Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the
In addition to filing comments with the Secretary, a copy of any PRA comments on the proposed collection requirements contained herein should be submitted to the Federal Communications Commission via email to
This is a summary of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 12-118, Docket No. 12-268, adopted on September 28, 2012, and released on October 2, 2012. The full text of this document is available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. These documents will also be available via ECFS (
Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using: (1) The Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal Government's eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies.
• For ECFS filers, if multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the caption of this proceeding, filers must transmit one electronic copy of the comments for each docket or rulemaking number referenced in the caption. In completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking number. Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet email. To get filing instructions, filers should send an email to
Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
• The Commission's contractor will receive hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary at FCC Headquarters building located at 445 12th Street SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20054. The filing hours at this location are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of
• Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
• U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington DC 20554.
To view or obtain a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to this OMB/GSA Web page:
This document contains proposed revised information collection requirements. As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burden and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the following information collection(s). Public and agency comments are due January 22, 2013. Comments should address: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimates; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might “further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.”
There is no change in the FCC Form 337 as a result of the proposed rulemaking being adopted by the Commission.
The following is a description of each Wireless Broadband Service Rules section public reporting requirements for Licensees in the 600 MHz Band in the
Section 1.946(d) requires 600 MHz licensees to file a construction notification and certify that they have met the applicable performance benchmarks.
Section 1.949 requires 600 MHz licensees to file license renewal applications. Included in the application should be a detailed description of the: (1) Provision of service during the entire license period; (2) level and quality of service provided; (3) date service commenced; (4) whether service was ever interrupted; (5) the duration of any interruption or outage; (6) the extent to which service is provided in rural areas; (7) access to spectrum and service provided to qualifying tribal lands; and (8) any other factors associated with the level of service to the public.
Section 27.10(d) requires 600 MHz licensees to notify the Commission within 30 days if a 600 MHz licensee changes, or adds to, the carrier status on its license.
Section 27.12 requires 600 MHz licensees to comply with certain foreign ownership reporting requirements.
Section 27.17 requires 600 MHz licensees to notify the Commission within 10 days if they permanently discontinue service by filing FCC Forms 601 or 605 and requesting license cancellation.
30 Day Notice Requirement requires 600 MHz licensees, along with TV broadcasters in the 470-698 MHz band, to provide thirty days' notice to all incumbent fixed Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) operations within interference range prior to commencing operations in the vicinity.
The Commission will use the information to ensure 600 MHz licensees' compliance with required filings of notifications, certifications, regulatory status changes, and meeting applicable performance benchmarks. Also, such information will be used to minimize interference, verify whether 600 MHz applicants are legally and technically qualified to hold licenses and to determine compliance with Commission's rules. Any submissions made through the Universal Licensing System (ULS) must be filed electronically.
These proposals are designed to provide for flexible use of this spectrum by allowing licensees to choose their type of service offerings, to encourage innovation and investment in mobile broadband use in this spectrum, and to provide a stable regulatory environment in which broadband deployment would be able to develop through the application of standard terrestrial wireless rules. Without this information, the Commission would not be able to carry out its statutory responsibilities.
Information collection on the form will include information regarding the relevant broadcast license, information regarding parties with an ownership interest in the license, and if applicable, information regarding any agreement that the applicant may have to share a broadcast channel in the event that it relinquishes some of its spectrum usage rights through the auction.
The Commission will revise the FCC Form 175, if the proposal is adopted, to require a party to certify compliance with the statutory requirement prior to submitting the Form.
1. In its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, “
2. Congress's passage of the Spectrum Act set the stage for this proceeding and further expanded the Commission's ability to facilitate technological and economic growth. Wireless broadband is now a key component of economic growth, job creation and global competitiveness, and the explosive growth of wireless broadband services has created increased demand for wireless spectrum. Government entities and private industry alike have recognized the urgent need for more spectrum for wireless broadband services, and have been working to increase the availability of spectrum for these valuable uses. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Congress directed the FCC to develop a “national broadband plan” to ensure that every American has “access to broadband capability.” The resulting National Broadband Plan emphasized the indispensable importance of wireless spectrum in achieving Congress's broadband goals, recommending that the Commission make 300 megahertz of spectrum available for mobile broadband use within five years, including by reallocating a portion of the broadcast television spectrum.
3. The Spectrum Act authorizes the Commission to conduct incentive auctions in which licensees may voluntarily relinquish their spectrum usage rights in order to permit the assignment by auction of new initial licenses subject to flexible use service rules, in exchange for a portion of the resulting auction proceeds. Section 6403 of the Spectrum Act, which is not codified in the Communications Act, requires the Commission to conduct an incentive auction of the broadcast television spectrum and includes specific requirements and safeguards for the required auction.
4. The purpose of the
5. On October 2, 2012 the Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, “
6. In the
7. The Commission discusses these auction design issues at a high level and seeks comment on them. The Commission invites broadcasters' input on how to design the incentive auction so as to facilitate their participation and make it as easy as possible for them to submit successful bids, as well as how to structure the auction and repacking to take into account the interests of broadcasters that will not participate in the auction. In considering the auction design issues, the Commission also asks commenters to keep in mind their interrelated nature, as well as the different trade-offs they pose.
8. The reverse auction will collect information about the price at which broadcast television spectrum can be cleared. This information, together with information from the forward auction, will enable the Commission to identify a set of bidders that would voluntarily relinquish spectrum usage rights and the compensation each would receive. In economic terms, the reverse auction is the supply side of the market for repurposed broadcast television spectrum. The reverse auction will incorporate three basic auction design elements: it will collect bids, determine which bids are accepted as winning bids, and determine the payments made for those winning bids. The determination of which bids will be accepted depends, in part, on the repacking.
10. The second option is a multiple round, or dynamic, procedure in which bidders would indicate their willingness to accept iteratively lower payments in exchange for relinquishing rights. For example, in a descending clock auction prices would start high and decline over time. As the price ticks down, stations would indicate whether they would be willing to relinquish certain spectrum rights at the current prices. Those that would still be willing to relinquish rights would remain active in the clock auction, while those that found the current prices for all the relinquishment options too low would decline all the offers, exit the auction, and continue broadcasting in their pre-auction band. The exit decision would be irreversible. The Commission could also offer bidders the option of submitting a “proxy bid” in advance of the clock auction indicating the minimum payment they would be willing to accept in exchange for relinquishing spectrum rights, making it possible for bidders to submit bids just once. The clock auction would then use the proxy bid to generate and submit bids dynamically on behalf of the bidder.
11. From the point of view of bidders, a dynamic procedure such as a clock auction with the option of making proxy bids may be preferable to a single round sealed bid procedure. A dynamic format does not require broadcasters to determine an exact bid at the beginning of the auction. They only need to determine their willingness to relinquish rights at the current price, which may make participation simpler and less expensive for bidders. On the other hand, the single round sealed bid procedure may require less complex software than a multiple round auction and thus be easier for the Commission to implement. The Commission seeks comment on these and any other bid collection procedure options commenters may suggest. Commenters advocating a particular option should address its advantages and disadvantages, including cost to bidders and how it would work with the other elements of the reverse auction.
13. The Commission must also analyze whether and how to consider factors in addition to bid amounts in determining which bids are accepted and which are rejected. In a reverse auction where bidders are offering the same good, minimizing the cost of procuring that good leads to a straightforward rule for determining winners: the lowest bids win. When the goods being offered are not homogenous, however, bids are sometimes weighted or scored to account for factors in addition to bid amount. The goods offered in the reverse auction of broadcast television spectrum will not be homogenous. For example, some stations have larger coverage areas and serve greater populations than others, affecting both their economic value to broadcasters and the effect of repacking them. Broadcast stations' bids in the reverse auction could be assigned a score incorporating such factors. Bids from stations that would make the repacking more difficult because they would block more potential channel assignments to other stations could receive a lower score, for example, making them more likely to have their bids accepted and, equivalently, less likely to be assigned a channel in their pre-auction band. The score could also be designed to reflect the fact that the value of a broadcasting license depends in part on its population served. For a bid to move to VHF, the score may also account for the scarcity of VHF spectrum in the station's broadcast area. Selecting bids and paying winning bidders in relation to their population served or other indicators of value may reduce the cost of clearing broadcast television spectrum.
15. The Commission has considered two alternative assignment procedures. The first uses an integer programming “algorithm” (a mathematical recipe for solving a problem). The second uses a simpler mathematical recipe that the
18. These alternative assignment algorithms present tradeoffs in terms of simplicity, transparency and efficiency that must be considered in determining the auction design. The Commission seeks comment on these options.
19. The Commission further seeks comment on whether it should consider in the repacking and assignment procedures whether a given broadcaster going off the air would create areas without any commercial or noncommercial broadcast television service. Adding an additional technical constraint would increase the complexity of the repacking process, possibly requiring additional time and resources and limiting the efficiency of the outcome. The Communications Act mandates that the Commission distribute licenses to provide a fair, efficient and equitable distribution of service to the several States and communities. Pursuant to this mandate, the Commission has strongly disfavored modification of a broadcast station's facilities that would create a “white” or “gray” area (an area where the population does not receive any over-the-air television service on only one over-the-air service, respectively), or an “underserved” area (where the population in the loss area would receive less than five over-the-air television signals). How great is the risk of creating “white” or “gray” areas where the population receives little or no over-the-air television service as a result of the reverse auction? Should the Commission seek to address any such risk as an auction design matter or through other steps outside of the incentive auction?
20. Commission staff has continued work on repacking methodologies since June 2010, and further evaluation in light of the technical, policy and auction design issues discussed in the
21. The reverse auction must also determine the amount paid to winning bidders for relinquishing their spectrum rights. Some reverse auctions pay the winning bidder the amount of its bid. Another mechanism, known as “threshold” pricing, would pay a winning bidder the highest amount it could have bid and still have had its bid accepted, as illustrated in Appendix C of the
24. The forward auction will identify the prices that potential users of repurposed spectrum would pay for new licenses to use the spectrum. With this information, together with information from the reverse auction, the Commission can determine the winning bidders for new flexible use licenses and the prices those bidders would pay. In economic terms, whereas the reverse auction defines the supply side of the market, the forward auction defines the demand side. The forward
25. The forward auction will incorporate the three basic auction design elements discussed above: bid co