[Federal Register Volume 68, Number 199 (Wednesday, October 15, 2003)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 59335-59336]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 03-25967]



47 CFR Part 5

[FCC 03-207]

Experimental Radio Licenses and Authorizations

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This document amends the Commission's rules which apply to 
experimental radio licensing. The primary revision requires that all 
applications for licenses for Experimental Radio stations be filed 
electronically. We are codifying the existing requirement that any 
objections to Experimental Radio license applications must comply with 
the provisions of the Commission's rules governing informal objections.

DATES: Effective November 14, 2003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jim Burtle, Office of Engineering and 
Technology, (202) 418-2445, or Doug Young, Office of Engineering and 
Technology, (202) 418-2440.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Order 
adopted August 15, 2003, and released August 20, 2003, that finalizes 
those regulations. The full text of this Commission decision is 
available on the Commission's Internet site at http://www.fcc.gov. It 
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 of this document also may 
be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, Qualex 
International, 445 12th Street, SW., Room, CY-B402, Washington, DC 
20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: http://www.fcc.gov. 
Alternative formats are available to persons with disabilities by 
contacting Brian Millin at (202) 418-7426 or TTY (202) 418-7365.

Summary of the Order

    1. The Order, 63 FR 64199, November 19, 1998, revised the rules in 
the Experimental Radio Service to promote technical innovation and new 
services by encouraging experiments; ensure that experimental licenses 
do not result in abuse of our processes; eliminate unnecessary and 
burdensome experimental regulations; and protect public safety 
    2. Electronic Filing. Since November 18, 1998, the application 
forms applicable to licenses for Experimental Radio stations could be 
submitted to the Commission electronically. These forms are:
    a. FCC Form 405, Application for Renewal of Experimental License or 
    b. FCC Form 442, Application for New or Modified Experimental Radio 
Station Authorization.
    c. FCC Form 702, Application for Consent to Assignment of Radio 
Station Construction Authorization or License (For Stations in Services 
Other Than Broadcast).
    d. FCC Form 703, Application for Consent to Transfer Control of 
Corporation Holding Station License.
    e. Special Temporary Authority (STA), Application for STA.
    f. Add Attachments, Form for Submitting Additional Exhibits to an 
Existing Experimental Licensing Application.
    g. Submit Correspondence, Form for Replying to Correspondence Sent 
by the OET ELS Branch Pertaining to a Pending Application.
    h. Amend/Complete Application, Form for Amending or Completing a 
Page on a Previously-Filed Experimental Radio Licensing Application
    2. These forms have been accessible at the official web site of the 
Commission's Office of Engineering and Technology, https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/cf/els/index.cfm. Of the 769 total 
Experimental Radio license application filings in calendar year 2002, 
88% were filed electronically. In the Quarter ending March 31, 2003, 
215 filings were submitted, and 93% of these were made electronically. 
By requiring that applications for Experimental Radio licenses 
henceforth be filed electronically, we are taking another step toward 
the Commission's compliance with Section 1704 of the Government 
Paperwork Elimination Act. We do, however, recognize that the mandatory 
electronic filing requirement could impose unusual burdens on some 
filers and that, therefore, it may be appropriate for us to consider 
granting limited waivers of this requirement. Such waivers, however, 
will not be routinely granted and the filing party must plead with 
particularity the facts and circumstances warranting relief.
    3. Mandatory electronic filing of applications for Experimental 
Radio licenses will commence on January 1, 2004. This change is 
reflected in the amendments to part 5 of the Commission's Rules, 47 CFR 
5.1-5.125. Because this change from voluntary to mandatory electronic 
filing is merely procedural in nature and does not substantively change 
the information

[[Page 59336]]

required to be filed with the Commission, the notice and comment 
requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act are inapplicable. 
Paper versions of these forms will not be accepted for filing after 
December 31, 2003, unless accompanied by an appropriate request for 
waiver of the electronic filing requirement.
    4. Informal Objections. Applications for Experimental Radio 
licenses are not subject to the public notice requirements of section 
309(b) of the Communications Act, of 1934, as amended, and, therefore, 
the proper procedure for opposing such applications is to file an 
informal objection. However, there is no provision in part 5 of the 
rules that expressly address this point. To codify this requirement, we 
are adding Sec.  5.95, which will provide for the filing of informal 
objections that comply with the requirements set forth in Sec. Sec.  
1.41-1.52 of the rules. We continue to prefer the use of informal 
procedures in the context of part 5, which ``contemplate[s] that 
experimental licensees will cooperate in good faith with [regular] 
service licensees to prevent harmful interference to the affected 
services, to investigate any complaints of interference, and to take 
appropriate measures to mitigate interference'' and require that ``in 
the event of unmitigable harmful interference, experimental operations 
must cease immediately.'' Because this amendment merely clarifies an 
existing procedure and makes no substantive changes to the Commission's 
rules, it also is exempt from the notice and comment requirements of 
the Administrative Procedure Act.
    5. Pursuant to sections 4, 302, and 303 of the Communications Act 
of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154, 302, and 303, this Order IS 

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 5

    Radio, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,

Rule Changes

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications 
Commission amends 47 CFR part 5 as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 5 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Secs. 4, 302, 303, 48 Stat. 1066, 1082, as amended; 
47 U.S.C. 154, 302, 303. Interpret or apply sec. 301, 48 Stat. 1081, 
as amended; 47 U.S.C. 301.

1a. Section 5.55 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) and (b) to read 
as follows:

Sec.  5.55  Filing of applications.

    (a) To assure that necessary information is supplied in a 
consistent manner by all persons, standard forms are prescribed for use 
in connection with the majority of applications and reports submitted 
for Commission consideration. Standard numbered forms applicable to the 
Experimental Radio Service are discussed in Sec.  5.59 and may be 
accessed electronically at the Office of Engineering and Technology Web 
site https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/cf/els/index.cfm. If no 
standard form is applicable, the informal application procedure 
outlined in Sec.  5.59(f) should be followed.
    (b) Any application for radio station authorization shall be 
submitted electronically through the Office of Engineering and 
Technology Web site https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/cf/els/index.cfm 
effective January 1, 2004. Any correspondence relating thereto that 
cannot be submitted electronically shall instead be submitted to the 
Commission's Office of Engineering and Technology, Washington, DC 
20554. (Applications requiring fees as set forth in part 1, subpart G 
of this chapter must be filed in accordance with Sec.  0.401(b) of this 
* * * * *

2. Section 5.61 is amended by revising the introductory text of 
paragraph (c) to read as follows:

Sec.  5.61  Procedure for obtaining a special temporary authorization.

* * * * *
    (c) An application for special temporary authorization shall be 
filed electronically through the Office of Engineering and Technology 
Web site https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/cf/els/index.cfm effective 
January 1, 2004 and shall contain the following information:
* * * * *
3. Section 5.95 is added to read as follows:

Sec.  5.95  Informal objections.

    A person or entity desiring to object to or to oppose an 
Experimental Radio application for a station license or authorization 
may file an informal objection against that application. The informal 
objection and any responsive pleadings shall comply with the 
requirements set forth in Sec. Sec.  1.41 through 1.52 of this chapter.

[FR Doc. 03-25967 Filed 10-14-03; 8:45 am]