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Notice

Information Collection Being Submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for Emergency Review and Approval

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AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The Commission may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

DATES:

Written comments and recommendations for the information collection should be submitted on or before April 27, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

Comments should be sent to www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by selecting “Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments” or by using the search function. Your comment must be submitted into www.reginfo.gov per the above instructions for it to be considered. In addition to submitting in www.reginfo.gov also send a copy of your comment on the information collection to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email to PRA@fcc.gov and to Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov. Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the FCC invited the general public and other Federal Agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimates; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the FCC seeks specific comment on how it might “further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.”

The Commission is requesting emergency OMB processing of the information collection requirement(s) contained in this notice and has requested OMB approval no later than 35 days after the collection is received at OMB. 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 Commission ICRs currently under review appears, look for the Title of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the Commission's submission to OMB will be displayed.

OMB Control Number: 3060-XXXX.

Title: 3.7 GHz Band Space Station Operator Accelerated Relocation Elections and Transition Plans; 3.7 GHz Band Incumbent Earth Station Lump Sum Payment Elections.

Form Number: N/A.

Type of Review: New information collection.

Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

Estimated Number of Respondents and Responses: 3,010 respondents and 3,010 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: 16 hours per eligible space station accelerated relocation election; 80-600 hours per eligible space station transition plan; 32 hours per incumbent earth station lump sum payment election.

Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement.

Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(j), 5(c), 201, 302, 303, 304, 307(e), and 309 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(j), 155(c), 201, 302, 303, 304, 307(e), 309.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 109,680 hours.

Total Annual Costs: $900,000.

Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: The information collected under this collection will be made publicly available, however, to the extent information submitted pursuant to this information collection is determined to be confidential, it will be protected by the Commission. If a respondent seeks to have information collected pursuant to this information collection withheld from public inspection, the respondent may request confidential treatment pursuant to section 0.459 of the Commission's rules for such information. See 47 CFR 0.459.

Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

Needs and Uses: On February 28, 2020, in furtherance of the goal of releasing more mid-band spectrum into the market to support and enable next-generation wireless networks, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) adopted a Report and Order, FCC 20-22, (3.7 GHz Report and Order) in which it reformed the use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, also known as the C-Band. The 3.7 GHz-4.2 GHz band currently is allocated in the United States exclusively for non-Federal use on a primary basis for Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) and Fixed Service.

Domestically, space station operators use the 3.7-4.2 GHz band to provide downlink signals of various bandwidths to licensed transmit-receive, registered receive-only, and unregistered receive-only earth stations throughout the Start Printed Page 17059United States. The 3.7 GHz Report and Order calls for the relocation of existing FSS operations in the band into the upper 200 megahertz of the band (4.0-4.2 GHz) and making the lower 280 megahertz (3.7-3.98 GHz) available for flexible-use throughout the contiguous United States through a Commission-administered public auction of overlay licenses that is scheduled to occur later this year, with the 20 megahertz from 3.98-4.0 GHz reserved as a guard band.

The Commission adopted a robust transition schedule to achieve an expeditious relocation of FSS operations and ensure that a significant amount of spectrum is made available quickly for next-generation wireless deployments, while also ensuring effective accommodation of relocated incumbent users. The 3.7 GHz Report and Order establishes a deadline of December 5, 2025, for full relocation to ensure that all FSS operations are cleared in a timely manner, but provides an opportunity for accelerated clearing of the band by allowing incumbent space station operators, as defined in the 3.7 GHz Report and Order, to commit to voluntarily relocate on a two-phased accelerated schedule (with additional obligations and incentives for such operators), with a Phase I deadline of December 5, 2021, and a Phase II deadline of December 5, 2023.

The Commission concluded in the 3.7 GHz Report and Order that, before the public auction of overlay licenses commences, it is appropriate for potential bidders to know when they will get access to the spectrum in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band that is currently occupied by incumbent FSS space station operators and earth stations, as defined in the 3.7 GHz Report and Order, and to have an estimate of how much they may be required to pay for incumbent relocation costs and accelerated relocation payments should they become overlay licensees, as overlay licensees are required to pay for the reasonable relocation costs of incumbent space station and incumbent earth station operators that are required to clear the lower portion of the band.

Under this new information collection, the Commission will collect information that will be used by the Commission to determine when, how, and at what cost existing operations in the lower portion of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band will be relocated to the upper portion of the band. Specifically, the Commission collect the following information from incumbents as adopted in the 3.7 GHz Report and Order:

Accelerated Relocation Elections

The Commission concluded in the 3.7 GHz Report and Order that overlay licensees would only value accelerated relocation if a significant majority of incumbents are cleared in a timely manner, and therefore determined that at least 80% of accelerated relocation payments must be accepted in order for the Commission to accept accelerated elections and require overlay licensees to pay accelerated relocation payments. The 3.7 GHz Report and Order calls for an eligible space station operator, as defined in the 3.7 GHz Report and Order, that chooses to commit to clear on the accelerated schedule in exchange for accelerated relocation payments to submit a written, public, irrevocable accelerated relocation election with the Commission by May 29, 2020, to permit the Commission to determine whether there are sufficient accelerated relocation elections to trigger early relocation and in turn provide bidders with adequate certainty regarding the clearing date and payment obligations associated with each license well in advance of the auction.

Transition Plans

The 3.7 GHz Report and Order requires each eligible space station operator to submit to the Commission by June 12, 2020, and make available for public review, a detailed transition plan describing the necessary steps and estimated costs for the eligible space station operator to complete the transition of existing operations in the lower portion of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band to the upper 200 megahertz of the band and its individual timeline for doing so consistent with the regular relocation deadline or by the accelerated relocation deadlines. An eligible space station operator that elects to receive accelerated relocation payments is responsible for relocating all of its associated incumbent earth stations and must outline the details of such relocation in the transition plan (unless an incumbent earth station owner elects to receive a lump sum payment and assumes responsibility for transitioning its own earth stations). Similarly, an incumbent space station operator that does not elect to receive accelerated relocation payments but nevertheless plans to assume responsibility for relocating its own associated incumbent earth stations must make that clear in its transition plan.

Incumbent Earth Station Lump Sum Payment Elections

The 3.7 GHz Report and Order provides an incumbent earth station operator with the option of accepting reimbursement payments for its reasonable relocation costs for the transition, or opting out of the formal relocation process and accepting a lump sum reimbursement payment for all of its incumbent earth stations based on the average, estimated costs of relocating all of their incumbent earth stations in lieu of actual relocation costs. The 3.7 GHz Report and Order directs the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to announce the lump sum that will be available per incumbent earth station as well as the process for electing lump sum payments and requires that no later than 30 days after this announcement, an incumbent earth station operator that wishes to receive a lump sum payment make an irrevocable lump sum payment election that will apply to all of its earth stations in the contiguous United States.

This information collection will serve as the starting point for planning and managing the process of efficiently and expeditiously clearing of the lower portion of the band, so that this spectrum can be auctioned for flexible-use service licenses.

Start Signature

Federal Communications Commission.

Cecilia Sigmund,

Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-06351 Filed 3-25-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P