comment generally on whether and how to address any 
mobile spectrum holdings issues involving H Block spectrum in order to 
meet our statutory requirements and our goals for the H Block. Section 
309(j)(3)(B) of the Communications Act provides that in designing 
systems of competitive bidding, the Commission shall ``promot[e] 
economic opportunity and competition and ensur[e] that new and 
innovative technologies are readily accessible to the American people 
by avoiding excessive concentration of licenses.'' More recently, 
section 6404 of the Spectrum Act recognizes the Commission's authority 
``to adopt and enforce rules of general applicability, including rules 
concerning spectrum aggregation that promote competition.'' We note 
that we recently initiated a proceeding to revisit the mobile spectrum 
holdings policies that apply to both transactions and auctions. In the 
past, the Commission has sought comment on these issues with respect to 
particular spectrum bands prior to auctioning spectrum licenses.
    70. We seek comment on whether the acquisition of H Block spectrum 
should be subject to the same general mobile spectrum holding policies 
applicable to frequency bands that the Commission has determined to be 
available and suitable for wireless services. Alternatively, depending 
on the specific rules and requirements that apply to H Block spectrum, 
should we distinguish H Block spectrum for purposes of evaluating 
mobile spectrum holdings? Commenters should discuss and quantify any 
costs and benefits associated with any proposals on the applicability 
of spectrum holdings policies to H Block spectrum.
3. License Term, Performance Requirements, Renewal Criteria, Permanent 
Discontinuance of Operations
a. License Term
    71. We propose to establish a 10-year term for licenses for the H 
Block. The Communications Act does not specify a term limit for AWS 
band licenses. The

[[Page 1178]]

Commission has adopted 10-year license terms for most wireless radio 
services licenses. To maintain this consistency among wireless 
services, in the AWS-2 NPRM, the Commission proposed that H Block 
licenses have a term of 10 years. We continue to believe that a 10-year 
license term is appropriate, and consequently propose, a 10 year 
license term for the H Block spectrum. We seek comment on this 
proposal, including any costs and benefits of the proposal. In 
addition, we invite commenters to submit alternate proposals for the 
appropriate license term, which should similarly include a discussion 
on the costs and benefits.
    72. Under our license term proposal, if a license in these bands is 
partitioned or disaggregated, any partitionee or disaggregatee would be 
authorized to hold its license for the remainder of the partitioner's 
or disaggregator's original license term. This approach is similar to 
the partitioning provisions the Commission adopted for BRS, for 
broadband PCS licensees, for the 700 MHz band licensees, and for AWS-1 
licenses at 1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz, and AWS-4. We emphasize 
that nothing in our proposal is intended to enable a licensee, by 
partitioning or disaggregating the license, to confer greater rights 
than it was awarded under the terms of its license grant. Similarly, 
nothing in our proposal is intended to enable any partitionee or 
disaggregatee to obtain rights in excess of those previously possessed 
by the underlying licensee. We seek comment on these proposals, 
including the cost and benefits thereof.
b. Performance Requirements
    73. The Commission establishes performance requirements to promote 
the efficient deployment of wireless services, including to rural 
areas, and ensure that spectrum is used. Over the years, the Commission 
has applied different performance and construction requirements to 
different spectrum bands. For example, within four (4) years, an AWS-4 
licensee must provide reliable terrestrial signal coverage and offer 
terrestrial service to at least forty (40) percent of its total AWS-4 
population. Within seven (7) years, an AWS-4 licensee must provide 
reliable terrestrial signal coverage and offer terrestrial service to 
at least seventy (70) percent of the population in each of its license 
areas. Similarly, for licensees operating in the 2.3 GHz Wireless 
Communications Services (WCS) band, the Commission adopted performance 
requirements that included a population-based construction requirements 
(40 percent of the license area's population within four (4) years and 
75 percent within six-and-a-half (6.5) years) and reporting 
requirements. In the AWS-2 NPRM, the Commission broadly sought comment 
on whether it should establish any specific performance requirements in 
the H Block, including interim performance requirements.
    74. Today, we continue to believe that performance requirements 
play a critical role in ensuring that licensed spectrum does not lie 
fallow, and now propose to establish the following performance 
requirements. We seek comment on the following buildout requirements 
for the H Block:
     H Block Interim Buildout Requirement: Within four (4) 
years, an H Block licensee shall provide signal coverage and offer 
service to at least forty (40) percent of the population in each of its 
license areas.
     H Block Final Buildout Requirement: By the end of the 
license term, i.e., within ten (10) years, an H Block licensee shall 
provide signal coverage and offer service to at least seventy (70) 
percent of the population in each of its license areas.
    75. We propose these performance requirements in an effort to 
foster deployment expeditiously in the H Block for the provision of 
wireless, terrestrial broadband service, and to enable the Commission 
to take appropriate corrective action should such deployment fail to 
occur. Specifically, the interim benchmark at four years would ensure 
that a licensee begins deploying facilities quickly, thereby evidencing 
meaningful utilization of the spectrum. At the same time, by proposing 
a relatively low population threshold in the interim benchmark, we 
acknowledge that large-scale network deployment may ramp up over time 
as equipment becomes available and a customer base is established. In 
addition, by proposing a final buildout requirement timeline of ten 
years, we believe we allow a reasonable amount of time for any H Block 
licensee to attain nationwide scale.
    76. We seek comment on these proposed buildout requirements. We 
encourage comment on whether our proposals represent the appropriate 
balance between requirements that are too low as to not result in 
meaningful buildout and those that would be so high as to be 
unattainable. We also seek comment on whether other benchmarks 
represent more appropriate requirements? Commenters should discuss and 
quantify how any supported buildout requirements will affect investment 
and innovation as well as discuss and quantify other costs and benefits 
associated with the proposal.
    77. Agreements between H Block and AWS-4 licensees. In the AWS-4 
Report and Order, we permit AWS-4 licensees to enter into private 
operator-to-operator agreements with all 1995-2000 MHz licensees to so 
that AWS-4 operations above 2000 MHz may have an OOBE level in excess 
of 70 + 10 log10(P) dB into the 1995-2000 MHz band. In the 
event that an AWS-4 licensee reaches such an agreement with all 1995-
2000 MHz licensees, should the H Block licensees' performance 
requirements be reduced or eliminated because accepting a higher OOBE 
level increases the use of the 2000-2005 MHz band? Implementing such an 
approach would enable a market-based solution for AWS-4 licensees who 
seek to remove technical rules designed to protect the H Block, by 
allowing them to acquire H Block licenses at auction (or, later, on the 
secondary market) and prioritize deployment of AWS-4 over H Block.
    78. Penalties for Failure to Meet Construction Requirements. Along 
with construction benchmarks, we seek to adopt meaningful and 
enforceable consequences, or penalties, for failing to meet the 
benchmarks. Building on what we have learned from other bands and 
considering the unique characteristics of the H Block, we propose and 
seek comment, including on the costs and benefits, of the following 
penalties in the event an H Block licensee fails to satisfy its 
buildout requirements:
     In the event an H Block licensee fails to meet the H Block 
Interim Buildout Requirement in its license area, the term of the 
license shall be reduced by two years.
     In the event an H Block licensee fails to meet the H Block 
Final Buildout Requirement in its license area, the H Block license for 
each license area in which it fails to meet the buildout requirement 
shall terminate automatically without Commission action.
    79. We further propose that, in the event a licensee's authority to 
operate terminates, the licensee's spectrum rights would become 
available for reassignment pursuant to the competitive bidding 
provisions of section 309(j). Further, consistent with the Commission's 
rules for other spectrum bands, including AWS-1 and the Broadband Radio 
Service, we propose that any H Block licensee who forfeits its license 
for failure to meet its performance requirements would be precluded 
from regaining the license.
    80. Compliance Procedures. Consistent with Sec.  1.946(d) of the 
Commission's rules, we propose to

[[Page 1179]]

require H Block licensees to demonstrate compliance with the 
performance requirements by filing a construction notification within 
15 days of the relevant milestone certifying that they have met the 
applicable performance benchmark. Further, we propose that each 
construction notification include electronic coverage maps and 
supporting documentation, which must be truthful and accurate and must 
not omit material information that is necessary for the Commission to 
determine compliance with its performance requirements.
    81. Electronic coverage maps must accurately depict the boundaries 
of each license area in the licensee's service territory. If a licensee 
does not provide reliable signal coverage to an entire license area, we 
propose that its map must accurately depict the boundaries of the area 
or areas within each license area not being served. Further, we propose 
that each licensee also must file supporting documentation certifying 
the type of service it is providing for each licensed area within its 
service territory and the type of technology used to provide such 
service. Supporting documentation must include the assumptions used to 
create the coverage maps, including the propagation model and the 
signal strength necessary to provide reliable service with the 
licensee's technology.
c. Renewal Criteria
    82. Pursuant to section 308(b) of the Communications Act, the 
Commission may require renewal applicants to ``set forth such facts as 
the Commission by regulation may prescribe as to the citizenship, 
character, and financial, technical, and other qualifications of the 
applicant to operate the station'' as well as ``such other information 
as it may require.'' We propose to adopt H Block license renewal 
requirements consistent with those adopted in the 700 MHz First Report 
and Order and the AWS-4 Report and Order, which form the basis of the 
renewal paradigm proposed in our Wireless Radio Services Renewal NPRM. 
See Service Rules for the 698-746, 747-762 and 777-792 MHz Bands, 72 FR 
24238 (May 2, 2007) (700 MHz First Report and Order); AWS-4 Report and 
Order; Amendment of parts 1, 22, 24, 27, 74, 80, 90, 95, and 101 To 
Establish Uniform License Renewal, Discontinuance of Operation, and 
Geographic Partitioning and Spectrum Disaggregation Rules and Policies 
for Certain Wireless Radio Services, 75 FR 38959 (July 7, 2010) (WRS 
Renewal NPRM and Order). We emphasize that, as the Commission made 
clear in these proceedings, a licensee's performance showing and its 
renewal showing are two distinct showings. A performance showing 
provides a snapshot in time of the level of a licensee's service, while 
a renewal showing provides information regarding the level and types of 
service provided over the entire license term.
    83. We propose that applicants for renewal of H Block licenses file 
a ``renewal showing,'' in which they demonstrate that they have 
provided, and are continuing to provide, service to the public, and 
that they are compliant with the Communications Act and the 
Commission's rules and policies. In the 700 MHz First Report and Order, 
the Commission explained that in the renewal context, the Commission 
considers ``a variety of factors including the level and quality of 
service, whether service was ever interrupted or discontinued, whether 
service has been provided to rural areas, and any other factors 
associated with a licensee's level of service to the public.'' As we 
adopted in the AWS-4 Report and Order, we also propose to consider the 
extent to which service is provided to qualifying tribal lands. We 
propose that these same factors should be considered when evaluating 
renewal showings for the H Block and seek comment on this approach. 
Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of this 
approach.
    84. As explained above, today we are proposing that H Block 
licensees meet four and ten-year performance obligations. We therefore 
seek comment on whether the public interest would be served by awarding 
H Block licensees renewal expectancies where they maintain the level of 
service demonstrated at the ten year performance benchmark through the 
end of their license term, provided that they have otherwise complied 
with the Communications Act and the Commission's rules and policies 
during their license term. We also seek comment on whether H Block 
licensees should obtain a renewal expectancy for subsequent license 
terms, if they continue to provide at least the level of service 
demonstrated at the ten year performance benchmark through the end of 
any subsequent license terms. Commenters should discuss and quantify 
the costs and benefits of this approach.
    85. Finally, consistent with the AWS-4 Report and Order, the 700 
MHz First Report and Order and the WRS Renewals NPRM and Order, we 
propose to prohibit the filing of mutually exclusive renewal 
applications, and that if a license is not renewed, the associated 
spectrum would be returned to the Commission for reassignment. We seek 
comment on these proposals, including on the associated costs and 
benefits.
d. Permanent Discontinuance of Operations
    86. We also request comment on the Commission's rules governing the 
permanent discontinuance of operations, which are intended to afford 
licensees operational flexibility to use their spectrum efficiently 
while ensuring that spectrum does not lay idle for extended periods. 
Under Sec.  1.955(a)(3) of the Commission's rules, an authorization 
will automatically terminate, without specific Commission action, if 
service is ``permanently discontinued.'' For the H Block, we propose to 
define ``permanently discontinued'' as a period of 180 consecutive days 
during which a licensee does not operate and does not serve at least 
one subscriber that is not affiliated with, controlled by, or related 
to the provider. We believe this definition strikes an appropriate 
balance between our twin goals of providing licensees operational 
flexibility while ensuring that spectrum does not lie fallow. Licensees 
would not be subject to this requirement until the date of the first 
performance requirement benchmark, which is proposed as 4 years from 
the license grant, so they will have adequate time to construct their 
network. In addition, consistent with Sec.  1.955(a)(3) of the 
Commission's rules, we propose that, if an H Block licensee permanently 
discontinues service, the licensee must notify the Commission of the 
discontinuance within 10 days by filing FCC Form 601 or 605 and 
requesting license cancellation. An authorization will automatically 
terminate without specific Commission action if service is permanently 
discontinued even if a licensee fails to file the required form. We 
seek comment on these proposals, including the associated costs and 
benefits.
4. Secondary Markets
a. Partitioning and Disaggregation
    87. The Commission's part 27 rules generally allow for geographic 
partitioning and spectrum disaggregation. Geographic partitioning 
refers to the assignment of geographic portions of a license to another 
licensee along geopolitical or other boundaries. Spectrum 
disaggregation refers to the assignment of discrete amounts of spectrum 
under the license to another entity. Disaggregation allows for multiple 
transmitters in the same geographic area operated by different 
companies on adjacent frequencies in

[[Page 1180]]

the same band. As the Commission noted when first establishing 
partitioning and disaggregation rules, allowing such flexibility could 
facilitate the efficient use of spectrum by enabling licensees to make 
offerings directly responsive to market demands for particular types of 
services, increasing competition by allowing market entry by new 
entrants, and expediting provision of services that might not otherwise 
be provided in the near term.
    88. We propose to permit partitioning and disaggregation by 
licensees in the H Block. To ensure that the public interest would be 
served if partitioning or disaggregation is allowed, we propose 
requiring each H Block licensee that is a party to a partitioning, 
disaggregation or combination of both to independently meet the 
applicable performance and renewal requirements. We believe this 
approach would facilitate efficient spectrum use, while enabling 
service providers to configure geographic area licenses and spectrum 
blocks to meet their operational needs. We seek comment on these 
proposals. Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and 
benefits of these proposals with respect to competition, innovation, 
and investment.
    89. We also seek comment on whether the Commission should adopt 
additional or different mechanisms to encourage partitioning and/or 
disaggregation of H Block spectrum and the extent to which such 
policies ultimately may promote more service, especially in rural 
areas. Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of 
promoting more service using mechanisms to encourage partitioning and 
disaggregation of H Block spectrum, including the effects of the 
proposal.
b. Spectrum Leasing
    90. In 2003, in order to promote more efficient use of terrestrial 
wireless spectrum through secondary market transactions, while also 
eliminating regulatory uncertainty, the Commission adopted a 
comprehensive set of policies and rules to govern spectrum-leasing 
arrangements between terrestrial licensees and spectrum lessees. These 
policies and rules enable terrestrially-based Wireless Radio Service 
licensees holding ``exclusive use'' spectrum rights to lease some or 
all of the spectrum usage rights associated with their licenses to 
third party spectrum lessees, which then are permitted to provide 
wireless services consistent with the underlying license authorization. 
Through these actions, the Commission sought to promote more efficient, 
innovative, and dynamic use of the terrestrial spectrum, expand the 
scope of available wireless services and devices, enhance economic 
opportunities for accessing spectrum, and promote competition among 
terrestrial wireless service providers. In 2004, the Commission built 
upon this spectrum leasing framework by establishing immediate approval 
procedures for certain categories of terrestrial spectrum leasing 
arrangements and extending the spectrum leasing policies to additional 
Wireless Radio Services.
    91. We propose that the spectrum leasing policies and rules 
established in those proceedings be applied to the H Block in the same 
manner that those policies apply to other part 27 services. We seek 
comment on this proposal. Commenters should discuss the effects on 
competition, innovation and investment, and on extending our secondary 
spectrum leasing policies and rules to the H Block.
5. Other Operating Requirements
    92. Even though licenses in the H Block may be issued pursuant to 
one rule part, licensees in this band may be required to comply with 
rules contained in other parts of the Commission's rules by virtue of 
the particular services they provide. For example:
     Applicants and licensees would be subject to the 
application filing procedures for the Universal Licensing System, set 
forth in part 1 of our rules.
     Licensees would be required to comply with the practices 
and procedures listed in part 1 of our rules for license applications, 
adjudicatory proceedings, etc.
     Licensees would be required to comply with the 
Commission's environmental provisions, including Sec.  1.1307.
     Licensees would be required to comply with the antenna 
structure provisions of part 17 of our rules.
     To the extent a licensee provides a Commercial Mobile 
Radio Service, such service would be subject to the provisions of part 
20 of the Commission's rules, including 911/E911 and hearing aid-
compatibility requirements, along with the provisions in the rule part 
under which the license was issued. Part 20 applies to all CMRS 
providers, even though the stations may be licensed under other parts 
of our rules.
     To the extent a licensee provides interconnected VoIP 
services, the licensee would be subject to the E911 service 
requirements set forth in part 9 of our rules.
     The application of general provisions of parts 22, 24, 27, 
or 101 would include rules related to equal employment opportunity, 
etc.
    93. We seek comment on whether we need to modify any of these rules 
to ensure that H Block licensees are covered under the necessary 
provisions. We seek comment on applying these rules to the H Block 
spectrum and specifically on any rules that would be affected by our 
proposal to apply elements of the framework of these parts, whether 
separately or in conjunction with other requirements. What are the 
potential problems that may be associated with the Commission's 
adoption of any of these potential requirements, and how do they 
compare to the potential benefits?
6. Facilitating Access to Spectrum and the Provision of Service to 
Tribal Lands
    94. The Commission currently has under consideration various 
provisions and policies intended to promote greater use of spectrum 
over Tribal lands. We propose to extend any rules and policies adopted 
in that proceeding to any licenses that may be issued through 
competitive bidding in this proceeding. We seek comment on this 
proposal, including any costs and benefits.

F. Procedures for Any H Block Licenses Subject to Assignment by 
Competitive Bidding

    95. As discussed above, if we adopt a geographic area licensing 
scheme for the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands, we will resolve 
mutually exclusive applications through competitive bidding, consistent 
with our statutory mandate.
1. Application of Part 1 Competitive Bidding Rules
    96. We propose that the Commission would conduct any auction for H 
Block licenses in conformity with the general competitive bidding rules 
set forth in part 1, subpart Q, of the Commission's rules, and 
substantially consistent with the competitive bidding procedures that 
have been employed in previous auctions. Specifically, we propose to 
employ the part 1 rules governing competitive bidding design, 
designated entity preferences, unjust enrichment, application and 
payment procedures, reporting requirements, and the prohibition on 
certain communications between auction applicants. Under this proposal, 
such rules would be subject to any modifications that the Commission 
may adopt for its part 1 general competitive bidding rules in the 
future. In addition, consistent with our long-standing approach, 
auction-specific matters such as the competitive bidding design and 
mechanisms, as well as

[[Page 1181]]

minimum opening bids and/or reserve prices, would be determined by the 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau pursuant to its delegated authority. 
We seek comment on this approach, including the costs and benefits of 
this approach. We also seek comment on whether any of our part 1 rules 
would be inappropriate or should be modified for an auction of licenses 
in the H Block.
2. Revision to Part 1 Certification Procedures
    97. Section 6004 of the Spectrum Act prohibits ``a person who has 
been, for reasons of national security, barred by any agency of the 
Federal Government from bidding on a contract, participating in an 
auction, or receiving a grant'' from participating in a system of 
competitive bidding under section 309(j) required to be conducted under 
Title VI of the Spectrum Act. Accordingly, we propose to require that 
an auction applicant certify, under penalty of perjury, that it and all 
of the related individuals and entities required to be disclosed on the 
short-form application are not such persons. For purposes of this 
certification, we propose to define ``person'' as an individual, 
partnership, association, joint-stock company, trust, or corporation. 
We also propose to define ``reasons of national security'' to mean 
matters relating to the national defense and foreign relations of the 
United States. Our existing rules also include various certifications 
that a party must make in any application to participate in competitive 
bidding. As with other required certifications, failure to include the 
required certification by the applicable filing deadline would render 
the application unacceptable for filing, and the application would be 
dismissed with prejudice. We seek comment on this proposal.
3. Small Business Provisions for Geographic Area Licenses
    98. In authorizing the Commission to use competitive bidding, 
Congress mandated that the Commission ``ensure that small businesses, 
rural telephone companies, and businesses owned by members of minority 
groups and women are given the opportunity to participate in the 
provision of spectrum-based services.'' In addition, section 
309(j)(3)(B) of the Communications Act provides that, in establishing 
eligibility criteria and bidding methodologies, the Commission shall 
promote ``economic opportunity and competition * * * by avoiding 
excessive concentration of licenses and by disseminating licenses among 
a wide variety of applicants, including small businesses, rural 
telephone companies, and businesses owned by members of minority groups 
and women.'' One of the principal means by which the Commission 
fulfills this mandate is through the award of bidding credits to small 
businesses.
    99. The Commission has previously stated that it would define 
eligibility requirements for small businesses on a service-specific 
basis, taking into account the capital requirements and other 
characteristics of each particular service in establishing the 
appropriate threshold. Further, the Commission, while standardizing 
many auction rules, has determined that it would continue a service-by-
service approach to defining small businesses.
    100. In the event that the Commission assigns exclusive geographic 
area licenses for the H Block, we believe that this spectrum would be 
employed for purposes similar to those for which the AWS-1 band is 
used. We therefore propose to establish the same small business size 
standards and associated bidding credits for the H Block as the 
Commission adopted for the AWS-1 band. We note that these small 
business size standards and associated bidding credits were proposed 
for the AWS-1 band because of the similarities between the AWS-1 
service and the broadband PCS service and the Commission followed this 
approach when proposing small business size standards and associated 
bidding credits in the AWS 2 NPRM. Thus, we propose to define a small 
business as an entity with average gross revenues for the preceding 
three years not exceeding $40 million, and a very small business as an 
entity with average gross revenues for the preceding three years not 
exceeding $15 million. We seek comment on this proposal, including the 
costs and benefits of the proposal.
    101. We propose to provide small businesses with a bidding credit 
of 15 percent and very small businesses with a bidding credit of 25 
percent, as set forth in the standardized schedule in part 1 of our 
rules. We seek comment on the use of these standards and associated 
bidding credits, with particular focus on the appropriate definitions 
of small businesses and very small businesses as they may relate to the 
size of the geographic area to be served and the spectrum allocated to 
each license. Commenters should discuss and quantify any costs or 
benefits associated with these standards and associated bidding credits 
as they relate to the proposed geographic areas. In discussing these 
issues, commenters are requested to address and quantify the expected 
capital requirements for services in these bands and other 
characteristics of the service. Commenters are also invited to use 
comparisons with other services for which the Commission has already 
established auction procedures as a basis for their comments and any 
quantification of costs and benefits regarding the appropriate small 
business size standards.
    102. In establishing the criteria for small business bidding 
credits, we acknowledge the difficulty in accurately predicting the 
market forces that will exist at the time these frequencies are 
licensed. Thus, our forecasts of types of services that will be offered 
over these bands may require adjustment depending upon ongoing 
technological developments and changes in market conditions.
    103. We seek comment on whether the small business provisions we 
propose today are sufficient to promote participation by businesses 
owned by minorities and women, as well as rural telephone companies. To 
the extent that commenters propose additional provisions to ensure 
participation by minority-owned or women-owned businesses, they should 
address how such provisions should be crafted to meet the relevant 
standards of judicial review.
    104. In addition, we note that under our part 1 rules, a winning 
bidder for a market will be eligible to receive a bidding credit for 
serving a qualifying tribal land within that market, provided that it 
complies with the applicable competitive bidding rules. The Commission 
currently has under consideration various provisions and policies 
intended to promote greater use of spectrum over tribal lands. We 
propose to extend any rules and policies adopted in that proceeding to 
any H Block licenses that may be assigned through competitive bidding. 
We seek comment on this proposal.

III. Procedural Matters

A. Ex Parte Presentations

    105. The proceedings this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking initiate 
shall be treated as a ``permit-but-disclose'' proceeding in accordance 
with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte 
presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a 
memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days 
after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the 
Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations 
are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list 
all persons attending or otherwise participating in

[[Page 1182]]

the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) 
summarize all data presented and arguments made during the 
presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the 
presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's 
written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the 
presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her 
prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant 
page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be 
found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown 
or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be 
written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule 
Sec.  1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule Sec.  1.49(f) or for 
which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, 
written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte 
presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the 
electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and 
must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, 
searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize 
themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

B. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    106. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as 
amended (RFA), the Commission has prepared this present Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities by the 
policies and rules proposed in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
(NPRM). Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments 
must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the 
deadlines specified in the NPRM for comments. The Commission will send 
a copy of the NPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for 
Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA). In addition, the 
NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal 
Register.

C. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    107. Wireless broadband is a key component of economic growth, job 
creation and global competitiveness because consumers are increasingly 
using wireless broadband services to assist them in their everyday 
lives. The explosive growth of wireless broadband services has created 
increased demand for wireless spectrum, which is expected to continue 
increasing, despite technological developments that allow for more 
efficient spectrum use. Unleashing more spectrum for broadband is 
essential to meeting this demand In this NPRM, we seek to increase the 
nation's supply of spectrum for mobile broadband by proposing rules for 
licensed fixed and mobile services, including advanced wireless 
services (AWS), in the H Block. These service rules would make 
available 10 MHz of spectrum for flexible use in accordance with the 
Spectrum Act, without causing harmful interference to PCS licensees. In 
proposing terrestrial service rules for the band, which include 
technical rules to protect against harmful interference, licensing 
rules to establish geographic license areas and spectrum block sizes, 
and performance requirements to promote robust buildout, we advance 
toward enabling rapid and efficient deployment in the band. We do so by 
proposing service, technical, assignment, and licensing rules for this 
spectrum that generally follow the Commission's part 27 rules that 
generally govern flexible use terrestrial wireless service--except that 
in order to protect PCS licenses, our proposed rules are more stringent 
in certain respects. Overall, these proposals are designed to provide 
for flexible use of this spectrum by allowing licensees to choose their 
type of service offerings, to encourage innovation and investment in 
mobile broadband use in this spectrum, and to provide a stable 
regulatory environment in which broadband deployment would be able to 
develop through the application of standard terrestrial wireless rules. 
The market-oriented licensing framework for these bands would ensure 
that this spectrum is efficiently utilized and will foster the 
development of new and innovative technologies and services, as well as 
encourage the growth and development of broadband services, ultimately 
leading to greater benefits to consumers.

D. Legal Basis

    108. The proposed action is authorized pursuant to sections 1, 2, 
4(i), 201, 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 324, 332, 333, 
1404, and 1451 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 
151, 152, 154(i), 201, 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 
324, 332, 333, 1404, and 1451.

E. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which 
the Proposed Rules Will Apply

    109. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and, 
where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be 
affected by the proposed rules and policies, if adopted. The RFA 
generally defines the term ``small entity'' as having the same meaning 
as the terms ``small business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small 
governmental jurisdiction.'' In addition, the term ``small business'' 
has the same meaning as the term ``small business concern'' under the 
Small Business Act. A ``small business concern'' is one which: (1) Is 
independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of 
operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the 
SBA.
    110. Small Businesses, Small Organizations, and Small Governmental 
Jurisdictions. Our action may, over time, affect small entities that 
are not easily categorized at present. We therefore describe here, at 
the outset, three comprehensive, statutory small entity size standards 
that encompass entities that could be directly affected by the 
proposals under consideration. As of 2009, small businesses represented 
99.9% of the 27.5 million businesses in the United States, according to 
the SBA. Additionally, a ``small organization'' is generally ``any not-
for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is 
not dominant in its field.'' Nationwide, as of 2007, there were 
approximately 1,621,315 small organizations. Finally, the term ``small 
governmental jurisdiction'' is defined generally as ``governments of 
cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or 
special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.'' 
Census Bureau data for 2007 indicate that there were 89,527 
governmental jurisdictions in the United States. We estimate that, of 
this total, as many as 88,761 entities may qualify as ``small 
governmental jurisdictions.'' Thus, we estimate that most governmental 
jurisdictions are small.
    111. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except satellite). The 
NPRM proposes to apply various Commission policies and rules to 
terrestrial service in the MSS bands. We cannot predict who may in the 
future become a licensee or lease spectrum for terrestrial use in these 
bands. In general, any wireless telecommunications provider would be 
eligible to become an Advanced Wireless Service licensee or lease 
spectrum from the MSS or AWS

[[Page 1183]]

licensees. This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating 
and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide 
communications via the airwaves. Establishments in this industry have 
spectrum licenses and provide services using that spectrum, such as 
cellular phone services, paging services, wireless Internet access, and 
wireless video services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules 
is for the category Wireless Telecommunications Carriers. The size 
standard for that category is that a business is small if it has 1,500 
or fewer employees. Under the present and prior categories, the SBA has 
deemed a wireless business to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer 
employees. For this category, census data for 2007 show that there were 
1,383 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 1,368 
firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees and 15 had employment of 
1000 employees or more. Similarly, according to Commission data, 413 
carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of wireless 
telephony, including cellular service, Personal Communications Service 
(PCS), and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Telephony services. Of these, 
an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 152 have more than 
1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that 
approximately half or more of these firms can be considered small. 
Thus, using available data, we estimate that the majority of wireless 
firms can be considered small.

F. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements

    112. This NPRM contains new information collection requirements 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-
13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. The projected reporting, 
recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements resulting from the 
NPRM will apply to all entities in the same manner. The Commission 
believes that applying the same rules equally to all entities in this 
context promotes fairness. The Commission does not believe that the 
costs and/or administrative burdens associated with the rules will 
unduly burden small entities. The revisions the Commission adopts 
should benefit small entities by giving them more information, more 
flexibility, and more options for gaining access to valuable wireless 
spectrum.
    113. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies are 
invited to comment on the new or modified information collection 
requirements contained in this proceeding. In addition, we note that 
pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 
107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how the 
Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for 
small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

G. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    114. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, 
specifically small business, alternatives that it has considered in 
reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four 
alternatives (among others): ``(1) The establishment of differing 
compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into 
account the resources available to small entities; (2) the 
clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance and 
reporting requirements under the rule for such small entities; (3) the 
use of performance rather than design standards; and (4) an exemption 
from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for such small 
entities.''
    115. The proposal to license the H Block under Economic Areas (EA) 
geographic size licenses will provide regulatory parity with other AWS 
bands that are licensed on an EA basis, such as AWS-1 licenses. 
Additionally, assigning H Block in EA geographic areas would allow H 
Block licensees to make adjustments to suit their individual needs. EA 
license areas are small enough to provide spectrum access opportunities 
for smaller carriers. EA license areas also nest within and may be 
aggregated up to larger license areas. Depending on the licensing 
mechanism we adopt, licensees may adjust their geographic coverage 
through auction or through secondary markets. This proposal should 
enable H Block providers, or any entities, whether large or small, 
providing service in other AWS bands to more easily adjust their 
spectrum to build their networks pursuant to individual business plans.
    116. The technical rules of the NPRM will protect entities 
operating in nearby spectrum bands from harmful interference, which may 
include small entities. These technical rules are based on the rules 
for AWS-1 spectrum, with specific additions or modifications designed 
to protect broadband PCS services operating in the 1930-1995 MHz band, 
as well as future services operating in the 2020-2025 MHz band.
    117. The NPRM proposal pertaining to how the H Block licenses will 
be assigned includes proposals to assist small entities in competitive 
bidding. Specifically, small entities will benefit from the proposal to 
provide small businesses with a bidding credit of 15 percent and very 
small businesses with a bidding credit of 25 percent. Providing small 
businesses and very small businesses with bidding credits will provide 
an economic benefit to small entities by making it easier for small 
entities to acquire spectrum or access to spectrum in these bands.
    118. The NPRM also proposes to provide H Block licensees with the 
flexibility to provide any fixed or mobile service that is consistent 
with the allocations for this spectrum, which is consistent with other 
spectrum allocated or designated for licensed fixed and mobile 
services, e.g., AWS-1. The NPRM further proposes to generally license 
this spectrum under the Commission's market-oriented part 27 rules, 
except that certain restrictions would apply. These proposals include 
applying the Commission's secondary market policies and rules to all 
transactions involving the use of H Block bands for terrestrial 
services, which will provide greater predictability and regulatory 
parity with bands licensed for terrestrial mobile broadband service. 
This proposal should make it easier for H Block providers to enter 
secondary market arrangements involving terrestrial use of their 
spectrum. The secondary market rules apply equally to all entities, 
whether small or large. As a result, we believe that this proposal will 
provide an economic benefit to small entities by making it easier for 
entities, whether large or small, to enter into secondary market 
arrangements for H Block spectrum.

H. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the 
Proposed Rules

    119. None.

IV. Ordering Clauses

    120. Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 
201, 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 324, 332, 333, 1404, 
and 1451 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 
152, 154(i), 201, 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 324, 
332, 333, 1404, and 1451, that this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is 
hereby adopted.
    121. It is further ordered that notice is hereby given of the 
proposed

[[Page 1184]]

regulatory changes described in this notice and that comment is sought 
on these proposals.
    122. It is further ordered that the Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis is adopted.
    123. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a 
copy of this Notice, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration.

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Parts 1 and 27

    Communications common carriers, Radio.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.
    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR parts 1 and 27 as 
follows:

PART 1--PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

0
1. The authority citation for part 1 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  15 U.S.C. 79 et seq.; 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 
155, 157, 225, 227, 303(r), 309 and 1404.

0
2. Section 1.949 is amended by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  1.949  Application for renewal of license.

* * * * *
    (c) Renewal Showing. An applicant for renewal of a geographic-area 
authorization in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 service bands must 
make a renewal showing, independent of its performance requirements, as 
a condition of renewal. The showing must include a detailed description 
of the applicant's provision of service during the entire license 
period and address:
    (1) The level and quality of service provided by the applicant 
(e.g., the population served, the area served, the number of 
subscribers, the services offered);
    (2) The date service commenced, whether service was ever 
interrupted, and the duration of any interruption or outage;
    (3) The extent to which service is provided to rural areas;
    (4) The extent to which service is provided to qualifying tribal 
land as defined in Sec.  1.2110(f)(3)(i); and
    (5) Any other factors associated with the level of service to the 
public.
0
3. Section 1.2105 is amended by adding paragraph (a)(2)(xii) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  1.2105  Bidding application and certification procedures; 
prohibition of certain communications.

    (a) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (xii) For auctions required to be conducted under Title VI of the 
Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96) 
the Commission may require certification under penalty of perjury that 
the applicant and all of the person(s) disclosed under paragraph 
(a)(2)(ii) of this section are not person(s) who have been, for reasons 
of national security, barred by any agency of the Federal Government 
from bidding on a contract, participating in an auction, or receiving a 
grant. For the purposes of this certification, the term ``person'' 
means an individual, partnership, association, joint-stock company, 
trust, or corporation, and the term ``reasons of national security'' 
means matters relating to the national defense and foreign relations of 
the United States.
* * * * *

PART 27--MISCELLANEOUS WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES

0
4. The authority citation for part 27 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 154, 301, 302, 303, 307, 309, 332, 336, 
337, and 1451 unless otherwise noted.

0
5. Section 27.1 is amended by adding paragraph (b)(10) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  27.1  Basis and purpose.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (10) 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz.
* * * * *
0
6. Section 27.4 is amended by revising the definition of ``Advanced 
wireless service (AWS)'' to read as follows:


Sec.  27.4  Terms and definitions.

    Advanced wireless service (AWS). A radiocommunication service 
licensed pursuant to this part for the frequency bands specified in 
Sec.  27.5(h) or Sec.  27.5(j).
* * * * *
0
7. Section 27.5 is amended by adding paragraph (j) to read as follows:


Sec.  27.5  Frequencies.

* * * * *
    (j) 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands. The paired 1915-1920 MHz 
and 1995-2000 MHz bands are available for assignment on an Economic 
Area basis.
0
8. Section 27.6 is amended by adding paragraph (i) to read as follows:


Sec.  27.6  Service areas.

* * * * *
    (i) 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands. AWS service areas for 
the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands are based on Economic Areas 
(EAs) as defined in paragraph (a) of this section.
0
9. Section 27.13 is amended by adding paragraph (i) to read as follows:


Sec.  27.13  License period.

* * * * *
    (i) 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands. Authorizations for 1915-
1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands will have a term not to exceed ten 
years from the date of issuance or renewal.
0
10. Section 27. 14 is amended by revising the first sentence of 
paragraphs (a), (f), and (k), and adding paragraph (q) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  27.14  Construction requirements; criteria for renewal.

    (a) AWS and WCS licensees, with the exception of WCS licensees 
holding authorizations for Block A in the 698-704 MHz and 728-734 MHz 
bands, Block B in the 704-710 MHz and 734-740 MHz bands, Block E in the 
722-728 MHz band, Block C, C1, or C2 in the 746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz 
bands, Block D in the 758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz bands, Block A in the 
2305-2310 MHz and 2350-2355 MHz bands, Block B in the 2310-2315 MHz and 
2355-2360 MHz bands, Block C in the 2315-2320 MHz band, and Block D in 
the 2345-2350 MHz band, and with the exception of licensees holding AWS 
authorizations in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands, must, as a 
performance requirement, make a showing of ``substantial service'' in 
their license area within the prescribed license term set forth in 
Sec.  27.13. * * *
* * * * *
    (f) Comparative renewal proceedings do not apply to WCS licensees 
holding authorizations for the 698-746 MHz, 747-762 MHz, and 777-792 
MHz bands and licensees holding AWS authorizations for the 1915-1920 
MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands. * * *
* * * * *
    (k) Licensees holding WCS or AWS authorizations in the spectrum 
blocks enumerated in paragraphs (g), (h), (i), or (q) of this section, 
including any licensee that obtained its license pursuant to the 
procedures set forth in paragraph (j) of this section, shall 
demonstrate compliance with performance requirements by filing a 
construction notification with the Commission, within 15 days of the 
expiration of the applicable benchmark, in accordance with the 
provisions set forth in Sec.  1.946(d) of this chapter. * * *
* * * * *

[[Page 1185]]

    (q) The following provisions apply to any licensee holding an AWS 
authorization in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands (an ``H 
Block licensee''):
    (1) An H Block licensee shall provide signal coverage and offer 
service within four (4) years from the date of the initial license to 
at least forty (40) percent of the total population in each service 
area that it has licensed in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands 
(``H Block Interim Buildout Requirement'').
    (2) An H Block licensee shall provide signal coverage and offer 
service within ten (10) years from the date of the initial license to 
at least seventy (70) percent of the population in each of its licensed 
areas in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands (``H Block Final 
Buildout Requirement'').
    (3) If an H Block licensee fails to establish that it meets the H 
Block Interim Buildout Requirement for a particular licensed area, then 
the H Block Final Buildout Requirement (in this paragraph (q)) and the 
H Block license term (as set forth in Sec.  27.13) for each license 
area in which it fails to meet the H Block Interim Buildout Requirement 
shall be accelerated by two years (from ten to eight years).
    (4) If an H Block licensee fails to establish that it meets the H 
Block Final Buildout Requirement for a particular licensed areas in the 
1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands, its authorization for each 
license area in which it fails to meet the H Block Final Buildout 
Requirement shall terminate automatically without Commission action. 
The H Block licensee that has its license automatically terminate under 
paragraph (q) of this subsection will be ineligible to regain it if the 
Commission makes the license available at a later date.
    (5) To demonstrate compliance with these performance requirements, 
licensees shall use the most recently available U.S. Census Data at the 
time of measurement and shall base their measurements of population 
served on areas no larger than the Census Tract level. The population 
within a specific Census Tract (or other acceptable identifier) will 
only be deemed served by the licensee if it provides signal coverage to 
and offers service within the specific Census Tract (or other 
acceptable identifier). To the extent the Census Tract (or other 
acceptable identifier) extends beyond the boundaries of a license area, 
a licensee with authorizations for such areas may only include the 
population within the Census Tract (or other acceptable identifier) 
towards meeting the performance requirement of a single, individual 
license.
0
11. Section 27.15 is amended by revising the first sentence in 
paragraph (d)(1)(i); adding paragraph (d)(1)(iii); revising the first 
sentence in paragraph (d)(2)(i), and adding paragraph (d)(2)(iii) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  27.15  Geographic partitioning and spectrum disaggregation.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) Except for WCS licensees holding authorizations for Block A in 
the 698-704 MHz and 728-734 MHz bands, Block B in the 704-710 MHz and 
734-740 MHz bands, Block E in the 722-728 MHz band, Blocks C, C1, or C2 
in the 746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz bands, or Block D in the 758-763 MHz 
and 788-793 MHz bands; and for licensees holding AWS authorizations in 
the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands; the following rules apply to 
WCS and AWS licensees holding authorizations for purposes of 
implementing the construction requirements set forth in Sec.  27.14. * 
* *
* * * * *
    (iii) For licensees holding AWS authorizations in the 1915-1920 MHz 
and 1995-2000 MHz bands, the following rules apply for purposes of 
implementing the construction requirements set forth in Sec.  27.14. 
Each party to a geographic partitioning must individually meet any 
service-specific performance requirements (i.e., construction and 
operation requirements). If a partitioner or partitionee fails to meet 
any service-specific performance requirements on or before the required 
date, then the consequences for this failure shall be those enumerated 
in Sec.  27.14(q).
    (2) * * *
    (i) Except for WCS licensees holding authorizations for Block A in 
the 698-704 MHz and 728-734 MHz bands, Block B in the 704-710 MHz and 
734-740 MHz bands, Block E in the 722-728 MHz band, Blocks C, C1, or C2 
in the 746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz bands, or Block D in the 758-763 MHz 
and 788-793 MHz bands; and for licensees holding AWS authorizations in 
1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands; the following rules apply to WCS 
and AWS licensees holding authorizations for purposes of implementing 
the construction requirements set forth in Sec.  27.14. * * *
* * * * *
    (iii) For licensees holding AWS authorizations in the 1915-1920 MHz 
and 1995-2000 MHz bands, the following rules apply for purposes of 
implementing the construction requirements set forth in Sec.  27.14. 
Each party to a spectrum disaggregation must individually meet any 
service-specific performance requirements (i.e., construction and 
operation requirements). If a disaggregator or a disagregatee fails to 
meet any service-specific performance requirements on or before the 
required date, then the consequences for this failure shall be those 
enumerated in Sec.  27.14(q).
0
12. Section 27.17 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  27.17  Discontinuance of service in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-
2000 MHz bands.

    (a) Termination of Authorization. A licensee's AWS authorization in 
the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands will automatically terminate, 
without specific Commission action, without specific Commission action, 
if it permanently discontinues service after meeting the H Block 
Interim Buildout Requirement specified in Sec.  27.14.
    (b) Permanent discontinuance of service is defined as 180 
consecutive days during which a licensee holding AWS authority in the 
1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands does not operate or, in the case 
of a commercial mobile radio service provider, does not provide service 
to at least one subscriber that is not affiliated with, controlled by, 
or related to the providing carrier.
    (c) Filing Requirements. A licensee of the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-
2000 MHz bands that permanently discontinues service as defined in this 
section must notify the Commission of the discontinuance within 10 days 
by filing FCC Form 601 or 605 requesting license cancellation. An 
authorization will automatically terminate, without specific Commission 
action, if service is permanently discontinued as defined in this 
section, even if a licensee fails to file the required form requesting 
license cancellation.
0
13. Section 27.50 is amended by revising paragraph (d) introductory 
text, paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) introductory text, and adding paragraph 
(d)(7), to read as follows:


Sec.  27.50  Power limits and duty cycle.

* * * * *
    (d) The following power and antenna height requirements apply to 
stations transmitting in the 1710-1755 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz, 1915-1920 
MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands:
    (1) The power of each fixed or base station transmitting in the 
1995-2000 MHz or the 2110-2155 MHz band and located in any county with 
population density of 100 or fewer persons per

[[Page 1186]]

square mile, based upon the most recently available population 
statistics from the Bureau of the Census, is limited to:
* * * * *
    (2) The power of each fixed or base station transmitting in the 
1995-2000 MHz or the 2110-2155 MHz band and situated in any geographic 
location other than that described in paragraph (d)(1) is limited to:
* * * * *
    (7) Fixed, mobile and portable (hand-held) stations operating in 
the 1915-1920 MHz band are limited to 1 Watt EIRP, except that the 
total power of any portion of an emission that falls within the 1917-
1920 MHz band may not exceed 4 milliwatts (6 dBm).
* * * * *
0
14. Section 27.53 is amended by revising paragraph (h) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  27.53  Emission limits.

* * * * *
    (h) AWS Emission Limits. (1) General Protection Levels. Except as 
otherwise specified below, for operations in the 1710-1755 MHz, 2110-
2155 MHz, 1915-1920 MHz, and 1995-2000 MHz bands, the power of any 
emission outside a licensee's frequency block shall be attenuated below 
the transmitter power (P) by at least 43 + 10 log10(P) dB.
    (2) Additional Protection Levels. Notwithstanding the foregoing 
paragraph (h)(1) of this section:
    (i) For operations in the 1915-1920 MHz band, the power of any 
emission above 1930 MHz shall be attenuated below the transmitter power 
(P) in watts by at least 70 + 10 log10(P) dB.
    (ii) For operations in the 1995-2000 MHz band, the power of any 
emission above 2005 MHz shall be attenuated below the transmitter power 
(P) in watts by at least 70 + 10 log10(P) dB.
    (3) Measurement Procedure.
    (i) Compliance with this provision is based on the use of 
measurement instrumentation employing a resolution bandwidth of 1 
megahertz or greater. However, in the 1 megahertz bands immediately 
outside and adjacent to the licensee's frequency block, a resolution 
bandwidth of at least one percent of the emission bandwidth of the 
fundamental emission of the transmitter may be employed. The emission 
bandwidth is defined as the width of the signal between two points, one 
below the carrier center frequency and one above the carrier center 
frequency, outside of which all emissions are attenuated at least 26 dB 
below the transmitter power.
    (ii) When measuring the emission limits, the nominal carrier 
frequency shall be adjusted as close to the licensee's frequency block 
edges, both upper and lower, as the design permits.
    (iii) The measurements of emission power can be expressed in peak 
or average values, provided they are expressed in the same parameters 
as the transmitter power.
* * * * *
0
15. Section 27.55 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(1) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  27.55  Power strength limits.

    (a) * * *
    (1) 1995-2000, 2110-2155, 2305-2320, 2345-2360 MHz bands: 47 
dB[micro]V/m.
* * * * *
0
16. Section 27.57 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  27.57  International coordination.

* * * * *
    (c) Operation in the 1710-1755 MHz, 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz 
and 2110-2155 MHz bands is subject to international agreements with 
Mexico and Canada.
0
17. Add subpart K to part 27 to read as follows:
Subpart K--1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz

Licensing and Competitive Bidding Provisions

Sec.
27.1001 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands subject to competitive 
bidding.
27.1002 Reimbursement obligation of AWS licensees at 1915-1920 MHz.

Reimbursement Obligations of AWS Licensees at 1915-1920 and 1995-2000 
MHz

Sec.
27.1021 Reimbursement obligation of AWS licensees at 1915-1920 MHz.
27.1031 Reimbursement obligation of AWS licensees at 1995-2000 MHz.
27.1041 Termination of Cost-Sharing Obligations.
Licensing and Competitive Bidding Provisions


Sec.  27.1001  1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands subject to 
competitive bidding.

    Mutually exclusive initial applications for 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-
2000 MHz band licenses are subject to competitive bidding. The general 
competitive bidding procedures set forth in 47 CFR part 1, subpart Q 
will apply unless otherwise provided in this subpart.


Sec.  27.1002  Designated entities in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 
MHz bands.

    Eligibility for small business provisions:
    (a)(1) A small business is an entity that, together with its 
affiliates, its controlling interests, the affiliates of its 
controlling interests, and the entities with which it has an 
attributable material relationship, has average gross revenues not 
exceeding $40 million for the preceding three years.
    (2) A very small business is an entity that, together with its 
affiliates, its controlling interests, the affiliates of its 
controlling interests, and the entities with which it has an 
attributable material relationship, has average gross revenues not 
exceeding $15 million for the preceding three years.
    (b) Bidding credits. A winning bidder that qualifies as a small 
business as defined in this section or a consortium of small businesses 
may use the bidding credit specified in Sec.  1.2110(f)(2)(iii) of this 
chapter. A winning bidder that qualifies as a very small business as 
defined in this section or a consortium of very small businesses may 
use the bidding credit specified in Sec.  1.2110(f)(2)(ii) of this 
chapter.
Reimbursement Obligations of AWS Licensees at 1915-1920 and 1995-2000 
MHz


Sec.  27.1021  Reimbursement obligation of AWS licensees at 1915-1920 
MHz.

    AWS licensees of the H Block (1915-1920 MHz paired with 1995-2000 
MHz) are collectively responsible for reimbursing UTAM, Inc. a pro rata 
share of the expenses that UTAM, Inc. has incurred from relocating and 
clearing incumbent Fixed Microwave Service (FS) licensees from the 
1910-1930 MHz band. Specifically, within 30 days of grant of its long-
form application, AWS licensees in the 1915-1920 MHz band, which 
constitutes 25 percent of the 1910-1930 MHz band, shall, on a pro rata 
shared basis as set forth in paragraph (a) in this section reimburse 25 
percent of the total relocation costs incurred by UTAM, Inc.
    (a) To the extent that H Block licenses awarded in the first 
auction for this spectrum cover, collectively, at least forty (40) 
percent of the nation's population, the amount owed to UTAM, Inc. by 
the winning bidder of each individual H Block license awarded in the 
first auction will be determined by dividing the gross winning bid 
(``GWB'') for each individual H Block license (i.e., an Economic Area 
(EA)) by the sum of the gross winning bids for all H Block licenses 
awarded in the first auction, and then multiplying by $12,629,857.

[[Page 1187]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JA13.013

    Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, an 
AWS licensee that obtains a license for a market not awarded in the 
first H Block auction will not have a reimbursement obligation to UTAM, 
Inc.
    (b) The Commission imposes payment obligations on bidders that 
withdraw provisionally winning bids during the course of an auction, on 
those that default on payments due after an auction closes, and on 
those that are disqualified. See 47 CFR 1.2110(f)(2)(i). In the initial 
auction, a winning bidder of an EA license that is not awarded a 
license for any reason will be deemed to have triggered a reimbursement 
obligation to UTAM, Inc. that will be paid to UTAM, Inc. by the 
licensee acquiring the EA license at reauction. The amount owed to 
UTAM, Inc. by the licensee acquiring the EA license at reauction will 
be based on the gross winning bid for the EA license in the initial 
auction. Accordingly, an applicant at reauction will know with 
certainty the reimbursement obligation it will owe for each EA license 
subject to this paragraph (b).
    (c) To the extent that H Block licenses awarded in the first 
auction for this spectrum cover, collectively, less than forty (40) 
percent of the nation's population, then the amount owed to UTAM, Inc. 
shall be more equitably dispersed across all EA licenses based on the 
relative population of the EA to the population of the United States. 
Specifically, the amount that the licensee of an individual H Block 
license must reimburse UTAM, Inc. shall be calculated by dividing the 
population of the individual BTA by the total U.S. population, and then 
multiplying by $12,629,857.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JA13.014

    (d) For purposes of compliance with this section, licensees should 
determine population based on 2000 U.S. Census Data or such other data 
or measurements that the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau proposes 
and adopts under the notice and comment process for the auction 
procedures.


Sec.  27.1031  Reimbursement obligation of AWS licensees at 1995-2000 
MHz.

    AWS licensees of the H Block (1915-1920 MHz paired with 1995-2000 
MHz) are collectively responsible for reimbursing Sprint Nextel, Inc. 
or a successor in interest to Sprint Nextel, Inc. (Sprint), a pro rata 
share of the eligible expenses that Sprint has incurred from relocating 
and clearing Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS), Cable Television Relay 
Service (CARS), and Local Television Transmission Service (LTTS) 
incumbents from the 1990-2025 MHz band. Specifically, within 30 days of 
grant of its long-form application, AWS licensees in the 1995-2000 MHz 
band, which constitutes one-seventh of the 35 megahertz of spectrum at 
1990-2025 MHz, shall, on a pro rata shared basis as set forth below in 
this section reimburse one-seventh of the eligible expenses incurred by 
Sprint.
    (a) To the extent that H Block licenses awarded in the first 
auction for this spectrum cover, collectively, at least forty (40) 
percent of the nation's population, the amount owed to Sprint by the 
winning bidder of each individual H Block license awarded in the first 
auction will be determined by dividing the gross winning bid (``GWB'') 
for each individual H Block license (i.e., an Economic Area (EA)) by 
the sum of the gross winning bids for all H Block licenses awarded in 
the first auction, and then multiplying by $94,875,516.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JA13.015

    Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c), an AWS licensee that 
obtains a license for a market not awarded in the first H Block auction 
will not have a reimbursement obligation to Sprint.
    (b) The Commission imposes payment obligations on bidders that 
withdraw provisionally winning bids during the course of an auction, on 
those that default on payments due after an auction closes, and on 
those that are disqualified. See 47 CFR 1.2110(f)(2)(i). In the first 
auction, a winning bidder of an EA license that is not awarded a 
license for any reason will be deemed to have triggered a reimbursement 
obligation to Sprint that will be paid to Sprint by the licensee 
acquiring the EA license at reauction. The amount owed to Sprint by the 
licensee acquiring the EA license at reauction will be based on the 
gross winning bid for the EA license in the first auction. Accordingly, 
an applicant at reauction will know with certainty the reimbursement 
obligation it will owe for each EA license subject to this paragraph 
(b).
    (c) To the extent that H Block licenses awarded in the first 
auction for this spectrum cover, collectively, less than forty (40) 
percent of the nation's population, then the amount owed to Sprint 
shall be more equitably dispersed across all EA licenses based on the 
relative population of the EA to the population of the United States. 
Specifically, the amount that the licensee of an individual H Block 
license must reimburse Sprint shall be calculated by dividing the 
population of the individual EA by the total U.S. population, and then 
multiplying by $94,875,516.

[[Page 1188]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP08JA13.016

    (d) For purposes of compliance with this section, licensees should 
determine population based on 2000 U.S. Census Data or such other data 
or measurements that the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau proposes 
and adopts under the notice and comment process for the auction 
procedures.


Sec.  27.1041  Termination of Cost-Sharing Obligations.

    (a) The cost-sharing obligation adopted in this subpart will sunset 
ten years after the first H Block license is issued in the band.
    (b) An H Block licensee must satisfy in full its payment 
obligations under this subpart K within thirty days of the grant of its 
long-form application. The failure to timely satisfy a payment 
obligation in full prior to the applicable sunset date will not 
terminate the debt owed or a party's right to collect the debt.

[FR Doc. 2013-00157 Filed 1-7-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P