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Petition for Declaratory Ruling Filed by CTIA

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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Federal Communications Commission.




This document seeks comment on a petition for expedited declaratory rulemaking filed by the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, seeking a declaratory ruling that early termination fees in wireless carriers' service contracts are “rates charged” for CMRS within the meaning of the Communications Act.


Submit comment on or before August 5, 2005, and reply comment on or before August 25, 2005.


You may submit comments, identified by WT Docket No. 05-194, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Federal Communications Commission's Web Site:​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 e-mail: or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

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Christina Clearwater, Spectrum & Competition Policy Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 202-418-1893.

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On March 15, 2005, the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) filed a Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling (CTIA Petition), seeking a declaratory ruling by the Commission that early termination fees in wireless carriers' service contracts are “rates charged” for CMRS within the meaning of section 332(c)(3)(A) of the Communications Act and Commission precedent. See Petition of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association for an Expedited Declaratory Ruling, WT Docket No. 194, filed March 15, 2005.

CTIA also seeks a declaration from the Commission that any application of state law by a court or other tribunal to invalidate, modify, or condition the use or enforcement of early termination fees based, in whole or in part, upon an assessment of reasonableness, fairness, or cost-basis of the early termination fee, or to prohibit the use of early termination fees as unlawful liquidated damages or penalties, constitutes prohibited rate regulation preempted by section 332(c)(3)(A) of the Communications Act. The CTIA Petition raises important issues, and in the Public Notice, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau seeks comment on the Petition. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau notes that it is contemporaneously releasing a separate public notice seeking comment on earlier-filed petitions for declaratory ruling that raise preemption-related issues regarding early termination fees. See Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Declaratory Ruling Filed by Suncom, and Opposition and Cross-Petition for Declaratory Ruling Filed by Debra Edwards, Seeking Determination of Whether State Law Claims Regarding Early Termination Fees Are Subject to Preemption Under 47 U.S.C. Section 332(c)(3)(A), Public Notice, WT Docket No. 05-193, DA 05-1390 (rel. May 18, 2005).

Electronic Access and Filing

Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments in this proceeding on or before August 5, 2005, and reply comments may be filed on or before August 25, 2005. When filing comments, please reference WT Docket No. 05-194. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (May 1, 1998). Comments filed through the ECFS can be sent as an electronic file via the Internet to​e-file/​ecfs.html. Generally, only one copy of an electronic submission must be filed. In completing the transmittal screen, commenters should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or Start Printed Page 38929rulemaking number. Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions for e-mail comments, commenters should send e-mail to, and should include the following words in the body of the message, “get form <your e-mail address>.” A sample form and directions will be sent in reply.

Parties who choose to file by paper must send an original and four (4) copies of each filing. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Marlene H. Dortch, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW., Room TW-B204, Washington, DC 20554.

Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by electronic media, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). The Commission's contractor, Natek, Inc., will receive hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings or electronic media for the Commission's Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Suite 110, Washington, DC 20002. The filing hours at this location are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building. Commercial and electronic media sent by 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. U.S. Postal Service first-class mail, Express Mail, and Priority Mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554.

This proceeding shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules, 47 CFR 1.1200. Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentations must contain summaries of the substance of the presentations and not merely a listing of the subjects discussed. More than a one or two sentence description of the views and arguments presented is generally required. See 47 CFR 1.1206(b). Other rules pertaining to oral and written ex parte presentations in permit-but-disclose proceedings are set forth in § 1.1206(b) of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.1206(b).

The full text of the petition and copies of any subsequently filed documents in this matter will be available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554, (202) 418-0270. This document may be purchased from the Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Customers may contact BCPI, Inc. at their Web site: or by calling 1-800-378-3160.

To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format) send an e-mail to or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice) or (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

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Federal Communications Commission.

Catherine Seidel,

Acting Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

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[FR Doc. 05-13272 Filed 7-5-05; 8:45 am]