Thursday, June 15, 2017

WTB Reminds Wireless Licensees of Construction Obligations

The Federal Communications Commission's ("FCC" or the "Commission") Wireless Telecommunications Bureau ("Bureau") released a Public Notice reminding Wireless Licensees of their buildout obligations- in particular, their existing obligations to timely meet the construction and coverage deadlines set forth in the Commission's rules.  These obligations serve the important purpose of ensuring that scarce spectrum resources are put to use and deployed in a manner that serves all communities.

The Bureau asserts that the FCC has clearly stated requests to extend construction obligations will not be routinely granted- only when failure to meet construction requirements were due to causes beyond the licensee's control, or more broadly, when the underlying purpose of the rules would not be served or would be frustrated, and that a grant would be in the public interest.  The Commission makes no representations or warranties that a license is a guarantee of business success, and does not contemplate extension of construction deadlines for licensees that fail to meet obligations because of miscalculations or erroneous productions about costs, demand, or developments in the market.  These requirements are highlighted particularly given the Commission's recent and ongoing initiatives to ensure that wireless broadband is deployed in unserved or underserved areas, including rural and tribal areas.

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