[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 107 (Wednesday, June 4, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 32365-32415]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-11235]



[[Page 32365]]

Vol. 79

Wednesday,

No. 107

June 4, 2014

Part II





 Federal Communications Commission





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47 CFR Parts 1, 2, and 27





 Commercial Operations in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-
2180 MHz Bands; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 79 , No. 107 / Wednesday, June 4, 2014 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 32366]]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 1, 2, and 27

[GN Docket No. 13-185; FCC 14-31]


Commercial Operations in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 
2155-2180 MHz Bands

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission 
(Commission) adopts rules governing use of spectrum in the 1695-1710 
MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands that will make available 
significantly more commercial spectrum for Advanced Wireless Services. 
This additional 65 megahertz of spectrum for commercial use will help 
ensure that the speed, capacity, and ubiquity of the nation's wireless 
networks keeps pace with industry demands for wireless service. This is 
another step in implementing the Congressional directive in Title VI of 
the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 to make more 
spectrum available for flexible uses.

DATES: Effective July 7, 2014 except for the amendment to 47 CFR 2.106 
adding Fixed and Mobile allocations for the 2025-2110 MHz band to the 
Federal Table of Frequency Allocations, which will become effective 
after the Commission publishes a document in the Federal Register 
announcing the relevant effective date, and except for 47 CFR 
2.1033(c)(19)(i)-(ii); 27.14(k), (s); 27.17(c); 27.50(d)(3); 27.1131; 
27.1132; 27.1134(c), (f), which contain new or modified information 
collection requirements that are not effective until approved by the 
Office of Management and Budget. The Commission will publish a document 
in the Federal Register announcing the effective date for those 
sections.

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 Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, 
Room 1-C823, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554 or via the 
Internet at Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ronald Repasi, Office of Engineering 
and Technology, at (202) 418-0768 or Ronald.Repasi@fcc.gov or Peter 
Daronco, Broadband Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, at 
(202) 418-7235 or Peter.Daronco@fcc.gov. For additional information 
concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection 
requirements contained in this document, contact Cathy Williams at 
(202) 418-2918, or via the Internet at PRA@fcc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's AWS-3 
Report and Order, FCC 14-31, adopted and released on March 31, 2014 
(corrected by Erratum, released on May 6, 2014. 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://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-31A1.docx. 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.

Summary

    1. With the Report and Order, we adopt rules governing use of 
spectrum in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands 
that will make available significantly more commercial spectrum for 
Advanced Wireless Services (AWS). We refer to these bands as AWS-3. 
This action is another step in implementing the Congressional directive 
in Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 
2012, Public Law 112-96, 126 Stat. 156 (2012) (Spectrum Act) to make 
more spectrum available for flexible uses. It also represents a 
milestone in speeding commercial access to bands through spectrum-
sharing arrangements with incumbent Federal users. In particular, 40 
megahertz in the band is being made available for commercial use 
pursuant to collaboration among the wireless industry and Federal 
agencies facilitated by the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory 
Committee (CSMAC) chartered to advise the National Telecommunications 
and Information Administration (NTIA).
    2. We will license the AWS-3 spectrum in two sub-bands. We will 
pair the 2155-2180 MHz band for downlink/base station operations with 
the 1755-1780 MHz band for uplink/mobile operations. The 2155-2180 MHz 
band is already currently allocated for non-Federal, commercial use. 
The 1755-1780 MHz band is being made available on a shared basis with a 
limited number of Federal incumbents indefinitely, while many of the 
Federal systems will over time relocate out of the band. We also adopt 
rules to allocate and license the 1695-1710 MHz band for uplink/mobile 
operations on an unpaired shared basis with incumbent Federal 
meteorological-satellite (MetSat) data users. We will assign AWS-3 
licenses by competitive bidding, offering 5 megahertz and 10 megahertz 
blocks that can be aggregated using Economic Areas (EAs) as the area 
for geographic licensing, except for 1755-1760/2155-2160 MHz, which 
will be licensed by Cellular Market Areas (CMAs).

I. Background

    3. Section 6401 of the Spectrum Act. In February 2012, Congress 
enacted the Spectrum Act. That Act includes several provisions designed 
to make more spectrum available for commercial use. It established, 
among other things, deadlines applicable to both the Secretary of 
Commerce and the Commission to identify, reallocate, auction, and 
license, subject to flexible use service rules, spectrum for commercial 
use. Specifically, the Spectrum Act requires the allocation of spectrum 
in the following bands for services that support commercial use: 25 
megahertz at 2155-2180 MHz; an additional contiguous 15 megahertz to be 
identified by the Commission; 15 megahertz between 1675-1710 MHz, to be 
identified by NTIA by February 2013; and 10 megahertz at 1915-1920 MHz 
and 1995-2000 MHz, if the Commission finds no harmful interference to 
the neighboring Personal Communications Service (PCS) band. The 
Spectrum Act states that the Commission shall grant new initial 
licenses for all of these bands by February 2015. In June 2013 the FCC 
adopted service rules for the last of these four bands listed above 
(1915-1920 and 1995-2000 MHz, or the H Block) in a separate FCC 
proceeding and the Commission completed the H Block auction on February 
27, 2014.
    4. The Spectrum Act also amended the Commercial Spectrum 
Enhancement Act, Public Law 108-494, 118 Stat. 3986, 3991 (2004), 
codified at 47 U.S.C. 309(j), 923(g), 928 (CSEA). In 2004, the CSEA 
created the Spectrum Relocation

[[Page 32367]]

Fund (SRF) to streamline the process by which Federal incumbents can 
recover the costs associated with relocating their spectrum-dependent 
systems from spectrum bands authorized to be licensed under the 
Commission's competitive bidding authority. See 47 U.S.C. 309(j), 928. 
The Spectrum Act extended the CSEA cost reimbursement mechanism for 
Federal incumbents to include sharing as well as relocation costs, and 
to facilitate Federal incumbents sharing of spectrum with commercial 
users by expanding the types of expenditures that can be funded or 
reimbursed from the SRF. These changes are intended to permit agencies 
to receive funds associated with planning for Commission auctions and 
relocations, spectrum sharing, the use of alternative technologies, the 
replacement of existing government-owned equipment with state-of-the-
art systems, and the research, engineering studies, and economic 
analyses conducted in connection with spectrum sharing arrangements, 
including coordination with auction winners. The Spectrum Act also 
created a new category of allowable pre-auction costs that may, in 
certain circumstances, be funded before the start of a Commission 
auction of licenses for applicable eligible frequencies.
    5. The conclusion of any auction of eligible frequencies 
reallocated from Federal use to non-Federal use or to shared use is 
contingent on obtaining from such auction cash proceeds amounting to at 
least 110 percent of the total estimated relocation or sharing costs 
provided to the Commission by NTIA. Proceeds attributable to the 2155-
2180 MHz, 1915-1920 MHz, and 1995-2000 MHz non-Federal bands must also 
be deposited in the PSTF. The Spectrum Act establishes the priority for 
making payments or deposits from the PSTF as amounts are deposited into 
the Fund. Spectrum Act section 6413(b), codified at 47 U.S.C. 1457(b). 
Once the relocation and sharing costs of the Federal incumbents are 
covered, however, the remainder of the proceeds attributable to 
eligible Federal frequencies required to be auction under the Spectrum 
Act must be deposited in the Public Safety Trust Fund (PSTF) rather 
than the SRF.
    6. CSEA Transition Planning Process. The CSEA also requires the 
Commission to notify NTIA at least 18 months before the start of an 
auction of eligible frequencies and for NTIA to notify the Commission 
of estimated relocation and sharing costs associated therewith, and 
timelines for such relocation or sharing, at least 6 months before the 
start of the auction. On March 20, 2013, the Commission notified NTIA 
that it ``plans to commence the auction of licenses in the 1695-1710 
MHz band and the 1755-1780 MHz band as early as September 2014'' in 
order to satisfy the Spectrum Act licensing deadline of February 2015. 
NTIA subsequently notified the affected agencies of their requirement 
to prepare transition plans.
    7. As noted above, the Spectrum Act amended the CSEA to expand the 
types of costs for which Federal agencies can be reimbursed from the 
Spectrum Relocation Fund. It also required the Department of Commerce 
to adopt a common format for Transition Plans, create an expert 
Technical Panel to review the sufficiency of these transition plans, 
and adopt a process to resolve disputes regarding the execution, 
timing, or cost of transition plans. The Technical Panel consists of 
three members, one appointed by the Director of the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB), one appointed by the Assistant Secretary 
of Commerce for Communications and Information, and one appointed by 
the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Each member must 
be a radio engineer or a technical expert. 47 U.S.C. 923(h)(3)(B); see 
47 CFR 301.100. The Technical Panel reviews each Federal entity's 
transition plan and reports on its sufficiency. 47 U.S.C. 923(h)(4); 
see 47 CFR 301.120.
    8. The Spectrum Act amendments to the CSEA require Federal agencies 
authorized to use eligible frequencies to submit a Transition Plan to 
NTIA and the Technical Panel no later than 240 days (i.e., 8 months) 
before the auction start date. The amendments further require the 
Technical Panel to submit to NTIA and the applying Federal agency a 
report on the sufficiency of the Transition Plan no later than 30 days 
after the submission of the plan (i.e., 7 months, or 210 days, before 
the auction start date). NTIA must make the Transition Plans available 
on its Web site with the exception of classified and other sensitive 
information, no later than 120 days (i.e., 4 months) before the auction 
start date. 47 U.S.C. 923(h)(5). See also Common Format for Federal 
Entity Transition Plans, Notice of Inquiry in Doc No. 130809701-3701-
01, 78 FR 50396, Aug. 19, 2013.
    9. CSMAC Working Groups. As discussed in the AWS-3 NPRM, NTIA 
established five joint government/industry working groups within its 
CSMAC to facilitate the implementation of services that support 
commercial use in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1850 MHz bands. Working 
Group 1 (WG1) was charged with addressing sharing issues related to the 
1675-1710 MHz band, while Working Groups 2-5 were charged with 
addressing sharing issues related to Federal operations in the 1755-
1850 MHz band. WG1's final report, adopted by CSMAC on February 21, 
2013, recommended that the Commission adopt a framework for 
reallocating the 1695-1710 MHz band for commercial use with 
``Protection Zones.'' Under this framework, commercial operations could 
be freely deployed outside of these ``Protection Zones.'' Operations 
inside these ``Protection Zones,'' however, would require prior 
successful Federal coordination. With respect to the 1755-1850 MHz 
band, only WG2's final report was completed before the AWS-3 NPRM was 
released. The Commission noted that the record of the instant 
proceeding would be informed by NTIA's subsequent recommendations 
regarding CSMAC's then ongoing study of the potential for Federal/non-
Federal spectrum sharing. If NTIA endorsed these reports, the 
Commission would add them to the record for commenters to discuss in 
comments, reply comments, or ex parte presentations, as appropriate, 
depending on the timing. AWS-3 NPRM, 28 FCC Rcd at 11491 para. 19. See 
also Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Engineering and 
Technology Exempt Certain Ex Parte Presentations in GN Docket No. 13-
185, Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd 12268 (2013).
    10. DoD Proposal. The AWS-3 NPRM also sought comment on two 
specific proposals for facilitating wireless industry access to the 
1755-1780 MHz portion of the 1755-1850 MHz band, including the 
Department of Defense Alternative Proposal (DoD Proposal). Letter from 
Karl B. Nebbia, Associate Administrator, Office of Spectrum Management, 
NTIA, to Julius P. Knapp, Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, 
FCC, at 1 (July 22, 2013) (GN Docket No. 09-51, ET Docket 10-123) (NTIA 
July 2013 Letter). See also id., Enclosure 1 (Letter from Teresa M. 
Takai, Chief Information Officer, DoD, to Lawrence E. Strickling, 
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, NTIA, U.S. 
Dept. of Commerce (July 17 2013). The other proposal was the ``Industry 
Roadmap.'' See AWS-3 NPRM, 28 FCC Rcd at 11514 para. 78. Under the DoD 
Proposal, the Commission would be able to auction licenses in the 1755-
1780 MHz band in the near term, while protecting DoD's critical 
capabilities and preserving the flexibility necessary to address the 
long-term status of the remaining (1780-1850 MHz) portion of this band. 
DoD proposed to relocate most of its

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operations out of the 1755-1780 MHz band by shifting and compressing 
some operations now at 1755-1850 MHz into the 1780-1850 MHz band and by 
relocating other operations on a shared basis to the 2025-2110 MHz 
band. DoD estimated the cost of implementing its proposal at $3.5 
billion. NTIA July 2013 Letter, Enclosure 1. Under the DoD Proposal, 
DoD would not seek access to the 5150-5250 MHz band for telemetry. NTIA 
July 2013 Letter, Enclosure 1.
    11. NTIA Endorsement of CSMAC Reports and DoD Proposal. In a letter 
filed with the Commission on November 25, 2013, NTIA endorsed the 
remaining CSMAC reports and transmitted final versions of all five 
reports to the Commission, which we added to the record of this 
proceeding. Letter from Letter from Karl B. Nebbia, Associate 
Administrator, NTIA Office of Spectrum Management to Julius Knapp, 
Federal Communications Commission at 1 (dated Nov. 25, 2013) (NTIA 
November 2013 Letter). NTIA also fully endorsed the DoD Proposal to 
relocate most of its operations out of the 1755-1780 MHz band and to 
gain additional access to the 2025-2110 MHz band by adding primary 
fixed and mobile allocations to the Federal Table of Frequency 
Allocations limited to certain military operations with protection and 
priority for non-Federal fixed and mobile operators in the Television 
Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS), the Cable Television Relay Service 
(CARS), or the Local Television Transmission Service (LTTS). NTIA 
clarified that coordination between military and these non-Federal 
operations should occur via a memorandum of understanding between the 
Federal and non-Federal fixed and mobile operators. Under this 
framework DoD operations would share the 2025-2110 MHz band with BAS, 
CARS, and LTTS, thus enabling DoD to relocate some military operations 
from the 1755-1780 MHz band to the 2025-2110 MHz band for those 
operations that could not compress into the 1780-1850 MHz band or could 
not relocate to other bands allocated for Federal use.

II. Discussion

A. Bands for AWS-3

    12. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission proposed AWS-3 service rules 
for the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz 
bands. We discuss each band below.
    13. 1695-1710-MHz. As discussed in the AWS-3 NPRM, in accordance 
with the Spectrum Act's mandate to identify new commercial spectrum for 
auction, NTIA identified 1695-1710 MHz for commercial services. The 
1695-1710 MHz band is immediately below the AWS-1 uplink band at 1710-
1755 MHz. The 1675-1700 MHz band segment is allocated to the 
meteorological aids service and restricted to radiosonde operation. 
This portion of the band is also allocated to the MetSat service and is 
restricted to space-to-Earth operation on a primary basis for Federal 
and non-Federal use. The 1700-1710 MHz segment is allocated to the 
fixed and MetSat service on a primary basis for Federal and on a 
secondary basis for non-Federal use, and restricted to space-to-Earth 
operation.
    14. Uplink Designation, Block Size and Service Area Size. In the 
AWS-3 NPRM, to implement NTIA's endorsement of the CSMAC WG1 Final 
Report, the Commission proposed to limit use of the 1695-1710 MHz band 
to mobile/uplink operations subject to successful coordination with 
Federal incumbents prior to operation within 27 Protection Zones. To 
implement this coordination requirement, the Commission proposed to 
require all uplink operations in this band to transmit only when 
controlled by an associated base station. Such base stations located 
within the 27 Protection Zones would be subject to successful 
coordination prior to operation of the 1695-1710 MHz uplinks. 
Additionally, the Commission proposed to license the band in 5 
megahertz blocks, noting that a minimum bandwidth of 5 megahertz was 
necessary to implement the technologies contemplated for the band, and 
proposed geographic area licensing utilizing 176 Economic Areas (EAs) 
as the service area size.
    15. Commenters generally agree that we should allow only uplink 
operations in 1695-1710 MHz. Raytheon points out that the record is 
supportive of the Commission's proposal to limit operations in the band 
to uplink only while prohibiting fixed operations in these frequencies. 
T-Mobile does not oppose a requirement that uplink/mobile devices be 
under the control of, or associated with, a base station as a means to 
facilitate shared use of the band and prevent interference to Federal 
operations.
    16. Regarding block and area sizes, most commenters agree with the 
Commission's proposal to license AWS-3 spectrum in 5 megahertz blocks 
and to implement geographical area licensing utilizing EAs for the 
1695-1710 MHz band. Verizon supports auctioning the AWS-3 spectrum in a 
combination of 5 and 10 megahertz blocks as these offerings will 
facilitate the deployment of multiple technologies. DISH favors 
auctioning 1695-1710 MHz as a single, unpaired 15 megahertz band.
    17. We conclude that operations in the 1695-1710 MHz should be 
limited to mobile/uplink operations for commercial operators, and that 
the band will not be available for fixed uses or air-to-ground 
operations. We note that the Commission's proposal in this regard was 
based on NTIA's endorsement of the CSMAC report, which assumed mobile 
operations up to 20 dBm EIRP, recommending that commercial use of this 
band be limited to low-power mobile (uplink) transmission. Furthermore, 
as Verizon notes, in determining the Protection Zones for these bands, 
the CSMAC did not consider the impact of high gain or tall antennas on 
government operations. Additionally, operations in the band will be 
subject to successful coordination with Federal incumbents in the 27 
Protection Zones that we are adopting based on NTIA's endorsement of 
the CSMAC WG1 Final Report. We believe that the combination of low 
power, mobile uses along with the designation of the protection zones 
with coordination requirements will allow commercial and Federal users 
to co-exist successfully in the band protecting in-band and adjacent 
band meteorological-satellite receive stations. We also understand that 
Federal incumbents plan to develop and deploy real-time spectrum 
monitoring systems for the 1695-1710 MHz band. We will also require 
that uplink/mobile devices be under the control of, or associated with, 
a base station as a means to facilitate shared use of the band and 
prevent interference to Federal operations. The Protection Zones for 
the 1695-1710 MHz band are premised on the distance between the 
incumbent Federal operations and non-Federal base station(s) that will 
enable the AWS-3 uplink/mobile operations. Thus, even though the base 
station is receiving rather than transmitting in the 1695-1710 MHz 
band, its location inside a Protection Zone triggers the coordination 
requirement. As discussed in the CSMAC WG1 Final Report the 27 
Protection Zones actually protect 47 individual federal MetSat receive 
stations. See WG 1 Final Report at Appendix 1.1 Table 1 for a complete 
list of MetSat receive stations that are protected. We discuss this 
requirement further below.
    18. We will authorize and license the 1695-1710 MHz band by 
Economic Areas (EAs) in one 5 megahertz and one 10 megahertz block, 
which may be aggregated. Economic Areas are geographic areas 
established by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the

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Department of Commerce and used by the Federal Communications 
Commission to define the coverage of spectrum licenses for certain 
services. There are 172 EAs, plus 4 EA-like areas, which have been 
assigned Commission-created EA numbers: 173 (Guam and the Northern 
Mariana Islands), 174 (Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin 
Islands), 175 (American Samoa), and 176 (the Gulf of Mexico). See 47 
CFR 27.6(a). Specifically, we will offer a 5 megahertz block at 1695-
1700 MHz and a 10 megahertz block at 1700-1710 MHz. Offering the 
spectrum in 5 and 10 megahertz blocks will support the wide range of 
technologies contemplated for the band, and will match the 
configuration of other AWS-3 spectrum. The small 5 megahertz block will 
also facilitate the opportunity for new entrants and smaller businesses 
to acquire the right to use this spectrum. Because the blocks can be 
aggregated, potential bidders and future licensees also have the option 
to acquire the rights to use both blocks within an EA, i.e., a 15 
megahertz band as DISH suggests.
    19. Pairing. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission noted that the new 
AWS-3 band segments could be configured in any number of pairings or 
even auctioned on an unpaired basis and sought comment on a range of 
options. Commenters were asked to address whether and how the AWS-3 
band segments should be paired, and were also asked to discuss the 
competitive effects of the available options. The Commission 
specifically noted CTIA's earlier proposal to designate 2095-2110 MHz 
for AWS downlink operations paired with 1695-1710 MHz and sought 
comment on CTIA's recommendation. In this regard, the Commission also 
noted prior opposition to CTIA's proposal including a feasibility study 
that NASA had prepared (NASA Study) and NTIA's statement that the NASA 
Study showed that high-density terrestrial base stations or user 
equipment operating co-frequency in the 2025-2110 MHz band would exceed 
established protection criteria for the Tracking and Data Relay 
Satellite System (TDRSS) spaceborne receivers by an average of 16.4 dB 
to 40.7 dB and that analysis of sharing with satellite systems of other 
administrations will likely show similar results.
    20. Commenters strongly favor pairing the 1695-1710 MHz band. 
Moreover, commenters note that pairing the spectrum would allow 
aggregation of AWS-3 spectrum with AWS-1 spectrum, which would create 
significantly larger blocks of contiguous paired spectrum that would 
accommodate higher bandwidths offered by technologies. USCC points out 
that access to paired spectrum is particularly critical for small and 
regional carriers, who typically lack sufficient spectrum holdings to 
pair with newly-acquired spectrum blocks on an asymmetric basis. Thus, 
commenters state that offering 1695-1710 MHz on a paired basis would 
boost auction participation, provide for the creation of a single band 
class, internationally harmonize the spectrum, and result in 
significant economies of scale. Put differently, Verizon and other 
commenters state that auctioning the 1695-1710 MHz band as stand-alone 
uplink spectrum would render it ``virtually useless, as it is the 
downlink spectrum that carriers, both new and incumbent, most require 
to meet the skyrocketing demand for mobile broadband bandwidth.'' They 
note that auctioning 1695-1710 MHz as stand-alone supplemental uplink 
would significantly decrease the value of the spectrum, relative to 
auctioning it paired with downlink spectrum, and would limit both its 
uses and interested bidders. T-Mobile opines that seeking a brief delay 
of the statutory deadline would be preferable to auctioning and 
licensing the band unpaired. In contrast, Raytheon notes that there is 
no requirement in the Spectrum Act to pair this band.
    21. Many commenters strongly preferred pairing 1695-1710 MHz with 
2095-2110 MHz, which CTIA previously advocated due to the pair's 
important ability to use the same duplex spacing as the existing and 
adjacent AWS-1 band. Verizon likewise notes that because 2095-2110 MHz 
is directly adjacent to AWS-1, adopting this pairing configuration will 
provide a solid foundation for the next generation of wireless networks 
and services, including those that will utilize LTE-Advanced technology 
and ``could ultimately lead to a unified band plan for the 2 GHz 
spectrum: 1695-1920 MHz for uplink operations and 1930-2200 MHz for 
downlink operations.'' For this reason, T-Mobile and other commenters 
initially urged limited relocation of DoD's systems to 2095-2110 MHz.
    22. In contrast, Raytheon and Boeing state that 2095-2110 MHz is 
not an acceptable pairing option for 1695-1710 MHz because the former 
band supports critical TDRSS communication, which may become critical 
for manned spaceflight programs, and is currently occupied by Federal 
users for satellite and non-Federal BAS operations. Raytheon notes that 
the NASA Study is a comprehensive analysis showing that shared use of 
2095-2110 MHz with AWS operations is infeasible. In addition, Raytheon 
notes that DoD has proposed to relocate some operations in the 1755-
1780 MHz band to the 2025-2110 MHz band. Verizon and others contend 
that the NASA Study is incomplete and that more information is needed 
from NASA to properly evaluate any technical challenges with additional 
uses of that band. Verizon states that while the study raises concerns 
that co-channel mobile services could cause satellite-to-satellite 
interference in the forward-link transmissions from NASA geostationary 
Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) to Low Earth Orbit 
(LEO) satellites, it is impossible to assess the validity of modeling 
of propagation, antenna performance, LTE system characteristics, and 
satellite system characteristics without additional information from 
NASA. NASA subsequently provided additional information and updated its 
study to address the most current internationally-agreed parameters of 
commercial broadband mobile (LTE) systems. See NTIA November 21013 
Letter Enclosure 6 ``NASA's reply to comments filed with the FCC in 
response to its AWS-3 NPRM regarding NASA's feasibility assessment for 
accommodation of mobile broadband long term evolution (LTE) systems in 
the 2025-2110 MHz band.'' Boeing states that the Updated NASA Study 
addresses the concerns raised about the initial NASA Study with respect 
to assuming unrealistically high numbers of transmitting handsets, and 
correspondingly high aggregate per city handset transmitter power 
levels. Specifically, Boeing explains that the initial NASA Study 
relied on the number of handsets specified by CSMAC Working Group 1, 
prior to the release of updated specifications by Working Party 5D of 
the International Telecommunications Union Radiocommunication Sector. 
Because CTIA and other wireless commenters are no longer pursuing the 
proposal to pair 2095-2110 MHz as the downlink band to be auctioned and 
licensed paired with 1695-1710 MHz, we reach no conclusions today 
regarding the initial or updated NASA Studies.
    23. Notwithstanding the fact that the 2095-2110 MHz band initially 
received the most support as the pairing match for the 1695-1710 MHz 
band, the wireless industry subsequently recognized difficulties with 
pairing the 2095-2110 MHz band with the 1695-1710 MHz band. 
Specifically, the industry acknowledged that the challenges associated 
with Federal and

[[Page 32370]]

BAS incumbents in the band would lead to extreme difficulties with 
allocating, auctioning and licensing 2095-2110 MHz in time to meet the 
February 2015 deadline for licensing the 1695-1710 MHz band. 
Additionally, CTIA, the original proponent of this pairing now asserts 
that the Commission's highest priority is the clearing of the DoD 
services at 1755-1780 MHz, and points out that the DoD is actively 
working with the FCC, broadcasters and other Federal agencies to 
relocate from the 1755-1780 MHz band into a portion of the Broadcast 
Auxiliary Services at 2025-2110 MHz.
    24. Commenters provided other suggestions on possible candidate 
bands for pairing with 1695-1710 MHz, but also identified serious or 
insurmountable obstacles with each suggested match. For example, citing 
a recent NTIA spectrum-monitoring report that, according to T-Mobile, 
suggests that the 1370-1390 MHz sub-band is lightly used, T-Mobile 
identified the 1370-1390 MHz band as a possible candidate for pairing 
with 1695-1710 MHz. But T-Mobile acknowledges technical limitations 
that weigh against this pairing, in that the 1370-1390 MHz band suffers 
from a lack of synergy with existing bands, which in turn would require 
the use of additional base station amplifiers and antennas.
    25. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission noted SBE's opposition to 
CTIA's proposal to use 2095-2110 MHz and its ensuing suggestion to 
instead consider 2360-2390 MHz as an option for pairing with 1695-1710 
MHz. In response to this suggestion, AFTRCC responds that this is a 
principal band used for flight test telemetry and that an LTE 
allocation at 2360-2390 MHz would create threats to the continued 
effective operation of safety-of-life Aeronautical Mobile Telemetry 
(AMT) operations in the band, and would also jeopardize the successful 
deployment of Medical Body Area Network (MBAN) devices in hospitals and 
clinics throughout the country. Raytheon agrees that the 2360-2395 MHz 
band is not suitable for pairing with 1695-1710 MHz, not only because 
of its designation for primary flight testing, but also because it is 
designated for secondary medical telemetry uses. Moreover, Raytheon 
notes that the flight test operations occurring in 2360-2395 MHz are 
incompatible with both the fixed and mobile high density terrestrial 
operations that are contemplated for 1695-1710 MHz.
    26. Finally, as another possible alternative, TIA suggests pairing 
1695-1710 MHz with 2000-2020 MHz for downlink. However, TIA 
acknowledges that this pairing option is challenging in that it would 
require the adjustment of incumbents licensed for 2000-2020 MHz as well 
as the utilization of different duplex spacing and filters.
    27. The comments do not identify any particular 15 megahertz of 
spectrum that can readily pair with 1695-1710 MHz. In the absence of 
any substantial record support for any such workable pairing at this 
time, we conclude that the 1695-1710 MHz band should be licensed in an 
unpaired configuration. We note that no regulation would prohibit 
licensees from pairing this uplink band with another present or future 
licensed downlink band. Indeed, our secondary markets and flexible use 
policies are designed to facilitate the configuration of licenses in 
their most productive economic use.
    28. 1755-1780 MHz. Requirement to Identify 15 Megahertz of 
Contiguous Spectrum for Commercial Use. As noted above, the Spectrum 
Act requires the Commission to identify 15 megahertz of contiguous 
spectrum for commercial allocation and licensing by auction. In the 
AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission sought comment on appropriate candidates to 
identify an additional 15 megahertz of contiguous spectrum for 
commercial use. The Commission proposed, as an example, the 
identification of the 25 megahertz of contiguous spectrum comprising 
the 1755-1780 MHz band. The Commission also sought general comment on 
the allocation of other frequencies in order to meet or surpass this 
requirement of the Spectrum Act, including CTIA's recommendation of 
2095-2110 MHz as the additional 15 megahertz to be paired with 1695-
1710 MHz. While several commenters supported CTIA's recommendation, as 
noted above the record developed on this issue reflects that neither 
the band identified by CTIA nor any other spectrum is readily available 
to auction and license paired with 1695-1710 MHz by the statutory 
deadline of February 2015.
    29. Several commenters claim that the Commission cannot identify 
1755-1780 MHz to meet the statutory requirement and/or that the statute 
requires us to identify a band that can be used for downlink operations 
paired with 1695-1710 MHz. According to CTIA, the legislative history 
of the Spectrum Act makes clear that Congress intended for the 
Commission to identify 15 megahertz in addition to the 1755-1780 MHz 
band. CTIA notes that an earlier version of the House bill would have 
required the Commission to identify 15 megahertz of contiguous spectrum 
as well as the 1755-1780 MHz band if technically feasible. This version 
of the bill also stipulated that the 15 megahertz identified by NTIA 
and the 15 megahertz identified by the FCC were to be paired together 
and, according to CTIA, ``this is a logical interpretation of the 
Spectrum Act, as an alternative reading would cause the 1695-1710 MHz 
band to be orphaned.'' T-Mobile agrees with CTIA that, based upon the 
Spectrum Act's parallel mandates that NTIA and the FCC each identify 15 
megahertz of spectrum to be made available for commercial use, ``it 
seems `apparent that Congress intended for these two 15 megahertz 
spectrum bands to complement one another through ready pairing for base 
and mobile station communications.' '' Mobile Future contends that, 
with the exception of the 2095-2110 MHz band, other spectrum bands 
considered in the AWS-3 NPRM should not be found to satisfy Spectrum 
Act's directive that the Commission identify another 15 megahertz of 
spectrum for commercial use.
    30. Raytheon and NAB disagree with this statutory interpretation. 
According to Raytheon, ``Section 6401 of the Spectrum Act simply 
requires [that 15 MHz of contiguous spectrum] be allocated by the 
Commission and auctioned in 2015. There is no guidance as to where that 
spectrum is to be located or indication that it be paired with 1695-
1710 MHz band or any other band. (Nothing precludes such a pairing, 
either.) Similarly, Section 6401 does not provide any direction that 
the 15 MHz to be auctioned from the 1675-1710 MHz band is to be 
auctioned on a paired basis. Were the Commission to allocate 1755-1780 
MHz, for example, to AWS-3, that action would fully satisfy the 
unambiguous letter of the statute that an ``additional 15 MHz'' of 
spectrum be allocated for commercial broadband use, regardless of which 
band, if any, 1755-1780 MHz is paired. CTIA's argument that the 
legislative history supports a paired allocation for 1695-1710 MHz is 
unavailing [cite omitted]. Indeed, the fact the final House bill 
included a provision for 15 MHz in addition to 1755-1780 MHz, whereas 
the final legislation was silent on allocating 1755-1780 MHz and where 
the additional 15 MHz is to come from actually leads to the opposite 
conclusion, namely that 1755-1780 MHz can be the source of the 
``additional 15 MHz'' that Congress requires be auctioned in addition 
to the specific spectrum bands identified in the Spectrum Act for 
auction.'' Raytheon Reply Comments at 7-8, n.18. NAB avers that if the 
Commission were to allocate 1755-1780 MHz, for

[[Page 32371]]

example, to AWS-3, that action would fully satisfy the unambiguous 
letter of the statute that an ``additional 15 MHz'' of spectrum be 
allocated for commercial broadband use.
    31. We agree for the reasons set forth above by Raytheon and NAB 
that the language of the Spectrum Act permits the Commission to 
``identif[y]'' any ``[f]ifteen megahertz of contiguous spectrum,'' 
without regard to its current use or whether it is paired or unpaired. 
The legislative history is not inconsistent with this plain language, 
as it shows that Congress did not adopt the House bill reflecting the 
contrary view. See H.R. 3630, 112th Cong. sections 4101(a)(2)(A), 
(b)(2) (2011) (as passed by the House, December 13, 2011). We note that 
where Congress intended to signal the pairing of bands (as some 
commenters suggest is the case for 1695-1710 MHz and the 15 megahertz 
to be identified by the Commission), it used explicit language. See, 
e.g., H.R. 3630, 112th Cong. sections 4101(a)(2)(A), (b)(2) (2011) (as 
passed by the House, December 13, 2011); S. 911, 112th Cong. 2d Sess., 
section 302(c) (authorizing the Commission to combine 1755-1780 MHz and 
2155-2180 MHz ``in an auction of licenses for paired spectrum 
blocks''). Tellingly, the bill as enacted did not include any 
requirement to auction ``paired'' spectrum. Accordingly, we are today 
adopting rules to allocate and license the 1755-1780 MHz band for 
commercial use, in satisfaction of the Spectrum Act's requirement for 
us to identify 15 megahertz of contiguous spectrum in addition to the 
bands specifically identified in the Act. To the extent this entire 25 
megahertz band exceeds the requirement of the Spectrum Act to identify 
15 megahertz, our action in coordination with NTIA to identify the 
entire band for commercial use is warranted as integrally related and 
reasonably ancillary to our mandate under the Spectrum Act (given its 
pairing with the 2155-2180 MHz band specified in that Act) as well as 
pursuant to our broad spectrum management authority under Title III of 
the Communications Act, as amended. The Spectrum Act grants the 
Commission authority to implement and enforce that Act ``as if . . . a 
part of the Communications Act of 1934.'' 47 U.S.C. 1403(a). See also 
id. sections 154(i), 303.
    32. Designation for AWS. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission, noting 
NTIA's report on Federal government use of the 1755-1780 MHz band (as 
part of the larger 1755-1850 MHz band) and the band's potential as an 
extension to existing AWS spectrum, proposed uplink mobile use of the 
band under technical rules similar to AWS-1 uplinks in the adjacent 
1710-1755 MHz band. Such use would be subject to Federal requirements, 
including coordination with incumbent Federal users, emerging from the 
CSMAC process, if transmitted by NTIA. The Commission sought comment on 
various methods of sharing the 1755-1780 MHz portion of the 1755-1850 
MHz band, including the use of Protection Zones, Exclusion Zones, and 
other measures. In case the CSMAC and NTIA were unable to recommend 
clearly defined sharing parameters, the Commission also sought comment 
on whether to issue ``overlay'' licenses that would permit new 
licensees to gain access to the 1755-1780 MHz band only if they are 
able to reach coordination agreements with affected Federal users, 
i.e., ``operator-to-operator'' coordination. The Commission also sought 
comment on two additional proposals that addressed commercial use of 
the 1755-1780 MHz band: The ``Industry Roadmap'' submitted by members 
of the wireless industry and the ``DoD Proposal'' submitted by DoD. In 
the ``Industry Roadmap'' the wireless industry assessed Federal 
operations in the band and proposed to provide industry early access to 
the 1755-1780 MHz portion of the band. In the ``DoD Proposal,'' DoD 
also proposed to make the 1755-1780 MHz band available for auction in 
the near term, while protecting critical military capabilities. 
Specifically, DoD proposed to modify selected systems operating in the 
1755-1780 MHz portion of the band to operate at both 1780-1850 MHz and 
2025-2110 MHz, including Small Unmanned Aerial Systems, Tactical 
Targeting Network Technology, Tactical Radio Relay, and High Resolution 
Video Systems. DoD also proposed that its Precision Guided Munitions 
systems would be modified to operate at 1435-1525 MHz; that its Point-
to-Point Microwave Links would be modified to operate at 7125-8500 MHz; 
and that its DoD Video Surveillance/Robotics systems would be modified 
to operate at 4400-4940 MHz. DoD further proposed that specific 
systems, namely Satellite Operations (SATOPS), Electronic Warfare (EW), 
Air Combat Training System (ACTS) (where required), and Joint Tactical 
Radio System (JTRS) at six sites, would continue to operate in the 
1755-1780 MHz portion of the band, but would share that spectrum with 
commercial users. Finally, DoD proposed to compress its remaining 
operations into the 1780-1850 MHz portion of the band.
    33. Apart from the statutory issue described above concerning the 
``additional 15 megahertz of spectrum to be identified by the 
Commission,'' most commenters strongly favored the Commission's 
proposal to designate the 1755-1780 MHz band for commercial use. 
Commenters oppose the use of an overlay license approach to licensing 
the 1755-1780 MHz band, arguing that the use of such a licensing regime 
is premature until it is determined that clearing the spectrum for 
commercial users by relocation is not feasible and that mutual sharing 
mechanisms cannot be adopted. Issuing overlay licenses, the commenters 
further argued, would amount to consigning commercial mobile operations 
to secondary status, would create uncertainty about the nature of 
rights the licensee would obtain, and would be inconsistent with the 
Spectrum Act's preference to relocate Federal users to the maximum 
extent feasible. On the other hand, commenters were generally 
supportive of the Industry Roadmap and DoD's Proposal and urged the 
Commission to coordinate with NTIA to clear Federal operations from the 
1755-1780 MHz portion of the 1755-1850 MHz band. CTIA argues, however, 
that DoD has not adequately explained or justified the need for the use 
of the 2025-2110 MHz band and asks why DoD needs to replace access to 
25 megahertz of spectrum with access to 85 megahertz of spectrum.
    34. On November 25, 2013, NTIA filed a letter enclosing and 
endorsing CSMAC's final reports and stating that it fully supports the 
DoD Proposal submitted to the Commission in July 2013, including DoD's 
proposal to modify certain military systems to operate at both 1780-
1850 MHz, which is currently allocated for Federal use, and at 2025-
2110 MHz, which is currently allocated for non-Federal fixed and mobile 
use and used by operators in the Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS), the 
Cable Television Relay Service (CARS), and the Local Television 
Transmission Service (LTTS).
    35. We note at the outset that some of CSMAC's recommendations 
regarding sharing are overtaken by the DoD Proposal, under which DoD 
will relocate most of its operations out of the 1755-1780 MHz band. 
NTIA has fully endorsed the DoD Proposal and submitted additional 
details into the record. In light of these actions, we authorize the 
use of the 1755-1780 MHz band for commercial services in conformance 
with NTIA's endorsements, the DoD Proposal, and the Spectrum Act.

[[Page 32372]]

    36. Regarding non-DoD Federal incumbents, NTIA endorsed the 
findings of WG2 that the two primary video surveillance systems 
operating in the 1755-1850 MHz band operate in all portions of the band 
at any time and at any location and thus cannot share the band with 
commercial operators. NTIA also endorsed WG2's recommendation that EAs 
to be transitioned should be ranked according to industry 
implementation priorities, but then clarified that the industry's 
prioritized list would serve as an input for consideration as agencies 
develop their transition plans.
    37. NTIA responded to CTIA's claims that DoD has not explained the 
need for access to the 2025-2110 MHz band or why it needs to replace 25 
megahertz of spectrum with access to 85 megahertz of spectrum. NTIA 
explained that because the military systems that are relocating from 
the 1755-1780 MHz band to the 2025-2110 MHz band must share the latter 
band with operators in the BAS, CARS, and LTTS services and must comply 
with the conditions in two new proposed footnotes to the Table of 
Frequency Allocations, DoD needs the additional spectrum to ensure that 
it can maintain comparable capability of current activities. 
Furthermore, according to NTIA, by having access to 85 megahertz of 
spectrum, the Federal operations will have the flexibility they need 
without limiting the existing non-Federal users. Under the two new 
footnotes that NTIA has proposed to the U.S. Table of Frequency 
Allocations, Federal operations would be limited to the military, and 
new military operations would be required to be coordinated, via a 
memorandum of understanding between the Federal and non-Federal fixed 
and mobile operators in the BAS, CARS, and LTTS.
    38. 2155-2180 MHz. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission proposed 
downlink/base station use of the 2155-2180 MHz band. Because the 2155-
2180 MHz band is immediately above the AWS-1 downlink band (2110-2155 
MHz) and immediately below the AWS-4 downlink band (2180-2200 MHz), the 
Commission proposed to license the 2155-2180 MHz band under rules 
similar to those it adopted for AWS-1 and AWS-4. Commenters agreed with 
the Commission's proposal.
    39. We adopt the proposal in the AWS-3 NPRM to authorize downlink/
base station use of the 2155-2180 MHz band. Licensing the 2155-2180 MHz 
band under technical rules similar to those for the adjacent AWS-1 and 
AWS-4 spectrum efficiently manages the spectrum, will improve economies 
of scale for mobile device equipment manufacturing, and is consistent 
with global standards activity in this frequency range. Moreover, 
downlink operations in the 2155-2180 MHz band would be compatible with 
similar operations in the adjacent AWS-1 band (2110-2155 MHz) and AWS-4 
band (2180-2200 MHz), thus avoiding the need for guard bands. It would 
also harmonize the rules applicable to 2155-2180 MHz with AWS-1 and 
AWS-4 downlink spectrum, thus efficiently managing the spectrum and 
improving economies of scale for mobile device equipment manufacturing. 
It would also permit stations already designed for AWS-1 to be easily 
modified to operate at 2155-2180 MHz band, thus allowing operators to 
quickly deploy this spectrum for consumer use.
    40. Band-Plan for 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz. Uplink/downlink 
designations and pairing. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission proposed to 
allow base and fixed, but not mobile, operations in the 2155-2180 MHz 
band and to allow mobile transmit operations (but to prohibit high-
power fixed and base station operations) in the 1755-1780 MHz band. The 
Commission sought comment on a range of options that included 
configuring any of the AWS-3 bands in any number of pairings or 
auctioning any of the AWS-3 bands on an unpaired basis. Commenters 
favored allowing base and fixed, but not mobile, operations in the 
2155-2180 MHz band and to allow mobile transmit operation (but to 
prohibit high-power fixed and base stations operations) in the 1755-
1780 MHz band. Commenters overwhelmingly favored pairing the 1755-1780 
MHz band with the 2155-2180 MHz band. According to Verizon, 43 
countries are using this spectrum for commercial purposes and 17 of the 
G-20 countries have allocated this spectrum for commercial use. 
International harmonization will enhance international roaming, create 
economies of scale that lowers device costs, speed deployment, and 
reduce interference potential near international borders.
    41. We agree with commenters that we should allow base and fixed, 
but not mobile, operations in the 2155-2180 MHz band and to allow 
mobile transmit operations in the 1755-1780 MHz band. We will also 
prohibit higher-power fixed and base station operations in the 1755-
1780 MHz band. Designating the 1755-1780 MHz band for uplink/mobile 
transmit operations under service rules similar to AWS-1 is consistent 
with international standards in this frequency range, while designating 
the 2155-2180 MHz band for downlink operations is compatible with 
similar downlink operations in the adjacent AWS-1 band at 2110-2155 MHz 
and the AWS-4 band at 2180-2200 MHz. Moreover, by designating new 
downlink spectrum adjacent to existing downlink, the industry avoids 
having to add guard bands or impose significant technical limits 
between adjacent services, thereby increasing the amount and utility of 
usable spectrum. As discussed more fully below, we conclude that to 
facilitate coordination, uplink/mobile devices in the 1755-1780 MHz 
band must be under the control of, or associated with, a base station 
as a means to facilitate shared use of the band and prevent 
interference to Federal operations.
    42. We also agree with commenters that there are many advantages to 
pairing these two bands. Pairing the 1755-1780 MHz band with the 2155-
2180 MHz band adds 50 megahertz of AWS-3 spectrum to the existing 90 
megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum. Thus pairing would allow carriers to 
combine AWS-1 and the 1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz band in a single 140 
megahertz band. The 1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz pair would use the same 
duplex spacing as the existing AWS-1 band, thus facilitating the 
availability of new devices that can use this band. Allocation of the 
1755-1780 MHz band for commercial use with 2155-2180 MHz also 
harmonizes the U.S. spectrum allocation of this band with international 
spectrum allocations. In summary, the record reflects that ``[t]he 
adjacency of these bands . . . will create efficiencies by allowing the 
same equipment to be used for AWS-1 and AWS-3. These benefits apply not 
only to network infrastructure, but also to end user equipment. This, 
in turn, will lower deployment costs and speed LTE buildout in this 
spectrum. As Motorola Mobility explained, `[t]here would be significant 
device design benefits to pursuing this pairing. Because the 1755-1780/
2155-2180 MHz pairing is symmetrical to the AWS-1 band and has the same 
duplex spacing, this band could be supported by existing duplexers. . . 
[t]hese efficiencies mean that 1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz capabilities 
likely could be built into devices with minimal additional cost and 
without a significant impact on battery life, heat production, or other 
performance characteristics.''' CTIA Reply Comments at 5 quoting 
Motorola Mobility Comments at 11.
    43. Despite these advantages, we note that the Commission is 
statutorily barred from concluding an auction for ``eligible spectrum'' 
such as the 1755-1780 MHz band if the total cash proceeds attributable 
to such spectrum

[[Page 32373]]

are less than 110 percent of total estimated relocation or sharing 
costs. See 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(16)(B), 1451(b)(3) (FCC shall not conclude 
any auction of eligible frequencies if the total cash proceeds 
attributable to such spectrum are less than 110 percent of total 
estimated relocation or sharing cost).
    44. Geographic Area Licensing; Service-area size(s). In the AWS-3 
NPRM, the Commission proposed to license all AWS-3 spectrum blocks by 
EAs and sought comment on alternative approaches. The Commission also 
sought comment on whether there are costs and benefits to adopting an 
EA licensing approach for bands to be shared with Federal users.
    45. Commenters supported one of three different geographic 
licensing plans: The EA licensing approach proposed by the Commission; 
a licensing plan based on CMAs; and a hybrid licensing approach where 
some licenses are based on CMAs and some are based on EAs.
    46. We find that there are benefits to adopting a hybrid licensing 
approach for this spectrum. We note that the Commission adopted a 
hybrid approach in licensing AWS-1 spectrum based on EAs, Regional 
Economic Area Groupings (REAGs), and CMAs. In this case, we adopt a 
hybrid approach and license the 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands 
on an EA and a CMA basis.
    47. Adopting a hybrid licensing plan for this spectrum will enable 
us to achieve several statutory objectives and policy goals. Licensing 
some areas by CMA will encourage the dissemination of licenses among a 
variety of applicants, including small businesses, rural telephone 
companies, and businesses owned by members of minority groups and 
women, as required by section 309(j) of the Act. Licensing the 1755-
1780 and 2155-2180 MHz bands by EA and CMA we have struck the 
appropriate balance between the needs of large and small carriers. 
Licensing some areas by EAs will enable large carriers to minimize 
post-licensing aggregation costs. Also, because EAs are nested within 
MEAs and REAGs, large carriers will be able to aggregate their spectrum 
into even larger areas, with minimal aggregation costs. We also note 
that EA license areas are a useful and appropriate geographic unit that 
the Commission has used for similar bands. Notably, AWS-1 Blocks B and 
C are licensed on an EA basis. Licensing three spectrum blocks on an EA 
basis best balances the Commission's goals of encouraging the offering 
of broadband service both to broad geographic areas and to sizeable 
populations while licensing one block by CMAs will enable smaller 
carriers to serve smaller less dense population areas that more closely 
fit their smaller footprints. Thus, we further find that adopting this 
hybrid licensing plan will help us to meet other statutory goals, 
including providing for the efficient use of spectrum; encouraging 
deployment of wireless broadband services to consumers; and promoting 
investment in and rapid deployment of new technologies and services. We 
designate the spectral blocks for CMAs and EAs in the next section on 
Block size(s).
    48. Block size(s). In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission proposed to 
license the 1755-1780 and 2155-2180 MHz bands on a geographical area 
basis in 5 megahertz blocks and sought comment on whether it should 
adopt a plan using different size blocks. Commenters favored one of two 
approaches: Licensing the band by 5 megahertz blocks or licensing the 
band using a combination of 5 and 10 megahertz blocks. Commenters 
favoring the first approach argue that 5 megahertz blocks align well 
with a variety of wireless broadband technologies (such as Long-Term 
Evolution (LTE), Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA), and 
High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA)), would increase wireless providers' 
flexibility in auction bidding, and can be aggregated to enable better 
performance for LTE service and greater bandwidth capacity through 
wider channels. Commenters that supported a combination of 5x5 
megahertz and 10x10 megahertz blocks argue that a combination of 
license sizes maximizes both utility and efficiency.
    49. We conclude that licensing the 1755-1780 and 2155-2180 MHz 
bands in a combination of 5 and 10 megahertz blocks will promote rapid 
deployment of new technologies and services for the reasons stated 
below. Thus we adopt the following licensing plan: Block G at 1755-
1760/2155-2160; Block H at 1760-1765/2160-2165; Block I at 1765-1770/
2165-2170 MHz; and Block J at 1770-1780/2170-2180 MHz. We further 
determine to license the 1755-1760/2155-2160 MHz bands by CMA, and to 
license the remaining paired blocks by EA.
    50. Using a combination of 5 and 10 megahertz blocks and a 
combination of CMAs and EAs will permit licensees maximum flexibility. 
Such a combination enables both larger and smaller carriers to 
participate in an auction of licenses to use this spectrum. Moreover, 
as commenters note, 5 megahertz blocks align well with a variety of 
wireless broadband technologies, including LTE, W-CDMA, and HSPA. The 
larger 10 megahertz block will afford larger carriers the ability to 
offer higher-bandwidth services, as is common in the 10 megahertz AWS-1 
blocks. Such a combination may also facilitate coordination with 
incumbent Federal agencies. For example, designating the 1755-1760 MHz/
2155-2160 MHz as the first channel block avoids frequency overlaps and 
minimizes potential co-channel interference issues with the Space 
Ground Link System (SGLS), which operates from 1761-1842 MHz.
    51. 2020-2025 MHz. The 2020-2025 MHz band is already allocated for 
the non-Federal fixed and mobile services and is part of the 35 
megahertz (1990-2025 MHz) that the Commission repurposed in 2000 from 
BAS to emerging technologies such as Personal Communications Services 
(PCS), AWS, and Mobile Satellite Service (MSS). This repurposing was 
possible because BAS converted nationwide from seven analog channels 
(each 17-18 megahertz wide) to seven digital channels (each 12 
megahertz wide). In 2004, the Commission proposed to license 2020-2025 
MHz for uplink/mobile use paired with 2175-2180 MHz. The Commission did 
not adopt this proposal and, in 2008 it proposed instead to combine 
2175-2180 MHz and 2155-2175 MHz, to make a larger unpaired block at 
2155-2180 MHz. The Commission did not make a further proposal for the 
2020-2025 MHz band immediately above the AWS-4 uplink band (2000-2020 
MHz).
    52. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission proposed uplink/mobile use of 
2020-2025 MHz under rules similar to the AWS-4 rules. Although the 
Commission did not propose to modify the allocation for this band in 
the AWS-3 NPRM, we proposed changes to several related footnotes in the 
Table of Frequency Allocations.
    53. T-Mobile agrees that 2020-2025 MHz should be cleared to the 
maximum extent possible and auctioned on a paired basis. T-Mobile 
states that one option would be for the Commission to consider 
providing DoD with access to the 2020-2025 MHz band if doing so would 
allow the 15 megahertz at 2095-2110 MHz to be paired with 1695-1710 
MHz. However, T-Mobile states that the most appropriate use of the 
2020-2025 MHz band is contingent on the outcome of the then-pending 
waiver request sought by DISH for flexibility to use 2000-2020 MHz for 
terrestrial downlink. USCC strongly urges the Commission to focus on 
maximizing the amount of paired spectrum in deciding which bands to 
license under the AWS-3 service rules. It argues that

[[Page 32374]]

access to paired spectrum is particularly critical for small and 
regional carriers that typically lack sufficient spectrum holdings to 
pair with newly-acquired spectrum blocks on an asymmetric basis.
    54. The 2020-2025 MHz band is adjacent to the AWS-4 uplink band at 
2000-2020 MHz and BAS/CARS/NASA uses at 2025-2110 MHz band. These 
adjacent uses create challenges with respect to the allocation of this 
spectrum. EIBASS notes that the band may be at risk of interference 
from higher-power Electronic News Gathering (ENG) transmitters 
operating in the 2025-2110 MHz TV BAS band (up to 65 dBm EIRP for ENG 
platforms vs. 33 dBm EIRP for AWS handsets). This interference would 
come and go on a seemingly random basis as a mobile ENG transmitter is 
used near an AWS base station location. This could be a challenge to 
the AWS user as it appears cellular/AWS use is higher at or near 
locations of newsworthy events, the same events that ENG trucks would 
be transmitting from. EIBASS notes that DISH has raised the same 
concern but notes that broadcasters have dealt with high-power PCS/AWS, 
specialized filters have been developed, and TV BAS into AWS 
interference should be a manageable problem.
    55. DISH states that designating mobile operation in the 2020-2025 
MHz band would make this band vulnerable to significant interference 
from adjacent Federal government and BAS users above 2025 MHz. DISH 
states that EIBASS agrees that BAS operations would cause interference 
to 2020-2025 MHz uplink operations. Regarding EIBASS's view that such 
interference would be manageable based on PCS/AWS filtering solutions, 
DISH responds that the existing PCS/AWS to BAS scenario is not 
representative of the more problematic scenario of interference from 
BAS into base stations receiving low-power, mobile uplink transmissions 
in the 2020-2025 MHz band. On the other hand, if 2020-2025 MHz is used 
for downlinks, DISH agrees with EIBASS that coordination and filtering 
similar to that used for AWS-1 could be used to protect BAS. 
Referencing its then-pending waiver request to be able to elect to 
utilize the 2000-2020 MHz band for downlink operations,'' DISH suggests 
that the Commission designate 2020-2025 MHz for downlink use if the 
adjacent AWS-4 band is also used for downlink. If adjacent AWS-4 band 
is used for uplink operations, DISH states that 2020-2025 MHz also 
should be designated for uplinks because downlink operations would 
cause interference to AWS-4 uplink operations, absent severe power and 
OOBE restrictions to protect AWS-4 uplink operations.
    56. T-Mobile and other commenters believe that the Commission may 
wish to evaluate how best to use the 2020-2025 MHz band but the future 
use of the 2020-2025 MHz band is uncertain until DISH decides whether 
it will be using the adjacent AWS-4 spectrum at 2000-2020 MHz for 
uplink or downlink operations. Sprint supports the auction of 2020-2025 
MHz, and recommends that the Commission postpone making a determination 
on whether the band should be uplink or downlink until after it 
resolves DISH's waiver petition and Dish makes its election. T-Mobile 
states that until that time, it is premature to consider whether it may 
be used to support commercial wireless operations.
    57. On December 20, 2013, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau 
granted DISH's request, subject to certain conditions, for flexibility 
to elect to use 2000-2020 MHz for either uplink or downlink operations. 
One of the conditions requires DISH to file its uplink or downlink 
election, which shall apply to all AWS-4 licenses, as soon as 
commercially practicable but no later than 30 months after the December 
20, 2013, release date of the Bureau's order. Auctioning and licensing 
of the 2020-2025 MHz band is not governed by the February 2015 deadline 
in the Spectrum Act. We agree with some commenters that the public 
interest is best served by deferring action on the 2020-2025 MHz band, 
without prejudice to the ultimate disposition of service rules for that 
band.

B. Technical Rules

    58. In addition to protecting other operations that will remain in 
the AWS-3 bands, as discussed above, we noted in the AWS-3 NPRM that 
our AWS-3 rules must take into account the potential for AWS-3 
operations to cause harmful interference to operations in other service 
areas, in other AWS-3 blocks and in adjacent frequency bands, including 
both Federal and non-Federal operations. The AWS-3 NPRM therefore 
sought comment on what technical and operational rules were needed to 
protect these various services from harmful interference. Where 
possible, we proposed to adopt for AWS-3 the same technical 
requirements as apply to AWS-1, where our experience indicates that the 
requirements have facilitated good service while minimizing undesirable 
interference, and to AWS-4. However, we recognized that specific AWS-3 
spectrum considerations may warrant different requirements, and we 
asked commenters to address any specific technical rules that they 
believe necessary for specific AWS-3 bands.
    59. With respect to adjacent bands, two predominant types of 
interference can occur. The first is caused by out-of-band emissions 
(OOBE) that fall directly within the passband of an adjacent-band 
receiver. Such emissions cannot be ``filtered out,'' and can only be 
mitigated through appropriate operation of the transmitter. The second 
type of interference is caused by ``receiver overload.'' Receiver 
overload interference occurs when a strong signal from an adjacent band 
transmission falls just outside the passband of a receiver, where the 
front-end filter of the receiver can provide only limited attenuation 
of the unwanted signal. Our rules generally limit the potential for 
both kinds of interference by specifying OOBE and power limits.
1. OOBE Limits
    60. For situations where adjacent spectrum blocks are put to 
similar uses, our rules commonly require that out-of-band emissions be 
attenuated below the transmitter power in watts (P) by a factor of not 
less than 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB outside of the licensee's 
frequency block. Where stricter OOBE limits apply, it is typically 
because adjacent spectrum blocks are put to different uses--high-power 
downlink in one block and low-power uplink in the other, for example--
or because other special protection requirements exist. Section 
27.53(h)(1) of our rules applies this standard limit to AWS-1, and 
Sec.  27.53(h)(3) specifies the measurement procedure required to 
determine compliance with the OOBE standard. The AWS-3 NPRM sought 
comment on extending these requirements to the AWS-3 bands.
    61. Interference Protection between Adjacent Block AWS-3 Licensees. 
As the AWS-3 NPRM noted, we anticipate that the characteristics of the 
future AWS-3 band systems will be essentially identical to those of 
AWS-1. For this reason, the AWS-3 NPRM proposed that the typical OOBE 
attenuation factor of 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB is appropriate to 
protect AWS-3 services operating in adjacent spectrum blocks. No 
commenter objected to this proposal, and the record does not suggest 
the presence of any circumstances requiring special OOBE protection for 
adjacent AWS-3 spectrum blocks. We therefore adopt an attenuation 
factor of 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB for emissions outside of AWS-
3 licensees' frequency blocks into other AWS-3 frequency blocks.

[[Page 32375]]

a. Interference Protection to Services in Other Bands--Uplink Stations 
Operating in 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz
    62. Interference protection to operations below 1695 MHz. 
Meteorological operations: The 1695-1710 MHz AWS-3 uplink band is 
adjacent to satellite downlink spectrum at 1675-1695 MHz, which is 
allocated for Federal and non-Federal satellite use. The rules for the 
AWS-1 uplink band at 1710-1755 MHz include an OOBE attenuation factor 
of our standard 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB in order to protect 
satellite downlink spectrum currently below 1710 MHz. In addition, 
Sec.  27.1134(c) of the rules provides that should AWS-1 operations in 
the 1710-1755 MHz band cause interference to Federal Government 
operations below 1710 MHz, the AWS-1 licensee must take steps to 
eliminate the interference. The AWS-3 NPRM stated that the services 
used in this AWS-3 band will be similar to those in the AWS-1 band, and 
that the repurposing of 1695-1710 MHz essentially just shifts the 
boundary between AWS uplink and satellite downlink services down from 
1710 to 1695 MHz. Accordingly, the AWS-3 NPRM proposed to specify the 
same OOBE attenuation factor for this AWS-3 uplink band as applies to 
the adjacent AWS-1 uplink band, the standard 43 + 10 log10 
(P) dB, and to extend the obligations of Sec.  27.1134(c) to AWS-3 
operations in the 1695-1710 MHz band.
    63. One commenter expressed concern that the standard OOBE limit 
may not provide adequate protection for adjacent-band Meteorological 
Satellite operations. Raytheon argued that, ``[b]efore the Commission 
adopts an OOBE limit applicable at the 1695 MHz band edge for AWS-3 
systems, sufficient testing and/or analysis should be completed to 
support the Commission's determination in light of the [Emergency 
Managers Weather Information Network] and other operations below 1695 
MHz.'' Raytheon errs in focusing on just one part of the regime we are 
establishing to protect the 1675-1695 MHz band. The OOBE attenuation 
factor functions together with the interference-resolution provisions 
of Sec.  27.1134(c). This combination has worked satisfactorily for the 
AWS-1 service, and we believe it will serve equally well for AWS-3.
    64. Global Positioning System operations: GPS operates in the 1559-
1610 MHz Radionavigation-Satellite band, (47 CFR 2.106) with a center 
frequency of 1575.42 MHz and a maximum bandwidth of 20.46 MHz, thus 
occupying the frequencies 1565.19-1585.65 MHz. The GPS Innovation 
Alliance (GPSIA) argued that the proposed OOBE limit for the 1695-1710 
MHz band ``is no longer effective [in preventing interference to the 
Global Positioning System (GPS)] given the dramatic increase in RF 
devices and the [RF] noise floor.'' It recommended that the Commission 
defer adopting an OOBE limit, and instead participate in a multi-
stakeholder task group to develop new GPS spectrum interference 
standards. CTIA countered that ``these issues are best addressed in 
other fora, and [that] the Commission should not allow these 
speculative interference concerns to delay this critical spectrum 
auction.''
    65. The Commission has long recognized the importance of GPS and 
our responsibility to ensure that it receives appropriate interference 
protection from other radiocommunication services. However, GPSIA's 
arguments that the proposed OOBE limit may present some risk of 
interference do not warrant deferring action on the proposed OOBE 
limit. GPSIA does not support its claims with technical studies and 
apparently makes worst-case assumptions regarding emissions from AWS-3 
mobiles; i.e., ``if appropriate standards are not adopted, 
manufacturers could begin to produce devices designed with degraded 
OOBE performance. . . .'' In fact, as GPSIA implicitly concedes, 
industry standards developed for each radio interface meet or exceed 
the Commission's OOBE limits, often by significant amounts, and thereby 
provide an additional margin of interference protection. In addition, 
parties are free to negotiate private agreements for additional 
protection, as was the case with the AWS-4 spectrum. See AWS-4 Report 
and Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 16152-53 paras. 121-22. These standards are 
developed through open working groups, which GPSIA would be free to 
participate in. Most significantly, however, there is no evidence--in 
either the record here or our experience generally--that operations in 
the AWS-1 band have resulted in harmful interference to GPS. AWS-1 
handsets and GPS receivers coexist satisfactorily, even when they 
reside on the same device. The technical operation in the AWS-1 band is 
virtually identical to what was proposed for this AWS-3 band: Both 
bands would be populated by low-power mobile devices, both would be 
governed by the standard 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB OOBE 
attenuation factor, and both are similarly separated in frequency from 
the GPS band. In short, for all these reasons, we believe the 
possibility of harmful interference to GPS is extremely unlikely.
    66. Further, suspending this proceeding to reexamine interference 
standards would likely make it impossible to meet the statutory 
requirement that this spectrum be licensed by February 2015. In light 
of our findings above, we believe that the better course is to proceed 
based on the record herein. Of course we will continue to explore new 
ways to maximize spectrum efficiency. For example, in ET Docket No. 13-
101 we are considering recommendations of the Commission's 
Technological Advisory Council regarding the use of harm claim 
thresholds to improve the interference tolerance of wireless systems. 
Such proceedings provide a more appropriate vehicle to consider 
evolution of regulatory requirements, including how to transition 
incumbents to new standards, if that should be necessary.
    67. We therefore adopt for the 1695-1710 MHz band an OOBE 
attenuation factor of 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB below 1695 MHz.
b. Interference Protection to Operations Above 1710 MHz
    68. The 1695-1710 MHz AWS-3 uplink band is adjacent to AWS-1 uplink 
spectrum at 1710-1755 MHz. Because we anticipate that the services used 
in these adjacent bands will be similar, the AWS-3 NPRM proposed to 
specify the same OOBE attenuation factor for this AWS-3 band as applies 
to the adjacent AWS-1 band, the standard 43 + 10 log10 (P) 
dB. No commenter objected to this proposal, and the record does not 
suggest the presence of any circumstances requiring special OOBE 
protection for the adjacent AWS-1 band. We therefore adopt for this 
band an OOBE attenuation factor of 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB 
above 1710 MHz.
    69. Interference protection to operations below 1755 MHz. Likewise, 
the 1755-1780 MHz AWS-3 uplink band is adjacent to AWS-1 uplink 
spectrum at 1710-1755 MHz, where we anticipate similar use. Thus the 
AWS-3 NPRM again proposed the same OOBE attenuation factor for this 
AWS-3 uplink band as applies to the adjacent AWS uplink band, 43 + 10 
log10 (P) dB. Again, no commenter objected to this proposal, 
and the record does not suggest the presence of any circumstances 
requiring special OOBE protection for the adjacent AWS-1 band. We 
therefore adopt for this band an OOBE attenuation factor of 43 + 10 
log10 (P) dB below 1755 MHz.
    70. Interference protection to operations above 1780 MHz. The 1755-
1780 MHz AWS-3 uplink band is

[[Page 32376]]

adjacent to Federal operations at 1780-1850 MHz. The AWS-3 NPRM 
observed that the proposal to designate this band for AWS-3 use would 
merely shift the boundary between AWS and adjacent-band services, with 
no significant change in the uses on either side of the boundary. The 
AWS-3 NPRM therefore proposed to maintain the OOBE attenuation factor 
for the present boundary (i.e., the AWS-1 limit) for this AWS-3 band, 
again the standard 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB. No commenters 
dissented from this proposal, and the record does not suggest the 
presence of any circumstances requiring special OOBE protection for the 
adjacent Federal operations. We therefore adopt for this band an OOBE 
attenuation factor of 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB above 1780 MHz.
c. Interference Protection to Services in Other Bands--Base Stations 
Operating in 2155-2180 MHz
    71. The 2155-2180 MHz AWS-3 downlink band lies between AWS-1 
downlink spectrum at 2110-2155 MHz and AWS-4/MSS downlink spectrum at 
2180-2200 MHz. Because we anticipate that operations in 2155-2180 MHz 
and in the adjacent downlink bands will be similar, the AWS-3 NPRM 
proposed that our standard OOBE attenuation factor of 43 + 10 
log10 (P) dB would be sufficient to protect AWS-1 and AWS-4/
MSS receivers operating in the adjacent bands. No commenters objected 
to this proposal, and the record does not suggest the presence of any 
circumstances requiring special OOBE protection for the adjacent AWS-1 
and AWS-4/MSS bands. Therefore, we adopt for this band an OOBE 
attenuation factor of 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB both below 2155 
MHz and above 2180 MHz.
d. Measurement of OOBE
    72. The Commission's rules generally specify how to measure the 
power of the emissions, such as the measurement bandwidth. For AWS-1, 
AWS-4 and PCS, the measurement bandwidth used to determine compliance 
with this limit for fixed, mobile, and base stations is generally 1 
megahertz, with some modification within the first megahertz 
immediately outside and adjacent to the licensee's frequency block. The 
AWS-3 NPRM proposed to apply this same method to all transmissions in 
the AWS-3 bands, and sought comment on this proposal. The only party 
commenting on this proposal supported it. Since there is no opposition 
to our proposal, and in order to treat the AWS-3 bands in an equivalent 
manner to other similar bands, we therefore adopt the same requirement 
for AWS-3 emission limits.
2. Antenna Height Restrictions
    73. The AWS-3 NPRM proposed that the flexible antenna height rules 
applicable to AWS-1 base stations should also govern AWS-3 base 
stations. In addition, since the AWS-3 NPRM proposed not to authorize 
fixed operations in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands, it 
tentatively concluded that no special antenna height restrictions are 
needed for those bands.
    74. Base Stations (2155-2180 MHz). Part 27 of the Commission's 
rules does not set out specific antenna height restrictions for AWS-1 
base stations. However, pursuant to Sec.  27.56, all services operating 
under part 27 are required to limit base station antenna heights to 
elevations that do not present a hazard to air navigation. 
Additionally, the limitations of field strength at the geographical 
boundary of the license discussed below effectively limit antenna 
heights. As a result, because of these inherent height limitations, the 
AWS-3 NPRM proposed that unique antenna height limits were not needed 
for AWS-3 facilities, and that the general height restrictions of part 
27 would be sufficient.
    75. The only comments addressing the issue supported this proposal. 
As the AWS-3 NPRM noted, two rules effectively limit base station 
antenna heights: Sec.  27.56 regarding safety of air navigation and 
Sec.  22.55(a) limiting the field strength of base station signals at 
the edge of a licensee's geographic service area. In addition, Motorola 
commented that ``the need for spectral reuse'' provides a third 
inhibitor of base station antenna height. For all these reasons, we 
find no need for a special restriction on the antenna height of AWS-3 
base stations operating in the 2155-2180 MHz band.
    76. Fixed Stations (1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz). The AWS-3 
NPRM proposed to prohibit fixed stations in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-
1780 MHz bands, because in defining Protection Zones, CSMAC's 
assumptions did not consider the possibility of commercial fixed 
uplinks. A fixed station is ``a station in the fixed service,'' which 
consists of stations at specified fixed points that communicate with 
each other. 47 CFR 27.4. The AWS-3 NPRM therefore tentatively concluded 
that no antenna height limit would be necessary for these bands. Only 
one party specifically addressed this issue: Verizon stated that ``the 
authorization of fixed high gain antennas in these bands could cause 
interference to government operations and thus the FCC should prohibit 
their use in these bands.'' We believe that permitting fixed stations 
in these uplink bands would unduly complicate sharing with Government 
incumbents, and that the lack of comments asking us to provide for 
fixed station use in these bands indicates there is no significant 
demand for it. We therefore adopt the AWS-3 NPRM's proposal to prohibit 
fixed stations from operating in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz 
bands. And with no fixed stations in these bands, there is no need for 
an antenna height limit, so we will not adopt antenna height 
restrictions for the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands at this 
time.
3. Power Limits
    77. We will apply the existing AWS-1 EIRP limits to the AWS-3 
downlink band at 2155-2180 MHz, as proposed in the AWS-3 NPRM. The AWS-
3 NPRM proposed to depart from the AWS-1 EIRP limits for the AWS-3 
uplink bands at 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz, because CSMAC and NTIA 
recommendations for sharing these bands with Federal incumbents were 
based on assumed baseline LTE uplink characteristics, which specify 
that lower EIRP levels would be used. These assumptions were set out in 
Appendix 3 of the WG1 Final Report. WG1 Final Report, App. 3 (Baseline 
LTE Uplink Characteristics). This document reflects the consensus of 
the LTE Technical Characteristics group of the CSMAC Working Groups. 
Participants included numerous Federal and non-Federal representatives. 
Consistent with our policy supporting flexible use where possible, we 
are not adopting technical rules requiring AWS-3 licensees to comply 
with LTE or any other particular industry standard. Nonetheless, we are 
adopting Protection Zones for Federal incumbents based on the power 
levels used for the CSMAC studies, while also requiring larger 
Protection Zones that would apply should AWS-3 licensees propose to 
operate uplink stations above 20 dBm EIRP.
    78. Base Stations (2155-2180 MHz). The current AWS-1 rules limit 
base station power in non-rural areas to 1640 watts EIRP for emission 
bandwidths less than 1 megahertz and to 1640 watts per megahertz EIRP 
for emission bandwidths greater than 1 megahertz, and double these 
limits (3280 watts EIRP or 3280 watts/MHz) in rural areas. The AWS-1 
rules also require that licensees with base stations employing transmit 
power above 1640 watts EIRP and 1640 watts/MHz EIRP coordinate with 
affected licensees authorized to operate within 120 kilometers (75 
miles)

[[Page 32377]]

and with certain satellite entities. Parallel provisions apply to 
broadband PCS and AWS-4 stations.
    79. The AWS-3 NPRM proposed to apply similar requirements to AWS-3 
base stations operating in the 2155-2180 MHz band because these rules 
have provided good service while avoiding harmful interference. 
Specifically, the AWS-3 NPRM proposed to limit base station power in 
non-rural areas to 1640 watts EIRP for emission bandwidths less than 1 
megahertz and to 1640 watts per megahertz EIRP for emission bandwidths 
greater than 1 megahertz, and double these limits (3280 watts EIRP or 
3280 watts/MHz) in rural areas. For AWS-3 base stations with transmit 
power above 1640 watts EIRP and 1640 watts/MHz EIRP, the AWS-3 NPRM 
proposed to require coordination with the following licensees 
authorized to operate within 120 kilometers (75 miles) of the AWS-3 
base or fixed station: All BRS licensees authorized in the 2150-2162 
MHz band and all AWS licensees authorized to operate on adjacent 
frequency blocks in the AWS-3 band, the 2110-2155 MHz band or the 2180-
2200 MHz band. Because of the spectral separation between the 2155-2180 
MHz band and the 2025-2110 MHz satellite band, however, the AWS-3 NPRM 
did not propose to require coordination with these operators.
    80. Commenters generally supported the Commission's proposed 
technical rules, specifically advocating adoption of regulations 
consistent with those applicable to the AWS-1 spectrum; no commenter 
opposed the proposals for base station power limits. The Commission 
typically adopts the same rules for similar adjacent band services, and 
we see no compelling reason to do otherwise here. Accordingly we adopt 
the AWS-3 base station power limits proposed in the AWS-3 NPRM and 
described in the preceding paragraph.
    81. Mobile and Portable Stations (1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz). 
For AWS uplink bands, our rules specify different power limits for 
different bands, depending on each band's particular circumstances. 
AWS-4 uplinks are generally limited to 2 watts EIRP, while AWS-1 
uplinks are limited to 1 watt EIRP in order to simplify coordination 
with Government operations that remain in the AWS-1 uplink band, a 
situation that the AWS-4 band did not present. In this respect the two 
AWS-3 uplink bands under consideration here are similar to the AWS-1 
uplink band in that they all contain Government operations, and this 
circumstance requires careful consideration of the power limit in order 
to assure satisfactory sharing of the bands with Government incumbents.
    82. As described above, in conducting studies for coexistence of 
commercial and Federal systems in the AWS-3 uplink bands, CSMAC made 
assumptions about the power output of typical commercial user equipment 
for the purpose of defining Protection Zones. Specifically, CSMAC 
assumed that typical commercial user equipment will be LTE devices. The 
LTE standard sets a maximum transmitter power output (TPO) of 23 dBm. 
CSMAC's analysis indicates that such devices will have an actual EIRP 
varying between -40 dBm and 20 dBm, however, due to power control and 
typical antenna gains/losses. CSMAC used these EIRP values to assume a 
maximum power of 20 dBm EIRP (100 mW) for the purpose of defining the 
Protection Zones. For this reason, the Commission proposed to limit 
power to the 20 dBm EIRP for mobiles and portables operating in the 
1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands.
    83. The Commission also noted its intent to adopt flexible-use 
service rules for the AWS-3 band supporting terrestrial wireless 
service and that it was not proposing to mandate the use of any 
industry standard. In this regard, the Commission observed that similar 
commercial mobile services such as PCS, AWS-1, and the 700 MHz band 
deploy handsets using a variety of technologies, including CDMA and 
UMTS, as well as LTE, whose devices most commonly operate at a maximum 
EIRP of 23 dBm (200 mW) regardless of higher FCC power limits such as 
the maximum EIRP limit of 1 watt (30 dBm) for the AWS-1 uplink band. 
Recognizing that the Commission's technical rules will govern all 
devices nationwide, rather than typical devices operating near Federal 
incumbents, the Commission sought comment on whether the benefits of a 
higher power limit would outweigh the increased burden of having to 
coordinate more commercial operations with Federal incumbents. The AWS-
3 NPRM further proposed that mobile and portable stations operating in 
these bands must employ a means for limiting power to the minimum 
necessary for successful communications.
    84. While the 20 dBm EIRP figure is a reasonable assumption from 
which to determine the area where the potential for interference 
requires coordination with incumbents, a power limit higher than 
proposed is feasible, so long as the size of the Protection Zones 
reflects whatever limit we adopt so that, if a licensee proposes to 
operate above 20 dBm EIRP, this higher power factors into the 
coordination analysis.
    85. Wireless industry commenters nearly unanimously supported the 
benefits of a higher power limit over the increased burden of 
coordination. AT&T suggested that a 20 dBm EIRP limit ``would 
effectively require the adoption of a separate 3GPP standard for AWS-
3.'' Motorola argued that the proposed 20 dBm limit is inherently 
flawed because it was based on the 23 dBm total power output limit set 
by the LTE standard, less 3 dB in assumed losses from issues such as 
negative antenna gain. Actual losses, it said, will be greater, which 
justifies a higher power limit in the Commission's rules. Further, 
Motorola notes the important role of automatic power control in mobile 
networks, citing a 3GPP simulation showing that ``the average transmit 
power across all devices in a mobile network is below 1 dBm and that 95 
percent of all devices transmit with a power below 7 dBm.'' DISH makes 
a similar argument regarding automatic power control, and also notes 
that the Interference Power Spectral Density level can be controlled by 
limiting the number of simultaneously transmitting mobiles around 
Protection Zones, rather than restricting the mobile maximum power to 
20 dBm, thus preserving the current Protection Zone boundaries. DISH 
adds that limiting the number of simultaneous mobile transmissions has 
an added advantage of providing protection while preserving wireless 
coverage footprints typical LTE devices can support. These commenters 
suggest a range of alternatives for the AWS-3 uplink power limit, 
including 23 dBm, 23 dBm +/-2 dB or 25 dBm (all based on the LTE 
standard), and 30 dBm (the AWS-1 limit).
    86. On the other hand, Raytheon argued that ``[f]ailure to mandate 
an LTE standard could impact directly the validity, already qualified, 
of the analysis determining the proposed contours of the Protection 
Zones. . . . [I]f the Commission chooses to forego mandating use of the 
LTE standard by auction winners, the Commission should establish larger 
Protection Zones to create an umbrella allowing for the use of other 
standards.''
    87. Based on the record before us, we are persuaded that the 
benefits of a higher EIRP limit outweigh the burden of additional 
coordination. Therefore, for the sake of uniformity among AWS-1 and 
AWS-3 equipment requirements and to facilitate industry standard 
setting in accordance with the basic interoperability requirement that 
we adopt herein for 1710-1780 MHz stations, we adopt an AWS-3 uplink

[[Page 32378]]

power limit of 30 dBm EIRP. We emphasize that this EIRP limit is 
largely a matter of equipment certification and that AWS-3 licensees 
are not authorized, as a matter of right, prior to successful 
coordination, to operate mobile and portable stations up to this EIRP 
limit. Additionally, we agree with Raytheon that the Protection Zones 
must be properly calibrated to account for any operations above 20 dBm 
EIRP. We also adopt the AWS-3 NPRM's uncontested proposal to require 
that mobile and portable stations operating in these bands employ a 
means for limiting power to the minimum necessary for successful 
communications.
    88. Accordingly, the 27 Protection Zones for 1695-1710 MHz will be 
defined at two maximum protection distance scenarios: operations up to 
20 dBm EIRP, as proposed in the AWS-3 NPRM, and operations above 20 dBm 
EIRP up to 30 dBm EIRP. The Protection Zones are the product of 
consultations between the Commission and NTIA. For base stations that 
enable mobiles to operate with a maximum EIRP greater than 20 dBm, up 
to a maximum EIRP of 30 dBm, nationwide coordination will be required. 
These requirements reflect the optimum scenarios for AWS-3/Federal 
sharing of these bands, and provide ample opportunity to ensure that 
incumbent Federal operations are fully protected. The real-time 
spectrum monitoring systems that Federal incumbents are planning will 
also, once deployed, help to maximize commercial use of the band while 
protecting Federal meteorological-satellite receive stations.
    89. For the 1755-1780 MHz band, the default Protection Zone is 
nationwide. Therefore, all AWS-3 operations in this band, including 
proposals to operate above 20 dBm EIRP, will have to be successfully 
coordinated with all relevant Federal incumbents. In the coming months, 
the Commission and NTIA intend to jointly issue one or more public 
notices establishing coordination procedures and, if possible, more 
refined Protection Zones for operations up to 20 dBm EIRP. This 
forthcoming action will not affect operations above 20 dBm EIRP (and up 
to the 30 dBm EIRP limit) for which the nationwide Protection Zone will 
remain applicable.
    90. We also recognize CSMAC's suggestion that the aggregate signal 
level from all licensees measured as a power flux density at the 
geostationary orbit (GSO) arc should not exceed -179 dBW/Hz/m\2\. CSMAC 
concluded that it is unlikely that the aggregate power flux density 
from user devices at the GSO arc will reach -179 dBW/Hz/m\2\ and that 
AWS operations are unlikely to impact Federal Space Operations 
reception in the GSO arc, assuming user devices operate with a maximum 
EIRP of 20 dBm. Further, the WG3 Final Report indicated that there is a 
positive 7.6 dB margin at the -179 dBW/Hz/m\2\ power flux density 
level, and AWS-3 mobile devices will typically operate with 
significantly lower EIRP levels than assumed in the WG3 Final Report. 
We nonetheless recognize the legitimate issue of aggregate power flux 
density possibly affecting incumbent operations and that Federal 
satellite operators will routinely monitor the aggregate power flux 
density level at the satellites. AWS-3 licensees are on notice that the 
Commission will revisit the matter and take appropriate action if it is 
demonstrated that the aggregate power flux density level from all 
mobile devices in a 10 megahertz bandwidth in the 1761-1780 MHz band 
could impact Federal Space Operations reception in the GSO arc, i.e., 
is approaching -179 dBW/Hz/m\2\.
4. Co-Channel Interference Between AWS-3 Systems
    91. As discussed above, we determine to license AWS-3 on an EA and 
CMA geographic license area basis. The Commission observed in the AWS-3 
NPRM that should this spectrum be licensed on a less than nationwide 
basis, it would be necessary to ensure that licensees do not cause 
harmful interference to co-channel systems operating along their common 
geographic boundaries. To resolve any such interference, the AWS-3 NPRM 
proposed to adopt a boundary limit approach, with a boundary field 
strength limit of 47 dB[mu]V/m, the same as applies to other services 
similar to AWS-3, including AWS-1 and AWS-4. The alternative would be 
to require prior coordination of base stations located near geographic 
boundaries. The AWS-3 NPRM noted that some commenters in other 
proceedings have suggested that the boundary limit be adjusted to 
accommodate varying channel bandwidths, and sought comment on these 
options. The AWS-3 NPRM also sought comment on its proposal that 
licensees operating in adjoining areas should be permitted to employ 
alternative, agreed-upon signal limits at their common borders. Except 
for T-Mobile, which argued that the field strength limit be adjusted to 
accommodate for varying channel bandwidths, commenters did not oppose 
the Commission's proposals to protect adjacent licensees from co-
channel interference.
    92. We adopt the proposed boundary limit approach for co-channel 
interference. As discussed above, the Commission will license AWS-3 on 
a geographic area basis that is less than nationwide, i.e., an EA and 
CMA basis. To prevent licensees that operate systems along common 
geographic borders from causing harmful interference to one another, 
the Commission must provide operating limits to ensure such licensees 
do not cause interference to co-channel systems. Adopting a boundary 
limit approach establishes a default standard, which will enable 
licensees to deploy facilities in boundary areas without the need for 
prior coordination. (Licensees may use this operating limit as a 
starting point for negotiations to exceed the limits with agreement of 
adjacent area licensees.) Moreover, in other bands where spectrum has 
been allocated for fixed and mobile services, similar to AWS-3, the 
Commission has uniformly adopted the boundary limit method to minimize 
harmful co-channel interference. For instance, the PCS, AWS-1, AWS-4 
and H-Block bands all use a boundary limit approach. In response to the 
Commission's proposal, no commenter supported a coordination 
requirement rather than the boundary limit approach. Consequently, we 
find that a boundary limit approach is the best method to address 
potential harmful co-channel interference between licensees operating 
in adjacent geographic regions.
    93. We set the field strength limit at the boundary at 47 dB[mu]V/
m. As the Commission observed in the AWS-3 NPRM, in other bands where 
spectrum has been allocated for fixed and mobile services and licensed 
for flexible use, similar to AWS-3, the Commission has generally 
adopted a boundary field strength limit of 47 dB[mu]V/m. For example, 
in the PCS, AWS-1, AWS-4 and H-Block bands, the Commission adopted a 
field strength limit of 47 dB[mu]V/m at the boundary of licensed 
geographic areas. Because this limit has worked well in limiting co-
channel interference in other bands, we find it appropriate to adopt it 
here for the similarly situated AWS-3.
    94. In adopting this boundary limit, we decline to adopt the 
alternative limit proposed by T-Mobile. While supporting the boundary 
limit approach used in other bands, T-Mobile asserted that we should 
modify the boundary limit to set a reference measurement bandwidth, as 
proposed by Sprint in WT Docket No. 12-357. In making this 
recommendation, T-Mobile claimed that because today's LTE transmissions 
operate on wider channels than earlier legacy technologies, a 47 
dB[mu]V/m limit will effectively result in a comparatively

[[Page 32379]]

lower field strength limit. Specifically, T-Mobile proposed to adjust 
the field strength limit from 47 dB[mu]V/m to 54 dB[mu]V/m per 
megahertz ``which is based on GSM technology and provides a 7 dB 
increase over today's rules.''
    95. Although we agree with T-Mobile that a boundary limit that 
adjusts for large differences in channel bandwidths may be appropriate, 
we are not persuaded that either Sprint or T-Mobile's proposed limit 
represents the most appropriate solution. Sprint derived the value for 
the field strength based on a comparison against a 30 kHz Digital Amps 
signal, and T-Mobile did not explain how it derived its proposed limit. 
Other technologies may be a more appropriate reference upon which to 
base the value for the field strength. Also, there are other metrics 
that may be used to limit the signal at the boundary, such as power 
flux density. We observe that the Commission has already adopted a 
bandwidth-independent approach when setting boundary limits with Canada 
and Mexico. For example, certain international limits are expressed as 
a power flux density (i.e., dBW/m\2\/MHz), a measure of power, whereas 
field strength is a measurement of voltage. As Sprint noted, other 
parties have proposed to set boundary limits in a bandwidth neutral 
manner, but there is no established consensus on what the value of the 
limit should be. With no consensus regarding an alternative boundary 
limit approach, we are not prepared to adopt any particular approach at 
this time. We intend to explore the issue of whether to apply a 
measurement bandwidth to co-channel boundary limits in future service 
rules proceedings, and we encourage all interested parties to explore 
this issue in such proceedings to develop a full record of the 
technical concerns and ramifications of such an approach.
    96. Finally, we adopt the Commission's proposal that adjacent 
affected area licensees may voluntarily agree upon higher field 
strength boundary levels than the 47 dB[mu]V/m we adopt above. This 
concept is already codified in the field strength rules for both PCS 
and AWS services. No party opposed extending this approach to AWS-3. 
Accordingly, to maintain consistency with the PCS and other AWS bands, 
we permit adjacent area licensees to agree to a higher field strength 
limit.
5. Co-Channel Interference to BRS Channels 1 and 2
    97. The AWS-1 rules include provisions that protect BRS Channel 1 
(2150-2156 MHz) and Channel 2/2A (2156-2160/62 MHz) while the band 
transitions from BRS to AWS use. 47 CFR 27.1132, 27.1250-27.1255. These 
BRS provisions will expire in 2021, 15 years after the first AWS 
license was issued in the band, at which time any remaining BRS 
licensees in the band will lose primary status. Id. Sec.  27.1253(a). 
The Commission's licensing records reflect that there are fewer than 
five BRS incumbents licensed on these channels and that most of the 
stations use Channels 1 and/or 2/2A for fixed broadband uplink. Because 
these BRS channels will be co-channel to some licenses in the AWS-3 
downlink band at 2155-2180 MHz, the AWS-3 NPRM proposed that the same 
AWS-1 provisions in Sec. Sec.  27.1132 and 27.1255 be applied to future 
AWS-3 licensees operating in the 2155-2180 MHz band. No parties 
commented on this proposal. Therefore, and in the absence of any 
compelling reason to do otherwise, we adopt the same provisions in 
Sec. Sec.  27.1132 and 27.1255 for AWS-3 licensees operating in the 
2155-2180 MHz band.
6. Base Station Control of Mobile or Portable Devices in 1695-1710 MHz 
and 1755-1780 MHz Bands
    98. In the AWS-3 NPRM, we proposed to require mobile or portable 
devices operating in bands shared with Federal incumbents to be under 
the control of a base station. T-Mobile did not oppose this 
requirement, but suggested allowing an exception ``to allow devices to 
operate that are not under the control of a base station if that can be 
accomplished in a manner consistent with protection requirements to 
Federal operations.'' Raytheon opposed codifying T-Mobile's proposed 
exception, stating that such flexibility might be considered pursuant 
to a specific coordination scenario as long as Federal agencies are not 
obligated to consent to such use.
    99. T-Mobile also noted that any control requirement should be 
consistent with LTE mobile operations, which it described as follows:

    Prior to transmitting, LTE user devices listen for system 
information being broadcast by the base station. Based on the system 
information, the user device will transmit a RACH (Random Access 
Channel), in order to get the cell to grant downlink/uplink radio 
resources. Because the mobile device does not transmit until 
receiving system information from the base station, the mobile 
device is clearly under the control of the base station. . . .

    100. As discussed above, in order to facilitate Federal 
coordination, uplink/mobile devices in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 
MHz bands must be under the control of, or associated with, a base 
station as a means to facilitate shared use of the band and prevent 
interference to Federal operations. We agree with T-Mobile that LTE 
user devices operating as T-Mobile describes would meet this control 
requirement. However, we are not persuaded to codify the general 
exception that T-Mobile suggests, because the proposal lacks the 
specificity necessary to assure us that it would prevent interference 
to Federal incumbents.
7. Receiver Performance
    101. The AWS-3 NPRM sought comment on the potential for AWS-3 
operations to cause receiver overload or other interference to non-AWS 
operations below 1695 MHz, above 1780 MHz, above 2025 MHz, and above 
2180 MHz. No commenter addressed this issue directly, and the only 
comments suggesting the possibility of interference to adjacent non-AWS 
services were those urging special OOBE protection below 1695 MHz. We 
have addressed these comments in connection with finalizing the AWS-3 
OOBE limits, and no interference issues remain to be considered.
8. Compliance With Industry Standard
    102. In response to the Commission's request for comment on any 
other technical rules that may be required, some commenters encouraged 
us to mandate use of the LTE air interface standard in the AWS-3 
spectrum, while some urged us to adopt an equipment interoperability 
requirement. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission acknowledged that CSMAC 
made technical assumptions about commercial operations that assumed 
baseline LTE uplink characteristics and that some technical rules must 
accommodate CSMAC's assumptions or the Protection Zones might have to 
be redrawn. But the Commission emphasized that it was not proposing 
rules to require AWS-3 licensees to comply with any particular industry 
standard such as LTE. Rather, in accordance with the Spectrum Act, the 
Commission intended to propose flexible use service rules for the AWS-3 
band. The Commission also observed that similar commercial mobile 
services such as PCS, AWS-1, and the 700 MHz band deploy handsets using 
a variety of technologies, including CDMA and UMTS, as well as LTE. AIA 
expressed concern ``[w]hether spectrum sharing and coordination rules 
can be established when there is currently no proposed requirement for 
AWS-3 licensees to comply with any particular industry standard such as 
LTE.'' And as noted above, Raytheon argued that if the Commission did 
not

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mandate use of the LTE standard, it should ``establish larger 
Protection Zones to create an umbrella allowing for the use of other 
standards.'' T-Mobile disagreed, stating that ``While LTE is currently 
the favored standard, it may be supplanted in the future. An LTE 
mandate would hamstring innovation and development and be contrary to 
the Commission's policy to preserve technical flexibility and refrain 
from imposing technical standards.''
    103. We agree with T-Mobile that locking licensees into a 
particular technology indefinitely is not warranted. Mandating a 
particular industry standard such as LTE would hamstring innovation and 
development and be contrary to the Commission's policy to preserve 
technical flexibility and refrain from imposing unnecessary technical 
standards. Instead, we seek to adopt those minimum requirements 
necessary to protect against interference or effectuate other 
compelling public interest objectives. As discussed above, the LTE 
standard was used to determine Protection Zones for the 1695-1710 MHz 
band, but that does not require its adoption for all purposes. Where 
the rules that we adopt today differ from proposed rules that reflected 
CSMAC's assumptions, we also adopt corresponding changes to the 
coordination zones. As discussed below, for the 1755-1780 MHz band, the 
coordination requirement applies nationwide, and not just to designated 
Protection Zones. If in the future a licensee decides to use a 
technology other than LTE, the licensee will still be subject to our 
technical rules. If the technology complies with our rules but 
nonetheless poses a greater risk of interference to incumbent Federal 
operations, this development can be addressed as part of the required 
coordination process. Accordingly, we see no reason to mandate use of 
LTE in the AWS-3 bands.
9. Canadian and Mexican Coordination
    104. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission observed that Sec.  27.57(c) 
of the rules provides that AWS-1 and AWS-4 operations are subject to 
international agreements with Mexico and Canada, and proposed to apply 
the same limitation to the AWS-3 bands. No comments were submitted on 
this proposal. In order to ensure efficient use of the spectrum and 
interference-free operations in the border areas near Canada and 
Mexico, the Commission routinely works with the United States 
Department of State and Canadian and Mexican government officials. 
Until such time as any adjusted agreements, as needed, between the 
United States, Mexico and/or Canada can be agreed to, AWS-3 operations 
must not cause harmful interference across the border, consistent with 
the terms of the agreements currently in force. The list of agreements 
includes the ``Protocol Concerning the Transmission and Reception of 
Signals from Satellites for the Provisions of Mobile-Satellite Services 
and Associated Feeder links in the United States of America and the 
United Mexican States.'' We note that further modifications of the 
rules might be necessary in order to comply with any future agreements 
with Canada and Mexico regarding the use of these bands.
10. Other Technical Issues
    105. In addition to the specific technical issues addressed above, 
the Commission also noted several rules that apply to part 27 services 
generally, and proposed applying them to the AWS-3 bands as well. 
Specifically, the Commission proposed applying the following rule 
sections: 27.51 Equipment authorization, 27.52 RF safety, 27.54 
Frequency stability, 27.56 Antennas structures; air navigation safety, 
and 27.63 Disturbance of AM broadcast station antenna patterns. The 
Commission reasoned that because AWS-3 will be a part 27 service, these 
rules should apply to all AWS-3 licensees, including those who acquire 
licenses through partitioning or disaggregation. No commenters opposed 
this proposal. Accordingly, because these rules generally apply to all 
part 27 services, and because, as we explain below, we find it 
appropriate to license the AWS-3 spectrum under our part 27 regulatory 
framework, we conclude that the potential benefits of our proposal 
would outweigh any potential costs and adopt the proposal to apply 
these additional part 27 rules to AWS-3 licensees. The Commission 
recently deleted Sec.  27.63. Rules governing disturbance of AM 
broadcast station antenna patterns are now contained in subpart BB of 
part 1, 47 CFR 1.30000-1.30004.

C. Licensing and Operating Rules; Regulatory Issues

    106. The licensing and operating rules we adopt below provide AWS-3 
licensees with the flexibility to provide any fixed or mobile service 
that is consistent with the allocations for this spectrum. In the AWS-3 
NPRM, the Commission sought comment on the appropriate license term, 
criteria for renewal, and other licensing and operating rules 
pertaining to the AWS-3 band. In addition, the Commission sought 
comment on the potential impact of all of our proposals on competition. 
Herein, we adopt a set of service rules that set forth the license 
term, performance requirements, and license renewal criteria and 
establish secondary market transaction and permanent discontinuance 
rules for all AWS-3 wireless licenses. We also affirm that other rule 
parts that pertain generally to wireless communication services will 
similarly apply to AWS-3 licensees.
    107. Assignment of Licenses. The Spectrum Act states that the 
Commission shall grant new initial licenses for the 1695-1710 MHz and 
2155-2180 MHz bands, and 15 additional megahertz of contiguous spectrum 
to be identified by the Commission, through a system of competitive 
bidding pursuant to section 309(j) of the Communications Act. In the 
AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission proposed for all AWS-3 bands, including 
1755-1780 MHz and 2020-2025 MHz, to license on a geographic area basis, 
which would permit the acceptance of mutually exclusive applications. 
As such, the Commission proposed to resolve all AWS-3 applications and 
assign licenses through competitive bidding consistent with our 
statutory mandate.
    108. We adopt the Commission's proposal to assign initial licenses 
for the AWS-3 bands through a system of competitive bidding. Further, 
we adopt the Commission's proposal to license AWS-3 spectrum bands on a 
geographic area basis and permit the acceptance of mutually exclusive 
applications. AT&T, for example, agrees that the ``initial assignments, 
in accordance with Congress' mandate, should be through a system of 
competitive bidding.'' Thus, as detailed below, we adopt rules to 
govern the use of a competitive bidding process for licensing all AWS-3 
bands, including 1755-1780 MHz and 2020-2025 MHz.
    109. Flexible Use. In the AWS-3 NPRM, consistent with the Spectrum 
Act's mandate to license according to flexible use service rules, the 
Commission proposed and sought comment on service rules 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). Part 27 licensees must 
also comply with other Commission rules of general applicability. See 
47 CFR 27.3. In addition, flexible use in international border areas is 
subject to any existing or future international agreements. Thus, the 
Commission proposed that the spectrum may be used for any fixed or

[[Page 32381]]

mobile service that is consistent with the allocations for the band. 
The Commission sought comment on whether any restrictions are warranted 
and how such restrictions would comport with the statutory mandates of 
section 6401 of the Spectrum Act.
    110. In accordance with the Spectrum Act's direction to license 
according to flexible use service rules, we will license the AWS-3 
spectrum under part 27. We received no comments on this specific 
proposal but found general support in the record for permitting 
flexible use. The part 27 rules provide a broad and flexible regulatory 
framework for licensing spectrum, enabling the spectrum to be used for 
a wide variety of broadband services, thereby promoting innovation and 
efficient use of the spectrum.
    111. Regulatory Framework. In the AWS-3 NPRM, we proposed licensing 
AWS-3 spectrum in accordance with the flexible regulatory framework of 
part 27 of our rules. We sought comment on our proposal to license the 
AWS-3 band under part 27's service and licensing rules, and any 
associated costs or benefits of doing so. We believe that our part 27 
rules are consistent with the Spectrum Act's requirement for 
``flexible-use service rules.''
    112. We adopt the Commission's proposal to license AWS-3 spectrum 
in accordance with the flexible regulatory framework of part 27 of our 
rules. We received no comments on this issue. We note that unlike other 
rule parts applicable to specific services, part 27 does not prescribe 
a comprehensive set of licensing and operating rules for the spectrum 
to which it applies. Rather, for each frequency band under its 
umbrella, part 27 defines permissible uses and any limitations thereon, 
and specifies basic licensing requirements.
    113. Regulatory Status. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission proposed 
to apply the regulatory status provisions of Sec.  27.10 of the 
Commission's rules to licensees in the AWS-3 band. Specifically, Sec.  
27.10 requires license applicants to identify the regulatory status of 
the services they intend to provide, and permits applicants and 
licensees to request common carrier status, non-common carrier status, 
private internal communications status, or a combination of these 
options, for authorization in a single license (or to switch between 
them). The Commission also proposed that if a licensee changes the 
service or services it offers such that its regulatory status would 
change, it must notify the Commission within 30 days of the change.
    114. We adopt the proposal to apply Sec.  27.10 of our rules, 47 
CFR 27.10, to AWS-3 licensees. Under this flexible regulatory approach, 
AWS-3 licensees may provide common carrier, non-common carrier, private 
internal communications or any combination of these services, so long 
as the provision of service otherwise complies with applicable service 
rules. We find that this broad licensing framework is likely to achieve 
efficiencies in the licensing and administrative process and will 
provide flexibility to the marketplace, thus encouraging licensees to 
develop new and innovative services. Moreover, by applying this 
requirement to AWS-3 licensees, we will treat them the same as other 
part 27 licensees, all of whom are subject to this rule. Although no 
commenters directly address this issue, commenters do support increased 
regulatory flexibility generally. We conclude that this approach is in 
the public interest and that its benefits likely outweigh any potential 
costs.
    115. We remind potential applicants that an election to provide 
service on a common carrier basis requires that the elements of common 
carriage be present; otherwise the applicant must choose non-common 
carrier status. See 47 U.S.C. 153(44) (``A telecommunications carrier 
shall be treated as a common carrier under this Act''); see also 47 
U.S.C. 332(C)(1)(A) (``A person engaged in the provision of a service 
that is a commercial mobile service shall, insofar as such person is so 
engaged, be treated as a common carrier for purposes of this Act''). If 
a potential licensee is unsure of the nature of its services and 
whether classification as common carrier is appropriate, it may submit 
a petition with its application, or at any time, requesting 
clarification and including service descriptions for that purpose.
    116. Consistent with the Commission's proposal in the AWS-3 NPRM, 
we extend to the AWS-3 band our part 27 requirement that if a licensee 
elects to change the service or services it offers such that its 
regulatory status would change; it must notify the Commission and must 
do so within 30 days of making the change. See 47 CFR 27.10(d). See 
also 47 CFR 27.66 (directing a licensee to notify the Commission if it 
elects to change its services such that its regulatory status would 
change). A change in the licensee's regulatory status will not require 
prior Commission authorization, provided the licensee is in compliance 
with the foreign ownership requirements of section 310(b) of the 
Communications Act that apply as a result of the change. We note, 
however, that a different time period (other than 30 days) may apply, 
as determined by the Commission, where the change results in the 
discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of the existing service.
    117. Foreign Ownership Reporting. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission 
observed that sections 310(a) and 310(b) of the Communications Act 
impose foreign ownership and citizenship requirements that restrict the 
issuance of licenses to certain applicants. The Commission proposed to 
apply Sec.  27.12 of the Commission's rules, which implements section 
310, to applicants for AWS-3 licenses. With respect to filing 
applications, the Commission proposed that all applicants provide the 
same foreign ownership information, which covers both sections 310(a) 
and 310(b), regardless of whether they propose to provide common 
carrier or non-common carrier service in the band. The Commission 
sought comment on this proposal, including the associated costs and 
benefits.
    118. In order to fulfill our statutory obligations under section 
310 of the Communications Act, we determine that all AWS-3 applicants 
and licensees shall be subject to the provisions of 47 CFR 27.12; see 
also Review of Foreign Ownership Policies for Common Carrier and 
Aeronautical Radio Licensees under section 310(b)(4) of the 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, IB Docket No. 11-133, Second 
Report and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 5741, App. B (2013) (adopting 47 CFR 
1.990-1.994, which establish the requirements and conditions for 
obtaining the Commission's prior approval of foreign ownership in 
common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed radio 
station licensees and common carrier spectrum lessees). All such 
entities are subject to section 310(a), which prohibits licenses from 
being ``granted to or held by any foreign government or the 
representative thereof.'' In addition, any applicant or licensee that 
would provide a common carrier, aeronautical en route, or aeronautical 
fixed service would also be subject to the foreign ownership and 
citizenship requirements of section 310(b).
    119. No commenters opposed (or commented on) the Commission's 
proposal to require all AWS-3 applicants and licensees to provide the 
same foreign ownership information in their filings, regardless of the 
type of service the licensee would provide using its authorization. We 
believe that applicants for this band should not be subject to 
different obligations in reporting their foreign ownership based on the 
type of service authorization requested in the application and that the 
benefits of a uniform approach outweigh any potential costs. Therefore, 
we will

[[Page 32382]]

require all AWS-3 applicants and licensees 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 
expect, however, that we would be unlikely to deny a license to an 
applicant requesting to provide services exclusively 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 section 310(b) 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 that licensee to apply 
to the Commission for an amended license, and we would consider issues 
related to foreign ownership at that time.
    120. Eligibility. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission proposed to 
adopt an open eligibility standard for the AWS-3 band. The Commission 
explained that opening the AWS-3 band to as wide a range of licensees 
as possible would encourage efforts to develop new technologies, 
products, and services, while helping to ensure efficient use of this 
spectrum.
    121. The Commission also explained that section 6004 of the 
Spectrum Act restricts participation in auctions required under the 
Spectrum Act 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.'' The 
Commission noted that, in the Incentive Auctions NPRM and in the H 
Block NPRM, it had sought comment on whether section 6004 permits or 
requires the Commission to restrict eligibility of persons acquiring 
licenses on the secondary market, whether and to what extent such a 
restriction is consistent with other provisions of the Communications 
Act, and what procedures and rules, if any, should apply to persons 
acquiring licenses on the secondary market. In the H Block R&O, the 
Commission adopted an eligibility rule providing that ``[a] person 
described in 47 U.S.C. 1404(c) is ineligible to hold a license that is 
required by 47 U.S.C. Chapter 13 (Middle Class Tax Relief and Job 
Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96, 125 Stat. 156 (2012)) to be 
assigned by a system of competitive bidding under section 309(j) of the 
Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. 309(j).'' AWS-3 NPRM, 28 FCC Rcd at 11527 
para. 121 n.285 citing H Block R&O at App. A; see also 47 CFR 27.12(b). 
In the H Block R&O, the Commission also adopted an amendment to its 
rules to implement section 6004 by adding a national security 
certification to the application to participate in competitive bidding. 
See 47 CFR 1.2105(a)(2)(xii). The Commission noted that this revised 
restriction will govern most of the AWS-3 spectrum and that, until 
appropriate application forms are revised, applicants for spectrum 
subject to section 6004 will be required to include a certification as 
an attachment to the application and for applicants that are not 
individuals, the same attribution standards that were adopted for 
short-form applications will apply. One commenter, Mobile Future, 
addressed the larger issue of the open eligibility proposal by 
commenting that it supports such an approach.
    122. We find that nothing in the record demonstrates that we should 
adopt restrictions on open eligibility. Therefore, we find that open 
eligibility for the AWS-3 band is consistent with our statutory mandate 
to promote the development and rapid deployment of new technologies, 
products, and services; economic opportunity and competition; and the 
efficient and intensive use of the electromagnetic spectrum. See 47 
U.S.C. 309(j)(3)(A), (B), & (D). We note, however, that applicants for 
AWS-3 licenses must comply with any licensing qualifications required 
by statute or rule. We conclude, based on the record before us, that 
the potential benefits of open eligibility for the AWS-3 band outweigh 
any potential costs.
    123. Section 27.12(b) of the Commission's rules provides that ``[a] 
person described in 47 U.S.C. 1404(c) is ineligible to hold a license 
that is required by 47 U.S.C. Chapter 13 (Middle Class Tax Relief and 
Job Creation Act of 2012, Public Law 112-96, 125 Stat. 156 (2012)) to 
be assigned by a system of competitive bidding under section 309(j) of 
the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. 309(j).'' We conclude that this 
provision governs the 1695-1710 MHz band, the 1755-1780 MHz band and 
the 2155-2180 MHz band as explained in the AWS-3 NPRM. Because we are 
pairing 1755-1780 MHz (15 megahertz of which we have identified as the 
``additional fifteen megahertz of contiguous spectrum'' under the 
Spectrum Act) with 2155-2180 MHz (all of which is subject to the 
Spectrum Act), we will treat all 50 megahertz as subject to the 
statutory restriction.
    124. Mobile Spectrum Holding Policies. Spectrum is an essential 
input for the provision of mobile wireless services, and ensuring 
access to and the availability of sufficient spectrum is crucial to 
promoting the competition that drives innovation and investment. 
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.'' Section 6404 
of the Spectrum Act amends section 309(j) to bar the Commission from 
``prevent[ing] a person from participating in a system of competitive 
bidding'' thereunder if such person satisfies specified qualifications 
criteria. However, that provision does not affect any authority the 
Commission has ``to adopt and enforce rules of general applicability, 
including rules concerning spectrum aggregation that promote 
competition.'' In September 2012, the Commission initiated a proceeding 
to review the mobile spectrum holdings policies that currently apply to 
both secondary market transactions and competitive bidding. The 
Commission indicated that, during the pendency of this proceeding, the 
Commission will continue to apply its current case-by-case approach to 
evaluate mobile spectrum holdings during its consideration of secondary 
market transactions and initial spectrum licensing after auctions.
    125. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission sought comment on whether 
and how to address mobile spectrum holding issues to meet our statutory 
requirements pursuant to section 309(j)(3)(B) and Section 6404 of the 
Spectrum Act and our goals for the AWS-3 band. The Commission also 
asked whether the acquisition of each of the AWS-3 spectrum bands 
should be subject to the same general mobile spectrum holding policies 
applicable to frequency bands that the Commission has found to be 
suitable and available for the provision of mobile telephony/broadband 
services. Alternatively, it sought comment on whether there were any 
reasons to distinguish AWS-3 spectrum for purposes of evaluating mobile 
spectrum holdings. It asked commenters to discuss and quantify any 
costs and benefits associated with any proposals.
    126. USCC supports adopting a 25 percent limit on the amount of 
AWS-3 spectrum any one auction participant may acquire in a single 
market to promote competition and diversity of license holders in the 
band, which USCC asserts would encourage interoperability and roaming 
opportunities. Mobile Future and

[[Page 32383]]

Verizon Wireless oppose any auction-specific limits for the AWS-3 band. 
In particular, Verizon Wireless opposes USCC's proposal, claiming that 
USCC's proposed spectrum limit is unnecessary to prevent a lack of 
interoperability. CCA, RWA, Mobile Future, T-Mobile, Sprint, and 
Verizon Wireless encourage the Commission to conclude its Mobile 
Spectrum Holdings rulemaking prior to making a determination on mobile 
spectrum holdings policies with regard to the AWS-3 bands.
    127. We observe that parties commenting on spectrum holdings issues 
in the AWS-3 rulemaking have raised issues with broader applicability 
to the Mobile Spectrum Holdings rulemaking, in addition to issues that 
relate to the characteristics of the AWS-3 bands. Given that we 
anticipate taking action in the Mobile Spectrum Holdings rulemaking 
well in advance of the AWS-3 auction, we find that rulemaking to be the 
most appropriate context in which to resolve whether any mobile 
spectrum holdings policies should apply to the upcoming AWS-3 auction 
and whether the AWS-3 bands should be included in the input market for 
spectrum used in the Commission's competitive review of transactions.
    128. License Term, Performance Requirements, Renewal Criteria, 
Permanent Discontinuance of Operations. License Term: In the AWS-3 
NPRM, the Commission proposed to establish a 10-year term for licenses 
for the AWS-3 band. The Commission noted that the Communications Act 
does not specify a term limit for AWS band licenses and that it has 
adopted 10-year license terms for most wireless radio services 
licenses. To maintain this consistency among wireless services, in the 
H Block R&O and the AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, the Commission adopted 10-
year license terms. In addition, the Commission proposed that, if an 
AWS-3 license 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. 
``Partitioning'' is the assignment of geographic portions of a license 
along geopolitical or other boundaries. ``Disaggregation'' is the 
assignment of discrete portions of ``blocks'' of spectrum licensed to a 
geographic licensee or qualifying entity. Disaggregation allows for 
multiple transmitters in the same geographic area operated by different 
companies on adjacent frequencies (thus increasing the possibility of 
harmful interference). The Commission sought comment on these 
proposals, including the associated costs and benefits.
    129. We adopt an initial license term for AWS-3 spectrum rights of 
12 years and subsequent renewal terms of 10 years and we modify Sec.  
27.13 of the Commission's rules to reflect these determinations. The 
Communications Act does not require a specific term for non-broadcast 
spectrum licenses. The Commission has typically adopted 10-year license 
terms for part 27 services, but has also found, as in the case of AWS-1 
licenses, a longer initial term to be in the public interest. We find 
that this approach is in the public interest and find that its benefits 
outweigh any potential costs. Further, commenters generally support at 
least a 10-year license term. Given the complexities and timing of 
clearing government operations in the AWS-3 bands, we agree with AT&T 
and USCC that a longer initial license term is appropriate.
    130. We decline, however, to adopt proposals by AT&T and USCC that 
the Commission consider 15-year initial license term. We believe 
instead that a 12-year initial term adequately compensates for the 
transition of government operations, and a 15-year initial term would 
be unnecessarily long. Further, wireless licensees receive their 
licenses not at auction completion, but after a period of time 
following the close of the auction to allow for license applications to 
be filed, processed, and reviewed to ensure the applicant meets the 
applicable qualifications to hold a wireless license. Nevertheless, we 
direct the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to solicit comment in the 
third year following the initial licensing of AWS-3 spectrum for the 
purpose of making a recommendation to the Commission about whether an 
extension of the initial license term (and associated build-out 
deadlines) by up to 3 years is warranted in light of the status of 
government relocation. We agree with AT&T that the initial license term 
should match any adjustments extending the final build-out benchmarks.
    131. We adopt the Commission's proposal that, if an AWS-3 license 
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. No commenter 
addressed this proposal. We note, however, that this approach is 
similar to the partitioning and disaggregation provisions that the 
Commission adopted for BRS, for broadband PCS, for the 700 MHz band, 
and for AWS-1 licenses at 1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz, and AWS-4. 
We emphasize that nothing in our action 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 this action is intended to enable any 
partitionee or disaggregatee to obtain rights in excess of those 
previously possessed by the underlying licensee.
    132. Performance Requirements: In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission 
proposed to adopt specific, quantifiable performance requirements for 
AWS-3 licensees to ensure that licensees begin providing service to 
consumers in a timely manner. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission 
proposed to measure build-out progress using a population-based 
benchmark within each license area, and sought comment on whether it 
should adopt an interim benchmark, an end-of-term benchmark, or other 
requirements. In addition, in the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission sought 
comment on appropriate performance benchmarks for any AWS-3 uplink 
spectrum paired with downlink spectrum in a band other than AWS-3 and 
for areas where Federal use limits or prohibits AWS-3 use. Further, the 
Commission sought comment on whether performance requirements are 
necessary for service areas within the Gulf of Mexico. Along with 
performance benchmarks, the Commission noted that there must be 
meaningful and enforceable consequences, or penalties, for failing to 
meet construction requirements. Toward that end, the Commission also 
sought comment on a number of different penalties, seeking input on 
which set of incentives would most effectively ensure timely build-out 
in this band.
    133. We establish performance requirements to promote the 
productive use of spectrum, to encourage licensees to provide service 
to customers in a timely manner, and to promote the provision of 
innovative services in unserved areas, particularly rural ones. Over 
the years, the Commission has tailored performance and construction 
requirements with an eye to the unique characteristics of individual 
frequency bands and the types of services expected, among other 
factors. Our goal is to ensure that timely and robust build-out occurs 
in these bands and, for the reasons discussed below, we believe that 
concrete interim and final build-out benchmarks will best facilitate 
meeting this goal. The performance requirements we establish for the 
AWS-3 band are consistent with those the Commission has adopted in 
recent items for other spectrum bands, while taking into account 
certain exceptional circumstances related to the timing for

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the transition of this spectrum from government use to wireless use. As 
noted below in the Partitioning and Disaggregation section, the 
performance requirements we adopt also apply to disaggregated spectrum 
or partitioned geographic service areas. These requirements will ensure 
that the AWS-3 spectrum is put to use expeditiously while providing 
licensees with flexibility to deploy services according to their 
business plans. Specifically, we require:
     AWS-3 Interim Build-out Requirement: Within six (6) years 
of an initial grant, licensee shall provide reliable signal coverage 
and offer service to at least forty (40) percent of the population in 
each of its license areas.
     AWS-3 Final Build-out Requirement: By the end of the 
initial license term, i.e., within twelve (12) years, a licensee shall 
provide reliable signal coverage and offer service to at least seventy-
five (75) percent of the population in each of its license areas.
    134. Additionally, we adopt the following penalties for failing to 
meet the build-out benchmarks:
     Failure to meet AWS-3 band interim build-out requirement: 
In the event a licensee fails to meet the AWS-3 Interim Build-out 
Requirement in its license area, the final build-out requirement and 
initial license term shall be accelerated by 2 years (from 12 to 10).
     Failure to meet AWS-3 band final build-out requirement: In 
the event a licensee fails to meet the AWS-3 Final Build-out 
Requirement for any licensed area, the license for each licensed area 
in which it fails to meet the build-out requirement shall terminate 
automatically without Commission action.
    135. Based on the record before us, we find that these performance 
requirements are in the public interest and that the benefits of these 
requirements outweigh any potential costs. We explain below the 
rationale for these performance requirements, and the attendant 
penalties for failure to comply. We also discuss below how we will 
measure build-out in the Gulf of Mexico.
    136. Population-based benchmark, [per license area]. Supported by a 
number of comments in the record, we adopt the proposal to use 
objective, population-based interim and final construction benchmarks, 
which will be measured per license area. Requiring AWS-3 licensees to 
meet these performance benchmarks will promote rapid deployment of new 
broadband services to the American public, and at the same time provide 
licensees with certainty regarding their construction obligations. We 
agree with Verizon that, for this spectrum band, measuring build-out by 
percentage of population served ``will ensure that licensees provide 
wireless broadband services where customers actually will use them and 
need them.'' Further, Blooston Rural Carriers argues that population-
based AWS-3 construction requirements are appropriate for CMA license 
areas.
    137. We are not persuaded by arguments that our build-out 
requirements must be geography-based, or include a geographic 
component, in order to ensure that less densely populated, often rural, 
communities have timely access to the most advanced mobile broadband 
services. We agree that it is important to promote rapid broadband 
deployment in rural areas. In fact, section 309(j)(4)(B) of the Act 
requires that the Commission ``include performance requirements, such 
as appropriate deadlines and penalties for performance failures, to 
ensure prompt delivery of service to rural areas.'' We find that 
adopting relatively small, CMA and EA-based license areas, and 
requiring licensees to meet challenging population-based benchmarks in 
each individual license area separately, strikes an appropriate balance 
between providing flexibility to AWS-3 band licensees to deploy their 
networks in a cost-effective manner and assertively promoting 
deployment of service to less densely populated areas. We note that 
nothing about our decision to require population-based benchmarks in 
this band would foreclose our ability to impose geographic-based 
benchmarks in other spectrum bands that may warrant different 
considerations. For example, we observe that the Commission established 
geographic-based performance requirements for the 700 MHz B Block in 
light of technical characteristics and the CMA geographic license area 
size specific to that band.
    138. Further, we reject Verizon's request that we measure 
compliance with the interim benchmark in the aggregate, i.e., by 
summing the population of all of a licensees' authorizations for AWS-3 
spectrum. Creating benchmarks on a per-license basis, rather than in 
the aggregate, is consistent with our build-out requirements in other, 
similar spectrum bands. Further, this approach allows for more 
flexibility and certainty in licensing. In addition, measuring 
benchmarks on a per-license basis is consistent with our determination 
to license service on a geographic basis and hold a licensee 
accountable for meeting performance obligations for all of the licenses 
(including partitioned licenses) that it holds. For example, should a 
licensee partition some of its AWS-3 spectrum, a percentage-based 
approach would apply to each partitioned license. In contrast, it is 
not clear how the responsibility for meeting benchmarks for partitioned 
and disaggregated licenses would be handled under Verizon's proposal.
    139. Areas unavailable due to Federal relocation and coordination 
requirements. A number of commenters argue that the population of an 
area in which AWS-3 operations are prohibited to protect government 
operations should be excluded when determining whether a licensee has 
met its build-out requirements. We find that this scenario is best 
addressed by the extended interim and final construction benchmarks 
because we believe that applying the same performance requirements to 
all AWS-3 licensees will help ensure that licensees build out their 
entire licensed service areas. We also generally agree that if a 
licensee demonstrates that it is unable to meet a coverage requirement 
due to circumstances beyond its control, an extension of the coverage 
period might be warranted.
    140. Interim Benchmark. We find that requiring an interim milestone 
is supported by the record, serves the public interest, and is similar 
to our approach in other, similar spectrum bands. A 40 percent build-
out per license area benchmark is consistent with the interim 
benchmarks established in other bands and with various proposals 
suggested by commenters. For instance, Verizon proposes adopting a 
build-out requirement of 40 percent of the population within 4 years. 
Blooston Rural Carriers also supports the Commission's proposed interim 
benchmark, but only if the Commission licenses the AWS-3 spectrum 
according to CMAs.
    141. Several commenters argue that the FCC should start the build-
out period on a date certain that is after the final transition date 
for government operations. We decline to do so. Instead, we set the 
interim build-out benchmark 6 years from the grant of the license, 
which should adequately account for the period of time it will take for 
Federal users to relocate out of the bands being reallocated for 
commercial use. Further, setting a date certain that is tied to initial 
grant of the AWS-3 band license will provide greater certainty to AWS-3 
band licensees, their investors, and other interested parties. This 
does not mean, however, that an AWS-3 band licensee must wait

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for the all Federal users to relocate; an AWS-3 licensee can begin 
operating in a specific license area after successful coordination and 
as soon as it is confirmed that the Federal users have fully relocated 
out of that particular license area based on their projected transition 
timelines.
    142. We reject the proposal of commenters who advocate a 
``substantial service'' standard as the only gauge of performance. Our 
purpose is to ensure that timely and robust build-out occurs in this 
band and for the reasons enumerated above, we believe that concrete 
interim and final build-out benchmarks best advance this goal. Further, 
we note that in recent Commission decisions, the Commission has 
replaced the substantial service standard with specific interim and 
final build-out requirements.
    143. Evaluation of reliable signal coverage and service offering 
for unpaired, uplink only licenses at 1695-1710 MHz. As discussed 
above, the 1695-1710 MHz band is low-power, uplink-only spectrum and 
must be paired with base stations. For the Commission to determine 
whether the 1695-1710 MHz band licensee is meeting its performance 
benchmarks, the 1695-1710 MHz band licensee must pair this uplink 
spectrum with downlink spectrum. Once the licensee's base stations are 
built or modified to control and receive 1695-1710 MHz uplinks, the 
reliable signal coverage of such base stations (in bands paired with 
1695-1710 MHz) will determine the percentage of the population served 
in the licensed area of the 1695-1710 MHz uplinks, assuming that the 
licensee is offering service that includes UE that transmits in the 
1695-1710 MHz band. Any base station to be built or modified that is 
located in a Protection Zone must be successfully coordinated with 
Federal incumbents prior to enabling/serving uplink devices that 
transmit in the 1695-1710 MHz. The 1695-1710 MHz licensee must show 
that it is complying with the build-out requirements applicable to all 
AWS-3 licensees, in addition to separately meeting the performance 
obligations for any spectrum bands paired with the 1695-1710 MHz 
spectrum. If the 1695-1700 MHz licensee fails to meet a benchmark, it 
will be subject to penalties discussed herein. However, failure to meet 
an AWS-3 band benchmark would not affect the downlink side of the pair, 
assuming that the licensee was complying with the performance 
obligations for that downlink spectrum.
    144. Penalty for failure to meet the interim benchmark. Commenters 
generally support the Commission's proposal to assess a penalty on 
licensees that fail to meet the interim construction benchmark. 
Therefore, like similar spectrum bands, we accelerate by 2 years the 
time frame to complete build-out and the length of the license term. 
Because the initial license term is 12 years, if a licensee fails to 
meet the interim benchmark, it must complete its final build-out 
requirement within 10 years, when its license term also expires.
    145. Final Benchmark. Within 12 years of the initial grant (or 10 
years if the interim benchmark is not met), a licensee shall provide 
reliable coverage and offer wireless service to at least 75 percent of 
the population in each of its license areas. Commenters generally 
support the Commission's approach. Establishing a final build-out 
benchmark that coincides with the end of the initial license term is 
consistent with how the Commission has formulated performance 
requirements in other spectrum bands. Because we have set the interim 
benchmark at 6 years and we have created a 12-year initial license 
term, we find Verizon's suggestion that we establish a 7-year final 
build-out requirement to be unduly accelerated and we therefore decline 
to adopt it. Under the circumstances, a 12-year construction milestone 
provides a reasonable timeframe for a licensee to deploy its network 
and offer widespread service, provided it meets its interim benchmark. 
Licensees that do not meet the 6-year interim benchmark must accelerate 
their final build out by 2 years to meet the final benchmark by the end 
of their shortened, 10-year license term.
    146. Penalty for failure to meet the final benchmark. Where a 
licensee fails to meet the final build-out requirement in any EA or 
CMA, its authorization for each EA or CMA in which it fails to meet the 
requirement shall terminate automatically without further Commission 
action. Automatic termination is a common remedy for failure to build 
part 27 flexible use licenses and is the approach adopted by the 
Commission in the AWS-4 Report and Order and the H Block Report and 
Order. By terminating only the specific licenses where a licensee fails 
to meet the final benchmark, we will not directly affect a licensee's 
customers in other license areas. We decline to adopt ``keep-what-you-
use'' as a penalty for failure to meet construction requirements as 
some commenters suggest, because these proposals may encourage less 
robust build-out by a licensee that decides not to fully build out to 
the final benchmark.
    147. As a general matter, we expect that AWS-3 band licensees will 
meet the performance requirements because of the serious consequences 
associated with non-compliance, including automatic license 
cancellation. Further, we expect that licensees' deployment will 
generally exceed the levels set forth in the benchmarks, and that these 
build-out requirements generally represent a floor--not a ceiling. As 
for USCC's assertion that automatic termination is too punitive, the 
Commission has explained in the past that we do not consider automatic 
termination to be overly punitive or unfair, particularly given that 
the Commission has applied this approach to nearly all geographically-
licensed wireless services. Further, the Commission has rejected the 
argument, and we do so again here, that an automatic termination 
penalty would deter capital investment, observing that the wireless 
industry has invested billions of dollars and has flourished under this 
paradigm in other spectrum bands. For the same reason, we believe that 
an automatic termination penalty will have little effect on auction 
participation, as suggested by USCC. Finally, we do not agree with USCC 
that automatic termination harms the public because, even if a customer 
loses service from a provider when it loses spectrum rights for a 
particular EA or CMA, alternative providers may be available. We also 
expect that a future licensee for that EA or CMA may ultimately be able 
to serve more customers.
    148. 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 part 27 
spectrum bands, including AWS-1, AWS-4, and H Block, any AWS-3 licensee 
who forfeits its license for failure to meet its performance 
requirements would be precluded from regaining the license. Therefore, 
we reject Verizon's ``new applicant'' proposal that would effectively 
provide a mechanism for a licensee who failed to meet the final build-
out requirement to continue to hold onto its fallow spectrum unless a 
competing bidder emerged.
    149. Gulf of Mexico. Having received no comments on the Gulf of 
Mexico performance requirements, and recognizing that we are licensing 
wireless service in the Gulf (as EA 176), we adopt the same coverage 
requirements as set forth above. We note one exception, however: we 
will calculate ``population'' pursuant to the

[[Page 32386]]

approach taken in Small Ventures Memorandum Opinion and Order. In that 
order, the Wireless Bureau recognized that using the conventional 
Census tract methodology for determining population in the Gulf of 
Mexico would be infeasible because the EAs in the Gulf consist of a 
body of water with non-permanent, mobile residents. Consistent with 
that order, we allow a Gulf of Mexico licensee to use all off-shore 
platforms, including production, manifold, compression, pumping and 
valving platforms as a proxy for population in the Gulf of Mexico for 
purposes of meeting build-out obligations. Thus, in lieu of measuring 
its build-out obligations based on population, a licensee serving the 
Gulf of Mexico shall within six (6) years provide reliable coverage and 
offer wireless service to at least forty (40) percent of all off-shore 
platforms in its license areas and within 12 years (or at the end of 
the license term), provide reliable coverage and offer wireless service 
to at least 75 percent of all off-shore platforms in its license area 
in the Gulf of Mexico. If a licensee fails to meet the interim 
benchmark, the final benchmark and initial license term are accelerated 
by 2 years--from 12 to 10 years. All penalties and other compliance 
procedures adopted herein, excluding those in paragraph 152 below 
discussing the methodology for meeting population-based build-out 
requirements shall apply to a Gulf of Mexico licensee.
    150. Compliance Procedures. Finding the proposed compliance 
procedures to be in the public interest and having received no comments 
on the issue, we adopt the proposal in the AWS-3 NPRM to require AWS-3 
licensees to comply with Sec.  1.946(d) of our rules. Specifically, 
this rule requires that licensees must demonstrate compliance with 
their performance requirements by filing a construction notification 
within 15 days of the relevant milestone certifying that they have met 
the applicable performance benchmark. Additionally, consistent with the 
AWS-4 Report & Order and the H Block R&O, we require 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.
    151. 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 CMA or EA, as 
applicable, its map must accurately depict the boundaries of the area 
or areas within each CMA or EA, as applicable, not being served. 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.
    152. The licensee must use the most recently available decennial 
U.S. Census Data at the time of measurement to meet the population-
based build out requirements. Specifically, a licensee must base its 
claims of population served on areas no larger than the Census Tract 
level. The Census Bureau defines Census Tracts as ``small, relatively 
permanent statistical subdivisions of a county delineated by local 
participants as part of the U.S. Census Bureau's Participant 
Statistical Areas Program . . . [T]he entire United States is covered 
by census tracts.'' This requirement tracks the Commission's action 
requiring broadband service providers to report ``snapshots'' of 
broadband service at the Census Tract level twice each year by 
completing FCC Form 477.
    153. Renewal Criteria: Section 308(b) of the Communications Act 
authorizes the Commission to 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.'' In the AWS-3 NPRM, the 
Commission proposed to adopt license renewal requirements consistent 
with those adopted in the 700 MHz First Report and Order, the AWS-4 
Report and Order, and the H Block R&O. Under those requirements, 
renewal applicants must file a ``renewal showing,'' in which they 
demonstrate that they have been and are continuing to provide service 
to the public, and are compliant with the Communications Act and with 
the Commission's rules and policies. In the AWS-3 NPRM, we proposed to 
apply to AWS-3 licensees the same renewal showing requirement recently 
adopted in the H Block R&O.
    154. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission sought comment on whether 
AWS-3 band licensees should be awarded renewal expectancies if they 
meet their performance obligations and otherwise comply with the 
Commission's rules and policies and the Communications Act throughout 
their license term. The Commission also inquired whether licensees 
should receive a renewal expectancy for subsequent license terms if 
they continue to provide at least the level of service demonstrated at 
the final performance benchmark through the end of any subsequent 
license terms. Finally, the Commission proposed that, consistent with 
its 700 MHz licensing paradigm, it would prohibit the filing of 
competing license renewal applications, and that if a license is not 
renewed, the associated spectrum would be returned to the Commission 
for assignment.
    155. Pursuant to section 308(b) of the Communications Act, we will 
require AWS-3 band licensees seeking license renewal to file renewal 
applications; below, we specify the information that renewal applicants 
must provide to enable the Commission to assess whether renewal is 
warranted and in the public interest. Where a license is not renewed, 
the associated spectrum will be returned to the Commission and made 
available for assignment. We will not permit the filing of competing 
applications against license renewal applications.
    156. We apply to AWS-3 band licensees the same renewal showing 
requirements we recently adopted for the H Block. Specifically, an AWS-
3 band licensee's renewal showing must provide a detailed description 
of its provision of service during the entire license period and 
discuss: (1) The level and quality of service provided (including the 
population served, the area served, the number of subscribers, and 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(e)(3)(i) of the Commission's rules; and (5) any other 
factors associated with the level of service to the public. 
Accordingly, we hereby modify Sec.  27.14 of the Commission's rules to 
apply these renewal showing criteria to the AWS-3 bands. Nothing in our 
decision today prejudges or forecloses the Commission's future 
consideration of the policies and proposed rules, and related record, 
for the WRS Renewals NPRM, which remains pending. In addition, we 
emphasize that licensees seeking renewal bear the risk of future 
changes to our rules that may alter this renewal expectancy.
    157. Based on the record before us and our analysis below, we find 
that the renewal requirements we establish for

[[Page 32387]]

AWS-3 band licensees are in the public interest and that their benefits 
outweigh any likely costs. In recent years, the Commission has refined 
its license renewal policies--beginning with the 700 MHz First Report 
and Order in 2007, later in the AWS-4 Report and Order, and more 
recently in the H Block Report and Order. Through these actions, we 
have established that licensees must demonstrate that they are 
providing adequate levels of service over the course of their license 
terms, and here we act consistently with that policy. Consequently, we 
adopt renewal criteria for the AWS-3 band that are based on those 
criteria adopted in the 700 MHz First Report and Order and that were 
similarly followed in the AWS-4 Report and Order and the H Block Report 
and Order. We believe these renewal requirements will provide licensees 
certainty regarding the factors that the Commission will consider 
during the renewal process, thereby facilitating investment decisions 
regarding broadband rollout. We also find that these requirements 
address commenters' concerns that the renewal process not unnecessarily 
burden licensees or deter investment.
    158. In adopting these criteria, we decline to adopt at this time 
AT&T's proposal to categorically provide a renewal expectancy to all 
licensees that meet their performance requirements and comply with the 
Communications Act and the Commission's rules. USCC claims that renewal 
expectancies, based solely on performance requirements, would provide 
certainty to licensees and investors. As the Commission has 
consistently stated, performance and renewal showings are distinct; 
they serve different purposes and, if not met, the Commission may apply 
different penalties. A performance showing provides a snapshot in time 
of the level of a licensee's service, whereas a renewal showing 
provides information regarding the level and types of service provided 
over the course of a license term. We disagree, therefore, with AT&T's 
contention that there is ``no identifiable benefit'' to requiring 
licensees to make a renewal showing. We emphasize that where a licensee 
meets the applicable performance requirements, but fails to provide 
continuity of service (by, for example, repeatedly discontinuing 
operations between required performance showings for periods of less 
than 180 days), the Commission could find that renewal would be 
contrary to the public interest. We note that, in addressing broadcast 
license renewal proceedings, Congress has specifically established a 
standard that takes into consideration not only compliance with 
Commission rules but also whether ``the station has served the public 
interest, convenience, and necessity.'' Where a licensee fails to meet 
its interim performance requirement and becomes subject to a 2-year 
acceleration of both its final performance requirement and its license 
term, its final performance showing might merely reflect a snapshot in 
time of compliance with the performance requirement. By contrast, its 
renewal application must provide a timeline of its provision of 
service, the percentage of the license-area population covered, and 
types of service provided over the course of the license term, 
including any efforts to meet the interim performance requirement.
    159. For subsequent license terms, licensees are likely--absent 
extraordinary circumstances--to obtain license renewal if they submit 
satisfactory showings demonstrating that they have maintained or 
exceeded the level of coverage and service required at the final 
performance benchmark (during the initial license term), and otherwise 
comply with the Commission's rules and policies and the Communications 
Act. We decline, however, to ``codify'' a renewal expectancy as USCC 
proposes, at this time.
    160. Finally, we reject USCC's proposal that we permit competing 
renewal applications or, in their absence, process unopposed 
applications in the same manner as renewals in the cellular and PCS 
services. We find that the public interest would be ill-served by 
permitting the filing of potentially time-consuming and costly 
competing applications. As the Commission explained in the 700 MHz 
First Report and Order, prohibiting competing applications ``protects 
the public interest without creating incentives for speculators to file 
`strike' applications.'' 700 MHz First Report and Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 
8093 para. 76; see also AWS-4 Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 16202 
para. 272; H Block R&O, 28 FCC Rcd at 9568 para. 224. The renewal 
requirements we adopt today will provide Commission staff with ample 
information to determine whether license renewal would serve the public 
interest.
    161. Permanent Discontinuance of Operations: In the AWS-3 NPRM, the 
Commission asked whether it should apply to AWS-3 band wireless 
licensees the rules governing the permanent discontinuance of 
operations. According to Sec.  1.955(a)(3), an authorization will 
automatically terminate, without specific Commission action, if service 
is ``permanently discontinued.'' Consistent with the definition that 
the Commission adopted for the H Block and the AWS-4 band, the 
Commission proposed to define for the AWS-3 band ``permanently 
discontinued'' as a period of 180 consecutive days during which the 
licensee does not provide service in each of its licensed areas to at 
least one subscriber that is not affiliated with, controlled by, or 
related to, the provider. For licensees that use their licenses for 
private, internal communications, the Commission proposed in the AWS-3 
NPRM to define ``permanent discontinuance'' as a period of 180 
consecutive days during which the licensee does not operate. The 
Commission proposed that licensees would not be subject to these 
requirements until the date of the first performance requirement 
benchmark.
    162. In addition, the Commission proposed that a licensee must 
notify the Commission within 10 days if it permanently discontinues 
service, by filing FCC Form 601 or 605 and requesting license 
cancellation, consistent with Sec.  1.955(a)(3) of the Commission's 
rules. The Commission emphasized that even if a licensee fails to file 
the required form, however, an authorization will automatically 
terminate without specific Commission action if service is permanently 
discontinued. The Commission sought comment on these proposals, 
including their associated costs and benefits.
    163. We adopt the Commission's proposal and determine that Sec.  
1.955(a)(3) of the Commission's rules will apply to all AWS-3 band 
licensees, including holders of both EAs and CMAs, and find that the 
benefits of applying this rule outweigh any potential costs of doing 
so. Thus, a licensee's authorization will automatically terminate, 
without specific Commission action, if service is ``permanently 
discontinued.'' As the Commission has previously explained, the 
operation of so-called channel keepers, e.g., devices that transmit 
test signals, tones, and/or color bars, do not constitute ``operation'' 
under Sec.  1.955(a)(3) or the Commission's other permanent 
discontinuance rules. AT&T does not object to the discontinuance 
proposal but asks for clarification of Sec.  1.9030(d)(5) of the 
Commission's rules on long-term de facto transfer leasing arrangements 
to count a lessee's continuous service toward the underlying licensee's 
service obligation in order to avoid triggering the permanent 
discontinuance rule. Any performance or build-out requirement 
applicable under a license authorization always remains a condition of 
the

[[Page 32388]]

license, and the legal responsibility for meeting such obligation is 
not delegable to the spectrum lessee(s). An AWS-3 licensee is also 
accountable for any discontinuance of operation and the rules will be 
enforced against the licensee regardless of whether the licensee was 
relying on the activities of a lessee to meet particular performance 
requirements. However, the licensee may attribute to itself the build-
out or performance activities of its spectrum lessee(s) for purposes of 
complying with any applicable build-out or performance requirement.
    164. In accordance with our proposal, for providers that identify 
their regulatory status as common carrier or non-common carrier, we 
define ``permanently discontinued'' as a period of 180 consecutive days 
during which the licensee does not provide service in the individual 
license area (or smaller service area in the case of a partitioned 
license) to at least one subscriber that is not affiliated with, 
controlled by, or related to, the provider. We adopt a different 
approach for wireless licensees that use their licenses for private, 
internal communications, however, because such licensees generally do 
not provide service to unaffiliated subscribers. For such private, 
internal communications, we define ``permanent discontinuance'' as a 
period of 180 consecutive days during which the licensee does not 
operate. In other words, the rule that we adopt for private, internal 
communications does not include a requirement that the licensee provide 
service to an unaffiliated subscriber in order to avoid triggering the 
permanent discontinuance rule. A licensee will not be subject to the 
discontinuance rules until the date it must meet its first performance 
requirement benchmark, a rule which will avoid penalizing licensees 
that construct early, but then may shut down for 180 days before their 
first performance benchmark date.
    165. Secondary Markets: Partitioning and Disaggregation. In the 
AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission proposed to permit AWS-3 band licensees to 
partition geographic markets and disaggregate spectrum under existing 
part 27 partitioning and disaggregation rules. See 47 CFR 27.15. A 
partitionee or disaggregatee is authorized to hold its license for the 
remainder of the partitioner's or disaggregator's license term. See 47 
CFR 27.15(c). Specifically, it proposed that any entity holding an AWS-
3 band license, including parties to any partitioning or disaggregation 
arrangement pertaining to an AWS-3 band license, must independently 
meet the applicable technical rules and regulatory requirements, 
including performance and renewal requirements. The Commission proposed 
this approach to facilitate efficient spectrum use, while enabling 
service providers to configure geographic area licenses and spectrum 
blocks to meet their operational needs.
    166. We adopt the part 27 partitioning and disaggregation rules for 
the AWS-3 band. Very few commenters discuss partitioning and 
disaggregation, but those who do support this approach. Verizon agrees 
that the Commission ``should apply its existing part 27 geographic 
partitioning, disaggregation, and spectrum leasing rules to AWS-3 
licensees.'' Further, permitting disaggregation and partitioning will 
help facilitate investment and rapid deployment in the AWS-3 band, 
while giving licensees flexibility to use the spectrum to meet changing 
market demand. As the Commission noted when it first adopted 
partitioning and disaggregation rules, allowing this type of 
flexibility can facilitate the efficient use of spectrum, and expedite 
provision of services in areas that might not otherwise receive service 
in the near term. We conclude, based on the record before us, that 
permitting partitioning and disaggregation is in the public interest, 
and the associated benefits would outweigh any potential costs.
    167. As proposed in the AWS-3 NPRM, we require any AWS-3 band 
licensee that is a party to any partitioning or disaggregation 
arrangement (or combination of both) to independently meet the 
applicable technical rules and regulatory requirements, including 
performance and renewal requirements. As the Commission has previously 
observed, this approach should facilitate efficient spectrum usage and 
prevent the avoidance of timely construction as a result of the 
vagaries of the secondary market, while still providing operators with 
the flexibility to design their networks according to their operational 
and business needs. Commenters support this approach, which is 
consistent with our treatment of other part 27 services. For example, 
Verizon states that allowing licensees ``the ability to partition and/
or disaggregate portions of their spectrum holdings, and/or to lease 
such holdings, promotes a robust secondary market in spectrum.'' We 
agree with Verizon that these rules have been effective and should be 
applied to the AWS-3 band.
    168. Spectrum Leasing. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission proposed 
to apply to AWS-3 band licensees the spectrum leasing policies 
established in various Secondary Market proceedings in the same manner 
that those policies and rules apply to other part 27 services. Since 
2003, these secondary market policies and rules have enabled licensees 
to lease some or all of their spectrum usage rights to third party 
spectrum lessees, who are permitted to provide wireless services 
consistent with the underlying license authorization.
    169. We adopt the same spectrum leasing policies and rules that 
apply to other part 27 services. Wireless Radio Services do not include 
satellite services. 47 CFR 1.907. Under these secondary market policies 
and rules, the service rules and policies applicable to the licensee 
under its license authorization--including all technical, interference, 
and operational rules--apply to the spectrum lessee as well. The rules 
and procedures for spectrum leasing arrangements are set forth in part 
1, subpart X. 47 CFR 1.9001 et seq. Commenters that discuss spectrum 
leasing support the proposals made in the AWS-3 NPRM and agree that 
adopting spectrum leasing rules will promote the public interest. For 
example, TIA notes that ``[c]onsistency with leasing rules that apply 
to other terrestrial spectrum is a virtue, and helps ensure that future 
transactions can proceed with greater predictability and 
transparency.'' Our secondary markets policies are designed to promote 
more efficient, innovative, and dynamic use of the spectrum, expand the 
scope of available wireless services and devices, enhance economic 
opportunities for accessing spectrum, and promote competition among 
providers. Likewise, allowing spectrum leasing in the AWS-3 band will 
serve these same purposes. We also observe that ``[f]or a particular 
spectrum band, spectrum leasing policies generally follow the same 
approach as the partitioning and disaggregation policies for the 
band.'' Thus, our decision to permit spectrum leasing in the AWS-3 band 
is consistent with our determination above to permit partitioning and 
disaggregation of AWS-3 band spectrum.
    170. Other Operating Requirements. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the 
Commission explained that even though we issue licenses in the AWS-3 
band pursuant to one rule part (part 27), we may require licensees in 
this band to comply with rules contained in other parts of the 
Commission's rules, depending on the particular services they provide. 
The Commission sought comment on whether we need to modify any 
provisions in existing, service-specific rules to ensure that we cover 
AWS-3 band licensees under the necessary Commission rules. In addition, 
the

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Commission sought comment on any rules that would be affected by the 
proposal to apply elements of the framework of these rule parts, 
whether separately or in conjunction with other requirements.
    171. Although we primarily adopt rules for the AWS-3 band in part 
27, in order to maintain general consistency among various wireless 
communication services, we also require AWS-3 licensees to comply with 
certain other rule parts that pertain generally to wireless 
communication services. No commenter opposes this approach. Section 
27.3 of the Commission's rules lists some of the rule parts applicable 
to wireless communications service licensees. In addition, other FCC 
rules may apply to wireless licensees, including those that apply only 
to certain wireless licensees, depending on the specific type of 
service or services that a particular licensee provides. See, e.g., 47 
CFR part 9 (wireless licensees providing interconnected VoIP services 
are subject to E911 service requirements); see generally, parts 20, 22, 
24, 27 and 101 for other wireless licensee obligations. We thus find it 
appropriate to apply Sec.  27.3 and the rules referenced therein, as 
well as similar rules applicable to wireless communications service 
licensees, to AWS-3 band licensees. In so doing, we will maintain 
consistency among various wireless communications services which we 
find will best serve the public interest. For these same reasons, we 
also find that the benefits of this approach outweigh any potential 
costs.
    172. Facilitating Access to Spectrum and the Provision of Service 
to Tribal Lands. The AWS-3 NPRM explained that the Commission is 
currently considering various provisions and policies intended to 
promote greater use of spectrum over Tribal lands. The Commission 
proposed to extend any rules and policies adopted in that proceeding to 
any licenses that may be issued through competitive bidding in this 
proceeding. The Commission sought comment on this proposal and any 
costs and benefits associated with it.
    173. We will extend any rules and policies adopted in the Tribal 
Lands proceeding to any AWS-3 license that may be issued through 
competitive bidding. Because that proceeding is specifically focused on 
promoting greater use of spectrum over Tribal lands, we find that it is 
better suited than the instant proceeding to reach conclusions on that 
issue.
    174. Competitive Bidding Procedures. As discussed above, the 
Spectrum Act requires the Commission to grant new initial licenses for 
the use of spectrum in certain specified frequency bands through a 
system of competitive bidding. See 47 U.S.C. 1451(b)(1), (2). The 
spectrum, as specified in the Spectrum Act, is as follows (in addition 
to the spectrum previously addressed in the H Block R&O): 2155-2180 
MHz, 15 megahertz of spectrum identified by NTIA between 1675 and 1710 
MHz, and 15 megahertz of contiguous spectrum to be identified by the 
Commission. See 47 U.S.C. 1451(b)(2). As noted above, NTIA identified 
the 1695-1710 MHz band for reallocation from Federal use to non-Federal 
use, and the Commission has identified the 1755-1780 MHz band in 
satisfaction of the Spectrum Act's requirement that it identify 15 
megahertz of contiguous spectrum in addition to the bands specifically 
identified in the Act. We will therefore assign licenses in the 1695-
1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands by auction. We will 
conduct any auction for licenses in these bands pursuant to our 
standard competitive bidding rules found in part 1, subpart Q of the 
Commission's rules and will provide bidding credits for qualifying 
small businesses, as proposed in the AWS-3 NPRM. Below we discuss our 
reasons for adopting the relevant proposals.
    175. Application of part 1 Competitive Bidding Rules. The 
Commission proposed in the AWS-3 NPRM to conduct any auction for 
licenses in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands 
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. The AWS-3 NPRM also made proposals and 
solicited comment on applying the part 1 competitive bidding rules to 
the 2020-2025 MHz band. However, we will defer further consideration of 
this band until the downlink/uplink status of the adjacent 2000-2020 
MHz band is resolved. Accordingly, we limit herein our discussion of 
the proposals and our decisions concerning competitive bidding 
procedures to the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz 
bands. Additionally, the Commission proposed 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. The AWS-3 NPRM also sought 
comment on whether any part 1 rules would be inappropriate or should be 
modified for an auction of licenses in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 
MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands.
    176. The limited comment we received generally supports the 
Commission's proposed use of its standard competitive bidding rules for 
an auction of AWS-3 band licenses. Verizon Wireless asks the Commission 
to narrow the scope of Sec.  1.2105(c)'s prohibition on certain 
communications by (1) confirming that the rule does not apply to 
unrelated routine business discussions and agreements; (2) confirming 
that discussions regarding generic technical handset and network issues 
that occur, for example, in industry standard-setting meetings or with 
equipment manufacturers, are not prohibited; (3) narrowing the 
definition of who is an ``applicant'' to exclude owners of 10% or more 
of the applicant entity; and (4) shortening the period during which the 
rule is in effect to end at the close of bidding, rather than that the 
down payment deadline. T-Mobile supports Verizon Wireless's request, 
and submits that the requested changes will not interfere with the 
primary purposes of the Commission's rule and will enhance competition. 
Sprint opposes Verizon Wireless's requested changes to the rule, and 
cautions against adopting any wide-reaching revisions or alterations 
that have the potential consequence of undermining competition. Sprint 
supports the Commission's consideration of the particular circumstances 
and competitive dynamics surrounding any particular auction in 
formulating appropriate competitive bidding rules, but submits that a 
blanket revision to the Commission's competitive bidding rules, or 
revisions not attuned to the particular competitive dynamics of a 
specific auction such as the AWS-3 auction, would not promote the 
public interest. While Sprint notes that the extraordinary complexity 
of the broadcast incentive auction might warrant revisions to 
facilitate participation by smaller bidders, it urges the Commission to 
carefully scrutinize Verizon Wireless's proposal to relax the rule for 
an AWS-3 auction. Other commenters express views on topics that are 
generally considered after the adoption of service rules, during the 
pre-auction process for establishing

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procedures for conducting an AWS-3 auction. For example, some parties 
state their positions on auction design and the use of package bidding 
for any auction of AWS-3 spectrum, with some in favor and others 
opposed. See Verizon Wireless Comments at 16-17; TIA Comments at 14; 
Cellular One Comments at 1-3; USCC Comments at 36-49; USCC Reply 
Comments at 43-47; Smith Bagley, MTPCS, and Cellular Network 
Partnership Joint Reply at 4-5. See also AT&T Comments at 13. Likewise, 
T-Mobile recommends that the Commission make certain changes to its 
auction procedures concerning how reserve prices, minimum opening bids, 
and additional bid amounts are calculated. T-Mobile Reply Comments at 
25-26. Because those issues are properly considered in the context of 
the separate, future proceeding to establish procedures for conducting 
an AWS-3 auction, we will not address those comments here. See AT&T 
Reply at 13 (package bidding and other auction procedures are 
traditionally considered after the adoption of service rules).
    177. Based on our review of the record and our prior experience 
with conducting auctions, we conclude that the Commission's Part 1 
bidding rules should govern the conduct of any AWS-3 auction. We 
decline to modify the part 1 rules as Verizon Wireless requests. We 
disagree with Verizon Wireless's claim that the Commission has extended 
the restrictions in Sec.  1.2105(c) to routine business discussions, 
and that such an extension has resulted in uncertainty for auction 
applicants as to whether discussions that are unrelated to bids or 
bidding strategies or to post-auction market structure could violate 
the rule. The plain text of the rule makes clear that business 
discussions and negotiations that are unrelated to bids or bidding 
strategies or to post-auction market structure are not prohibited by 
the rule. The rule's prohibition has always been aimed at the specific 
content of an applicant's communication to a competing applicant 
regardless of the context or situation in which such content is 
communicated. Conversely, if the content of an applicant's 
communication does not fall within the prohibition, the particular 
situation in which the communication occurs will not alone make it a 
violation. Thus, contrary to Verizon Wireless's assertion, the 
Commission has not extended the prohibition in Sec.  1.2105(c), because 
the types of prohibited content have remained unchanged, while the 
potential contexts and situations in which an applicant is prohibited 
from communicating that content have always been undefined. Moreover, 
the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (``Bureau'') has previously 
issued guidance explaining that, although auction applicants competing 
for licenses in the same geographic areas, or competing for licenses in 
the same areas in competing services, must affirmatively avoid all 
communications with each other that affect, or have the potential to 
affect, their bids or bidding strategy, this does not mean that all 
business negotiations between such applicants are prohibited. See 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Responds to Questions About the 
Local Multipoint Distribution Service Auction, Public Notice, DA 98-37, 
13 FCC Rcd 341, 347 (1998). The public notices issued by the Bureau 
establishing the procedures for each auction also provide detailed 
guidance to auction applicants and bidders regarding section 1.2105(c), 
including its application to particular types of communications. We 
think the Bureau's guidance regarding the applicability of Sec.  
1.2105(c) provided to date is sufficiently clear and find the 
clarification requested by Verizon Wireless to be unnecessary.
    178. Given the clarity of our rule, we likewise find it unnecessary 
to confirm in advance that particular types of discussions or 
negotiations by particular applicants are in compliance with our rule, 
or to establish a safe harbor for otherwise prohibited communications 
made by personnel that an applicant has ``walled off'' from certain 
other personnel. We emphasize that the specific types of communications 
with which Verizon Wireless expresses concern would not fall within the 
prohibition in Sec.  1.2105(c) unless they divulge bids or bidding 
strategies or discuss or negotiate settlement agreements, arrangements 
or understandings of any kind relating to the licenses being auctioned, 
including agreements relating to the post-auction market structure. We 
conclude that the Bureau's past guidance regarding the applicability of 
Sec.  1.2105(c) provides sufficient information to allow auction 
applicants to structure their routine business activities accordingly 
so that they do not run afoul of the rule.
    179. We also decline Verizon Wireless's request to amend the 
prohibited communications rule in the context of this AWS-3 service 
rules proceeding to narrow the definition of an ``applicant'' for 
purposes of the rule to include only the filing entity and its 
controlling equity interest holders, or to shorten the period during 
which the rule prohibiting certain communications is in effect to end 
at the close of bidding. As noted above, the AWS-3 NPRM sought comment 
on whether any of our part 1 rules would be inappropriate or should be 
modified specifically for an auction of AWS-3 spectrum. None of the 
commenters who advocated revisions to the part 1 rules explained 
whether or how their suggestions relate specifically to, or would be 
particularly necessary or appropriate for, an auction of licenses in 
the AWS-3 bands. Given the limited record received on this topic, 
without more comment, we are not inclined to adopt amendments to our 
general competitive bidding rules in the context of adopting service-
specific rules for AWS-3 spectrum.
    180. Revision to part 1 Certification Procedures. 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. In 2013, the Commission amended its rules to implement this 
Spectrum Act mandate by adding a national security certification to the 
application to participate in competitive bidding. The Commission noted 
in the AWS-3 NPRM that it would require this additional certification 
from all applicants in any short-form application to participate in 
competitive bidding for licenses in the AWS-3 bands that are subject to 
the Spectrum Act. Accordingly, an AWS-3 auction applicant must 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 persons 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.'' As with the other 
certifications on the short-form application, failure to include the 
required certification by the applicable filing deadline would render 
the short-form application unacceptable for filing, and the applicant 
would be ineligible to participate in the auction.
    181. Small Business Provisions for Geographic Area Licenses. As 
discussed in the AWS-3 NPRM, 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

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Communications Act provides that, in establishing eligibility criteria 
and bidding methodologies, the Commission shall seek to promote a 
number of objectives, including ``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.
    182. In the Competitive Bidding Second Memorandum Opinion and 
Order, the Commission 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, 
in the Part 1 Third Report and Order, the Commission, while 
standardizing many auction rules, determined that it would continue a 
service-by-service approach to defining the eligibility requirements 
for small businesses.
    183. The Commission proposed in the AWS-3 NPRM to define a small 
business as an entity with average gross revenues for the preceding 3 
years not exceeding $40 million, and a very small business as an entity 
with average gross revenues for the preceding 3 years not exceeding $15 
million. Under this proposal, small businesses would be provided with a 
bidding credit of 15 percent and very small businesses with a bidding 
credit of 25 percent, consistent with the standardized schedule in part 
1 of our rules. This proposal was modeled on the small business size 
standards and associated bidding credits that the Commission adopted 
for the AWS-1 band, based on the belief that the AWS-3 bands would be 
employed for purposes similar to those for which the AWS-1 band is 
used. The AWS-3 NPRM noted that these small business size standards and 
associated bidding credits were adopted for the AWS-1 band because of 
the similarities between the AWS-1 service and the broadband PCS 
service, and that the Commission had followed this approach when 
proposing small business size standards and associated bidding credits 
in the 2004 NPRM and when adopting them in the AWS-4 Service Rules R&O 
and the H Block R&O.
    184. The Commission sought comment on these proposals, including 
the costs or benefits of these standards and associated bidding 
credits, particularly as they may relate to the size of the geographic 
areas to be served and the spectrum allocated to each license. The 
Commission also specifically sought comment on whether the small 
business provisions it proposed are sufficient to promote participation 
by businesses owned by minorities and women, as well as rural telephone 
companies. The limited comment we received on the Commission's proposal 
to offer small business bidding credits in an auction for the AWS-3 
bands is generally supportive. The AWS-3 NPRM also proposed to extend 
any rules and policies adopted in the Commission's Tribal lands 
proceeding to any assignment of licenses in the AWS-3 bands through 
competitive bidding; see also Tribal Lands NPRM, 26 FCC Rcd at 2630-31 
paras. 19-20 (2011). No commenter addressed this proposal, and we see 
no reason to depart from our proposed approach here.
    185. Blooston Rural Carriers support the Commission's proposed 
small business bidding credits, but ask the Commission to consider 
offering additional support to incumbent rural carriers in the AWS-3 
auction through an additional (cumulative) bidding credit of 15 percent 
for entities that qualify as a ``rural telephone company'' or that are 
a subsidiary or affiliate of a qualified rural telephone company under 
the Commission's rules. This bidding credit would be available in 
addition to any other bidding credit for which an applicant may be 
eligible, but the credit would be limited to licenses that cover all or 
part of the rural carrier's certificated wireline service area. 
Blooston Rural Carriers submit that such an additional bidding credit 
would effectively help companies compete with large regional and 
wireless carriers in their local service territory and with carriers 
bidding more densely populated areas. The Commission has previously 
considered proposals to create an additional rural telephone company 
bidding credit. In declining to adopt such past proposals, the 
Commission observed that proponents of this type of credit had been 
unable ``to demonstrate a historical lack of access to capital that was 
the basis for according bidding credits to small businesses, minorities 
and women,'' and that ``[i]n subsequent decisions, large rural telcos 
have failed to demonstrate any barriers to capital formation similar to 
those faced by other designated entities.'' While the Commission has 
not intended to apply the part 1 bidding credit schedule uniformly to 
all services without any opportunity for the consideration of 
alternative bidding credits, the schedule of size standards and bidding 
credits described in our part 1 rules provides small businesses with 
consistency and predictability and we are not persuaded that we should 
deviate from that schedule here. As discussed above, the Commission 
took the characteristics of the AWS-3 service into consideration when 
proposing the two size standards and associated bidding credits in the 
AWS-3 NPRM. Based on the record in this proceeding, we decline to adopt 
a bidding credit for incumbent rural carriers in addition to the small 
business bidding credits that we adopt for the AWS-3 bands.
    186. CCA also supports the Commission's proposal to offer small 
business bidding credits, but asks the Commission to amend its bidding 
credit provisions to better fulfill the purposes of section 309 of the 
Communications Act. CCA asserts that the Commission's thresholds for 
defining small and very small business are decades old and have not 
kept pace with the realities of today's marketplace, and that the 
current definitions have the effect of excluding carriers that have no 
ability, or limited ability, to participate absent a bidding credit. 
CCA notes, by way of example, that the generally acceptable small 
business size standard for cellular or other wireless 
telecommunications entities as defined by the Small Business 
Administration (``SBA'') is firms with 1,500 or fewer employees 
(including affiliates). CCA urges the Commission to reevaluate its 
standards when determining eligibility for bidding credits in the AWS-3 
auction, rather than using the same small business size standards that 
were used in prior AWS auctions, but offers no suggestions regarding 
what alternative size standards could potentially be used for AWS-3.
    187. Based on the Commission's prior experience with the use of 
bidding credits in spectrum auctions, we believe that the use of 
bidding credits is an effective tool in achieving the statutory 
objective of promoting participation by designated entities in the 
provision of spectrum-based services. In the absence of small business 
size standards and bidding credits, designated entities might have less 
of an opportunity to obtain spectrum in this band. We believe that 
continuing to extend such benefits to the AWS-3 bands would be 
consistent with our statutory mandate. We are not persuaded by the 
record before us that we should adopt small business size standards for 
AWS-3 that differ from those used in prior AWS auctions. To the 
contrary, in light of the

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similarities between AWS-3 and the other AWS services, we adopt for 
AWS-3 the size standards and associated bidding credits for small 
businesses used in prior AWS auctions. On March 20, 2014, we requested 
the U.S. Small Business Administration's approval of our final rule 
adopting these small business size standards. Moreover, we continue to 
believe that use of the small business size standards and credits set 
forth in the part 1 schedule provides consistency and predictability 
for small businesses, and conclude that we would be ill-advised in the 
absence of any alternative size standards proposals from commenters to 
adopt changes to our part 1 bidding credit schedule in the context of a 
proceeding establishing service-specific rules for the AWS-3 bands. We 
also note that in first adopting small business size standards for 
eligibility for designated entity benefits, the Commission rejected the 
SBA's 1,500 employee standard as a means to qualify as a designated 
entity. The Commission concluded that such a definition would be too 
inclusive and would allow many large telecommunications firms to take 
advantage of preferences not intended for them. Accordingly, for the 
AWS-3 bands, we will define a small business as an entity with average 
gross revenues for the preceding 3 years not exceeding $40 million, and 
a very small business as an entity with average gross revenues for the 
preceding 3 years not exceeding $15 million. Under these definitions, 
small businesses would be provided with a bidding credit of 15 percent 
and very small businesses with a bidding credit of 25 percent, 
consistent with the standardized schedule in part 1 of our rules. Given 
the record before us and the benefits discussed above, we conclude that 
the potential benefits of our proposals would likely outweigh any 
potential costs.
    188. Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act Requirements. The 
Commission noted in the AWS-3 NPRM that the CSEA established SRF to 
reimburse Federal agencies operating on certain frequencies that have 
been reallocated from Federal to non-Federal use for the cost of 
relocating their operations. The SRF is funded from cash proceeds 
attributable to ``eligible frequencies'' in an auction involving such 
frequencies. 47 U.S.C. 928(b). ``Eligible frequencies'' are defined as 
those in the 216-220 MHz band, the 1432-1435 MHz band, the 1710-1755 
MHz band, the 2385-2390 MHz band, and any other band of frequencies 
reallocated from Federal use to non-Federal use or to shared use after 
January 1, 2003 that is assigned by competitive bidding pursuant to 
section 309(j) of the Communications Act. CSEA requires NTIA to notify 
the Commission of estimated relocation costs and timelines for 
relocation from eligible frequencies by eligible Federal entities at 
least 6 months in advance of a scheduled auction of eligible 
frequencies. On March 20, 2013, the Commission notified NTIA that it 
``plans to commence the auction of licenses in the 1695-1710 MHz band 
and the 1755-1780 MHz band as early as September 2014.'' CSEA further 
requires that the total cash proceeds from any auction of ``eligible 
frequencies'' must equal at least 110 percent of estimated relocation 
costs of eligible Federal entities, and prohibits the Commission from 
concluding any auction of eligible frequencies that falls short of this 
revenue requirement. Section 309(j)(16)(A) of the Communications Act, 
which was added by section 203(b) of CSEA, required the Commission to 
revise its existing regulations to prescribe methods by which the total 
cash proceeds from any auction of licenses authorizing use of 
``eligible frequencies'' shall equal at least 110 percent of the total 
estimated relocation costs provided to the Commission by NTIA. In 
implementing rules and procedures necessary to comply with CSEA, the 
Commission amended its reserve price rule to provide that, for any 
auction of ``eligible frequencies'' requiring recovery of estimated 
relocation costs, the Commission will establish a reserve price or 
prices pursuant to which the total cash proceeds from any auction of 
eligible frequencies shall equal at least 110 percent of the total 
estimated relocation costs of provided to the Commission by NTIA. The 
Commission also modified its Tribal land bidding credit rule to enable 
the Commission, in auctions subject to CSEA, to award all eligible 
applicants tribal land bidding credits on a pro rata basis in the event 
that the net winning bids at the close of bidding (exclusive of tribal 
land bidding credits) are not sufficient both to meet the reserve 
price(s) and to award all eligible applicants full tribal land bidding 
credits. The reserve price and Tribal land bidding credit rules adopted 
by the Commission in the CSEA Implementation Report and Order remain in 
effect today.
    189. The Commission invited comment on the applicability of the 110 
percent requirement in the CSEA to the various relocation and sharing 
scenarios discussed in the AWS-3 NPRM. The Commission also noted in the 
AWS-3 NPRM that the proceeds of certain spectrum required to be 
auctioned under section 6401 of the Spectrum Act are to be deposited in 
the Public Safety Trust Fund established under section 6413 of the 
Spectrum Act, and invited comment on the potential interplay between 
these Spectrum Act provisions and the CSEA. We received no comment on 
either of these issues. But see Public Knowledge Ex Parte, dated March 
13, 2014, at 4 (revenue not required for federal relocation should be 
distributed in accordance with the Spectrum Act); Public Interest 
Spectrum Coalition Ex Parte, dated February 20, 2014, at 2 and New 
America Foundation Ex Parte, dated March 24, 2014, at 3 (suggesting 
attribution of a larger share of the proceeds to the 2155-2180 MHz 
band). Accordingly, the 110 percent requirement will be addressed in 
the context of determining whether and how to establish the reserve 
price as the final procedures are developed--through a series of public 
notices with opportunities for comment--that will govern the auction of 
licenses in the AWS-3 bands.
    190. Multi-Stage Auction and Licensing Alternatives for 1.7 GHz. 
The Commission acknowledged in the AWS-3 NPRM that the Federal/non-
Federal sharing scenarios then under consideration by CSMAC are very 
complex and workable rules may prove difficult to implement prior to 
the licensing deadlines imposed by the Spectrum Act. The Commission 
therefore sought comment on alternative licensing constructs that could 
facilitate ongoing ``operator-to-operator'' negotiations between 
licensees in commercial bands (e.g., 2155 MHz) and Federal agencies 
occupying complementary Federal bands (e.g., 1.7 GHz), should sharing 
or relocation for exclusive use not be possible. The Commission asked 
whether, for example, the license for the commercial bands could be 
paired with an ``overlay'' license in Federal bands providing that 
commercial use of such bands would be entirely contingent upon 
successful coordination with incumbent Federal users, or alternatively, 
whether the commercial licenses could grant to the licensee exclusive 
eligibility status with respect to a future assignment of rights in 
such Federal bands. The Commission also asked whether an auction could 
proceed in two stages, to enable the initial assignment of a 
``negotiation right'' and subsequent payments into the Spectrum 
Relocation Fund to facilitate relocation or upgrades pursuant to the 
CSEA. Under this scenario, for example, the

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first stage could assign commercial licenses and any concomitant rights 
to negotiate with incumbent Federal users for the use of Federal 
spectrum, with the second stage consisting of a supplementary round 
with participation limited to eligible commercial licensees, and a 
reserve price set based on the 110 percent funding requirement 
established by the CSEA. The Commission invited comment on what 
approaches would generate the most certainty, and therefore expected 
value, in the use of the spectrum.
    191. T-Mobile, the only commenter that addressed this issue, 
opposed the issuance of overlay licenses. While T-Mobile supports 
operator-to-operator negotiations post-auction in order to maximize 
commercial licensees' access to Federal spectrum, it maintains that an 
overlay license approach would be inconsistent with the Spectrum Act's 
preference to relocate federal users to the maximum extent feasible, 
and with the CSEA, because activities provided for in the statute such 
as studying relocation options and updating equipment to facilitate 
clearing or shared use of the spectrum would not be undertaken if 
overlay licenses are issued. T-Mobile also notes that an overlay 
auction would create uncertainty about exactly what rights a licensee 
would be granted, which would potentially reduce auction participation 
and revenues. No commenter proposed any alternative licensing 
constructs or other approaches. Accordingly, based on the record before 
us, we do not adopt licensing alternatives for 1.7 GHz.
    192. Non-Federal Relocation and Cost Sharing (2155-2180 MHz). There 
are two non-Federal incumbent services still authorized in portions of 
the 2155-2180 MHz band: There are approximately 250 Fixed Microwave 
Service (FS) licenses in the 2160-2180 MHz band and approximately five 
BRS licensees in the 2150-2160/62 MHz band. The FS operations in the 
2160-2180 MHz band are typically configured to provide two-way 
microwave communications using paired links in the 2110-2130 MHz band. 
While few BRS systems remain, in the past BRS systems were deployed via 
three types of system configurations: High-power video stations, high-
power fixed two-way systems, and low-power, cellularized two-way 
systems. Under the Commission's rules, AWS licensees in these bands 
must protect incumbent operations or relocate the incumbent licensees 
to comparable facilities, until the applicable ``sunset date,'' after 
which the incumbents must cease operating if the AWS licensee intends 
to operate a station in the relevant area. The Commission's rules also 
address cost-sharing reimbursement to cover the scenario where 
relocation of an incumbent system benefits more than one AWS licensee.
    193. In the AWS-3 NPRM, we proposed to extend to the AWS-3 band the 
current relocation and cost sharing rules for both the FS in the 2160-
2180 MHz band and the BRS in the 2150-2160/62 MHz band and sought 
comment on our proposal. Comsearch agrees with the Commission's 
proposal to extend the current relocation and cost sharing rules for 
both FS in the 2160-2180 MHz band and BRS in the 2150-2160/62 MHz. 
Because the 2160-2180 MHz band is paired with the 2110-2130 MHz band, 
which is subject to relocation and cost sharing under the AWS-1 rules, 
Comsearch believes that new AWS-3 licensees will face practically the 
same relocation issues faced by current AWS-1 licensees given that 
there are still over 120 FS microwave links and 4 BRS systems remaining 
in the bands, so it seems reasonable that the incumbent protection and 
relocation rules set forth in Sec. Sec.  27.1111-1132 of the rules 
should be applicable to AWS-3.
    194. We conclude that extending the current relocation and cost 
sharing rules for both FS in the 2160-2180 MHz band and BRS in the 
2150-2160/62 MHz serves the public interest because it will continue to 
accelerate the relocation process and will distribute relocation costs 
more equitably among the beneficiaries of the relocation.

D. Allocation Matters

    195. For the frequency bands considered for AWS-3 service, the AWS-
3 NPRM identified several amendments to Sec.  2.106 of our rules 
(Allocation Table) that would be necessary to accommodate the proposed 
changes to the use of the bands. Although these proposed amendments 
drew little specific comment, parties generally supported policies that 
would necessitate allocation changes to provide for efficient use of 
the AWS-3 spectrum for mobile broadband services. Accordingly, we 
modify the Allocation Table for the bands we are designating for AWS-3 
use, as discussed below.
    196. 1695-1710 MHz. The 1695-1710 MHz band is allocated for primary 
Federal and non-Federal meteorological satellite (MetSat) (space-to-
Earth) use. In addition, the 1695-1700 MHz portion of the band is 
allocated for primary Federal and non-Federal meteorological aids 
(radiosonde) use, and the 1700-1710 MHz portion of the band is 
allocated for primary Federal fixed use and secondary non-Federal fixed 
use. We are adopting the amendments proposed in the AWS-3 NPRM relating 
to the 1695-1710 MHz band, which were unopposed by commenters and 
supported by a recent NTIA Report. To facilitate the Spectrum Act's 
requirement that the Commission allocate this segment of the 1675-1710 
MHz band to support wireless broadband use, we are amending the 
Allocation Table by allocating the 1695-1710 MHz band to fixed and 
mobile except aeronautical mobile services on a primary basis for non-
Federal use. The service rules that we are adopting today do not 
authorize fixed use in this band. Nonetheless, a fixed service 
allocation will harmonize the non-Federal allocations with the adjacent 
1710-1755 MHz AWS-1 band and allow for future consideration of low-
power fixed use of the band, such as by customer premises equipment, 
thereby providing maximum flexibility for service providers to better 
respond to market demand, consistent with past Commission actions. In 
the 1700-1710 MHz band, the primary non-Federal fixed service 
allocation replaces an existing unused secondary allocation. We decline 
to allocate the 1695-1710 MHz band to the aeronautical mobile services 
in order to better protect Federal MetSat earth stations in this band 
from harmful interference.
    197. We are maintaining the primary Federal MetSat (space-to-Earth) 
allocation in the 1695-1710 MHz band, but are limiting this allocation 
to 27 Protection Zones within which one or more Federal earth stations 
will continue to operate. Specifically, we are adopting footnote US88 
to provide for the protection of certain Federal earth stations that 
receive in the 1695-1710 MHz band as well as a few sites below 1695 MHz 
to ensure there is no impact due to adjacent band emissions. NTIA has 
endorsed the recommendations contained in a July 2013 Final Report 
authored by Working Group 1 of the Commerce Spectrum Management 
Advisory Committee (CSMAC WG-1). CSMAC WG-1 made recommendations 
regarding Federal/non-Federal sharing of the 1695-1710 MHz band, 
including protection zones (i.e., coordination areas) for Federal earth 
stations in this band. In addition, we are deleting the primary non-
Federal MetSat (space-to-Earth) allocation from the 1695-1710 MHz band, 
and are permitting non-Federal earth stations to continue to receive 
MetSat data from primary Federal MetSat space stations on an 
unprotected basis. It appears that more than 160 registered U.S. users 
of non-Federal direct readout earth stations receive in the 1695-1710 
MHz band.

[[Page 32394]]

See NOAA's 2011 presentation titled ``The President's Broadband 
Initiative: Impacts Upon NOAA Satellite and User'' at 4, 9, (available 
at http://directreadout.noaa.gov/Miami11/2011_presentations.html. See 
also Fast Track Report, note 11 (stating that ``Given that the 
satellite will continue to transmit their signals, receive-only station 
operators would need to convert to another access mechanism only if and 
when wireless broadband systems built-out in their area. Since high 
density metropolitan areas will be the first priority for wireless 
services, the operators of meteorological-satellite earth stations may 
find that they can continue to directly access the satellite date 
unimpeded for some time.''). See the final rules section for the text 
of footnote US88. The protection zones listed in footnote US88 were 
extracted from Table 2 of the CSMAC WG-1 Final Report. The complete 
list of earth station locations, protected center frequencies, and 
maximum protection radii for channel bandwidths of 5, 10, and 15 
megahertz are specified in Table 1 of the CSMAC WG-1 Final Report.
    198. We also remove from the Allocation Table three unused 
allocations that apply to the 1695-1710 MHz band. First, we delete the 
primary Federal fixed service allocation from the 1700-1710 MHz band 
and associated footnote G118 from the Allocation Table. Second, we 
delete the primary meteorological aids (radiosonde) allocation from the 
1695-1700 MHz band. Third, we delete the footnote allocation that 
allows all other applications in the Earth exploration-satellite 
service (EESS) (space-to-Earth) besides MetSat applications to operate 
in the 1695-1710 MHz band. Previously, the Commission added a reference 
to international footnote 5.289 (``Earth exploration-satellite service 
applications, other than the meteorological-satellite service, may also 
be used in the bands 460-470 MHz and 1690-1710 MHz for space-to-Earth 
transmissions subject to not causing harmful interference to stations 
operating in accordance with the Table.'') to the United States Table 
of Frequency Allocations in Sec.  2.106. In this action, we move this 
text to new footnote US289, except that the ``band 1690-1695 MHz'' is 
specified. We note that footnotes 5.289 and US201 both provide for the 
same applications using different wording. Therefore, we simplify the 
U.S. Table by adding the text of footnote US201 to new footnote US289.
    199. 2155-2180 MHz. The 2155-2180 MHz band is presently allocated 
on a primary basis to fixed and mobile services in the non-Federal 
Table as part of the larger 2120-2180 MHz band. The AWS-3 NPRM noted 
the benefits of allowing Federal users to access the AWS-3 bands, 
including spectrum not presently allocated for Federal use (e.g., 2155-
2180 MHz) on Federal lands or properties that are generally unserved by 
commercial wireless networks. It sought comment on specific locations 
where such shared use might be appropriate, a suitable regulatory 
framework for that use, and amendments to the Commission's rules 
required to facilitate that use.
    200. Oceus Networks strongly supports sharing both the 1755-1780 
MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands ``on U.S. military bases and ranges for 
mission-oriented tactical LTE . . . [and for] capabilities [that] would 
be able to evolve alongside a commercial technology roadmap.'' NTIA 
generally states that it agrees that expanding opportunities for 
preserving Federal users' access to the AWS-3 bands on Federal lands 
and military training ranges in areas generally served by commercial 
networks may allow Federal agencies greater flexibility to meet 
tactical, training, and other requirements. T-Mobile states that it 
does not object to Federal use of non-Federal spectrum in areas where 
commercial providers are not generally providing service, because 
shared use of AWS-3 spectrum could produce economies of scale and scope 
in for equipment for both Federal and non-Federal users, thereby 
lowering costs and speeding implementation. However, T-Mobile cautions 
that it is premature to adopt Federal sharing rules in commercial bands 
at present because of the urgency in bringing additional spectrum to 
market for mobile broadband services. T-Mobile therefore recommends 
that the Commission re-evaluate Federal sharing of commercial spectrum 
at a later date, when Federal requirements for additional spectrum 
versus more efficient use of existing spectrum are better understood.
    201. AT&T states that Oceus has not shown a specific need to 
provide sharing in the 2155-2180 MHz band, and that allowing Oceus to 
construct and manage a secondary wireless network in a licensed market 
would effectively foreclose the ability of the licensee to expand its 
coverage into that area at a later time. Verizon states that the 
Commission should promote sharing in bands explicitly identified for 
shared use, such as the BAS band, 1780-1850 MHz, and the 3.5 GHz band, 
and not require sharing in bands licensed for exclusive, flexible use. 
Responding to Oceus's statement that that military bases are 
underserved by CMRS operators because carriers do not deploy in those 
areas, Verizon asserts that access to military bases and processes to 
gain approval to construct and operate wireless facilities on bases 
make siting there more difficult. Similarly, noting that it has cell 
sites on more than 130 bases nationwide (and that the number grows as 
siting negotiations conclude), AT&T also disagrees that there are 
barriers to DoD using commercial wireless technology, and notes that 
network buildout on military facilities can be achieved through 
existing procurement arrangements. Oceus responds that it has sought a 
geographically limited approach for specific military operations but 
that even broader sharing opportunities will have to be addressed in 
the future in non-Federal bands, that existing contract vehicles such 
as AT&T describes are inadequate, and that secondary user would be 
required to cease interfering by rule if an AWS licensee were to expand 
coverage into the area of the secondary license.
    202. On March 21, 2014, NTIA, on behalf of DoD, requested that the 
Commission defer action on the specific text of a new US footnote in 
the Table of Allocations until requirements for a more flexible 
approach, beyond tactical or training applications in remote areas, can 
be developed in consultation with military and industry stakeholders. 
In accordance with NTIA's request, on behalf of DoD, we are deferring 
action on this matter. See Letter from Karl B. Nebbia, Associate 
Administrator, Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA, to Julius P. Knapp, 
Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, FCC (March 21, 2014) at 2.
    203. We are adopting the other amendments proposed in the AWS-3 
NPRM relating to the 2155-2180 MHz band, which were unopposed by 
commenters, by updating and combining footnotes NG153 and NG178, and 
numbering the resultant footnote as NG41. Specifically, we: (1) Remove 
the first two sentences from footnote NG153; (2) revise the last 
sentence in footnote NG153; (3) add language highlighting that all 
initial non-AWS authorizations in the 2160-2180 MHz band applied for 
after January 16, 1992 were issued on a secondary basis; and (4) add 
language highlighting the sunset provisions that apply to part 101 
fixed stations that were authorized on a primary basis. Part 101 use of 
the 2160-2180 MHz band is restricted to Common Carrier Fixed Point-to-
Point Microwave Service; see 47 CFR 101.101. Applications for new 
facilities submitted after the adoption date of the

[[Page 32395]]

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in ET Docket No. 92-9 (Jan. 16, 1992) 
``will be granted on a secondary basis only.'' 47 CFR 101.79(a)(1), 
101.101. We therefore remove footnotes NG153 and NG178, and add 
footnote NG41 to read as shown in the final rules section.
    204. 1755-1780 MHz. The 1755-1780 MHz band is presently allocated 
on a primary basis for Federal fixed, mobile, and space operations 
(Earth-to-space), but contains no non-Federal allocations. However, the 
AWS-3 NPRM observed that this band is allocated internationally on a 
primary basis to the fixed and mobile services in all three 
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regions. The AWS-3 NPRM 
also observed that the 1755-1780 MHz band has several characteristics 
that make it especially appealing for commercial wireless use, and 
proposed that it be used for mobile uplinks, with fixed stations not 
authorized in the band. The AWS-3 NPRM also inquired as to the changes 
necessary to the Allocation Table to permit commercial wireless use of 
the 1755-1780 MHz band. Commenters strongly supported using the 1755-
1780 MHz band for commercial wireless services. As noted above, Verizon 
Wireless supported the proposal to prohibit fixed station use of the 
band, stating that the authorization of fixed high-gain antennas could 
cause interference to government operations in that band.
    205. We concur with commenting parties that a commercial wireless 
service in the 1755-1780 MHz band is desirable, and establishment of 
that service requires that we add primary fixed and mobile service 
allocations to the non-Federal Table in that band. That addition will 
facilitate both Federal/non-Federal sharing, and a near-term spectrum 
auction, of that band. While that addition was not the focus of 
commenting parties, it finds implicit support in the record, including 
support from Federal users of the 1755-1780 MHz band. A fixed service 
allocation will permit future consideration of low power fixed use of 
the 1755-1780 MHz band, such as by customer premises equipment, thereby 
providing maximum flexibility for service providers to better respond 
to market demand. Additionally, we are deleting the existing fixed and 
mobile allocations from the Federal Table in that band, but are adding 
new footnote US91 to govern shared Federal/non-Federal use of the 1755-
1780 MHz band, as shown in the final rules section. See NTIA November 
2013 Letter, at the enclosures titled ``Commerce Spectrum Management 
Advisory Committee (CSMA) Working Group 3 (WG 3) Report on 1755-1850 
MHz Satellite Control and Electronic Warfare;'' ``Commerce Spectrum 
Management Advisory Committee (CSMA) Working Group 4: 1755-1850 MHz 
Point-to-Point Microwave[,] Tactical Radio Relay (TRR)[, and] Joint 
Tactical Radio System/Software Defined Radio (JTRS/SDR),'' Final 
Report, dated July 24, 2013; and Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory 
Committee (CSMAC) Working Group 5 (WG-5)[:] 1755-1850 MHz Airborne 
Operations (Air Combat Training System, Small Unmanned Aircraft 
Systems, Precision-Guided Munitions, Aeronautical Mobile Telemetry), 
Final Report (Sept. 16, 2013).''
    206. In addition, we are adopting a non-substantive update to the 
non-Federal Table by expanding the cross reference to part 27 of the 
Commission's rules, which is shown as ``Wireless Communications (27)'' 
in the 1710-1755 MHz band, by displaying this cross reference in the 
1695-1780 MHz band. We are also adding missing cross references to part 
27 of our rules in the 1850-2000 MHz band (for 1915-1920 and 1995-2000 
MHz bands) and the 2000-2020 MHz band. 47 CFR 2.105(e), 27.5(j)-(k).
    207. 2020-2025 MHz. As proposed in the AWS-3 NPRM, we are removing 
footnote NG177 from the Allocation Table. Footnote NG177 related to the 
Broadcast Auxiliary Service in the 1990-2110 MHz band transitioning to 
the 2025-2110 MHz band, and that transition has now been completed. 
Because we are deferring consideration of rules that would apply to the 
2020-2025 MHz band, we make no other allocation changes that relate to 
that band at this time.
    208. 2025-2110 MHz. The 2025-2110 MHz band is allocated on a 
primary basis to fixed and mobile services in the non-Federal Table; 
and on a primary basis to the space operation, Earth exploration-
satellite, and space research services in the Federal Table. In the 
AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission noted and sought comment on the DoD 
Proposal, under which DoD proposes to relocate key operations from the 
1755-1780 MHz band and to obtain increased Federal access to the shared 
2025-2110 MHz band. Comments were initially mixed on this proposal, but 
most wireless industry commenters subsequently supported the DoD 
Proposal. Others also support it or believe it to be preferable to 
commercial use of the 2025-2110 MHz band, maintaining that 2025-2110 
MHz--and especially the 2095-2110 MHz portion--is not a viable 
candidate band for commercial use, as it would impinge on existing 
uses. Recently, NTIA endorsed the DoD Proposal and recommended 
amendments to the Allocation Table for the 2025-2110 MHz band to 
implement military use of that band under specific conditions that 
protect non-Federal operations.
    209. We find the DoD Proposal to be constructive, and consistent 
with efficient use of both the 1755-1780 MHz and 2025-2110 MHz bands. 
Commercial use of the former band can occur in a timely manner under 
the DoD Proposal. Accordingly, we adopt NTIA's recommended amendments 
in our final rules section. Specifically, we are adding primary Federal 
fixed and mobile service allocations to the 2025-2110 MHz band, 
limiting Federal use of these allocations to military use, specifying 
coordination requirements for such operations in accordance with a 
Memorandum of Understanding between Federal and non-Federal fixed and 
mobile operations, and providing interference protection and priority 
to the specified non-Federal fixed and mobile operations in this band; 
delete footnote US393 and add footnote US92. These amendments will take 
effect only after the auction of the1755-1780MHz band concludes. See 47 
U.S.C. 309(j)(16)(B) (``The Commission shall not conclude any auction 
of eligible frequencies described in section 923(g)(2) of this title if 
the total cash proceeds attributable to such spectrum are less than 110 
percent of the total estimated relocation or sharing costs provided to 
the Commission pursuant to section 923(g)(4) of this title.'').
    210. Statutory Requirements. In discussing any changes to the 
Allocation Table, the Commission sought specific comment on any special 
statutory conditions that may apply, noting two particular statutory 
provisions of special relevance here.
    211. First, Congress recognized the potential benefits of flexible 
spectrum allocations and in 1997 amended the Communications Act to add 
section 303(y), which grants the Commission the authority to adopt 
flexible allocations if certain factors are met. Section 303(y) 
provides the Commission with authority to allocate spectrum for 
flexible use if ``such use is consistent with international agreements 
to which the United States is a party; and the Commission finds, after 
notice and an opportunity for public comment, that such an allocation 
would be in the public interest; such use would not deter investment in 
communications services and systems, or technology development; and 
such use would not result in harmful interference among users.'' The 
Commission sought comment on how best to read section

[[Page 32396]]

303(y) in light of the subsequent mandate of section 6401 to ``allocate 
the spectrum described [therein] for commercial use.'' The Commission 
also sought comment on whether any allocation changes, together with 
the proposed service rules, proposed or identified in the AWS-3 NPRM or 
by commenters would satisfy the four elements of section 303(y) of the 
Act. Commenters did not address these issues. For the reasons and in 
light of the specific rules set forth in this order, we conclude that 
the allocations and service rules adopted herein satisfy these section 
303(y) statutory requirements, to the extent they are not superseded by 
section 6401.
    212. Section 1062(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for 
Fiscal Year 2000 requires that, if ``in order to make available for 
other use a band of frequencies of which it is a primary user, the 
Department of Defense is required to surrender use of such band of 
frequencies, the Department shall not surrender use of such band of 
frequencies until. . .the [NTIA], in consultation with the [FCC], 
identifies and makes available to the Department for its primary use, 
if necessary, an alternative band or bands of frequencies as a 
replacement for the band to be so surrendered.'' Furthermore, current 
law requires that ``the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of 
Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff jointly certify. 
. .that such alternative band or bands provides comparable technical 
characteristics to restore essential military capability that will be 
lost as a result of the band of frequencies to be so surrendered.''
    213. NTIA states that the amendments to the Allocation Table for 
the 2025-2110 MHz band that it recommends--and that we are adopting 
herein--``would provide DoD additional spectrum access to a band with 
comparable technical characteristics to restore essential military 
capabilities that will be lost as a result of relocating systems out of 
1755-1780 MHz, a statutory requirement under the Secretary of 
Commerce's, DoD's, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's 
joint certification to Congress under the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000.'' Section 1062(b) of the 
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Public Law 
106-65; 113 Stat. 768); see also provisions (Surrender of Department of 
Defense Spectrum) set out as a note under 47 U.S.C. 921. Based on 
NTIA's representation, we view this statutory provision as satisfied. 
This rule change will take effect only after the auction for 1755-1780 
MHz concludes, see 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(16)(B), and the joint certification 
is submitted to Congress.

E. Federal/Non-Federal Coordination

    214. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission sought comment on 
coordination procedures including whether coordination models or 
elements thereof used in different wireless and satellite services 
would be applicable. In particular, the Commission sought comment on 
whether the coordination procedures established for non-Federal 
licensees to gain early access to adjacent AWS-1 uplink band (1710-1755 
MHz) could serve as a model for coordination. The Commission explained 
that, in AWS-1, the Commission worked closely with NTIA to craft a 
coordination procedure before the full band transition was completed. 
``Prior to operating, the AWS-1 licensee was required to contact the 
appropriate Federal agency to get information necessary to perform an 
interference analysis. The AWS-1 licensee would first perform the 
interference analysis and then send it to the appropriate designated 
agency contact for review. At the end of 60 days, if the Federal agency 
raised no objection, the AWS-1 licensee was permitted to commence 
operations. NTIA required Federal agencies to cooperate with AWS-1 
licensees and provide, within 30 days of a request from an AWS-1 
licensee wishing to operate within a coordination zone, site-specific 
technical information that would allow the licensee to complete the 
interference analysis. NTIA also required agencies that disapprove of 
an interference analysis submitted by an AWS-1 licensee to provide the 
licensee with a detailed rationale for its disapproval. Finally, 
Federal agencies were required to work in good faith to identify the 
source of the harmful interference and work with AWS-1 licensees to 
eliminate or mitigate the interference.'' AWS-3 NPRM, 28 FCC Rcd at 
11510 para. 67 citing The Federal Communications Commission and the 
National Telecommunications and Information Administration--
Coordination Procedures in the 1710-1755 MHz Band, Public Notice, 21 
FCC Rcd 4730 (2006) (AWS-1 Coordination Procedures PN).
    215. T-Mobile recommends that the Commission pattern the AWS-3 
coordination process after the process used by non-Federal licensees to 
gain early access to AWS-1 spectrum. Raytheon disagrees and argues that 
AWS-1 coordination procedures would not offer sufficient protection to 
the 1695-1710 MHz band. Motorola recommends that if the Commission does 
not apply AWS-1 coordination procedures to the AWS-3 spectrum, then it 
should apply part 27 coordination procedures. Mobile Future argues that 
the Commission should work with NTIA to develop an interference 
protection model, inputs to the model, and the coordination procedure. 
Such efforts, Mobile Future continues, should address issues that 
should be resolved before an auction commences.
    216. The Commission recognizes that bidders need as much certainty 
as possible regarding the scope of Federal incumbency, relocation 
timelines, and the potential for temporary or indefinite sharing 
through geographic or temporal access to spectrum. Accord, Annex O 
section O.4.2 (``NTIA expects that the transition plans' content will 
provide valuable information to prospective bidders preparing for an 
auction and to winning bidders planning for their system deployments or 
leasing strategies.'') and section O.5.1 (``With regard to spectrum 
sharing in eligible frequencies, the statute contemplates a range of 
potential arrangements including: (1) Short-term or temporary sharing 
in anticipation of the ultimate relocation of federal entities' 
spectrum-related operations; (2) long-term or indefinite sharing 
between federal entities and non-federal users; and (3) sharing among 
relocated federal entities and incumbents to make spectrum available 
for non-federal use.''). Indeed, such certainty is central to meeting 
the goals of the Spectrum Act to fund the Public Safety Broadband 
Network and to improve the CSEA to facilitate better transparency, 
coordination, and predictability for bidders and licensees. See 
Relocation of and Spectrum Sharing by Federal Government Stations--
Technical Panels and Dispute Resolution Boards, 78 FR 5310, 5311 (NTIA, 
Jan. 25, 2013) (the Spectrum Act improved the CSEA provisions to 
``facilitate better transparency, coordination, and predictability for 
bidders in FCC spectrum auctions and the ultimate winners of those 
auctions through, for example, a new requirement that NTIA publish the 
agencies transition plans on NTIA's Web site at least 120 days before 
commencement of the corresponding FCC auction, with the exception of 
classified and other sensitive information.'').
    217. Post-auction: Federal/Non-Federal Coordination Requirement. 
Section 309(j)(16)(C) Condition: There are two Federal/non-Federal 
coordination scenarios: (1) ``early access'' prior to Federal 
relocation and (2) permanent sharing. Under the first

[[Page 32397]]

scenario, the Commission is required to condition non-Federal licenses 
on not causing harmful interference to relocating Federal operations. 
The Spectrum Act did not amend this provision of the original CSEA 
(2004), which contemplated Federal relocations but not the Federal non-
Federal sharing scenario added by the Spectrum Act. Accordingly, we 
conclude that this statutory provision governs the scenario for which 
it was adopted--Federal relocations--and that it is inapplicable to the 
sharing scenario under which termination of the eligible Federal 
entity's authorization is unrestricted. We will apply the condition to 
each AWS-3 license by rule. Thus, licenses to operate in the 1695-1710 
MHz or 1755-1780 MHz bands are subject to the condition that the 
licensee must not cause harmful interference to an incumbent Federal 
entity relocating from these bands under an approved Transition Plan. 
This condition remains in effect until NTIA terminates the applicable 
authorization of the incumbent Federal entity. Although this statutory 
license condition does not apply to the permanent sharing scenario 
added by the Spectrum Act, the rules we adopt today require successful 
coordination to avoid causing harmful interference to these Federal 
incumbents.
    218. General Coordination Requirement. For both coordination 
scenarios (early access prior to Federal relocation and permanent 
sharing) successful coordination with Federal incumbents is required 
prior to operation as follows:

 1695-1710 MHz: 27 Protection Zones with distances depending on 
uplink EIRP
 1755-1780 MHz: unless stated otherwise in a Joint FCC/NTIA 
public notice (or in a written agreement among all relevant parties) 
the coordination requirement is as follows depending on the type of 
Federal authorization(s) involved:
     US&P Federal assignments: Each AWS licensee must contact 
each Federal agency that has U.S. and Possessions (US&P) authority 
prior to its first operations in its licensed area to reach a 
coordination arrangement on an operator-to-operator basis.
     Other Federal assignments: Each AWS licensee must 
successfully coordinate a proposed operation with each non-US&P Federal 
incumbent. The default requirement is a nationwide coordination zone 
with possible revisions and details to be announced in a Joint FCC/NTIA 
public notice.

    219. Joint FCC/NTIA Public Notice on Coordination Details. Federal 
use of the radio spectrum is generally governed by the NTIA while non-
Federal use is governed by the Commission. As such, consistent with the 
approach used for AWS-1, we believe that any guidance or details 
concerning Federal/non-Federal coordination should be issued jointly by 
NTIA and the Commission. In this regard, we authorize and direct the 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to work with NTIA staff, in 
collaboration with affected Federal agencies or CSMAC members, to 
develop a joint FCC and NTIA public notice with information on 
coordination procedures in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands. 
We understand that one or more Federal incumbents are proposing to 
develop one or more online portals, similar to the portal that DoD 
developed for AWS-1, that would permit AWS licensees to submit 
coordination data online in a standard format for distribution to the 
relevant Federal incumbents. Until such online capability exists, the 
Spectrum Act requires each incumbent agency to include contact 
information in its Transition Plan. Until a coordination portal is 
operational, licensees will have to rely on the point of contact 
provided in each agency's transition plan.
    220. The successful implementation of commercial services in the 
AWS-3 bands depends upon successful coordination and sharing with 
Federal users, whether on a temporary basis as Federal systems relocate 
their operations or on an ongoing, permanent shared basis for those 
systems that remain in the band. The Federal incumbents in the 1695-
1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands must be able to continue operations 
free from harmful interference and without being held accountable for 
interference into new commercial operations while the agencies are 
operating within their authorized operational parameters. Similarly, 
federal incumbents remaining in the band must be able to have the 
flexibility to coordinate with commercial licensees if reasonable 
modification of existing, grandfathered operations are required in the 
future. We expect a good faith effort from both the AWS-3 licensees and 
the Federal incumbents to share information about their systems, agree 
to appropriate interference methodologies, and communicate results so 
as to facilitate commercial use of the band. This extends to AWS 
licensees sharing information with Federal incumbents and cooperating 
in testing once Federal incumbents develop and implement real-time 
spectrum monitoring systems around existing Federal operations 
protected in the 1695-1710 MHz and adjacent bands.
    221. Pre-auction Information on Federal Incumbents for Bidders. 
NTIA must post the public version of each approved transition plan on 
its Web site no later than 120 days before the start date of the 
auction. The transition plans must generally describe an agency's plan 
for ``the implementation by such entity of the relocation or sharing 
arrangement.'' The plans the agencies submitted to NTIA and the 
Technical Panel contain information about the frequencies used, 
emission bandwidth, system use, geographic service area, timeline for 
sharing, timeline for transition, and estimated cost of relocation or 
sharing. Agencies that will not be able to release the entire plan will 
need to make a determination regarding what information can be released 
to reasonably help inform potential bidders about the incumbent Federal 
uses and the timelines for sharing and relocation.
    222. Supplemental Information Access: Affected agencies are 
permitted to redact from the publicly-released transition plans 
classified national security information and ``other information for 
which there is a legal basis for nondisclosure and the public 
disclosure of which would be detrimental to national security, homeland 
security, or public safety or would jeopardize a law enforcement 
investigation'' from the publicly-released transition plans. In the 
event that publicly-released transition plans contain incomplete 
information or lack key information necessary for potential bidders to 
accurately value the spectrum, the FCC, NTIA, and the affected Federal 
agencies will collaborate with industry stakeholders on possible 
supplemental information disclosure processes. See, e.g., Letter from 
Scott K. Bergman, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, CTIA, to FCC 
Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai, and 
O'Reilly, and Assistant Secretary Strickling, NTIA, dated Feb. 25, 2014 
(proposing a three-stage timeline for release of Federal agencies' 
transition plans and technical data under which Federal agencies would 
open a window for executing non-disclosure agreements to receive 
information under the second and third stages). We recognize that any 
supplemental information disclosure must appropriately protect national 
security considerations and law enforcement equities in accordance with

[[Page 32398]]

the statutory requirement. If it is determined that a supplemental 
information release process will be necessary and can be finalized, a 
Public Notice will announce the process.

F. Interoperability Requirement

    223. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission asked commenters to address 
any specific technical rules for the AWS-3 bands. USCC, T-Mobile, and 
several other commenters seek an interoperability requirement among 
AWS-1 and AWS-3 devices, or at least among AWS-3 devices in the 1755-
1780 MHz band (paired with 2155-2180 MHz band), asserting that 
interoperability creates significant benefits. USCC urges the 
Commission to adopt a clear, ex ante interoperability requirement, 
stating that access to interoperable devices by all AWS-3 licensees 
also would enhance economies of scale, expand roaming opportunities, 
and promote competition, which would lead to greater investment and 
innovation and lower costs for consumers. Specifically, USCC would 
require that: (1) All AWS-3 mobile devices be capable of transmitting 
across the entire 1710-1780 MHz uplink band and receiving across the 
entire 2110-2180 MHz downlink band; and (2) all AWS-3 networks support 
and permit the use of such mobile devices. USCC stresses that it is 
particularly important for the AWS-3 interoperability requirement to 
obligate licensees to include all of the paired 1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz 
bands. USCC states that a failure to adopt this requirement would 
significantly reduce the value of the AWS-3 spectrum blocks located 
outside of the current 3GPP Band 10 frequency range (1710-1770 MHz/
2110-2170 MHz band). USCC contends that this could encourage the large 
national carriers to focus on, and thus monopolize, the other AWS-3 
blocks, leaving only the ``orphaned'' uppermost 10 megahertz of AWS-3 
spectrum potentially available to small and regional carriers, who even 
collectively lack sufficient market power to drive device development. 
T-Mobile supports interoperability between AWS-3 and AWS-1 and states 
that the Commission should require interoperability for future AWS-3 
devices. T-Mobile also asserts that interoperability will promote a 
global market, not hinder availability, affordability, and portability 
of user equipment as ``boutique'' band classes will; as well as 
delaying deployment of services.
    224. DISH proposes an interoperability requirement similar to 
USCC's proposal, except DISH would include the AWS-4 downlink band at 
2180-2200 MHz. Verizon opposes any equipment interoperability mandate 
and Verizon and AT&T state that the AWS-3 NPRM did not propose or seek 
comment on an interoperability requirement between AWS-3 and AWS-4. 
Verizon also notes that that DISH filed its AWS 1/3/4 interoperability 
proposal very recently and that there is inadequate time for parties to 
evaluate it in this proceeding from a technical or other perspective. 
DISH acknowledges the timing of its specific interoperability proposal 
but states that the Commission discussed in detail the efficiencies of 
combining adjacent AWS-1 spectrum with AWS-3 and that the general 
concept of interoperability has been discussed in the record at length 
as it relates to combining the AWS-1 and AWS-3 bands. Because the 
Commission tentatively found that having additional spectrum that is 
adjacent to that used for like services would promote efficiency in 
broadband deployment. DISH asserts that rules that promote efficiency 
based on the principle of spectrum adjacency would be a logical 
outgrowth of the AWS-3 NPRM's tentative finding, no matter which side 
of the AWS-3 downlinks the adjacent spectrum is on. DISH also dismisses 
as misguided Verizon's suggestion that there may be ``technical 
limitations'' that would prevent or delay the addition of 2180-2200 MHz 
to the AWS downlink ecosystem as follows: ``DISH's proposal for 
interoperability between the AWS-1, AWS-3, and AWS-4 downlink bands 
impacts only devices, which are operating in receive mode and are not 
subject to any transmit restrictions. Furthermore, nothing in DISH's 
proposal requires any changes to base stations operating in transmit 
mode in the downlink band for AWS operators. Therefore, Verizon's 
introduction of the possible impact of ``federal AMT operations at 
2200-2290 MHz'' on ``AWS-3 equipment that also includes the AWS-4 
downlink band'' is irrelevant. Such federal operations are only 
relevant to DISH's base stations in 2180-2200 MHz.'' DISH Ex Parte 
dated March 20, 2014.
    225. The Commission historically has been interested in promoting 
interoperability. Beginning with the licensing of cellular spectrum, 
the Commission maintained that consumer equipment should be capable of 
operating over the entire range of cellular spectrum as a means to 
``insure full coverage in all markets and compatibility on a nationwide 
basis.'' Although the Commission did not adopt a rule to require band-
wide interoperability for PCS, it again stressed the importance of 
interoperability by acknowledging industry efforts to establish 
voluntary interoperability standards and asserted that ``[t]he 
availability of interoperability standards will deliver important 
benefits to consumers and help achieve our objectives of universality, 
competitive delivery of PCS, that includes the ability of consumers to 
switch between PCS systems at low cost, and competitive markets for PCS 
equipment.'' The Commission also stated that if PCS technology did not 
develop in a manner to accommodate roaming and interoperability, it 
might consider ``what actions the Commission may take to facilitate the 
more rapid development of appropriate standards.'' In 1997, we 
established a rule requiring receiver interoperability for satellite 
digital audio radio services, and in implementing authority over public 
safety broadband systems prior to the Spectrum Act, the Commission 
determined in 2007 that it was ``imperative'' to establish a nationwide 
broadband interoperability standard. More recently, in WT Docket No. 
12-69, the Commission took certain steps to implement an industry 
solution to provide interoperable Long Term Evolution (LTE) service in 
the Lower 700 MHz band in an efficient and effective manner to improve 
choice and quality for consumers of mobile services. A number of the 
principal wireless providers licensed in the 700 MHz band, along with 
the Competitive Carriers Association, had developed a voluntary 
industry solution that would resolve the lack of interoperability in 
this band while allowing flexibility in responding to evolving consumer 
needs and dynamic and fast-paced technological developments. In 
reviewing the voluntary solution, the Commission determined that 
amendments to the rules and modifications to licenses serve the public 
interest by enabling consumers, especially in rural areas, to enjoy the 
benefits of greater competition and more choices, and by encouraging 
efficient use of spectrum, investment, job creation, and the 
development of innovative mobile broadband services and equipment. 
Although no party requested that we impose an interoperability 
requirement with respect to the 10 megahertz of H Block spectrum, as 
they have for the larger AWS-3 band in this proceeding, we stressed 
again in that context that ``interoperability is an important aspect

[[Page 32399]]

of future deployment of mobile broadband services and generally serves 
the public interest.''
    226. In the AWS-3 NPRM, the Commission noted that, where possible, 
it was proposing to adopt for AWS-3 the same technical rules that apply 
to AWS-1 and wireless industry commenters overwhelmingly supported this 
approach--with strong objections to the Commission's proposal to depart 
from the AWS-1 power limit for mobiles and portables. The Commission 
also asked whether to pair any of the proposed AWS-3 band segments, and 
whether there are likely to be any competitive effects of the pairing 
choice that it should consider. Wireless industry commenters 
overwhelmingly urge us to designate 1755-1780 MHz for AWS paired with 
2155-2180 MHz due to its adjacency to AWS-1. Indeed, for well over the 
past decade, the wireless industry has sought commercial use of the 
1710-1780 MHz Federal band to pair with the 2110-2180 MHz non-Federal 
band. In 2006, the Commission issued licenses for AWS-1 at 1710-1755/
2110-2155 MHz. In 2008, the Commission proposed AWS service rules for 
2155-2180 MHz unpaired, and most wireless industry commenters in that 
proceeding urged the Commission to defer action until 2155-2180 MHz 
could be licensed paired with 1755-1780 MHz. As discussed above, the 
record now before us overwhelmingly indicates that licensing 1755-1780 
MHz paired with 2155-2180 MHz is ideal precisely because it is 
contiguous to and can be used as an extension of the AWS-1 bands. AT&T, 
in supporting the pairing of 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz, states 
that ``[t]he ability to combine the AWS-3 and AWS-1 bands in a single 
band class would result in more efficient spectrum utilization and more 
efficient LTE networks.'' The existence of Band Class 10 supports this 
conclusion but, as USCC and other commenters have noted, it could also 
result in outcomes inimical to the public interest--operations in the 
United States limited to Band 10, e.g., if large carriers focused on 
blocks within Band 10 leaving 1770-1780/2170-2180 MHz ``orphaned.''
    227. To the extent that smaller operators favor smaller license 
sizes, we note that the AWS-3 paired block that we are designating for 
the smallest geographic licensing area (CMAs) and all of the smallest, 
5 megahertz paired blocks, are within existing Band Class 10. 
Additionally, based on the record before us, we conclude that the 
public interest is best served by requiring AWS-3 mobile and portable 
stations that operate on any frequencies in the 1755-1780 MHz band 
(paired with the 2155-2180 MHz band) to be capable of operating on all 
frequencies in the 1710-1780 MHz band (paired with the 2110-2180 MHz 
band) using all air interfaces that the equipment utilizes on any 
frequencies in the 1710-1780 MHz band (paired with frequencies in the 
2110-2180 MHz band). Although Section 6401 of the Spectrum Act would 
require us to auction and license these bands by February 2015 pursuant 
to flexible use service rules whether or not we adopt an additional 
interoperability requirement, we conclude that adopting such a 
requirement prior to licensing best serves the public interest by 
removing uncertainty, e.g., for potential applicants that intend to 
follow 3GPP standards if licensed in the 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 
MHz bands. As several commenters note, voluntary industry band classes 
for commercial systems can significantly benefit or harm consumers. 
``Adopting an interoperability requirement will help to `promote timely 
access to a variety of mobile devices by all AWS-3 licensees, including 
small and regional carriers' while preventing a situation, like that in 
the 700 MHz band, where manufacturers focused on the needs of the 
larger carriers, which significantly delayed `the deployment of 
advanced services to many rural and underserved areas.' '' Smith 
Bagley, MTPCS, and Cellular Network Partnership Joint Reply at 4 
quoting USCC Comments at 18. With an assurance of basic 
interoperability across 1755-80 MHz (paired with 2155-2180 MHz) and 
AWS-1, potential licensees, particularly smaller ones, will face less 
uncertainty over the development of a healthy device ecosystem. 
``Interoperability will also `facilitate roaming arrangements and allow 
smaller regional carriers to compete with the larger carriers--a result 
that is in the public interest.' '' Smith Bagley, MTPCS, and Cellular 
Network Partnership Joint Reply at 4 quoting USCC Comments at 24. We 
note that at this time this rule applies to AWS-3 licensees and AWS-3 
bands as described herein. We adopt this basic interoperability 
requirement pursuant to our separate authority under Title III of the 
Communications Act. See 47 U.S.C. 301, 303(b), 303(g), 303(r). See also 
id. sections 153(28) (defining ``mobile stations''), (42) (defining 
station license by reference to ``use or operation of apparatus''), 
153(57) (defining transmission to include ``all instrumentalities, 
facilities, and services incidental'' thereto), 154(i). See generally 
Lower 700 MHz Interoperability R&O, 28 FCC Rcd at 15155-56 paras. 69-70 
(2013).
    228. Consistent with precedent, we stress the importance of 
promoting interoperability throughout the 1710-1780 MHz/2110-2180 MHz 
band--as reflected in the industry efforts to establish voluntary 
interoperability standards covering most of this spectrum and the 
overwhelming industry representations herein, and for well over the 
past decade before Congress, the Executive Branch, internationally, and 
the Commission, as to the suitability of the 1710-1780 MHz band (paired 
with 2110-2180 MHz) for AWS operations. Indeed, a failure to achieve 
basic interoperability of devices using the same air interface(s) in 
the 1710-1780 MHz band (paired with the 2110-2180 MHz band) would be 
completely at odds with longstanding commercial wireless industry-wide 
efforts for access to additional spectrum. With this in mind, we 
emphasize that the availability of voluntary interoperability standards 
will deliver important benefits to consumers and help achieve our 
objectives of universality, competitive delivery of devices that 
utilize the 1710-1780 MHz band (paired with the 2155-2180 MHz band) 
because devices that operate in the 1755-1780 MHz band (paired with 
2155-2180 MHz) will include the AWS-1 bands, thereby promoting the 
ability of consumers to switch between AWS systems that use the same 
air interface(s) at low cost, and competitive markets for equipment.''
    229. Finally, we recognize that USCC initially sought an 
interoperability requirement that extends to 1695-1710 MHz and that 
DISH recently proposed including the 2180-2200 MHz AWS-4 band. Given 
that 1695-1710 MHz will be auctioned and licensed unpaired, we conclude 
that extending an interoperability requirement to this band at this 
time would be inappropriate because the downlink band(s) is 
undetermined. At this time, we also decline DISH's suggestion to add 
the AWS-4 downlink band (2180-2200 MHz) into the basic interoperability 
rule for AWS-3 licensees. The record is not developed on this issue and 
relevant technical issues have not been fully explored by commenters. 
Apart from longstanding, wireless industry-wide advocacy for 1710-1780 
MHz paired with 2110-2180 MHz, the record before us reflects among AWS-
1/3 interoperability proponents a reciprocal understanding of sorts 
among potential, future AWS-3 licensees: If licensed in 1755-1780/2155-
2180 MHz, each proponent is willing to accept any burden arising

[[Page 32400]]

from the interoperability requirement that it seeks. On the other hand, 
DISH's proposed AWS-1/3/4 interoperability requirement would not apply 
to any AWS-4 devices. While this lack of reciprocity does not 
disqualify the proposal, the distinction is a consideration that cannot 
be ignored. Nonetheless, we appreciate the potential public interest 
benefits of an expansive, interoperable, band extending across most, or 
possibly all, of the 1.7 GHz uplink band and the 2.1 GHz downlink band. 
Accordingly, at this juncture, we encourage interested parties to work 
towards voluntary, standards-based solutions to facilitate 
interoperability, to the extent technically practical, across all of 
these AWS-1/3/4 bands. Once AWS-3 is licensed, we expect AWS-3 
licensees to participate in good faith in standard setting processes to 
extend interoperability across AWS-1/3/4 (1710-1780 MHz and 2110-2200 
MHz), unless there are technical impediments to doing so. If technical 
concerns arise, we expect parties to work to find reasonable measures 
to remedy those concerns. In the absence of technical impediments to 
interoperability, if the Commission determines that progress on 
interoperability has stalled in the standards process, future AWS-3 
licensees are hereby on notice that the Commission will consider 
initiating a rulemaking regarding the extension of an interoperability 
mandate that includes AWS-4 (2180-2200 MHz) at that time. Should we 
undertake such a rulemaking, relevant considerations may include 
considerations of harmful interference, technical cost and difficulty 
of implementation, and the extent to which licensees are common to both 
the AWS-3 and AWS-4 bands.

III. Procedural Matters

A. Ex Parte Presentations

    230. We remind interested parties that this proceeding is ``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 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 Sec.  1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by 
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.
    231. As discussed in section II.E (Federal/Non-Federal 
Coordination) above, in the process of developing one or more joint 
public notices regarding Federal/non-Federal coordination, NTIA may 
seek recommendations from the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory 
Committee (CSMAC). CSMAC is an advisory committee created for the 
purpose of advising NTIA on spectrum policy issues. CSMAC consists of 
private-sector ``Special Government Employees'' appointed by NTIA to 
provide advice and recommendations on U.S. spectrum management policy. 
Commission staff has been present at meetings of the full CSMAC and has 
participated in CSMAC's working groups. See, e.g., Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Engineering and Technology 
Exempt Certain Ex Parte Presentations in GN Docket No. 13-185, Public 
Notice, 28 FCC Rcd 12268 (WTB,OET 2013). Commission staff's 
participation in these meetings, and the free flow of information 
during the meetings, is essential to gaining an understanding of the 
issues implicated in making 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz available 
for commercial wireless use. While the CSMAC's meetings are open to the 
public, the FCC's ex parte requirements could, depending on the 
particular factual circumstances, be triggered if FCC decision makers 
are present, and oral or written presentations are made. Similarly, 
meetings of the CSMAC's working groups could, depending on the 
particular factual circumstances, be subject to the Commission's ex 
parte rules when FCC decision makers are present, if oral or written ex 
parte presentations are made.
    232. Therefore, pursuant to our authority under Sec.  1.1200 of the 
Commission's rules, we continue the limited exemption in the AWS-3 
proceeding (GN Docket No. 13-185) from the ex parte disclosure 
requirements of Sec.  1.1206 presentations made in formally organized 
meetings of the CSMAC at which FCC staff is present, and meetings held 
in connection with CSMAC, including working groups in which FCC staff 
is a participant. Such presentations will be exempt to the same extent 
as presentations are exempt under the shared jurisdiction exemption of 
Sec.  1.1204(a)(5). Specifically, the ex parte requirements do not 
apply provided that ``any new factual information obtained through such 
a presentation that is relied on by the Commission in its decision-
making process will, if not otherwise submitted for the record, be 
disclosed by the Commission no later than at the time of the release of 
the Commission's decision.'' We note that this exemption does not 
change the nature of public CSMAC proceedings; it simply allows FCC 
staff to participate without triggering disclosure requirements under 
the Commission's ex parte rules.
    233. The AWS-3 Report and Order discusses matters concerning 
relocating federal users in 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz, spectrum 
sharing between commercial and federal users in 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-
1780 MHz, and implementation matters related to the Spectrum Relocation 
Fund and the Public Safety Trust Fund. Discussions regarding these 
matters, may not be open to the public, and will occur between or among 
several agencies or branches of the Federal Government. Commission 
staff is regularly engaged with staff from NTIA, the Department of 
Defense (DoD), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Office of 
Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Department of Justice (DoJ), 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and other 
federal agencies and offices for the purpose of coordinating these 
matters, including but not limited to facilitating commercial use of 
the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands. In addition, relevant 
Congressional committees have sought to further facilitate discussion

[[Page 32401]]

among Federal Government stakeholders. Some of these discussions may 
already be subject to the Sec.  1.1204(a)(5) ex parte exemption in the 
Commission's rules, to the extent that they involve a matter over which 
that agency or branch and the Commission share jurisdiction, while 
others may not. We believe that these discussions among Federal 
Government personnel will benefit from an uninhibited flow of 
information between and among all participants, including potentially 
sensitive information regarding strategic federal use of these bands.
    234. Therefore, pursuant to our authority under Sec.  1.1200 of the 
Commission's rules, we exempt from the ex parte disclosure requirements 
of Sec.  1.1206 presentations regarding the AWS-3 proceeding (GN Docket 
No. 13-185) made between representatives from the FCC and NTIA, OMB, 
OSTP, DoD, DoJ, NOAA, other federal offices and agencies, or 
Congressional committee members and committee staff, to the same extent 
as presentations are exempt under the shared jurisdiction exemption of 
Sec.  1.1204(a)(5).
    235. To the extent that any of the participants in the above-
described meetings intends the Commission, with respect to any decision 
it makes in the AWS-3 proceeding, to rely on an ex parte presentation 
to which we have extended an exemption herein, we encourage that party 
to file the presentation (or, if oral, summary of it) in the record 
with ample time for other interested parties to the proceeding to 
review and respond, as appropriate, and for Commission staff to fully 
analyze and incorporate as necessary into any subsequent Commission 
decision. In this regard, we advise these participants that, consistent 
with the limitations of the exemption that we have established herein 
for the AWS-3 proceeding, in rendering a decision in this proceeding 
the Commission will not rely on an ex parte presentation covered by 
this exemption unless it is added to the record, at the latest, prior 
to the release of the decision.

B. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    236. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as 
amended (RFA), the Commission incorporated an 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 the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). No comments were 
filed addressing the IRFA. Because we amend the rules in the Report and 
Order, we have included this Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 
(FRFA) which conforms to the RFA. See 5 U.S.C. 601-612. The RFA has 
been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
of 1996 (SBREFA), Public Law 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).
    237. Need for, and Objectives of, the Report and Order. Wireless 
broadband is a critical component of economic growth, job creation, and 
global competitiveness and consumers are increasingly using wireless 
broadband services to assist them in their everyday lives. The rapid 
adoption of smartphones and tablet computers, combined with deployment 
of high-speed 3G and 4G technologies, is driving more intensive use of 
mobile networks, so much so that the total number of mobile wireless 
connections now exceeds the total U.S. population. As of the second 
quarter of 2013, 64 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers owned 
smartphones. It is predicted that by 2019, almost all handsets in North 
America will be smartphones and that total smartphone traffic over 
mobile networks will increase 10 times between 2013 and 2019. As of 
June 2013, 34 percent of American adults owned a tablet computer 
device, an increase from only 18 percent in September 2010. Tablets 
generated on average approximately 2.6 times the amount of mobile 
traffic as the average smartphone in 2013. All of these trends are 
resulting in more demand for network capacity and for capital to invest 
in the infrastructure, technology, and spectrum to support this 
capacity. The demand for spectrum, moreover, is expected to continue 
increasing. In response, both Congress and the President have issued 
directives to make available additional spectrum for flexible uses, 
including mobile broadband. The Commission continues to work to make 
available additional licensed and unlicensed spectrum to meet this 
growing demand.
    238. In the Report and Order, we increase the Nation's supply of 
spectrum for mobile broadband by adopting rules for fixed and mobile 
services, including Advanced Wireless Services (``AWS'') in the 1695-
1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands, some of which were 
previously allocated exclusively for Federal government use. We refer 
to these bands collectively as ``AWS-3.'' These service rules will make 
available 65 megahertz of spectrum for flexible use in accordance with 
the Spectrum Act. Specifically, we adopt service, technical, and 
licensing rules that will encourage innovation and investment in mobile 
broadband and provide certainty and a stable regulatory regime in which 
broadband deployment can rapidly occur. For example, we find the 
spectrum is properly allocated for commercial use as the Spectrum Act 
requires, and authorize mobile operations in the 1695-1710 MHz and 
1755-1780 MHz bands and base and fixed operations in the 2155-2180 MHz 
band. We also adopt service, technical, assignment, and licensing rules 
for this spectrum that generally follow the Commission's part 27 rules 
that govern flexible use terrestrial wireless service--except that in 
order to protect incumbents that remain in these bands, our rules are 
more stringent in certain respects. For example, to protect certain 
Federal operations in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands from 
harmful interference, we adopt technical rules that require AWS-3 
licensees using these frequencies to coordinate their proposed 
operations with NTIA prior to commencing operations. The market-
oriented licensing framework for these bands will ensure efficient 
spectrum utilization 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.
    239. A portion of the proceeds from the auction of Federal spectrum 
will be used to cover the relocation and sharing costs of Federal 
incumbents associated with relocating their spectrum-dependent systems 
from spectrum bands authorized to be auctioned under the Commission's 
competitive bidding authority. A portion will also be made available 
for use by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to carry 
out its duties and responsibilities, among other things, to deploy and 
operate a nationwide public safety broadband network.
    240. Legal Basis. The actions taken are authorized pursuant to 
sections 1, 2, 4(i), 201, 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 
324, 332, and 333 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and 
Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, 
Public Law 112-96, 126 Stat. 156, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 201, 301, 
302a, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 324, 332, 333, 1403, 1404, and 
1451.
    241. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to 
Which the Rules Will Apply. 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

[[Page 32402]]

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.
    242. 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 2010, there were 27.9 million 
small 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.
    243. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except satellite). 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. For this category, census data for 2007 show that there were 
11,163 establishments that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 
10,791 establishments had employment of 999 or fewer employees and 372 
had employment of 1000 employees or more. Thus under this category and 
the associated small business size standard, the Commission estimates 
that the majority of wireless telecommunications carriers (except 
satellite) are small entities that may be affected by our proposed 
action. Similarly, according to Commission data, 413 carriers reported 
that they were engaged in the provision of wireless telephony, 
including cellular 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.
    244. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements. The projected reporting, recordkeeping, and 
other compliance requirements resulting from the Report and Order 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, as discussed below. 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.
    245. Any applicants for AWS-3 licenses will be required to file 
license applications using the Commission's automated Universal 
Licensing System (ULS). ULS is an online electronic filing system that 
also serves as a powerful information tool, one that enables potential 
licensees to research applications, licenses, and antenna structures. 
It also keeps the public informed with weekly public notices, FCC 
rulemakings, processing utilities, and a telecommunications glossary. 
AWS-3 licensees that must submit long-form license applications must do 
so through ULS using Form 601, FCC Ownership Disclosure Information for 
the Wireless Telecommunications Services using FCC Form 602, and other 
appropriate forms.
    246. Steps taken to Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered. The RFA requires an 
agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered 
in reaching its 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 or 
reporting requirements under the rule for 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 small entities.
    247. As set forth in the Report and Order, we will license the AWS-
3 bands under a hybrid of Economic Area (EA) and Cellular Market Area 
(CMA) geographic licenses. Licensing some spectrum blocks on an EA 
basis best balances the Commission's goals of encouraging the offering 
of broadband service both to broad geographic areas and to sizeable 
populations, while licensing one block by CMA will enable smaller 
carriers to serve smaller, less dense population areas that more 
closely fit their smaller footprints. Licensees may also adjust their 
geographic coverage through secondary markets. These rules should 
enable licensees of AWS-3 spectrum, or any entities providing service 
in other AWS bands, whether large or small, to more easily adjust their 
spectrum holdings to build their networks pursuant to individual 
business plans. As a result, we believe the ability of licensees to 
adjust spectrum holdings will provide an economic benefit by making it 
easier for small entities to acquire spectrum or access spectrum in 
these bands.
    248. The Report and Order adopts rules to protect licensees 
operating in nearby spectrum bands from harmful interference, which may 
include small entities. The technical rules adopted in the Report and 
Order are based on the rules for AWS-1 spectrum, with specific 
additions or modifications designed, among other things, to protect 
Federal incumbents and Broadband Radio Service licensees that will 
share some of the AWS-3 spectrum. The technical rules in the Report and 
Order will therefore allow licensees of the AWS-3 spectrum to operate 
while also protecting licensees in nearby spectrum from harmful 
interference, some of whom may be small entities, and meet the 
statutory requirements of the Spectrum Act. In response to comments to 
the AWS-3 NPRM urging that an interoperability requirement is necessary 
to prevent the large national carriers from leaving certain AWS-3 
spectrum blocks ``orphaned'' (not included in voluntary industry 
standards) for small and regional carriers that lack sufficient market 
power to drive device development, the

[[Page 32403]]

Report and Order also adopts a requirement that mobile and portable 
stations that operate on any portion of frequencies in the paired 1755-
1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz band must be capable of operating on all 
frequencies in the paired 1710-1780 MHz and 2110-2180 MHz band, using 
the same air interfaces that the equipment utilizes on any frequencies 
in the paired 1710-1780 MHz and 2110-2180 MHz band. In response to 
comments seeking smaller spectrum block sizes and license areas 
(including from commenters that may be or may represent small 
entities), the Commission is licensing adopted several 5 megahertz 
spectrum blocks and one 5 megahertz paired block will be licensed by 
CMAs.
    249. The Report and Order provides AWS-3 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 Report and Order further provides for 
licensing of this spectrum under the Commission's market-oriented part 
27 rules. This includes applying the Commission's secondary market 
policies and rules to all transactions involving the use of AWS-3 
bands, which will provide greater predictability and regulatory parity 
with bands licensed for mobile broadband service. These rules should 
make it easier for AWS-3 providers to enter secondary market 
arrangements involving use of their spectrum. The secondary market 
rules apply equally to all entities, whether small or large. As a 
result, we believe that this 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 AWS-3 spectrum.
    250. The Report and Order adopts rules pertaining to how the AWS-3 
licenses will be assigned, including rules to assist small entities in 
competitive bidding. Specifically, small businesses will have available 
a bidding credit of 15 percent and very small businesses 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.
    251. Federal Rules that May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict with 
the Rules None.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    252. This document contains modified 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. 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 previously sought specific comment on how the 
Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for 
small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.
    253. In this present document, we have assessed the effects of the 
policies adopted in the Report and Order with regard to information 
collection burdens on small business concerns, and find that these 
policies will benefit many companies with fewer than 25 employees 
because the revisions we adopt should provide small entities with more 
information, more flexibility, and more options for gaining access to 
valuable spectrum. In addition, we have described impacts that might 
affect small businesses, which includes most businesses with fewer than 
25 employees, in the FRFA.

IV. Ordering Clauses

    254. Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 
201, 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 324, 332, and 333 of 
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and sections 6003, 6004, 
and 6401 of the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2012, Public Law 112-96, 
126 Stat. 156, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 201, 301, 302(a), 303, 307, 
308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 324, 332, 333, 1403, 1404, and 1451, that the 
Report and Order is hereby adopted.
    255. It is further ordered that parts 1, 2 and 27 of the 
Commission's rules, 47 CFR parts 1, 2 and 27, are amended, effective 
July 7, 2014 except as otherwise provided herein. It is our intention 
in adopting these rule changes that, if any provision of the rules, or 
the application thereof to any person or circumstance, are held to be 
unlawful, the remaining portions of the rules not deemed unlawful, and 
the application of such rules to other persons or circumstances, shall 
remain in effect to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Final 
Rules that we are adopting also include several non-substantive 
revisions to the rules as follows: We are moving from 47 CFR 1.949(c) 
to 47 CFR 27.14(q) the criteria for renewal for AWS-4 with one revision 
(changing ``e.g.'' to ``including'' to conform the language to the same 
rule that we are adopting today for AWS-3. We also make this same, one-
word revision to Sec.  27.14(r)(6)(i) for 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 
MHz. We delete ``total'' in Sec.  27.14(r)(1) and correct ``areas'' to 
``area'' in Sec.  27.14(r)(4). Finally, in 47 CFR 27.53, we redesignate 
paragraphs (d) through (m) as paragraphs (e) through (n) and reserve 
paragraph (d). This revision restores certain technical provisions to 
longstanding letter assignments that are often cited in equipment 
certification exhibits. Because of the non-substantive nature of these 
revisions, notice and comment are unnecessary. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).
    256. It is further ordered that the amendments, adopted above and 
specified in the final rules section, to Sec. Sec.  2.1033(c)(19)(i)-
(ii); 27.14(k), (s); 27.17(c); 27.50(d)(3); 27.1131; 27.1132; 
27.1134(c), (f) of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 2.1033(c)(19)(i)-
(ii); 27.14(k), (s); 27.17(c); 27.50(d)(3); 27.1131; 27.1132; 
27.1134(c), (f), which contain new or modified information collection 
requirements that are not effective until approved by the Office of 
Management and Budget. The Commission will publish a document in the 
Federal Register announcing the effective date for those sections.
    257. The effective date of the amendment to 47 CFR 2.106 adding 
Fixed and Mobile allocations for the 2025-2110 MHz band to the Federal 
Table of Frequency Allocations will become effective after the 
Commission publishes a document in the Federal Register announcing the 
relevant effective date.
    258. It is further ordered that the Final Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis hereto is adopted.
    259. It is further ordered that, pursuant to section 801(a)(1)(A) 
of the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A), the Commission 
shall send a copy of the Report and Order to Congress and to the 
Government Accountability Office.
    260. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a 
copy of the Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small 
Business Administration.

List of Subjects

47 CFR Parts 1 and 2

    Administrative practice and procedure, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Telecommunications.

[[Page 32404]]

47 CFR Part 27

    Communications common carriers, Radio.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.
    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 1, 2, and 27 as follows:

PART 1--PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

0
1. The authority citation for part 1 continues 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, 1403, 1404, and 1451.


Sec.  1.949  [Amended]

0
2. Section 1.949 is amended by removing paragraph (c).

PART 2--FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS AND RADIO TREATY MATTERS; GENERAL 
RULES AND REGULATIONS

0
3. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, and 336, unless otherwise 
noted.


0
4. Section 2.106 is amended by revising the Table of Frequency 
Allocations as follows:
0
a. Revise pages 28, 35, and 36.
0
b. In the list of United States (US) Footnotes, add footnotes US88, 
US91, US92, and US289; and remove footnotes US201 and US393.
0
c. In the list of Non-Federal Government (NG) Footnotes, add footnote 
NG41 and remove footnotes NG153, NG177, and NG178.
0
d. In the list of Federal Government (G) Footnotes, remove footnote 
G118.
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  2.106  Table of Frequency Allocations.

* * * * *
BILLING CODE: 6712-01-P

[[Page 32405]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR04JN14.000


[[Page 32406]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR04JN14.001


[[Page 32407]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR04JN14.002


[[Page 32408]]


BILLING CODE 6712-01-C
* * * * *

United States (US) Footnotes

* * * * *
    US88 In the bands 1675-1695 MHz and 1695-1710 MHz, the following 
provisions shall apply:
    (a) Non-Federal use of the band 1695-1710 MHz by the fixed and 
mobile except aeronautical mobile services is restricted to stations in 
the Advanced Wireless Service (AWS). Base stations that enable AWS 
mobile and portable stations to operate in the band 1695-1710 MHz must 
be successfully coordinated prior to operation as follows: (i) All base 
stations within the 27 protection zones listed in paragraph (b) that 
enable mobiles to operate at a maximum e.i.r.p. of 20 dBm, and (ii) 
nationwide for base stations that enable mobiles to operate with a 
maximum e.i.r.p. greater than 20 dBm, up to a maximum e.i.r.p. of 30 
dBm, unless otherwise specified by Commission rule, order, or notice.
    (b) Forty-seven Federal earth stations located within the 
protection zones listed below operate on a co-equal, primary basis with 
AWS operations. All other Federal earth stations operate on a secondary 
basis.
    (1) Protection zones for Federal earth stations receiving in the 
band 1695-1710 MHz:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
       State               Location                 Latitude                   Longitude           Radius  (km)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AK................  Barrow...............  71[deg]19'22''              156[deg]36'41''                        35
AK................  Elmendorf AFB........  61[deg]14'08''              149[deg]55'31''                        98
AK................  Fairbanks............  64[deg]58'22''              147[deg]30'02''                        20
AZ................  Yuma.................  32[deg]39'24''              114[deg]36'22''                        95
CA................  Monterey.............  36[deg]35'34''              121[deg]51'20''                        76
CA................  Twenty-Nine Palms....  34[deg]17'46''              116[deg]09'44''                        80
FL................  Miami................  25[deg]44'05''              080[deg]09'45''                        51
HI................  Hickam AFB...........  21[deg]19'18''              157[deg]57'30''                        28
MD................  Suitland.............  38[deg]51'07''              076[deg]56'12''                        98
MS................  Stennis Space Center.  30[deg]21'23''              089[deg]36'41''                        57
SD................  Sioux Falls..........  43[deg]44'09''              096[deg]37'33''                        42
VA................  Wallops Island.......  37[deg]56'45''              075[deg]27'45''                        30
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GU................  Andersen AFB.........  13[deg]34'52''              144[deg]55'28''                        42
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) Protection zones for Federal earth stations receiving in the 
band 1675-1695 MHz:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
       State               Location                 Latitude                   Longitude           Radius  (km)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CA................  Sacramento...........  38[deg]35'50''              121[deg]32'34''                        55
CO................  Boulder..............  39[deg]59'26''              105[deg]15'51''                        02
ID................  Boise................  43[deg]35'42''              116[deg]13'49''                        39
IL................  Rock Island..........  41[deg]31'04''              090[deg]33'46''                        19
MO................  Kansas City..........  39[deg]16'40''              094[deg]39'44''                        40
MO................  St. Louis............  38[deg]35'26''              090[deg]12'25''                        34
MS................  Columbus Lake........  33[deg]32'04''              088[deg]30'06''                        03
MS................  Vicksburg............  32[deg]20'47''              090[deg]50'10''                        16
NE................  Omaha................  41[deg]20'56''              095[deg]57'34''                        30
OH................  Cincinnati...........  39[deg]06'10''              084[deg]30'35''                        32
OK................  Norman...............  35[deg]10'52''              097[deg]26'21''                        03
TN................  Knoxville............  35[deg]57'58''              083[deg]55'13''                        50
WV................  Fairmont.............  39[deg]26'02''              080[deg]11'33''                        04
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PR................  Guaynabo.............  18[deg]25'26''              066[deg]06'50''                        48
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Note: The coordinates are specified in the conventional manner 
(North latitude, West longitude), except that the Guam (GU) entry is 
specified in terms of East longitude.


* * * * *
    US91 In the band 1755-1780 MHz, the following provisions shall 
apply:
    (a) Non-Federal use of the band 1755-1780 MHz by the fixed and 
mobile services is restricted to stations in the Advanced Wireless 
Service (AWS). Base stations that enable AWS mobile and portable 
stations to operate in the band 1755-1780 MHz must be successfully 
coordinated on a nationwide basis prior to operation, unless otherwise 
specified by Commission rule, order, or notice.
    (b) In the band 1755-1780 MHz, the Federal systems listed below 
operate on a co-equal, primary basis with AWS stations. All other 
Federal stations in the fixed and mobile services identified in an 
approved Transition Plan will operate on a primary basis until 
reaccommodated in accordance with 47 CFR part 301.
    (1) Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) may operate indefinitely at 
the following locations:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         State                Training area                   Latitude                       Longitude
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AZ....................  Yuma Proving Ground......  33[deg]12'14''                  114[deg]13'47''
CA....................  Fort Irwin...............  35[deg]23'19''                  116[deg]37'43''
LA....................  Fort Polk................  31[deg]08'38''                  093[deg]06'52''

[[Page 32409]]

 
NC....................  Fort Bragg (including      35[deg]09'04''                  078[deg]59'13''
                         Camp MacKall).
NM....................  White Sands Missile Range  32[deg]52'50''                  106[deg]23'10''
TX....................  Fort Hood................  31[deg]13'50''                  097[deg]45'23''
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) Air combat training system (ACTS) stations may operate on two 
frequencies within two geographic zones that are defined by the 
following coordinates:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Geographic zone               Latitude            Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Polygon 1.....................  41[deg]52'00''       117[deg]49'00''
                                42[deg]00'00''       115[deg]05'00''
                                43[deg]31'13''       115[deg]47'18''
Polygon 2.....................  47[deg]29'00''       111[deg]22'00''
                                48[deg]13'00''       110[deg]00'00''
                                47[deg]30'00''       107[deg]00'00''
                                44[deg]11'00''       103[deg]06'00''
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Note: ACTS transmitters may cause interference to AWS base 
stations between separation distances of 285 km (minimum) and 415 km 
(maximum).

    (3) In the sub-band 1761-1780 MHz, Federal earth stations in the 
space operation service (Earth-to-space) may transmit at the following 
25 sites and non-Federal base stations must accept harmful interference 
caused by the operation of these earth stations:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         State                     Site                       Latitude                       Longitude
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AK....................  Fairbanks................  64[deg]58'20''                  147[deg]30'59''
CA....................  Camp Parks...............  37[deg]43'51''                  121[deg]52'50''
CA....................  Huntington Beach.........  33[deg]44'50''                  118[deg]02'04''
CA....................  Laguna Peak..............  34[deg]06'31''                  119[deg]03'53''
CA....................  Monterey.................  36[deg]35'42''                  121[deg]52'28''
CA....................  Sacramento...............  38[deg]39'59''                  121[deg]23'33''
CA....................  Vandenberg AFB...........  34[deg]49'23''                  120[deg]30'07''
CO....................  Buckley..................  39[deg]42'55''                  104[deg]46'29''
CO....................  Schriever AFB............  38[deg]48'22''                  104[deg]31'41''
FL....................  Cape Canaveral AFS.......  28[deg]29'09''                  080[deg]34'33''
FL....................  Cape GA, CCAFB...........  28[deg]29'03''                  080[deg]34'21''
FL....................  JIATF-S Key West.........  24[deg]32'36''                  081[deg]48'17''
HI....................  Kaena Point, Oahu........  21[deg]33'43''                  158[deg]14'31''
MD....................  Annapolis................  38[deg]59'27''                  076[deg]29'25''
MD....................  Blossom Point............  38[deg]25'53''                  077[deg]05'06''
MD....................  Patuxent River NAS.......  38[deg]16'28''                  076[deg]24'45''
ME....................  Prospect Harbor..........  44[deg]24'16''                  068[deg]00'46''
NC....................  Ft Bragg.................  35[deg]09'04''                  078[deg]59'13''
NH....................  New Boston AFS...........  42[deg]56'46''                  071[deg]37'44''
NM....................  Kirtland AFB.............  34[deg]59'06''                  106[deg]30'28''
TX....................  Ft Hood..................  31[deg]08'57''                  097[deg]46'12''
VA....................  Fort Belvoir.............  38[deg]44'04''                  077[deg]09'12''
WA....................  Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  47[deg]06'11''                  122[deg]33'11''
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GU....................  Andersen AFB.............  13[deg]36'54''                  144[deg]51'22''
GU....................  NAVSOC Det. Charlie......  13[deg]34'58''                  144[deg]50'32''
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Note: The coordinates are specified in the conventional manner 
(North latitude, West longitude), except that the Guam (GU) entries 
are specified in terms of East longitude. Use at Cape Canaveral AFS 
is restricted to launch support only. If required, successfully 
coordinated with all affected AWS licensees, and authorized by NTIA, 
reasonable modifications of these grandfathered Federal systems 
beyond their current authorizations or the addition of new earth 
station locations may be permitted. The details of the coordination 
must be filed with NTIA and FCC.

    (c) In the band 1755-1780 MHz, the military services may conduct 
Electronic Warfare (EW) operations on Federal ranges and within 
associated airspace on a non-interference basis with respect to non-
Federal AWS operations and shall not constrain implementation of non-
Federal AWS operations. This use is restricted to Research, 
Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E), training, and Large Force 
Exercise (LFE) operations.
    US92 In the band 2025-2110 MHz, Federal use of the co-primary fixed 
and mobile services is restricted to the military services and the 
following provisions apply:
    (a) Federal use shall not cause harmful interference to, nor 
constrain the deployment and use of the band by, the Television 
Broadcast Auxiliary Service, the Cable Television Relay Service, or the 
Local Television Transmission Service. To facilitate compatible 
operations, coordination is required in accordance with a Memorandum of 
Understanding between Federal and non-Federal fixed and mobile 
operations. Non-Federal licensees shall make all reasonable efforts to 
accommodate military mobile and fixed operations; however, the use of 
the band 2025-2110 MHz by the non-Federal fixed and mobile services has 
priority over military fixed and mobile operations.
    (b) Military stations should, to the extent practicable, employ 
frequency agile technologies and techniques, including the capability 
to tune to other frequencies and the use of a modular retrofit 
capability, to facilitate sharing of this band with incumbent Federal 
and non-Federal operations.
* * * * *
    US289 In the bands 460-470 MHz and 1690-1695 MHz, the following 
provisions shall apply:
    (a) In the band 460-470 MHz, space stations in the Earth 
exploration-satellite service (EESS) may be authorized for space-to-
Earth transmissions on a secondary basis with respect to the fixed and 
mobile services.

[[Page 32410]]

When operating in the meteorological-satellite service, such stations 
shall be protected from harmful interference from other EESS 
applications. The power flux density produced at the Earth's surface by 
any space station in this band shall not exceed -152 dBW/m\2\/4 kHz.
    (b) In the band 1690-1695 MHz, EESS applications, other than the 
meteorological-satellite service, may also be used for space-to-Earth 
transmissions subject to not causing harmful interference to stations 
operating in accordance with the Table of Frequency Allocations.
* * * * *

Non-Federal Government (NG) Footnotes

* * * * *
    NG41 In the band 2120-2180 MHz, the following provisions shall 
apply to grandfathered stations in the fixed service:
    (a) In the sub-band 2160-2162 MHz, authorizations in the Broadband 
Radio Service (BRS) applied for after January 16, 1992 shall be granted 
on a secondary basis to Advanced Wireless Services (AWS). In the band 
2150-2162 MHz, all other BRS stations shall operate on a primary basis 
until December 9, 2021, and may continue to operate on a secondary 
basis thereafter, unless said facility is relocated in accordance with 
47 CFR 27.1250 through 27.1255.
    (b) In the sub-band 2160-2180 MHz, fixed stations authorized 
pursuant to 47 CFR part 101 may continue to operate on a secondary 
basis to AWS.
* * * * *

0
5. Section 2.1033 is amended by adding paragraph (c)(19) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  2.1033  Application for certification.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (19) Applications for certification of equipment operating under 
part 27 of this chapter, that a manufacturer is seeking to certify for 
operation in the:
    (i) 1755-1780 MHz, 2155-2180 MHz, or both bands shall include a 
statement indicating compliance with the pairing of 1710-1780 and 2110-
2180 MHz specified in Sec. Sec.  27.5(h) and 27.75 of this chapter.
    (ii) 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, or both bands shall include a 
statement indicating compliance with Sec.  27.77 of this chapter.
* * * * *

PART 27--MISCELLANEOUS WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES

0
6. The authority citation for part 27 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 154, 301, 302a, 303, 307, 309, 332, 336, 
337, 1403, 1404, and 1451 unless otherwise noted.


0
7. Section 27.1 is amended by adding paragraphs (b)(11) through (13) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  27.1  Basis and purpose.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (11) 1695-1710 MHz.
    (12) 1755-1780 MHz.
    (13) 2155-2180 MHz.
* * * * *

0
8. Section 27.5 is amended by revising paragraph (h) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  27.5  Frequencies

* * * * *
    (h) 1710-1755 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz, 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 
2155-2180 MHz bands. The following frequencies are available for 
licensing pursuant to this part in the 1710-1755 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz, 
1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands:
    (1) Four paired channel blocks of 10 megahertz each are available 
for assignment as follows:
    Block A: 1710-1720 MHz and 2110-2120 MHz;
    Block B: 1720-1730 MHz and 2120-2130 MHz;
    Block F: 1745-1755 MHz and 2145-2155 MHz; and
    Block J: 1770-1780 MHz and 2170-2180 MHz.
    (2) Six paired channel blocks of 5 megahertz each are available for 
assignment as follows:
    Block C: 1730-1735 MHz and 2130-2135 MHz;
    Block D: 1735-1740 MHz and 2135-2140 MHz;
    Block E: 1740-1745 MHz and 2140-2145 MHz;
    Block G: 1755-1760 MHz and 2155-2160 MHz;
    Block H: 1760-1765 MHz and 2160-2165 MHz; and
    Block I: 1765-1770 MHz and 2165-2170 MHz.
    (3) One unpaired block of 5 megahertz and one unpaired block of 10 
megahertz each are available for assignment as follows:
    Block A1: 1695-1700 MHz
    Block B1: 1700-1710 MHz

    Note to paragraph (h).  Licenses to operate in the 1695-1710 MHz 
and 1755-1780 MHz bands are subject to the condition that the 
licensee must not cause harmful interference to an incumbent Federal 
entity relocating from these bands under an approved Transition 
Plan. This condition remains in effect until NTIA terminates the 
applicable authorization of the incumbent Federal entity.

* * * * *

0
9. Section 27.6 is amended by adding paragraph (k) to read as follows:


Sec.  27.6  Service areas.

* * * * *
    (k) 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands. AWS 
service areas for the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz 
bands are as follows:
    (1) Service areas for Block G (1755-1760 MHz and 2155-2160 MHz) are 
based on cellular markets comprising Metropolitan Statistical Areas 
(MSAs) and Rural Service Areas (RSAs) as defined by Public Notice 
Report No. CL-92-40 ``Common Carrier Public Mobile Services 
Information, Cellular MSA/RSA Markets and Counties,'' dated January 24, 
1992, DA 92-109, 7 FCC Rcd 742 (1992), with the following 
modifications:
    (i) The service areas of cellular markets that border the U.S. 
coastline of the Gulf of Mexico extend 12 nautical miles from the U.S. 
Gulf coastline.
    (ii) The service area of cellular market 306 that comprises the 
water area of the Gulf of Mexico extends from 12 nautical miles off the 
U.S. Gulf coast outward into the Gulf.
    (2) Service areas for Blocks H (1760-1765 MHz and 2160-2165 MHz), I 
(1765-1770 MHz and 2165-2170 MHz), J (1770-1780 MHz and 2170-2180 MHz), 
A1 (1695-1700 MHz) and B1 (1700-1710 MHz) are based on Economic Areas 
(EAs) as defined in paragraph (a) of this section.

0
10. Section 27.11is amended by adding paragraph (j) to read as follows:


Sec.  27.11  Initial authorization.

* * * * *
    (j) 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands. (1) 
Initial authorizations for the 1695-1710 MHz band shall be based on the 
frequency blocks specified in Sec.  27.5(h)(3) and the corresponding 
service area specified in Sec.  27.6(k)(2).
    (2) Initial authorizations for the 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz 
shall be based on the paired frequency blocks specified in Sec.  
27.5(h)(1) and (2) and the corresponding service areas specified in 
Sec.  27.6(k)(1) and (2).

0
11. Section 27.13(k) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  27.13  License period.

* * * * *

[[Page 32411]]

    (k) 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands. 
Authorizations for the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz 
bands will have a term not to exceed twelve (12) years from the date of 
issuance and ten (10) years from the date of any subsequent license 
renewal.

0
12. Section 27.14 is amended by revising paragraphs (a), (f), and (k), 
adding paragraph (q)(7), revising paragraphs (r)(1) and (4) and 
(r)(6)(i), and adding paragraph (s) 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 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, the 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz bands, or 1695-1710 MHz, 
1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 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. 
``Substantial service'' is defined as service which is sound, favorable 
and substantially above a level of mediocre service which just might 
minimally warrant renewal. Failure by any licensee to meet this 
requirement will result in forfeiture of the license and the licensee 
will be ineligible to regain it.
* * * * *
    (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 or licensees holding AWS authorizations for the 1915-1920 MHz 
and 1995-2000 MHz bands or the 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz bands, 
or the 1695-1710 MHz, or the 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands. 
These licensees must file a renewal application in accordance with the 
provisions set forth in Sec.  1.949 of this chapter.
* * * * *
    (k) Licensees holding WCS or AWS authorizations in the spectrum 
blocks enumerated in paragraphs (g), (h), (i), (q), (r) or (s) 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. The licensee 
must certify whether it has met the applicable performance 
requirements. The licensee must file a description and certification of 
the areas for which it is providing service. The construction 
notifications must include electronic coverage maps, supporting 
technical documentation and any other information as the Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau may prescribe by public notice.
* * * * *
    (q) * * *
    (7) Renewal showing. An applicant for renewal of a geographic-area 
authorization in the 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz 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:
    (i) The level and quality of service provided by the applicant 
(including the population served, the area served, the number of 
subscribers, the services offered);
    (ii) The date service commenced, whether service was ever 
interrupted, and the duration of any interruption or outage;
    (iii) The extent to which service is provided to rural areas;
    (iv) The extent to which service is provided to qualifying tribal 
land as defined in Sec.  1.2110(f)(3)(i) of this chapter; and
    (v) Any other factors associated with the level of service to the 
public.
    (r) * * *
    (1) A 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 population in each of its licensed areas 
(``Interim Buildout Requirement'').
* * * * *
    (4) If a licensee fails to establish that it meets the Final 
Buildout Requirement for a particular licensed area, its authorization 
for each license area in which it fails to meet the Final Buildout 
Requirement shall terminate automatically without Commission action and 
the licensee will be ineligible to regain it if the Commission makes 
the license available at a later date.
* * * * *
    (6) * * *
    (i) The level and quality of service provided by the applicant 
(including the population served, the area served, the number of 
subscribers, the services offered);
* * * * *
    (s) The following provisions apply to any licensee holding an AWS 
authorization in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz 
bands:
    (1) A licensee shall provide reliable signal coverage and offer 
service within six (6) years from the date of the initial license to at 
least forty (40) percent of the population in each of its licensed 
areas (``Interim Buildout Requirement'').
    (2) A licensee shall provide reliable signal coverage and offer 
service within twelve (12) years from the date of the initial license 
to at least seventy-five (75) percent of the population in each of its 
licensed areas (``Final Buildout Requirement'').
    (3) If a licensee fails to establish that it meets the Interim 
Buildout Requirement for a particular licensed area, then the Final 
Buildout Requirement (in this paragraph (s)) and the AWS license term 
(as set forth in Sec.  27.13(k)) for each license area in which it 
fails to meet the Interim Buildout Requirement shall be accelerated by 
two (2) years (from twelve (12) to ten (10) years).
    (4) If a licensee fails to establish that it meets the Final 
Buildout Requirement for a particular licensed area, its authorization 
for each license area in which it fails to meet the Final Buildout 
Requirement shall terminate automatically without Commission action and 
the licensee 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 be 
deemed served by the licensee only 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 include only the 
population within the Census Tract (or other acceptable identifier) 
towards meeting the performance requirement of a single,

[[Page 32412]]

individual license. For the Gulf of Mexico license area, the licensee 
shall demonstrate compliance with these performance requirements, using 
off-shore platforms, including production, manifold, compression, 
pumping and valving platforms as a proxy for population in the Gulf of 
Mexico.
    (6) An applicant for renewal of a license covered by paragraph (s) 
of this section must make a renewal showing, independent of its 
performance requirements, as a condition of each renewal. The showing 
must include a detailed description of the applicant's provision of 
service during the entire license period and address:
    (i) The level and quality of service provided by the applicant 
(including the population served, the area served, the number of 
subscribers, the services offered);
    (ii) The date service commenced, whether service was ever 
interrupted, and the duration of any interruption or outage;
    (iii) The extent to which service is provided to rural areas;
    (iv) The extent to which service is provided to qualifying tribal 
land as defined in Sec.  1.2110(f)(3)(i) of this chapter; and
    (v) Any other factors associated with the level of service to the 
public.

0
13. Section 27.15 is amended by revising the first sentence of 
paragraph (d)(1)(i), paragraph (d)(1)(iii), the first sentence of 
paragraph (d)(2)(i), and 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, or Blocks C, C1, 
and C2 in the 746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz bands; and for licensees 
holding AWS authorizations in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz 
bands, the 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz bands; or the 1695-1710 MHz, 
1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 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, or the 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz bands, 
or the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 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) for 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz licenses, those enumerated 
in Sec.  27.14(r) for 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz licenses, and 
those enumerated in Sec.  27.14(s) for 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz and 
2155-2180 MHz licenses.
    (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, or Blocks C, C1, 
and C2 in the 746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz bands; and for licensees 
holding AWS authorizations in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz 
bands, the 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz bands or the 1695-1710 MHz, 
1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 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, or the 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz bands, 
or the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 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 disaggregatee 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) for 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz licenses, those enumerated 
in Sec.  27.14(r) for 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz licenses, and 
those enumerated in Sec.  27.14(s) for 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz and 
2155-2180 MHz.

0
14. Section 27.17 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  27.17  Discontinuance of service in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 
MHz, 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 2155-2180 MHz, and 
2180-2200 MHz bands.

    (a) Termination of authorization. An AWS authorization in the 1695-
1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 
2155-2180 MHz, and 2180-2200 MHz bands will automatically terminate, 
without specific Commission action, if the licensee permanently 
discontinues service either during the initial license term or during 
any subsequent license term, as follows:
    (1) After the interim buildout deadline as specified in Sec.  
27.14(r) or (s), as applicable (where the licensee meets the interim 
buildout requirement), or after the accelerated final buildout deadline 
(where the licensee failed to meet the interim buildout requirement).
    (2) After the AWS-4 final buildout deadline as specified in Sec.  
27.14(q)(1) (where the licensee meets the AWS-4 interim buildout 
requirement), or after the accelerated final buildout deadline 
specified in Sec.  27.14(q)(3) (where the licensee failed to meet its 
AWS-4 interim buildout requirement).
    (b) For licensees with common carrier or non-common carrier 
regulatory status that hold AWS authorizations in the 1695-1710 MHz, 
1755-1780 MHz, 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 2155-2180 
MHz, and 2180-2200 MHz bands, permanent discontinuance of service is 
defined as 180 consecutive days during which a licensee does not 
provide service to at least one subscriber that is not affiliated with, 
controlled by, or related to the licensee. For licensees with private, 
internal regulatory status that hold AWS authorizations in the 1695-
1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 
2155-2180 MHz, and 2180-2200 MHz bands, permanent discontinuance of 
service is defined as 180 consecutive days during which a licensee does 
not operate.
    (c) Filing Requirements. A licensee that holds an AWS authorization 
in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 
2000-2020 MHz, 2155-2180 MHz, and 2180-2200 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.

[[Page 32413]]


0
15. Section 27.50 is amended by revising paragraph (d) 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 1695-1710 MHz, 1710-1755 MHz, 1755-1780 
MHz, 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz, 2155-
2180 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz bands:
    (1) The power of each fixed or base station transmitting in the 
1995-2000 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz, 2155-2180 MHz or 2180-2200 MHz band and 
located in any county with population density of 100 or fewer persons 
per square mile, based upon the most recently available population 
statistics from the Bureau of the Census, is limited to:
    (i) An equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) of 3280 watts 
when transmitting with an emission bandwidth of 1 MHz or less;
    (ii) An EIRP of 3280 watts/MHz when transmitting with an emission 
bandwidth greater than 1 MHz.
    (2) The power of each fixed or base station transmitting in the 
1995-2000 MHz, the 2110-2155 MHz 2155-2180 MHz band, or 2180-2200 MHz 
band and situated in any geographic location other than that described 
in paragraph (d)(1) of this section is limited to:
    (i) An equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) of 1640 watts 
when transmitting with an emission bandwidth of 1 MHz or less;
    (ii) An EIRP of 1640 watts/MHz when transmitting with an emission 
bandwidth greater than 1 MHz.
    (3) A licensee operating a base or fixed station in the 2110-2155 
MHz band utilizing a power greater than 1640 watts EIRP and greater 
than 1640 watts/MHz EIRP must coordinate such operations in advance 
with all Government and non-Government satellite entities in the 2025-
2110 MHz band. A licensee operating a base or fixed station in the 
2110-2180 MHz band utilizing power greater than 1640 watts EIRP and 
greater than 1640 watts/MHz EIRP must be coordinated in advance with 
the following licensees authorized to operate within 120 kilometers (75 
miles) of the base or fixed station operating in this band: All 
Broadband Radio Service (BRS) licensees authorized under this part in 
the 2155-2160 MHz band and all advanced wireless services (AWS) 
licensees authorized to operate on adjacent frequency blocks in the 
2110-2180 MHz band.
    (4) Fixed, mobile, and portable (hand-held) stations operating in 
the 1710-1755 MHz band and mobile and portable stations operating in 
the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands are limited to 1 watt EIRP. 
Fixed stations operating in the 1710-1755 MHz band are limited to a 
maximum antenna height of 10 meters above ground. Mobile and portable 
stations operating in these bands must employ a means for limiting 
power to the minimum necessary for successful communications.
* * * * *

0
16. Section 27.53 is amended by redesignating paragraphs (d) through 
(m) as paragraphs (e) through (n), adding and reserving new paragraph 
(d), and revising newly redesignated paragraph (h)(1) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  27.53  Emission limits.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *
    (1) General protection levels. Except as otherwise specified below, 
for operations in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1710-1755 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 
1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz, 2155-2180 
MHz, and 2180-2200 bands, the power of any emission outside a 
licensee's frequency block shall be attenuated below the transmitter 
power (P) in watts by at least 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB.
* * * * *

0
17. Section 27.55 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  27.55  Power strength limits.

    (a) * * *
    (1) 1995-2000 MHz, 2110-2155, 2155-2180, 2180-2200, 2305-2320, and 
2345-2360 MHz bands: 47 dB[mu]V/m.
* * * * *

0
18. Section 27.57 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  27.57  International coordination.

* * * * *
    (c) Operation in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1710-1755 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 
1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz, 2155-2180 
MHz, and 2180-2200 MHz bands is subject to international agreements 
with Mexico and Canada.

0
19. Section 27.75 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  27.75  Basic interoperability requirement.

    (a)(1) Mobile and portable stations that operate on any portion of 
frequencies in the paired 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz band must be 
capable of operating on all frequencies in the paired 1710-1780 MHz and 
2110-2180 MHz band, using the same air interfaces that the equipment 
utilizes on any frequencies in the paired 1710-1780 MHz and 2110-2180 
MHz band.
    (2) [Reserved]
    (b) The basic interoperability requirement in paragraph (a) of this 
section does not require a licensee to use any particular industry 
standard. Devices may also contain functions that are not operational 
in U.S. Territories.

0
20. Section 27.77 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  27.77  Restriction on mobile and portable equipment in the 1695-
1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands.

    Mobile and portable stations in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz 
bands may operate only when under the control of a base station. Base 
stations that enable mobile or portable equipment to operate in the 
1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz band are subject to prior coordination 
requirements. See Sec.  27.1134 (Protection of Federal Government 
operations).

0
21. Part 27 is amended by revising the heading for subpart L to read as 
follows:

Subpart L--1695-1710 MHz, 1710-1755 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2110-2155 
MHz, 2155-2180 MHz, 2180-2200 MHz Bands

0
22. Section 27.1105 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  27.1105  1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands 
subject to competitive bidding.

    Mutually exclusive initial applications for 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-
1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 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.

0
23. Section 27.1106 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  27.1106  Designated Entities in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 
and 2155-2180 MHz bands.

    Eligibility for small business provisions:
    (a) Small business. (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 (3) 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

[[Page 32414]]

with which it has an attributable material relationship, has average 
gross revenues not exceeding $15 million for the preceding three (3) 
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.

0
24. Section 27.1111 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  27.1111  Relocation of fixed microwave service licensees in the 
2110-2150 and 2160-2200 MHz bands.

    Part 22, subpart E and part 101, subpart B of this chapter contain 
provisions governing the relocation of incumbent fixed microwave 
service licensees in the 2110-2150 MHz and 2160-2200 MHz bands.

0
25. Section 27.1131 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  27.1131  Protection of Part 101 operations.

    All AWS licensees, prior to initiating operations from any base or 
fixed station, must coordinate their frequency usage with co-channel 
and adjacent-channel incumbent, 47 CFR part 101 fixed-point-to-point 
microwave licensees operating in the 2110-2150 MHz and 2160-2200 MHz 
bands. Coordination shall be conducted in accordance with the 
provisions of Sec.  24.237 of this chapter.

0
26. Section 27.1132 is amended to read as follows:


Sec.  27.1132  Protection of incumbent operations in the 2150-2160/62 
MHz band.

    All AWS licensees, prior to initiating operations from any base or 
fixed station in the 2110-2180 MHz band, shall follow the provisions of 
Sec.  27.1255.

0
27. Section 27.1134 is amended by revising paragraph (c) and adding 
paragraph (f) to read as follows:


Sec.  27.1134  Protection of Federal Government operations.

* * * * *
    (c) Protection of Federal operations in the 1675-1710 MHz band. (1) 
27 Protection Zones. Within 27 Protection Zones, prior to operating a 
base station that enables mobile or portable stations to transmit in 
the 1695-1710 MHz band, licensees must successfully coordinate such 
base station operations with Federal Government entities operating 
meteorological satellite Earth-station receivers in the 1675-1710 MHz 
band. See 47 CFR 2.106, footnote US 88, for the 27 Protection Zones and 
other details.
    (2) Operation outside of 27 Protection Zones. Non-Federal 
operations, for mobile and portable stations operating at a maximum 
EIRP of 20 dBm, are permitted outside of the protection zones without 
coordination. All non-Federal operations for mobile and portables 
operating at a maximum EIRP of greater than 20 dBm and up to 30 dBm 
must be coordinated nationwide. All such operations may not cause 
harmful interference to the Federal operations protected in 47 CFR 
2.106, footnote US 88.
    (3) Interference. If protected Federal operations receive harmful 
interference from AWS operations in the 1695-1710 MHz band, an AWS 
licensee must, upon notification, modify its operations and/or 
technical parameters as necessary to eliminate the interference.
    (4) Point of contact. AWS licensees in the 1695-1710 MHz band must 
provide and maintain a point of contact at all times so that immediate 
contact can be made should interference against protected Federal sites 
occur.
    (5) Coordination procedures. Federal use of the radio spectrum is 
generally governed by the National Telecommunications and Information 
Administration (NTIA) while non-Federal use is governed by the 
Commission. As such, any guidance or details concerning Federal/non-
Federal coordination must be issued jointly by NTIA and the Commission. 
The Commission may jointly issue with NTIA one or more public notices 
with guidance or details concerning the coordination procedures for the 
1695-1710 MHz band.
    (6) Requirements for licensees operating in the 1710-1755 MHz band. 
AWS licensees operating fixed stations in the 1710-1755 MHz band, if 
notified that such stations are causing interference to radiosonde 
receivers operating in the Meteorological Aids Service in the 1675-1700 
MHz band or a meteorological-satellite earth receiver operating in the 
Meteorological-Satellite Service in the 1675-1710 MHz band, shall be 
required to modify the stations' location and/or technical parameters 
as necessary to eliminate the interference.
* * * * *
    (f) Protection of Federal operations in the 1755-1780 MHz band. The 
Federal Government operates communications systems in the 1755-1780 MHz 
band. Certain systems are expected to continue to operate in the band 
indefinitely. All other operations will be relocating to other 
frequencies or otherwise cease operations in the 1755-1780 MHz band in 
accordance with 47 CFR part 301. Until such a time as Federal 
operations in the 1755-1780 MHz bands vacate this spectrum, AWS 
licensees shall protect such systems and must accept any interference 
received from these Federal operations. See 47 CFR 2.106, footnote US 
91, for details. AWS licensees must successfully coordinate proposed 
operations with all Federal incumbents prior to operation as follows:
    (1) Protection Zone(s). A protection zone is established for each 
Federal operation pursuant to 47 CFR 2.106, footnote US 91. Unless 
otherwise specified in later Commission actions, the default protection 
zone is nationwide. A base station which enables mobile or portable 
stations to transmit in the 1755-1780 MHz band may not operate within 
the Protection Zone(s) of a Federal operation until the licensee 
successfully coordinates such base station operations with Federal 
Government entities as follows depending on the type of Federal 
incumbent authorization:
    (i) Federal US&P Assignments. Each AWS licensee must coordinate 
with each Federal agency that has U.S. and Possessions (US&P) authority 
prior to its first operations in its licensed area to reach a 
coordination arrangement with each US&P agency on an operator-to-
operator basis. (Agencies with U.S. and Possessions (US&P) authority do 
not operate nationwide and may be able to share, prior to relocation, 
in some areas.)
    (ii) Other Federal Assignments. Each AWS licensee must successfully 
coordinate all base station operations within a Protection Zone with 
the Federal incumbents. The default requirement is a nationwide 
coordination zone with possible revisions to the Protection Zone and 
other details to be announced in a Joint FCC/NTIA public notice.
    (2) Interference. If protected Federal operations receive harmful 
interference from AWS operations in the 1755-1780 MHz band, an AWS 
licensee must, upon notification, modify its operations and/or 
technical parameters as necessary to eliminate the interference.
    (3) Point of contact. AWS licensees in the 1755-1780 MHz band must 
provide and maintain a point of contact at all times so that immediate 
contact can be made should interference against protected Federal 
operations occur.

[[Page 32415]]

    (4) Coordination procedures. Federal use of the radio spectrum is 
generally governed by the National Telecommunications and Information 
Administration (NTIA) while non-Federal use is governed by the 
Commission. As such, any guidance or details concerning Federal/non-
Federal coordination must be issued jointly by NTIA and the Commission. 
The Commission may jointly issue with NTIA one or more public notices 
with guidance or details concerning the coordination procedures for the 
1755-1780 MHz band.

[FR Doc. 2014-11235 Filed 6-3-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P