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Facilitate the Provision of Fixed and Mobile Broadband Access, Educational and Other Advanced Services in the 2150-2162 and 2500-2690 MHz Bands

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule; reinstatement.

SUMMARY:

This item modifies a Final rule to delete the request for comment on how the Commission should handle pending applications for extension of time to construct Multipoint Distribution Service (MDS) and Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) stations. In light of representations that many entities have developed plans in the near future to deploy high-speed wireless broadband systems under our existing rules, the Commission now believes that acting on applications for extension of time to construct will facilitate continued deployment of broadband services and promote innovation and investment. This item also reinstates the Commission's rules and clarifies that MDS Basic Trading Area authorization holders need not comply with the build out requirements contained in the Commission's rules pending publication of a Report and Order in this proceeding.

DATES:

Effective July 21, 2003, § 21.930 which was suspended on June 10, 2003 (68 FR 34560) is reinstated.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Charles Oliver and John J. Schauble, Chief, Policy and Rules Branch, Public Safety and Private Wireless Division at (202) 418-0680, Public Safety and Private Wireless Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This is a summary of the FCC's Order, FCC 03-169, adopted on July 10, 2003, and released on July 10, 2003. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554. The complete text may be purchased from the FCC's copy contractor, Qualex International, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: http://Start Printed Page 43003www.fcc.gov. Alternative formats are available to persons with disabilities by contacting Brian Millin at (202) 418-7426 or TTY (202) 418-7365 or at bmillin@fcc.gov.

1. On April 2, 2003, the Commission released a Memorandum Opinion and Order (MO&O), 68 FR 34547, June 10, 2003, in this proceeding. Pursuant to § 1.108 of the Commission's rules, on our own motion, we issue this limited reconsideration of the MO&O by (1) replacing paragraph 201 (which addresses applications for extension of time to construct) with the language set forth herein, and (2) clarifying our action with respect to § 21.930 of the Commission's rules, which sets forth the build-out requirements for Multipoint Distribution Service (MDS) Basic Trading Authorization (BTA) holders.

2. Pending Applications for Extension of Time to Construct. With respect to pending applications for extensions of time to construct, we take this action in light of information that has come to our attention since the adoption and release of the MO&O. Specifically, in connection with petitions for reconsideration of our decision to impose a freeze on the filing of applications for new MDS and Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) stations, as well as major changes to such stations, entities have represented to us that they have developed plans in the near future to deploy high-speed wireless broadband systems under our existing rules. For example, WCA estimates that approximately thirty wireless broadband operators plan to deploy systems in approximately eighty markets in the next twelve months. In light of this information, we are concerned that our decision to seek comment on how to treat pending applications for extensions of time to construct MDS and ITFS stations may hinder the deployment of MDS and ITFS systems aimed at providing broadband services. As noted in the NPRM/MO&O, one of our primary goals in this proceeding is to “present a significant opportunity to provide alternatives for the provision of broadband services to consumers in urban, suburban and rural areas and to improve opportunities for distance learning and telemedicine services.” Under those circumstances, we believe that it would be in the public interest to be able to act on those pending applications for extension of time to construct prior to the completion of this proceeding. We believe that acting on such applications will facilitate continued deployment of broadband services and promote innovation and investment therein. As a result, we are no longer seeking comment in the MO&O on the treatment of pending applications for extensions of time to construct MDS and ITFS stations.

3. Accordingly, we delete paragraph 201 of the MO&O and replace it with the following language:

4. Extension/Suspension of current performance requirements for site-based licensees. Moreover, we also believe that it is in the public interest to suspend the construction deadline for ITFS and MDS site-based licensees and permittees that have unexpired licenses or permits that have not expired as of the release date of the MO&O and that have made a timely filed extension request. We emphasize that the suspension of this construction deadline for site-based licensees does not affect the requirement for such licensees to timely file a renewal application. We stress that all site-based licensees are required to timely file renewal applications or face cancellation of their licenses regardless of the pendency of this proceeding.

5. We note that we are not modifying our decision to hold in abeyance the construction build-out requirements for site-based incumbents that have licenses or permits that had not expired as of the release date of the MO&O. Furthermore, we continue to seek comment on whether we should change criteria for granting extension of time requests prospectively.

6. MDS BTA Build-Out Rule. In the MO&O, we “suspended” the August 16, 2003 construction deadline for MDS BTA authorization holders contained in § 21.930 of the Commission's Rules. Upon further reflection, we believe that our use of the term “suspend” did not accurately reflect our intent in this matter. Our intent was to relieve MDS BTA authorization holders of the obligation to meet the build out deadline contained in § 21.930 pending the release of a Report and Order in this proceeding. In order to more accurately reflect our intention, we are reinstating § 21.930 of the Commission's Rules, but stating that MDS BTA authorization holders do not have to meet the build out obligations contained in that rule pending the release of a Report and Order in this proceeding. We continue to seek comment on how much additional time MDS BTA authorization holders should receive to meet their build out obligations after a Report and Order is issued in this proceeding.

7. The actions contained herein have not changed our Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), which was set forth in the MO&O. Thus, no supplemental IRFA is necessary. In addition, the action contained herein has been analyzed with respect to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and found to impose no new or modified reporting and/or recordkeeping requirements or burdens on the public.

8. Pursuant to section 4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), and § 1.108 of the Commission's Rules, 47 CFR 1.108, that the Memorandum Opinion and Order, FCC 03-56, is modified as set forth herein.

9. Pursuant to section 4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), that § 21.930 of the Commission's Rules, 47 CFR 21.930, is reinstated.

10. Pursuant to section 4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), and § 21.930 of the Commission's Rules, 47 CFR 21.930, that MDS BTA authorization holders need not comply with the build out requirements contained in § 21.930 of the Commission's rules pending the publishing of a Report and Order in this proceeding.

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List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 21

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 03-18429 Filed 7-18-03; 8:45 am]

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