Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Cellular Licensing Process NPRM and Application Freeze Order

Download Options

Released: February 15, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Amendment of Parts 1 and 22 of the Commission’s )
WT Docket No. 12-40
Rules with Regard to the Cellular Service,
)
Including Changes in Licensing of Unserved Area
)
RM No. 11510
)
Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with
)
Regard to Relocation of Part 24 to Part 27
)
)

Interim Restrictions and Procedures for Cellular
)
Service Applications
)

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING AND ORDER

Adopted: February 15, 2012

Released: February 15, 2012

Comment Date: (60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)
Reply Comment Date: (90 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)

By the Commission: Chairman Genachowski and Commissioners McDowell and Clyburn issuing separate
statements.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading
Paragraph #
I.
INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................. 1
II. BACKGROUND .................................................................................................................................... 5
A. Cellular Licensing History ............................................................................................................... 5
B. CTIA Proposals and Industry Comments on the Record ................................................................. 9
III. NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING ........................................................................................ 19
A. Stage I Transition........................................................................................................................... 27
1. Substantially Licensed CMA Blocks....................................................................................... 27
2. Interim Operating Authority Block (Chambers, Texas, Block A – CMA 672A).................... 33
B. Stage II Transition.......................................................................................................................... 36
C. Performance Requirements ............................................................................................................ 40
D. Competitive Bidding Procedures ................................................................................................... 46
E. Gulf of Mexico Service Area ......................................................................................................... 52
F. Signal Field Strength Limit Proposal............................................................................................. 54
G. Other Alternatives to the Commission’s Proposed Transition....................................................... 59
H. Proposed Amendments to Rules and Possible Rule Relocation .................................................... 62
1. Proposed Amendments............................................................................................................ 62
a. Transition-related Amendments........................................................................................ 62
b. AMPS-related Data Collection; Other Deletions and Updates ......................................... 63

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

2. Possible Relocation of Part 22 Cellular and Part 24 PCS Rules to Part 27 ............................. 65
3. Proposed Correction of Section 1.958(d) ................................................................................ 66
IV. ORDER................................................................................................................................................. 67
A. Suspension of Certain Filings ........................................................................................................ 67
B. Currently Pending Non-Mutually Exclusive Applications in Covered CMA Blocks.................... 73
V. PROCEDURAL MATTERS................................................................................................................ 76
A. Ex Parte Rules – Permit-But-Disclose........................................................................................... 76
B. Comment Period and Procedures................................................................................................... 77
C. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis........................................................................................... 79
D. Initial Paperwork Reduction Analysis ........................................................................................... 80
E. Further Information........................................................................................................................ 81
VI. ORDERING CLAUSES....................................................................................................................... 82
APPENDIX A – List of Commenters
APPENDIX B – Maps Showing Unserved Area in (1) Continental U.S., (2) Alaska
APPENDIX C – List of CMA Blocks That Meet “Substantially Licensed” Test
APPENDIX D – Maps Showing “Substantially Licensed” CMAs in (1) Block A, (2) Block B
APPENDIX E – Proposed Rules
APPENDIX F – List of Additional “Covered Blocks” Subject to Certain Interim Filing Restrictions
APPENDIX G – Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

I.

INTRODUCTION

1. Since its inception roughly 30 years ago, the 800 MHz Cellular Radiotelephone (Cellular)
Service has been instrumental in transforming the communications landscape by making mobile services
broadly available to the American public.1 For many years, the Cellular Service’s licensing model has
helped successfully drive widespread construction and initial service to the public. Today, most Cellular
Service markets are almost completely licensed, with only limited unlicensed Cellular Service area
remaining. At this advanced stage of the Cellular Service, however, the site-based aspect of this licensing
model is yielding diminished returns. As regions have become substantially developed, the significant
administrative burdens on licensees associated with the site-based model no longer appear to be
outweighed by the public benefits produced. In addition, the Cellular Service stands apart from virtually
all other commercial wireless services by not yet transitioning to a geographic-based model, which offers
greater flexibility and reduced regulatory requirements. Thus, consistent with the Commission’s
regulatory reform agenda,2 we propose in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the
licensing model for the Cellular Service from a site-based model to a geographic-based approach.
2. Specifically, we propose to issue geographic-area “Overlay Licenses” through competitive
bidding, in two stages. Stage I of the transition would include all Cellular Service markets that meet our
proposed “Substantially Licensed” test. In this Stage, Overlay Licenses would be offered at auction and
site-based licensing would cease in such markets. This is because in markets that have already undergone
substantial buildout, the site-based model is of limited utility. The site-based regime would continue,


1 The Cellular service-specific rules are in Part 22, Subpart H. See generally 47 C.F.R. §§ 22.900 et seq. Certain
Part 1 rules, e.g., those found at 47 C.F.R. Part 1, Subpart F, also apply to the Cellular Service.
2 See, e.g., Preliminary Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules, 2011 WL 5387696 (F.C.C.); Amendment
of Part 101 of the Commission’s Rules to Facilitate the Use of Microwave for Wireless Backhaul and Other Uses to
Provide Additional Flexibility to Broadcast Auxiliary Service and Operational Fixed Microwave Licensees, Report
and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Memorandum Opinion and Order,
WT Docket No. 10-
153, RM-11602, 26 FCC Rcd 11614, 11698 (Statement of Chairman Julius Genachowski, noting the Commission’s
“regulatory reform agenda, recognizing our ongoing commitment to remove or reform outdated regulations”).
2

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

however, in all other Cellular Service markets for a defined period until Stage II of the transition. We
propose seven years as the appropriate time period before Stage II is triggered. Our proposal includes
continued protection of incumbents from harmful interference throughout all stages of the transition.
3. We also propose to streamline the Cellular Service rules, including, for example, updating
application requirements and deleting certain data collection requirements, such as certifications
associated with cessation of the former requirement to provide analog service (“analog sunset”).
Consistent with our other flexibly licensed services, we propose to establish a signal field strength limit.
We seek comment on all aspects of our proposals, and on the alternative proposals discussed in this
NPRM, including those of CTIA–The Wireless Association (CTIA),3 the National Telecommunications
Cooperative Association (NTCA),4 The Rural Telecommunications Group (RTG),5 and others on the
record.6
4. In anticipation of potential regulatory changes in the Cellular Service, we adopt the
companion Order, below. With this Order we impose a freeze on the filing of certain Cellular
applications. We also establish interim procedures in the Order regarding currently pending applications.
These prudent steps will help ensure a more efficient and orderly rulemaking, consistent with numerous
prior Commission actions, while allowing continued expansion of service to consumers in many markets.

II.

BACKGROUND

A.

Cellular Licensing History

5. The Commission adopted initial rules governing allocation of spectrum for commercial
Cellular service, including the establishment of two channel blocks (Blocks A and B), in 1981.7 The
Commission established in phases 734 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs)8 for the purpose of issuing licenses


3 See Petition for Rulemaking submitted by CTIA on Oct. 8, 2008 (CTIA Petition); CTIA September 2010 Ex Parte
Filing (a power-point presentation), originally submitted under Cover Letter dated Sept. 21, 2010, with a corrected
version submitted under Cover Letter dated Sept. 22, 2010 (CTIA Revised Plan). Throughout this NPRM,
references to CTIA’s Revised Plan mean the corrected version of the power-point presentation submitted Sept. 22,
2010. References to the Cover Letter itself will specify either the original Sept. 21, 2010 letter, or the subsequent
Sept. 22, 2010 letter, as applicable. Subsequently, CTIA filed several other Ex Parte letters. See Appendix A.
4 See NTCA Comments filed Feb. 23, 2009.
5 See RTG Comments filed Feb. 23, 2009; Letter to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary of the Commission, dated Nov. 8,
2010, from Caressa D. Bennet et al., Attorneys for RTG (RTG Letter Response).
6 The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the CTIA Petition. See
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Rulemaking to Transition Part 22 Cellular
Services to Geographic Market-Area Licensing, Public Notice, RM No. 11510, 24 FCC Rcd 27 (WTB 2009) (Public
Notice
). A complete list of all commenters on the record is provided in Appendix A. The proposals and comments
on the record are discussed below in Section II.B.
7 See generally An Inquiry Into the Use of the Bands 825-845 MHz and 870-890 MHz for Cellular Communications
Systems; and Amendment of Parts 2 and 22 of the Commission’s Rules Relative to Cellular Communications
Systems, Report and Order, CC Docket No. 79-318, 86 F.C.C.2d 469 (1981).
8 The 734 CMAs comprise 306 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and 428 Rural Service Areas (RSAs). A
complete listing is provided in the following notice: Common Carrier Public Mobile Services Information, Cellular
MSA/RSA Markets and Counties, Public Notice, Rep. No. CL-92-40, 6 FCC Rcd 742 (1992), cited in 47 C.F.R. §
22.909.
3

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

to two Cellular providers per market (herein, “Original System Licensees” (OSLs)),9 one on each Block,
without competitive bidding. Every OSL was given the exclusive right, for a five-year period from the
date of grant of the initial construction authorization for that CMA Block, to build out anywhere within
the CMA boundary.10 The area timely built out during that five-year period became the licensee’s initial
Cellular Geographic Service Area (CGSA), the licensed area entitled to protection from harmful
interference,11 while any area not built out by the five-year mark (Unserved Area) was automatically
relinquished for re-licensing on a site-by-site basis by the Commission.12 Under site-based licensing, the
applicant requests authorization to construct at a specific transmitter location (or multiple locations) in
Unserved Area,13 and may only construct authorized transmitters. For all CMA Blocks except one
(Chambers, Texas),14 licenses have been issued to OSLs and the initial five-year periods have expired.15
6. The Commission established two phases for applicants seeking to provide Cellular service in
Unserved Area for each CMA Block: Phase I and Phase II.16 As of late 2007, the Phase I filing window
had ended in all licensed Blocks.17 Under current rules, Phase II lasts indefinitely.18 Phase II applications
specify the area to be licensed and are subject to a 30-day public comment period during which petitions
to deny and mutually exclusive applications may be filed. In the event that mutually exclusive
applications are filed for a particular Unserved Area, they are resolved through competitive bidding in
closed auctions.19 Licenses granted in Phase II are subject to a one-year construction deadline for the


9 In this NPRM, we use the terms Original System Licensee and OSL and define them to include also the successors-
in-interest, transferees, and assignees of the actual party that was initially authorized to construct the first Cellular
system on Block A or B in a particular CMA.
10 See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. § 22.947.
11 See 47 C.F.R. § 22.911(d). See also 47 C.F.R. § 22.907 (obligating licensees to coordinate with each other if their
respective transmitters are within a certain proximity, and requiring them to “make reasonable efforts to resolve
technical problems”).
12 See 47 C.F.R. 22.911.
13 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 22.929, 22.953 (specifying the technical and other information to be provided by the applicant).
14 See infra Section III.A.2. (regarding Block A of the Chambers, TX CMA).
15 By 1990, in some urban markets (MSAs) the initial 5-year period had already ended. The most recently issued
OSLs were the result of Auction 45 for the following 3 RSAs (see 47 C.F.R. § 22.969): 332A (Polk, AR); 582A
(Barnes, ND); and 727A (Ceiba, PR). Their initial 5-year construction periods expired in September 2007.
16 See 47 C.F.R. § 22.949.
17 Following each OSL’s 5-year build-out period, a 1-day Phase I filing window was opened and closed according to
a specified timetable. See 47 C.F.R. § 22.949(a). See Amendment of Part 22 of the Commission’s Rules to Provide
for Filing and Processing of Applications for Unserved Areas in the Cellular Service and to Modify Other Cellular
Rules, Second Report and Order, CC Docket No. 90-6, 7 FCC Rcd 2449, 2457-58 (1992) (1992 Cellular Second
R&O
) (providing more information about how Phase I filing windows were set and Phase I applications processed).
The Phase II Unserved Area application period commenced thereafter (with specific timing dependent on the Phase
I process for that particular CMA Block). See 47 C.F.R. § 22.949(b). See also infra Section III.A.2. regarding
Block A of the Chambers, TX CMA (explaining why a Phase I window has never been opened for this Block).
18 See 47 C.F.R. § 22.949(b). A minimum coverage requirement of 50 contiguous square miles applies to all
applications for Unserved Area, unless submitted by a licensee that wishes to expand its existing Cellular system
using Unserved Area. See 47 C.F.R. § 22.951.
19 See 47 C.F.R. § 22.949(b)(2) (citing id. § 22.131). See also id. §§ 22.131(c)(3)(iii) (explaining how mutual
exclusivity is determined) and 22.960. The most recent such auction was in 2008. See “Closed Auction of Licenses
for Cellular Unserved Service Area Scheduled for June 17, 2008, Notice and Filing Requirements, Minimum
(continued….)
4

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

authorized site and the licensee must be providing service to subscribers by the end of the one-year
period;20 failure to build out results in automatic termination of the authorization for that site, and the
Unserved Area again is subject to the filing of site-based applications.21
7. Both OSLs22 and “Unserved Area Licensees”23 have used the application process for licenses
to construct in Unserved Area extensively over the years, as shown by the data presented in Section III
below. Cellular licensees have obtained their authorizations primarily through direct application to the
Commission without competitive bidding, as there have rarely been competing, mutually exclusive
applications.24 In the vast majority of markets, both OSLs and Unserved Area Licensees have had 15 to
20 years (even more in some cases) in which to build or expand their systems through site-based
licensing,25 while in most other markets the Unserved Area application process has been available to
interested persons for over 10 years. As discussed in Section III below, based on our data, only limited
Unserved Area remains outside of Alaska and certain rural markets in the western United States.
8. In contrast to site-based licensing, geographic-based licensing generally authorizes
construction anywhere within a particular geographic area’s boundary (subject to certain interference
protection and other technical requirements) and does not entail applications for prior Commission
approval of specific transmitter locations. In other competing commercial wireless services, the
Commission implemented geographic-based licensing, rather than a site-based model, from the inception
of the radio service, particularly in the Broadband Personal Communications Service (PCS),26 the
Advanced Wireless Service (AWS),27 and the 700 MHz Service.28 In these radio services, the existing
incumbents (e.g., microwave, government, and broadcasters) were to be relocated. In other commercial
(Continued from previous page)


Opening Bids, Upfront Payments, and Other Procedures for Auction 77,” Public Notice, 23 FCC Rcd 6670 (WTB
2008).
20 See 47 C.F.R. § 22.946.
21 See 47 C.F.R. § 22.949(b).
22 The existing rules permit OSLs to submit Unserved Area applications to modify their systems following their
initial 5-year build-out periods, subject to the same 1-year build-out requirement as any other applicant for Unserved
Area. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 22.946, 22.949.
23 We use the term “Unserved Area Licensee” to mean a licensee that has established a Cellular system in a
particular market solely through the Unserved Area application process – Phase I and/or Phase II – after the
expiration of the OSL’s 5-year initial build-out period. As noted above, OSLs also use the Unserved Area
application process to modify their systems.
24 United States Cellular Corporation, for example, states that it filed 54 Unserved Area applications in the 9 years
before filing comments in this proceeding, and not one was met by a competing application. See USCC Comments
filed Feb. 23, 2009 at 3. Commnet Wireless, LLC similarly states that its applications have rarely been challenged
by a mutually exclusive application. See Commnet Comments filed Feb. 23, 2009 at 13.
25 By July 1989, the initial filing period for all MSAs (not RSAs) had essentially been completed, and for some
MSAs, the initial 5-year period was already nearing its end. See, e.g., Amendment of the Commission’s Rules for
Rural Cellular Service, Order on Reconsideration of Second Report and Order, CC Docket No. 85-388, 4 FCC Rcd
5377, 5380-81 (1989).
26 See Amendment of the Commission's Rules to Establish New Personal Communications Services, Second Report
and Order
, GEN Docket No. 90-314, 8 FCC Rcd 7700, 7753-54 (1993).
27 See Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz Bands, Order on Reconsideration,
WT Docket No. 02-353, 20 FCC Rcd 14058 (2005).
28 See Reallocation and Service Rules for the 698-746 MHz Spectrum Band (Television Channels 52-59), Report
and Order
, GN Docket No. 01-74, 17 FCC Rcd 1022 (2002).
5

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

wireless services where incumbents were originally licensed on a site-by-site basis but were permitted to
remain in the band, the Commission also chose to transition to geographic-based overlay licensing
including, for example, the 800 MHz Service,29 the 220 MHz service,30 and the 929-931 MHz Paging
Services.31 In each instance, the Commission determined that the geographic-area licensing model
afforded licensees increased flexibility to construct and operate facilities within a larger geographic area
and commence operations without prior Commission approval, thereby reducing regulatory burdens.

B.

CTIA Proposals and Industry Comments on the Record

9. In October 2008, CTIA filed a Petition requesting that the Commission change Cellular
licensing from a site-based regime to a geographic area-based regime in all markets and to assign to
incumbents, without using competitive bidding, all remaining Unserved Area.32 In response to the Public
Notice seeking comment on CTIA’s Petition,33 10 parties filed comments,34 six (including CTIA) filed
reply comments,35 and two (including CTIA) filed ex parte letters.36 In September 2010, CTIA submitted
a revised proposal (CTIA Revised Plan) which it asserts “takes into account the objectives and concerns
raised by commenters in this proceeding.”37 Thus far, only RTG has filed comments specifically
addressing the CTIA Revised Plan.38 In May 2011, CTIA, GCI Communication Corp. (GCI), NTCA, and
RTG met with Commission staff to express their additional views regarding transition approaches for
Cellular licensing and, accordingly, filed ex parte letters.39 Subsequently, CTIA, AT&T, Inc. (AT&T)
and Verizon Wireless met with Commission staff to express their additional views regarding transition
approaches for Cellular licensing and CTIA filed ex parte letters accordingly.40


29 See Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission's Rules to Facilitate Future Development of SMR Systems in the
800 MHz Frequency Band, First Report and Order; Eighth Report and Order; Second Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
, PR Docket No. 93-144, 11 FCC Rcd 1463, 1474 (1995).
30 See Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission's Rules to Provide for the Use of the 220-222 MHz Band by the
Private Land Mobile Radio Service, Third Report and Order and Fifth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 12 FCC Rcd
10943 (1997).
31 See Revision of Part 22 and Part 90 of the Commission's Rules to Facilitate Future Development of Paging
Systems, Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 12 FCC Rcd 2732 (1997).
32 See generally CTIA Petition.
33 See Public Notice, supra note 6.
34 See Appendix A.
35 Id.
36 Id.
37 CTIA Revised Plan, Cover Letter dated Sept. 21, 2010. A key difference between CTIA’s Petition and its
Revised Plan is that, in the former, CTIA appears to be proposing a transition for all CMA Blocks at the same time,
while in the latter, it appears to be proposing a rolling transition, market by market, as each Block reaches CTIA’s
“Fully Served” benchmark.
38 See RTG Letter Response, supra note 5.
39 See Letter to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary of the Commission, dated May 20, 2011, from Brian M. Josef,
Assistant Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, CTIA; Letter to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary of the Commission,
dated May 19, 2011, from Paul Margie, Counsel for GCI; Letter to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary of the
Commission, dated May 23, 2011, filed by Jill Canfield, Director, Legal & Industry, NTCA (on behalf of NTCA
and RTG).
40 See Letter to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary of the Commission (Secretary Dortch), dated Feb. 2, 2012, from Brian
M. Josef, Assistant Vice President – Regulatory Affairs, CTIA (Mr. Josef) (documenting a meeting of
(continued….)
6

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

10. CTIA argues that the existing site-based rules are “antiquated and administratively
burdensome”41 for both licensees and FCC staff because the rules require the filing of an application every
time a licensee seeks to make even a minor system modification.42 For example, under the current
licensing paradigm, a Cellular licensee making any system change that would expand or decrease its
CGSA must file an application with comprehensive engineering data and technical exhibits, and for
CGSA expansions, no matter how small, must receive Commission approval prior to commencing
operations.43 CTIA explains that Cellular site-based licensing “has remained a unique anomaly,” as
competing commercial wireless services are licensed based on market areas rather than transmitter sites.44
In CTIA’s view, site-based licensing is no longer necessary to encourage build-out in markets with
minimal remaining Unserved Area and actually hampers the ability of licensees to expand and provide
additional coverage.45 CTIA states that site-based licensing requires constant updating and revision,
imposes significant costs on licensees, and is based upon an analog technical model with little
relationship to the current deployment of digital services to the public.46
11. In its Revised Plan, CTIA requests that the Commission change the Cellular Service to
geographic area-based licensing and terminate site-based access to Unserved Area in each CMA Block
that is “Fully Served.” CTIA defines a Fully Served Block as one where either: (1) 90% of the total land
area is served; or (2) there is no parcel of Unserved Area measuring at least 50 contiguous square miles.47
Under both prongs, CTIA proposes to exclude “government lands, but not tribal areas.”48 All Unserved
Area in Fully Served Blocks would be assigned to existing incumbents “on a proportional basis” without
the use of competitive bidding.49 CTIA does not propose performance requirements regarding these
areas. CTIA estimates that 91% of all Blocks meet its “90% served” test.50 So long as a CMA Block is
“under-served” (i.e., not Fully Served), CTIA proposes that it remain under site-based licensing rules.51
12. CTIA’s Revised Plan entails the establishment of fixed license boundaries for all incumbents
(Continued from previous page)


representatives of CTIA, AT&T and Verizon Wireless with Amy Levine, Sr. Legal Advisor to Chairman
Genachowski) (Feb. 2, 2012 CTIA Ex Parte (Levine)); Letter to Secretary Dortch, dated Feb. 2, 2012, from Mr.
Josef (documenting a meeting of representatives of CTIA, AT&T and Verizon Wireless with Louis Peraertz, Legal
Advisor to Commissioner Clyburn) (Feb. 2, 2012 CTIA Ex Parte (Peraertz)). See also Letter to Secretary Dortch,
dated Feb. 8, 2012, from Mr. Josef (documenting a meeting of CTIA representatives with Angela Giancarlo, Chief
of Staff and Sr. Legal Advisor to Commissioner McDowell) (Feb. 8, 2012 CTIA Ex Parte (Giancarlo)); Letter to
Secretary Dortch, dated Jan. 24, 2012, from Christopher Guttman-McCabe, Vice President – Regulatory Affairs,
CTIA (documenting a voice message left for Roger Noel, Chief, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau, FCC) (CTIA January 2012 Ex Parte (Noel)).
41 CTIA Revised Plan at 2.
42 Id.
43 See 47 C.F.R. § 22.953.
44 CTIA Petition at 2.
45 CTIA Revised Plan at 3.
46 See CTIA Petition at 1-2.
47 See, e.g., CTIA Revised Plan at 8.
48 Id.
49 Id. at 9.
50 Id. at 4.
51 Id. at 8.
7

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

in all CMA Blocks based on existing CGSAs, to be documented by certain specified submissions.52
Disputes over existing CGSA boundaries and the distribution of the remaining Unserved Area to
incumbents would, under CTIA’s Revised Plan, need to be resolved through cooperation among licensees
and in the event that such cooperative efforts fail, by referral to arbitration at the expense of the referring
party.53 Once fixed boundaries were established, licensees would be permitted to add and modify
transmitter sites within those boundaries without applications or notification, subject to a 40 dBuV/m
median field strength limit,54 as first proposed by Verizon Wireless.55 In non-Fully Served Blocks,
licensees wishing to expand beyond their established fixed boundaries would need to submit a major
modification application for Unserved Area, as under current rules.56
13. In support of CTIA’s Petition, AT&T asserts, among other things, that changing from analog
to digital operations has rendered site-based Cellular licensing obsolete, unnecessarily burdensome, and
inefficient and that geographic-area licensing will create regulatory parity among competing services.57
Verizon Wireless also generally endorses the CTIA Petition58 but makes various additional proposals,
including: (1) a staggered transition process based on regional groupings of CMA Blocks; (2) the
provision of public notice of, and opportunity to comment on, claimed licensed area boundaries (i.e.,
existing CGSAs, including CGSA extensions into adjacent CMAs); and (3) a plan for informal dispute
resolution of boundary claims (more detailed than in CTIA’s Petition), in which a de minimis discrepancy
standard would be applied.59
14. In contrast, commenters representing the interests of smaller and rural providers60 generally
favor indefinite retention of the current site-based licensing regime.61 RTG, for example, “continues to
believe that there should be no sunset” of this licensing model, as rural carriers still file site-based
applications to serve “remote areas or areas with low population density.”62 NTCA, the Rural


52 Id. at 5-7 (proposing, however, to exempt the Gulf region, see id. at 1).
53 Id. at 7, 9.
54 Id. at 5.
55 See Verizon Wireless Comments filed Feb. 23, 2009 at 5. See also RTG Comments at 7 (supporting the concept
of a field strength limit but not proposing a specific limit for the Cellular Service); United States Cellular
Corporation Comments at 1, 4 (same).
56 See CTIA Revised Plan at 5.
57 See generally AT&T Comments filed Feb. 23, 2009. AT&T did not file comments specifically responding to
CTIA’s Revised Plan.
58 See generally Verizon Wireless Comments. Verizon Wireless did not file comments specifically responding to
CTIA’s Revised Plan.
59 Verizon Wireless Comments at 6-7 (suggesting as one possibility a “land area or population variation of 5% or
less” as a de minimis threshold). Commnet objects particularly to Verizon Wireless's de minimis proposal, arguing it
would allow a licensee to claim additional area “even if it lies within a co-channel licensee’s licensed CGSA, so long
as the area . . . is no more than five percent . . . of the victimized licensee’s licensed CGSA.” Commnet Reply
Comments filed Mar. 9, 2009 at 6 (emphasis in original).
60 For purposes of this NPRM, these rural commenters comprise Commnet Wireless, LLC; GCI; NTCA; the Rural
Independent Competitive Alliance; and RTG.
61 See generally Comments and (if applicable) Reply Comments filed Mar. 9, 2009 by Commnet; GCI; NTCA;
RICA; and RTG. See also the Comments filed Feb. 9, 2009 by Broadpoint, Inc. regarding the Gulf region
(discussed infra Section III.E).
62 RTG Letter Response at 1-2. See also RTG Comments at 3 (stating that, just as large PCS carriers “have little or
no incentive to geographically partition their licenses to smaller carriers that would like to provide service to the
(continued….)
8

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

Independent Competitive Alliance (RICA), Commnet Wireless, LLC (Commnet), and GCI essentially
agree.63 NTCA also claims that its members are asked by their communities to ensure that hikers,
hunters, and others enjoying the most rural territory can complete a call in an emergency.64 Commnet
continues to send technicians to Unserved Area to determine if there is demand for service and claims that
with most of its Unserved Area applications, the OSL could have applied for that spectrum “over at least
sixteen years” but did not do so.65 GCI, which operates in Alaska, urges continuation of site-based
licensing and is concerned it will be unable to improve (or even maintain) its network if the Commission
adopts CTIA’s proposal.66 RTG also criticizes CTIA’s Revised Plan by asserting that it provides no
incentive to serve areas obtained through the proposed proportional allotment and that its definition of
Fully Served “could leave large areas . . . without service indefinitely.”67
15. Comments by smaller and more rural providers largely reject CTIA’s statistics. According to
RTG, for example, CTIA’s Petition misleadingly “undercounts actual use of the [site-based licensing]
process” by reporting only grants, not filings, and only new applications, not modification applications.68
RICA, GCI, and NTCA make similar arguments.69 Several of these commenters are also skeptical of
CTIA’s proposed mechanisms for resolving disputes that may arise between adjacent licensees
concerning license boundaries.70 United States Cellular Corporation (USCC), a mid-sized non-rural
carrier, argues that a voluntary consultation process is unworkable for dispute resolution without legal
standards.71
16. USCC generally favors the existing regime but states that issuance of a CMA-based license
may be appropriate in limited circumstances. Such circumstances might include where the existing
(Continued from previous page)


more rural and underserved areas,” the Commission will have the same result here if Cellular site-based licensing is
abolished).
63 See NTCA Comments at 2-3 (stating that OSLs, which have had many years to build out, “should not now receive
the exclusive rights to territory they do not serve and may not intend to serve”); RICA Comments at 1, 6 (extolling
the efficacy of site-based licensing, stating that RICA members “are willing to commit to the provision of service
that the [OSL] has not provided”). See generally Commnet Comments; see also GCI Comments at 3 (contending
that the existing regime continues to advance the Commission’s goal of promoting “a seamless and integrated
nationwide cellular service, so that subscribers can receive high quality cellular service throughout the nation”).
64 NTCA Comments at 3.
65 Commnet Comments at 3-4 (highlighting the frequent need to coordinate with National Park personnel, tribal
historic preservation officials, and state environmental officials in determining where to construct and how to
connect remote cell sites back to the PSTN), and at 13.
66 GCI Comments at 9-10 (praising site-based Cellular licensing as the “longest-standing program to encourage . . .
investment in wireless technologies”).
67 RTG Letter Response at 3.
68 RTG Comments at 3 n.2.
69 See RICA Comments at 10 (stating that excluding modification applications “grossly understate[s] . . . filings and
the resulting instances of service area expansion” and that, during the same period measured by CTIA, 973
modification applications were filed and 749 were granted); GCI Reply Comments at 5; NTCA Comments at 2.
70 See, e.g., RTG Comments at 7 (arguing that the large carriers have disproportionate bargaining power), and RTG
Letter Response at 3 (also rejecting CTIA’s suggestion that non-contractual disputes such as disputes over
distribution of Unserved Area among incumbents could be brought before an arbitrator for resolution in the first
place); Commnet Comments at 15 (characterizing the proposal as a “recipe for arbitrary and unfair decisions”).
71 See USCC Reply Comments at 4. See also Comments of MetroPCS Communications, Inc. filed Feb. 23, 2009 (a
mid-size commercial wireless licensee that does not hold licenses in the Cellular Service), at 6-9.
9

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

incumbent’s CGSA already “encompasses virtually the entire market” or where no one other than an OSL
“has sought and obtained a [site-based] license during the eighteen years such licenses have been
available.”72 USCC argues that site-based licensing should be retained, however, at least in any market
with at least one Unserved Area Licensee, so that OSLs and Unserved Area Licensees have equal
opportunity to expand their systems.73
17. While preferring retention of the existing paradigm, some rural commenters state that they
could accept, in the alternative, a limited transition to geographic-area licensing. Their suggestions,
however, are not highly detailed. GCI, for example, indicates support for issuance of a CMA-based
license if the CGSA is coterminous with the CMA boundary or if Unserved Area in the CMA Block is
less than 50 square miles but does not specify how the small areas would be licensed.74 NTCA suggests
that, if an incumbent’s “actual service area” is not coterminous with the CMA Block boundary, or if there
is an Unserved Area parcel that is 50 square miles or larger, the Commission could establish a geographic
license but based only on the territory “actually served by the licensee.”75 RTG states that Cellular
licensees could “elect . . . to transition to some form of market-based licensing,” but only where the new
market-based license “would encompass the areas they actually serve.”76 In response to these alternative
ideas, Verizon Wireless states that preserving site-based licensing should be limited to areas greater than
50 square miles, with smaller areas “added to the new market-based license area” of the OSL, while
AT&T merely states that it is open to “mechanisms to address” Unserved Area in the new Cellular
licensing scheme.77
18. Commenters differ on the issue of how to assign geographic area licenses. MetroPCS
Communications, Inc. (MetroPCS) advocates a transition to geographic-area licensing via auction.78 In
response, USCC argues that an auction is unnecessary in light of the existing normal closed auction
process for mutually exclusive Unserved Area applications.79 AT&T states broadly that, for CMA Blocks
with over 50 contiguous square miles of Unserved Area, the Commission should “license that area
through an auction or some other process.”80 Subsequently in early 2012, CTIA, AT&T and Verizon


72 USCC Reply Comments at 3. See also USCC Comments at 4.
73 USCC Comments at 5-6. See also USCC Reply Comments at 3.
74 GCI Comments at 6.
75 NTCA Comments at 4. NTCA adds that, prior to the Commission’s issuance of the new licenses, each licensee
should be required to document its “current, actual service territory.” Id. at 3-4. NTCA further proposes that
interested parties should be given an opportunity to challenge the licensee’s coverage showing and that if a party
could “conclusively show that an incumbent is not actually serving territory that it claims within its coverage area,
the disputed territory would be deemed unserved and parties would have an opportunity to file competing
applications.” Id. at 4.
76 See RTG Letter Response at 1 (stating that RTG “was never contacted by CTIA to discuss its Revised . . . Plan
and has not agreed to support that plan”). RTG also expresses concerns (see id.) about CTIA’s proposal to establish
a field strength limit. We discuss a proposed signal field strength limit below in Section III.F.
77 Verizon Wireless Reply Comments at 5; AT&T Reply Comments at 6.
78 See, e.g., MetroPCS Comments at 2 (citing 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(3)(c)), arguing that the Commission must comply
with “the Congressional mandate for competitive bidding for the allocation of commercial broadband spectrum”).
Noting CTIA’s argument that the Commission should accord similar services similar regulatory treatment,
MetroPCS also argues that CTIA’s non-auction approach treats the Cellular transition “in a different and much more
incumbent-friendly fashion than any of the other licensing transitions the Commission has effected.” See id. at 9.
79 See USCC Reply Comments at 3 (citing 47 C.F.R. §§ 22.131 and 22.949(b)(2), and noting that such closed
auctions “have seldom proven necessary”).
80 AT&T Reply Comments at 7.
10

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

Wireless met with Commission staff, and CTIA filed Ex Parte letters accordingly. These letters state that
CTIA, AT&T and Verizon Wireless have “concerns with a proposal that would apply an ‘overlay auction’
mechanism, possibly implemented as part of a transition from site-based to geographic licensing, for use
in areas that are not substantially served,” without explaining the nature of the concerns.81 Commnet does
not advocate a transition via auction, but emphasizes that the Commission used competitive bidding in
prior transitions to geographic area licensing.82 All other commenters are silent on using an auction for a
Cellular licensing transition.83

III.

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

19. This NPRM proposes to eliminate burdensome and time-consuming regulatory processes and
to provide licensees with more flexibility to build out and provide service in areas that are currently
unlicensed in the Cellular Service. Based on the record, it appears that site-based licensing may unduly
limit licensees’ ability in many markets to adapt to technological and marketplace changes, which
burdens licensees and consumes FCC staff resources, as application filings are required for even minor
technical system changes. These problems can be addressed by moving to a geographic-based model,
which would bring the Cellular Service into greater harmony with the more flexible licensing schemes
used successfully by other similar mobile services, such as PCS,84 the 700 MHz Service,85 and AWS.86
At the same time, we propose to preserve direct access to Unserved Area through the existing site-based
application process for an appropriate period in Cellular Service markets that are less substantially built
out.
20. The current site-based licensing model has proven successful over time, as the Cellular
Service has achieved widespread construction and service to the public. In anticipation of releasing this
NPRM, the Commission has undertaken the task of digitizing87 all existing CGSAs based on maps
accompanying Cellular applications.88 It is clear from our data that the vast majority of CMA Blocks
already are substantially built out. Licensees in these markets – which we term “Substantially Licensed”


81 See Feb. 2, 2012 CTIA Ex Parte (Levine) and Feb. 2, 2012 CTIA Ex Parte (Peraertz), supra note 40. See also
Feb. 8, 2012 CTIA Ex Parte (Giancarlo) (stating, with respect to this proceeding, that “CTIA . . . raised concerns
with a proposal that would apply an ‘overlay auction’ mechanism, possibly implemented as part of a transition from
site-based to geographic licenses, for use in areas that are not substantially served”) and CTIA January 2012 Ex
Parte
(Noel), supra note 40.
82 Commnet Comments at ii, 10. See also id. at 2 (asserting that, because the OSLs did not obtain their spectrum at
auction, “none of [them] had any incentive (as do auction winners) to put the spectrum to its highest and best use”).
83 RICA, however, references its filing in a proceeding concerning spectrum caps on commercial terrestrial wireless
spectrum below 2.3 GHz (RM No. 11498) and emphasizes its view that “Tier 1 and 2 wireless carriers” should be
barred from auctions until the Commission has addressed what RICA describes as Congressional concern about
avoiding “excessive concentration of licenses.” RICA Comments at 6-7.
84 See generally 47 C.F.R. §§ 24.1 et seq.
85 See generally 47 C.F.R. Part 27.
86 Id.
87 Using specialized computer software, we created a data set (a discrete set of points along each CGSA boundary)
using the CGSA maps on file. These data sets are stored electronically and can be used to generate digital
representations of the CGSA maps. They can also be used to calculate Unserved Area and licensed area within a
particular CMA Block, and to capture other geographical characteristics of the area of interest.
88 The maps provided at Appendix B summarize our preliminary data. One map shows Unserved Area throughout
the continental United States, and the other shows Unserved Area in Alaska. Additional graphics and data are
discussed below in Section III.A, B. See also http://www.fcc.gov/rulemaking/12-40.
11

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

as set forth in Section III.A.1. below – have faced increasing regulatory challenges, however. Among
other things, they do not have the ability to modify and expand their systems without Commission filings,
and must seek prior Commission approval through filings if the CGSA would be expanded, even for
minor adjustments to their systems. We believe that it would serve the public interest to reduce
administrative burdens for these licensees (as well as for Commission staff) by providing Cellular
licensees in such markets with greater flexibility to modify their operations to respond more quickly to
market conditions. Moreover, the Commission has long held that market-based licensing regimes are
simpler to administer for all parties.89
21. We recognize that, with direct access to Unserved Area through site-based licensing,
licensees and prospective new entrants are free to respond to market changes by filing an application on
an as-needed basis (for a filing fee) without use of competitive bidding in most cases.90 We believe that
there are public interest benefits of preserving such direct access by all interested parties for any Unserved
Area in CMA Blocks that are less substantially built out (i.e., not Substantially Licensed under our
proposed test). While site-based application filings would continue to be required for some period going
forward in these markets, there is a significantly smaller volume of system modification filings in areas
that are less built out.
22. Additionally, in developing a new model aimed at transitioning the Cellular Service to a
geographic-based model, we must keep in mind long-held Commission policies governing spectrum
assignment. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) revised the Commission’s auction authority by
substantially amending sections 309(j)(1) and (2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
(Act).91 Under section 309(j)(1),92 with limited exceptions that are not applicable here, the Commission is
required to license spectrum through competitive bidding whenever it accepts mutually exclusive
applications93 for initial licenses or permits.94 Consistent with the Commission’s policy that competitive


89 See, e.g., Implementation of Sections 3(n) and 332 of the Communications Act and Regulatory Treatment of
Mobile Services, Third Report and Order, 9 FCC Rcd 7988, 8044 (1994) (establishing Major Trading Areas as the
appropriate geographic area for 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Service licensees).
90 See discussion infra Section III.B.
91 Implementation of Sections 309(j) and 337 of the Communications Act of 1934 as Amended, WT Docket No. 99-
87, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 15 FCC Rcd 22709 (2000) (BBA Report and
Order
); 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(1) and (2).
92 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(1).
93 The Commission has determined that applications are “mutually exclusive” if the grant of one application would
effectively preclude the grant of one or more of the other applications, i.e., when acceptable, competing applications
for the same license are filed. BBA Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 22713, 22714 (citing Implementation of
Sections 309(j) and 337 of the Communications Act of 1934 as Amended; Promotion of Spectrum Efficient
Technologies on Certain Part 90 Frequencies; Establishment of Public Service Radio Pool in the Private Mobile
Frequencies Below 800 MHz, WT Docket No. 99-87, RM-9332, RM-9405, Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 14
FCC Rcd 5206 (1999)). When the Commission receives only one application that is acceptable for filing for a
particular license that is otherwise subject to auction, there is no mutual exclusivity, and thus, the Commission is not
required to conduct an auction for that license. Id.
94 BBA Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 22716 ¶ 15. Section 309(j)(2) exempts the following from auction:
licenses and construction permits for public safety radio services; digital television service licenses and permits
given to existing terrestrial broadcast licensees to replace their analog television service licenses; and licenses and
construction permits for noncommercial educational broadcast stations and public broadcast stations as described in
Section 397(6) of the Act. 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(2).
12

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

bidding places licenses in the hands of those that value the spectrum most highly,95 we believe that it
would be in the public interest to adopt the transition described below, which allows the filing of mutually
exclusive applications that would be resolved through competitive bidding.
23. In light of the above-described goals and considerations, we propose to issue CMA-based
Overlay Licenses for each Block via Stage I and Stage II auctions, thus making immediately available to
the Overlay Licensee, for primary service, all Unserved Area remaining in the particular Block as of an
established cut-off date.96 An overlay license is issued for the entire geographic area (in this case, the
entire CMA Block), but requires the overlay licensee to provide interference protection to incumbent
operations (in this case, Cellular Service incumbents’ CGSAs existing as of a certain cut-off date).
24. In Stage I of the transition, we would offer Overlay Licenses only for those CMA Blocks that
either: (1) as of a certain cut-off date, are Substantially Licensed pursuant to certain benchmarks; or (2)
have Cellular service that has been authorized solely under interim operating authority (IOA) (i.e., for
which no primary license has been issued). The specific benchmarks we propose to apply in determining
whether a market is in the Substantially Licensed category, and the underlying data supporting our
proposal, are discussed below in Section III.A.1. All other Blocks would remain subject to the existing
Unserved Area licensing system until a future date, when we would implement Stage II of the transition
and offer Overlay Licenses for these remaining CMA Blocks. We seek comment, as discussed further
below, on whether seven years is the appropriate timeframe before initiation of Stage II. Our proposal is
discussed in more detail below, in Sections III.A. and B. We seek comment on all aspects of our
proposal.
25. We invite comment as well on the expected costs and benefits (to the extent applicable) of
operating under our proposal. For example, would the resulting lack of data that would otherwise be
collected and available to the public through the Commission’s Universal Licensing System and other
databases (i.e., data that is currently available regarding major and minor CGSA modification
applications, grants, construction notifications, etc., indicating the location of Cellular Service transmitter
sites) constitute a detrimental cost? If so, to what extent? Would the cost be outweighed by the benefits
associated with the reduction in regulatory burdens, paperwork, and other aspects of our proposal? By
reducing the filing burdens on many Cellular providers, we would expect resulting lower costs for the
providers, and in turn, we would expect such lower costs to have a positive effect on service to
subscribers.97 We seek comment on these cost considerations, including quantification of expected
savings (in terms of monetary and human resources, for example) resulting from no longer having to
submit certain applications once fixed boundaries have been established. We also seek comment on the
extent to which expected savings might be passed on to subscribers. We hope these proposals will also
promote enhanced competitive options for consumers and we seek comment on any additional steps the
Commission could take, in this proceeding, to promote this policy priority.

26. For reasons explained below, we propose to exempt the Gulf of Mexico Service Area
(GMSA) from the transition. In addition, based on certain industry proposals on the record, discussed
above, we propose to establish a signal field strength limit for all Cellular licensees in all CMA Blocks.
Consistent with both the Commission’s regulatory reform agenda, noted above, and its Data Innovation


95 See, e.g., Amendment of the Commission’s Rules Regarding the 37.0-38.6 GHz and 38.6-40.0 GHz Bands;
Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act – Competitive Bidding, 37.0-38.6 GHz and 38.6-40.0
GHz, ET Docket No. 95-183, RM-8553, PP Docket No. 93-253, 11 FCC Rcd 4930, 4945 (1995).
96 Even if no Unserved Area remains in a particular CMA Block as of the established cut-off date, an Overlay
License would be offered via competitive bidding for that Block.
97 See, e.g., 1992 Cellular Second R&O, 7 FCC Rcd 2449, 2450.
13

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

Initiative,98 we also take this opportunity to propose additional changes to certain Cellular rules in Parts 1
and Part 22, including updates to provisions such as those governing application requirements, removal of
provisions that we consider outdated going forward,99 and ministerial corrections. Finally, we seek
comment on whether to move the Part 22 Cellular rules, as well as the Part 24 rules, to Part 27.

A.

Stage I Transition

1.

Substantially Licensed CMA Blocks

27. We propose to treat a CMA Block as Substantially Licensed if either of the following
benchmarks is met: (1) at least 95% of the total land area is licensed; or (2) there is no unlicensed parcel
within the Block at least 50 contiguous square miles in size.100 An analysis of Cellular licensed area by
Block reflects that only 20% of the 1,468 CMA Blocks are geographically licensed between less than
10% up to roughly 94%. The vast majority of all Blocks (approximately 80%) fall at or above the 95%
licensed threshold, representing in our view a logical breaking point for inclusion in Stage I of the
proposed transition.101 We also recognize, however, that a Block that has less than 95% of its total land
area licensed might not have sufficient size parcels of Unserved Area to warrant exclusion from transition
in Stage I. Our current rules prohibit a new entrant from applying to serve an area smaller than 50
contiguous square miles.102 We therefore propose that a Block be deemed Substantially Licensed if it
does not have even one remaining unlicensed parcel that is at least 50 contiguous square miles in size,
regardless of the percentage of licensed area.103
28. We list the Blocks that meet our proposed test in Appendix C. Specifically, 601 of the 734
Block A markets appear to meet the proposed test, and 596 of the 734 Block B markets appear to meet the
proposed test, for a total of 1,197 of 1,468 Blocks.104 We also depict our preliminary data in two
additional maps provided in Appendix D.105 These maps illustrate, for each Block, which markets appear
to meet the proposed test and which markets, while served, do not.106
29. We propose to include total land area without exclusions in our calculation of licensed area
and Unserved Area. This contrasts with the Commission’s approach in the 700 MHz Service, where


98 See Press Release, FCC Launches Data Innovation Initiative (rel. Jun. 29, 2010), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-299269A1.pdf. See also Pleading Cycle Established for
Comments on Review of Wireline Competition Bureau Data Practices, WC Docket No. 10-132, Public Notice, 25
FCC Rcd 8213 (WCB 2010); Pleading Cycle Established for Comments on Review of Wireless Competition Bureau
Data Practices, WT Docket No. 10-131, Public Notice, 25 FCC Rcd 8373 (WTB 2010); Pleading Cycle Established
for Comments on Review of Media Bureau Data Practices, MB Docket No. 10-103, Public Notice, 25 FCC Rcd
8236 (MB 2010).
99 For example, as noted above, we propose to delete the data collection requirements concerning cessation of
Cellular analog operations (AMPS).
100 See infra note 102 and accompanying text.
101 See Appendices C and D. Notably, the 80% group represents 51% of the total land mass of all CMAs.
102 See 47 C.F.R. § 22.951.
103 The small number of CMA Blocks in this category does not affect the approximate 80%/20% split between the
Stage I and Stage II Blocks under our proposal.
104 These figures regarding Blocks that meet the test do not include the 2 GMSA Blocks.
105 None of the CMA Blocks in Alaska currently meets our proposed test under either benchmark, and therefore no
Alaskan Blocks are currently included in Appendix C.
106 The provided maps in Appendix D indicate the date as of which the analysis is accurate.
14

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

certain 700 MHz Service licensees were permitted to exclude “government lands” from coverage
calculation for purposes of compliance with prospective build-out requirements. In the 700 MHz
proceeding, the Commission noted the frequent difficulty of, or specific prohibitions barring, in some
instances (e.g., a military base), site access to government lands.107 We propose to treat government lands
differently in this Cellular Service transition for two reasons. First, the 700 MHz Service “government
lands” exclusion was adopted in conjunction with the imposition of aggressive construction benchmarks,
which for the first time included mandatory coverage of geography (rather than population). In our
proposed Cellular Service transition, the calculation is not based on a consideration of compliance with
future construction benchmarks but is solely for purposes of determining whether a CMA Block meets
our test for inclusion in Stage I. Second, in our analysis of digitized CGSAs, we observed that Cellular
licensees have frequently applied to provide service to federal lands, as the demand for Cellular service
has increased in areas such as national parks.108 We believe that permitting the exclusion of lands that are
already being served as part of a Cellular licensee’s CGSA would provide inaccurate results as to what
areas are in fact Substantially Licensed for purposes of inclusion in the appropriate transition stage.
30. Through our proposed transition, an Overlay Licensee would not only have the flexibility to
extend service into currently Unserved Area, but also would be able to do so without filing modification
applications, with limited exceptions.109 In addition, in the event that all or a portion of an incumbent’s
CGSA is relinquished by that incumbent (e.g., through license cancellation, reduction in CGSA,
permanent discontinuance of operations, or failure to renew a license), the Overlay Licensee of that CMA
Block would no longer be required to protect the relinquished area and could immediately provide service
on a primary basis in that area.110 We believe that auctioning only the remaining Unserved Area in a
particular Block without overlay licensing rights could result in incumbents’ relinquished areas being held
in the Commission’s auction inventory and only accessible via a future auction. Our Overlay License
proposal will facilitate prompt service to such areas through reduced administrative burdens.
31. Under our proposal, just as incumbents that do not become Overlay Licensees would be
assured continued protection from harmful interference within their existing CGSA footprint, they would
in turn be obligated to protect the Overlay Licensees from harmful interference. Non-Overlay licensees’
CGSA boundaries would be permanently fixed, insofar as such licensees would not be permitted to
expand their CGSAs in Blocks included in the auction, except through contractual arrangements with
other licensees. To foster secondary market transactions, we propose to continue to allow licensees to
partition their CGSAs and/or disaggregate their authorized spectrum, as well as enter into leasing
arrangements, as under our current rules.111 We seek comment on this proposal. Non-Overlay licensees
will also be free to modify their systems in response to market demands without Commission filings, so


107 See Service Rules for the 698-746, 747-762 and 777-792 MHz Bands, Second Report and Order, WT Docket No.
06-150, 22 FCC Rcd 15289, 15350 (2007).
108 See, e.g., the Reno, NV market digitized CGSA map available at http://www.fcc.gov/rulemaking/12-40.
109 See infra note 112 regarding NEPA-triggered filings.
110 See, e.g., Revision of Part 22 and Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules to Facilitate Future Development of Paging
Systems; Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act – Competitive Bidding, Second Report and
Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,
WT Docket No. 96-18, PP Docket No. 93-253, 12 FCC Rcd
2732, 2745 (1997) (1997 Paging Services Second R&O); Amendment of the Commission’s Rules Regarding the
37.0-38.6 GHz and 38.6-40 GHz Bands; Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act –
Competitive Bidding, 37.0-38.6 GHz and 38.6-40 GHz, Report and Order and Second Notice of Proposed Rule
Making,
ET Docket No. 95-183, PP Docket No. 93-253, RM-8553, 12 FCC Rcd 18600, 18637-38 (1997) (1997 39
GHz R&O and Second NPRM
).
111 See 47 C.F.R. § 22.948.
15

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

long as the CGSA would not be expanded (other than through contractual arrangements) or reduced as a
result, and subject to any obligations imposed on all licensees.112

32. We recognize that in Substantially Licensed markets included in our Stage I transition, the
new Overlay Licenses awarded in the auction will be heavily encumbered by the incumbents, whose
CGSAs would continue to be entitled to protection from harmful interference. A prospective Overlay
Licensee would therefore need to be familiar with incumbent operations and should take care to
understand how such operations may affect its ability to execute its business plan.113 Under delegated
authority, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) will determine, prior to conducting the
auctions, what procedures (if any) are warranted to resolve discrepancies and other anomalies in the
licensing data in order to establish definitive boundaries of existing authorized CGSAs as of certain cut-
off dates. The Bureau will also issue the appropriate Public Notice(s) regarding such procedures. We
recognize that, in some Blocks, the remaining Unserved Area as of the auction date may be very small,
fragmented, and/or not immediately servable.
2.

Interim Operating Authority Block (Chambers, Texas, Block A – CMA
672A)

33. Chambers, Texas (CMA 672A) is the only Block for which a Cellular license has never been
issued.114 AT&T Mobility of Galveston LLC (AT&T Galveston) holds an interim operating authorization
and provides Cellular service to nearly all of the area in this Block under Call Sign KNKP971.115
Notably, neither AT&T nor any other commenter has mentioned this unlicensed market thus far in this
proceeding. We propose that Chambers be licensed on a geographic area (CMA Block) basis and that it
be included in Stage I described above.
34. We propose not to apply our existing rules concerning the various build-out and application
phases that have been applicable to other Cellular markets. For example, we propose not to subject
Chambers to the Phase I or Phase II licensing processes (and because Phase I has terminated for all other
CMA Blocks, we are proposing to delete the provisions that address Phase I applications, and references
thereto, throughout the Part 22 Subpart H rules and applicable Part 1 rules).116 We also propose not to


112 For example, certain other filings, such as administrative updates, license renewals, and filings required under the
rules implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA) (see 47 C.F.R. Part 1,
Subpart I, §§ 1.1301 et seq.), would still be required for all licensees.
113 See, e.g., Amendment of Parts 21 and 74 of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to Filing Procedures in the
Multipoint Distribution Service and in the Instructional Television Fixed Service; and Implementation of Section
309(j) of the Communications Act—Competitive Bidding, Report and Order, MM Docket No. 94-131, PP Docket
No. 93-253, 10 FCC Rcd 9589, 9604 (1995) (1995 MDS R&O) (noting that “MDS is a heavily encumbered service,”
with “only small portions . . . unserved” in the majority of the markets and that applicants would need to “carefully
ascertain the extent of incumbent operations [as well as] authorized but unconstructed facilities.”).
114 See Cellular Rural Service Areas Auction Scheduled for May 29, 2002, Public Notice, 17 FCC Rcd 4135 (2002);
Implementation of Competitive Bidding Rules to License Certain Rural Service Areas, Report and Order, WT
Docket No. 01-32, 17 FCC Rcd 1960 (2002) (providing information about the history of this unlicensed Block);
Implementation of Competitive Bidding Rules to License Certain Rural Service Areas, Notice of Proposed Rule
Making
, WT Docket No. 01-32, 16 FCC Rcd 4269 (2001) (same).
115 See KNKP971 IOA; FCC File No. 0004413839 (granted modification application filed by AT&T Galveston to
expand service coverage, see Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Site-By-Site Action, Public Notice, Rep. No.
6637 (Feb. 23, 2011)).
116 See Appendix E.
16

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

apply to Chambers the five-year build-out period that is described in section 22.947117 (and because it has
expired for all other CMA Blocks, we are proposing to delete the provisions that address the five-year
period, and references thereto, throughout the Part 22 Subpart H rules and applicable Part 1 rules).118
Consistent with our treatment of newly authorized markets in the 700 MHz proceeding, we propose that
the Overlay License for Chambers will terminate automatically if the licensee fails to provide signal
coverage and offer service over at least 35% of the geographic area of its license authorization within four
years of initial license grant and to at least 70% of the geographic area of its license authorization by the
end of the license term.119 We further propose that, after the build-out requirement has been met, the
Chambers Overlay Licensee should be subject to the same rules and obligations that we apply to those
that are awarded the Overlay Licenses for all Substantially Licensed Blocks.120 AT&T Galveston does
not have primary authority to operate and would not be afforded incumbent status with respect to any
Overlay Licensee resulting from our proposed competitive bidding process.
35. We believe this proposal provides the most efficient and effective means to foster the
provision of additional advanced wireless service by a primary licensee to this Texas market. We also
believe that our proposed performance obligations are appropriate given the increased regulatory
flexibility afforded any Chambers Overlay Licensee under our transition proposal, including the ability to
modify system parameters and expand service without application filings in most instances. In short, we
believe that our proposal serves the public interest, and we seek comment on all aspects of the proposal,
including any foreseeable costs. Commenters that oppose our proposed approach for Chambers should
offer a detailed alternative proposal that is consistent with the goals of this proceeding and the
Commission’s policies as set forth herein, as well as an analysis of the costs and benefits of the alternative
proposal.

B.

Stage II Transition

36. As stated above, based on our preliminary data, approximately 20% of all CMA Blocks
currently do not meet either of the two benchmarks of our proposed Substantially Licensed test. We
believe that the public interest is best served by retaining the existing site-based licensing scheme in these
Blocks—primarily Alaska and rural areas out west— to preserve direct access to such area through the
Commission’s Unserved Area application process during a defined transition period. The reduction in
administrative burdens identified above for Stage I markets is substantially smaller for these Blocks that
are less built out and have relatively more Unserved Area remaining. In rural areas, service tends to
become economically feasible gradually, and modification and new-system applications are filed to a
much lesser extent than modification applications in the Blocks that are already substantially built out.
This will allow all interested parties, including new entrants, the opportunity to identify the specific areas
they wish to serve as service becomes economically feasible in such markets due to changing
demographics, technologies, or other factors. Under our current site-based rules, the one-year
construction requirement will ensure prompt build-out of areas in these Blocks where licensees seek
authorization to provide service.


117 47 C.F.R. § 22.947. For Chambers, as no primary license has been issued, this 5-year period has never
commenced.
118 See Appendix E.
119 See 47 C.F.R. § 27.14 (setting forth construction requirements and renewal criteria for, inter alia, 700 MHz
licensees). In the case of automatic license termination, the Chambers license would be returned to the
Commission’s auction inventory for re-licensing.
120 See, e.g., infra Section III.C. (seeking comment on whether to impose any performance benchmarks or other
requirements for Overlay Licenses).
17

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

37. We recognize the public interest benefits of having all CMA Blocks under a single
geographic area licensing scheme, and therefore we propose to retain the site-based licensing model for a
defined period. Specifically, we propose to continue this model for a period of seven years from the date
on which revised Cellular Service rules take effect in this proceeding (Effective Date). We seek comment
on our Stage II proposal and specifically on our proposed seven-year transitional time period. While we
wish to effectuate prompt build-out in the CMA Blocks that do not currently meet the Substantially
Licensed test, we recognize that certain markets may present increased challenges to widespread
deployment in the near term. We seek comment on whether seven years is the appropriate timeframe that
takes into account the goal of ensuring prompt build-out of systems and economic forces that might delay
deployment in certain markets or any alternate proposals commenters may have.121 We also ask that
commenters address the costs and benefits of a seven-year transition period, or for any alternate proposals
set forth.
38. Possible Exception for Alaska. It is likely to be many years before the Alaskan CMA Blocks
are substantially built out. We seek comment on whether we should simply retain the status quo site-
based scheme for Alaska indefinitely, rather than including it with other Blocks in Stage II. Even if we
include Alaska in the proposed transition in Stage II, we seek comment on whether it is appropriate to
revise the one-year build-out requirement for Alaska so long as it remains subject to site-based licensing.
In addressing these issues, we also seek feedback on the costs and benefits of including Alaska in the
Stage II transition, as well as revision to the one-year build-out requirement.
39. Possible Other Exceptions. We seek comment on whether public interest considerations
warrant any exception that we have not considered, e.g., an especially challenging rural market that might
require, for example, an extended build-out period, or another kind of exception altogether. Commenters
proposing an exception should include details and supporting rationale consistent with the goals of this
proceeding and the Commission’s policies as set forth herein.

C.

Performance Requirements

40. We are mindful of our statutory obligation and overarching policy goal of ensuring that the
spectrum is used effectively and efficiently to provide valuable services to the American public, including
those residing in rural areas, and that the spectrum not be warehoused when it could be deployed using
new technologies and services. We also recognize that the Cellular Service has, in most CMAs across the
country, already resulted in significant levels of system deployment during the past few decades. Indeed,
the level of build-out far exceeds even the most stringent geographic-based construction benchmarks the
Commission has imposed on any wireless service to foster public interest goals. In the area not
Substantially Licensed – 20% of the CMA Blocks – the current level of build-out varies significantly, as
discussed above, with most above 70% geographic coverage, and a few below 10% geographic coverage
(e.g., certain Alaskan CMA Blocks), with the rest somewhere in between.122
41. We seek comment on whether we should adopt any performance benchmarks for Overlay
Licenses to promote build-out in areas covered by these licenses where spectrum is unused and the costs
and benefits of doing so. If we decide to adopt performance benchmarks, what would the measures be?
Should certain categories of CMA Blocks be subject to different benchmarks given varying levels of
deployment among the different CMA Blocks across the country? For instance, should they differ with
respect to the CMA Blocks included in Stage I, where almost all of the CMA Block has been built out,
compared to Stage II, where there is less build-out and more variance among the Blocks? Would it be
appropriate to establish build-out requirements that vary depending on the amount of Unserved Area


121 See also infra Section III.G. (seeking comment on alternative transition approaches).
122 See http://www.fcc.gov/rulemaking/12-40.
18

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

remaining, or for CMA Blocks that face particular construction challenges (e.g., Alaska)? If so, what
should those varying requirements be, and on what basis would the requirements apply to specific Blocks,
and what would be the costs and benefits of the variation? Would varying requirements be unduly
cumbersome? In seeking comment, we note that the Commission has never established performance
requirements in similar services mandating 100% build-out of all areas or population centers in a
geographic-based license.
42. We also seek comment on whether, in place of or in addition to performance build-out
requirements, we should require an Overlay Licensee to make unused spectrum available in the secondary
market to entities that have need for it. Our goal in adopting any such requirement would be to help
ensure that spectrum does not lie fallow where there is real demand for its use. In exploring such an
approach, we recognize that there could be valid reasons why spectrum may remain unused. We also
note that, under our existing secondary market policies and rules, many entities have successfully used
secondary market transactions—including spectrum leasing, partitioning, and disaggregation—to transfer
spectrum usage rights to entities that then employ the previously unused spectrum in providing new
services to the American public. At the same time, we recognize there may be situations in which
secondary market transactions involving unused spectrum do not occur. Accordingly, we take the
opportunity in this proceeding to inquire whether there is more that the Commission should do to promote
secondary market solutions where spectrum held by the Overlay Licensee continues to be unused.
43. Specifically, we request comment on various possible approaches for facilitating secondary
market transactions for use of spectrum that the Overlay Licensee is not using or may not be inclined to
use. As one possible approach, we seek comment on whether Overlay Licensees that continue to hold
unused spectrum after a certain period of time should be required to make that information publicly
available, in some readily accessible and transparent fashion, so that any party interested in using that
spectrum can more easily seek to take advantage of the opportunity to gain access to the spectrum. Might
such an approach be helpful in promoting productive use of this spectrum? If so, what specific
information (e.g., location and identification of the unused spectrum, point of contact, initial price
offering) would be most useful to stimulating secondary market transactions? At what point after issuing
the Overlay License should the licensee be required to make such information available? Should the
licensee be required to provide such information even if it already has built out some specified portion of
the Overlay License area? If we were to require the licensee to provide information on unused spectrum,
how should this information be made publicly available so that appropriate information is readily
accessible and transparent for potentially interested parties? Should the licensee, for instance, be required
to make this information available to the Commission, which could then post the information for
potentially interested parties? Can such an approach be designed in a way that would serve to reveal the
value of unused spectrum to existing licensees and promote the transfer of usage rights to other parties
that value it more highly and would use it to provide services to the American public? We also seek
comment on the possible costs and benefits of pursuing this secondary market transparency approach.
44. As another possible approach, should Overlay Licensees be required to participate in good
faith negotiations with a party expressing an interest in spectrum leasing, partitioning, or disaggregating
spectrum in a CMA Block? If so, what specific good faith negotiation processes should we require, and
what is the appropriate timeframe for application of such an access model?123 Or, should we consider a


123 See, e.g., Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 2155-2175 MHz Band, Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking,
WT Docket No. 07-195, 22 FCC Rcd 17035, 17083-89 (2007) (2007 AWS NPRM) (subsequent history
omitted) (discussing at length various possible performance requirements). In the March, 2011 Native Nations
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission discussed the potential for requiring good faith negotiations to
address difficulties that Tribes have detailed in securing spectrum access from existing wireless licensees whose
licenses cover Tribal Land areas. See Improving Communications Services for Native Nations by Promoting
Greater Utilization of Spectrum Over Tribal Lands, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WT Docket No. 11-40, 26 FCC
(continued….)
19

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

modified version of negotiation methodologies employed in other wireless services, possibly involving
phases of voluntary negotiations, followed by mandatory negotiations?124 What are the relative benefits
and costs to such an approach in the context of Overlay Licenses?
45. In considering various approaches, we request that commenters address any difficulties they
may have experienced when seeking to access unused spectrum in secondary markets transactions that
could inform our decision-making and could improve the workings of secondary markets with respect to
unused spectrum associated with Overlay Licenses. Finally, we seek comment on any other approach that
commenters may suggest that could facilitate secondary market transactions that help ensure that valuable
spectrum resources do not needlessly lie fallow.

D.

Competitive Bidding Procedures

46. As stated above, consistent with the Commission’s approach in prior transitions of other
services from site-based to geographic area-based overlay licensing,125 we believe that it serves the public
interest to accept competing, mutually exclusive applications in our proposed transition of Cellular
licensing that will be resolved by competitive bidding.126 We reiterate that we are interested in reducing
regulatory burdens and affording increased system flexibility (including deployment of broadband
service) within fixed boundaries for Cellular licensees, but in a manner that is consistent with
Commission precedent and spectrum management policies. No commenter has offered a justification for
departing from a transition approach under which we accept mutually exclusive applications.
Competitive bidding should place Cellular Overlay Licenses in the hands of those that value them most.
47. In the event we adopt our proposal for a transition entailing competitive bidding, we propose
to apply the general competitive bidding rules set forth in Part 1, Subpart Q of the Commission’s rules,
substantially consistent with the bidding procedures that have been employed in previous auctions.
Specifically, we propose 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.127 Under this proposal, such rules
would be subject to any modifications that the Commission may adopt in the future.128 In addition,
consistent with our long-standing approach, auction-specific matters such as the competitive bidding
design and mechanisms, as well as minimum opening bids and/or reserve prices, would be determined by
(Continued from previous page)


Rcd 2623, 2637-40 (2011) (also stating that the approaches in the NPRM were crafted to address the unique
circumstances of underserved Tribal lands).
124 See, e.g., supra note 29; see also Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Report and
Order, Fifth Report and Order, Fourth Memorandum Opinion and Order, and Order,
WT Docket 02-55, 19 FCC
Rcd 14969 (2004).
125 See supra ¶ 8.
126 While only MetroPCS advocates a transition via auction, see generally MetroPCS Comments, CTIA recognizes
that the Commission’s prior transitions of other services from site-based licensing to geographic area-based
licensing have entailed an approach under which mutually exclusive applications are accepted and then resolved
through auction, see CTIA Petition at 11-13 (citations omitted).
127 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.2101 et seq.
128 See Implementation of the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act and Modernization of the Commission’s
Competitive Bidding Rules and Procedures, Report and Order, WT Docket No. 05-211, 21 FCC Rcd 891 (2006)
(CSEA/Part 1 Report and Order); Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making,
21 FCC Rcd 4753 (2006) (CSEA/Part 1 Second Report and Order); Order on Reconsideration of the Second Report
and Order
, 21 FCC Rcd 6703 (2006) (CSEA/Part 1 Second Report and Order’s First Reconsideration Order);
Second Order on Reconsideration of the Second Report and Order, 23 FCC Rcd 5425 (2008).
20

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

the Bureau pursuant to its delegated authority.129 We invite comment on this proposal. In particular, we
request comment on whether any of our Part 1 competitive bidding rules or other auction procedures
would be inappropriate or should be modified for an auction of Cellular licenses in the context of this
proceeding.
48. Provisions for Designated Entities. 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.”130 In addition, section 309(j)(3)(B) of the Act
provides that, in establishing eligibility criteria and bidding methodologies, the Commission shall
promote “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.”131 One of the principal
means by which the Commission fulfills these mandates is through the award of bidding credits to small
businesses.
49. The Commission has 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.132 Although it has standardized many of its
auction rules, the Commission has determined that it will continue a service-by-service approach to
defining small businesses.133
50. The Commission’s experience with numerous auctions has demonstrated that bidding credits
for designated entities afford such entities substantial opportunity to compete with larger businesses for
spectrum licenses and provide spectrum-based services.134 In adopting size standards for auctions of
Cellular licenses covering RSAs, the Commission noted that the markets at issue could attract a wide
range of entities and therefore decided to establish three small business definitions and associated levels


129 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.131(c), 0.331. See also Amendment of Part 1 of the Commission’s Rules—Competitive
Bidding Procedures, Third Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, WT Docket No.
97-82, 13 FCC Rcd 374, 448-49, 454-55 (1997) (directing the Bureau to seek comment on specific mechanisms
relating to auction conduct pursuant to the BBA) (Part 1 Third Report and Order).
130 See 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(4)(D).
131 See 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(3)(B).
132 Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act – Competitive Bidding, Second Memorandum
Opinion and Order
, 9 FCC Rcd 7245, 7269 (1994) (Competitive Bidding Second Memorandum Opinion and Order).
133 Part 1 Third Report and Order, 13 FCC Rcd at 388.
134 See Service Rules for the 698-746, 747-762 and 777-792 MHz Bands, Revision of the Commission’s Rules to
Ensure Compatibility with Enhanced 911 Emergency Calling Systems, Section 68.4(a) of the Commission’s Rules
Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Telephones, Biennial Regulatory Review – Amendment of Parts 1, 22, 24, 27,
and 90 to Streamline and Harmonize Various Rules Affecting Wireless Radio Services, Former Nextel
Communications, Inc. Upper 700 MHz Guard Band Licenses and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission’s Rules,
Implementing a Nationwide, Broadband, Interoperable Public Safety Network in the 700 MHz Band, Development
of Operational, Technical and Spectrum Requirements for Meeting Federal, State and Local Public Safety
Communications Requirements Through the Year 2010, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
, WT Docket Nos. 96-86, 01-309, 03-264, 06-150, and 06-169, CC Docket No. 94-102, and PS Docket
No. 06-229, 22 FCC Rcd 8064, 8089 (2007) (700 MHz Report and Order and 700 MHz Further Notice,
respectively).
21

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

of bidding credits.135 Two of the definitions the Commission adopted for Cellular RSA licenses, average
annual gross revenues not exceeding $40 million and average annual gross revenues not exceeding $15
million, were consistent with the small business definitions it had established for the PCS C and F blocks,
based on similarities between PCS and Cellular service.136 Because the Cellular RSAs were relatively
small rural markets, however, the Commission decided that smaller businesses might be interested in
acquiring licenses to provide service in such markets and could benefit from bidding credits. For this reason
the Commission adopted a third small business definition for Cellular RSA licenses, for entities with
average annual gross revenues not exceeding $3 million.137
51. We believe the same reasoning applies to the Cellular Overlay Licenses to be offered under our
transition proposal. Accordingly, we propose to employ the following three small business definitions for
auctions of these licenses. We seek comment on whether we should define an entrepreneur as an entity
with average gross revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $40 million, a small business as
an entity with average gross revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $15 million, and a very
small business as an entity with average gross revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $3
million. As provided in section 1.2110(f)(2) of our rules, we seek comment on whether we should offer
entrepreneurs a bidding credit of 15 percent, small businesses a bidding credit of 25 percent, and very
small businesses a bidding credit of 35 percent.138 Commenters are encouraged to provide feedback on the
costs and benefits of these proposed definitions and bidding credit designations. We also invite input on
whether alternative size standards should be established in light of the particular circumstances or
requirements that may apply to the proposed Cellular Overlay Licenses. Commenters advocating
alternatives should explain the basis for their proposed alternatives, including whether anything about the
characteristics or capital requirements of providing Cellular service or other considerations require a
different approach, as well as the costs and benefits of the alternatives.

E.

Gulf of Mexico Service Area

52. Cellular service in the Gulf of Mexico Service Area (GMSA) (CMA Blocks 306A and 306B)
is subject to special licensing rules. The GMSA is divided by rule into two zones: the Coastal Zone
(GMCZ) in the Eastern Gulf region and the Exclusive Zone (GMEZ).139 Broadpoint, Inc. (Broadpoint), a
GMSA operator, raises concerns about changing the rules for the GMEZ.140 While Broadpoint limits its


135 Implementation of Competitive Bidding Rules to License Certain Rural Service Areas, Notice of Proposed Rule
Making
, WT Docket No. 01-32, 16 FCC Rcd 4296, 4303 (2001) (Cellular RSA NPRM), Report and Order, 17 FCC
Rcd 1960, 1974 (2002) (Cellular RSA R&O).
136 See Cellular RSA NPRM, 16 FCC Rcd at 4303; Cellular RSA R&O, 17 FCC Rcd 1960, 1974. In our auctions of
broadband PCS C and F block licenses, we have provided bidding credits to entities with average annual gross
revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $40 million and entities with average annual gross revenues for
the preceding three years not exceeding $15 million. See 47 C.F.R. § 24.720(b)(1)-(2).
137 Cellular RSA R&O, 17 FCC Rcd at 1974.
138 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.2110(f)(2).
139 The GMEZ is governed by its own geographic area-based licensing scheme, while Unserved Area licensing rules
apply in the GMCZ, where there are no offshore oil and gas drilling platforms on which to site Cellular facilities.
See 47 C.F.R. § 22.950. See also id. §§ 22.911(a)(2), 22.912(b)(2); Cellular Service and Other Commercial Mobile
Radio Services in the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment of Part 22 of the Commission’s Rules to Provide for Filing and
Processing of Applications for Unserved Areas in the Cellular Service and to Modify Other Cellular Rules, Report
and Order
, CC Docket Nos. 97-112 and 90-6, 17 FCC Rcd 1209 (2002) (explaining the rules adopted and also
providing extensive history and background on Cellular licensing in the GMSA) (2002 GMSA R&O) (prior history
omitted).
140 See generally Broadpoint Comments.
22

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

comments to the GMEZ, CTIA asserts in its Revised Plan that the entire GMSA should be exempted from
any Cellular licensing transition.141
53. The existing Cellular licensing regime for the GMSA was carefully developed by the
Commission after taking into account many prior disputes between Gulf-based and adjacent land-based
carriers, multiple prior Commission decisions, court litigation and judicial rulings,142 as well as the unique
circumstances of providing Cellular service in the Gulf region. We propose not to alter the existing
regime, except that we propose to subject GMSA licensees to our proposed field strength limit, discussed
below. We also believe that GMSA licensees may benefit from certain other rule changes proposed in
this NPRM. We seek comment on our proposed exemption of the GMSA from a Cellular licensing
transition at this time, including comment on which (if any) individual rule changes should be applied to
GMSA licensees.

F.

Signal Field Strength Limit Proposal

54. We agree with commenters that support subjecting Cellular licensees to a signal field strength
limit at their respective license boundaries.143 We believe that a median field strength limit of 40
dBµV/m is appropriate and propose that all Cellular licensees be subject to this limit in all CMA Blocks.
With an established field strength limit applicable to all Cellular licensees, the current rule governing
Service Area Boundary (SAB) extensions would be unnecessary, even in those CMA Blocks that remain
subject to the current site-based licensing rules for Unserved Area.144 In the latter class of CMA Blocks,
however, SABs and CGSAs (for new systems and expansions of existing systems) would still be
calculated under the provisions currently set forth in section 22.911.145 We seek comment on our
proposal.
55. An appropriate field strength limit allows a licensee to transmit at a signal strength sufficient
to provide reliable service right up to the license boundary, while preventing the licensee from
transmitting at a signal strength that is excessive for that purpose. Having a 47 dBµV/m field strength
limit for PCS, for example, has worked effectively as a limit on the amount of signal incursion a licensee
may have into an adjacent licensed area, and we believe that a 40 dBµV/m field strength limit will be
similarly effective for the Cellular Service.146 While we recognize that 40 dBµV/m represents a stronger


141 See CTIA Revised Plan at 4.
142 See 2002 GMSA R&O, supra note 139.
143 See Verizon Wireless Comments at 4-5; RTG Comments at 7. See also USCC Reply Comments at 1, 4; CTIA
Revised Plan at 7.
144 47 C.F.R. § 22.912. Licensees in the GMEZ (see id. § 22.912(b)(2)) may need to account for any differences in
calculation methodology necessitated by the over-water portion of the path (or use actual measurements). Our
proposed field strength limit would not be used to determine service coverage and would not replace the formula in
47 C.F.R. § 22.911 for site-based applications in CMA Blocks that continue to be governed by the existing rules (not
included in the Stage I auction).
145 47 C.F.R. § 22.911.
146 The field strength limit we are proposing for the Cellular Service appears on its face to be lower than the existing
broadband PCS field strength limit, yet it is comparable in effect. This is because the Cellular frequency
(~ 880 MHz) is lower than the PCS frequency (~ 1950 MHz), and consequently, the wavelength of a Cellular wave
is approximately 2.2 times larger than that of a broadband PCS wave. The difference in wavelength means that the
physical capture area of a Cellular antenna is approximately 2.2² = 4.8 times larger than that of an equivalent gain
PCS antenna. In decibels, this ratio is calculated as follows: 20 × log (1950 ÷ 880) = 6.9 dB, which rounds to 7 dB.
Thus, assuming equivalent gain antennas, a field strength of 40 dBuV/m at 880 MHz produces the same power at the
receiver input terminal (− 96 dBm, assuming a 0 dBi gain antenna ) as does a field strength of 47 dBuV/m at
1950 MHz.
(continued….)
23

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

field strength compared to 32 dBµV/m, we do not anticipate a notable increase in boundary disputes if we
adopt our proposal. There is no evidence of a causal relationship between boundary disputes and a field
strength limit if the limit applies equally to all licensees in a given service.147 In cases where adjacent
Cellular licensees have a contractual agreement in place today, median field strength could already be
higher than 32 dBµV/m, and indeed could already be higher than 40 dBµV/m.
56. We believe that co-channel licensees are themselves in the best position to negotiate the
placement and parameters of facilities near the boundary of another licensee’s protected area, taking into
account the factors unique to their systems and the area involved, including, for example, technologies,
traffic loading, topography, and location of major roads. Thus, consistent with the PCS field strength
limit rules,148 we also propose to allow Cellular licensees to negotiate contractual agreements specifying
field strength limits different from the limit established by rule.149
57. Even with full compliance with the proposed field strength limit, licensees operating in
proximity to each other will still need to coordinate channel usage in order to avoid mutually destructive
interference. Section 22.907 of our rules requires that interference problems (and any possible problems
with traffic capture)150 in the Cellular Service be avoided by coordination between or among licensees,
e.g., through channel choice, sectors, codes, site locations, antenna patterns, and azimuths. Section
22.907 is technology-neutral and has been successful thus far in preventing an excessive quantity of
interference complaints from Cellular licensees. Therefore, we propose to retain the requirements for
mandatory coordination that are currently set forth in section 22.907.151
58. We encourage parties to address all aspects of our proposal concerning a field strength limit
and continued mandatory licensee coordination. Interested parties that offer a counter-proposal, whether
for a different field strength limit or non-use of any signal field strength limit, should be specific and
explain how their proposal better serves the public interest, including whether it would be more cost
effective.

G.

Other Alternatives to the Commission’s Proposed Transition

59. Single-stage Transition for All Blocks. We seek comment on the possibility of eliminating
the site-based licensing scheme and transitioning expeditiously, via a single auction, all CMA Blocks to a
geographic-based model. Commenters should address the impact of such a proposal on rural service and
rural interests in particular, given that once an Overlay License is offered at auction, the Unserved Area in
that particular Block would no longer be available under site-based licensing, even if the Overlay License
(Continued from previous page)


147 There have been very few boundary disputes among PCS licensees, for example, which are subject to a field
strength limit of 47 dBµV/m at their respective license boundaries. Moreover, as PCS rules also permit negotiated
departures from the applicable limit, PCS licensees may be operating with field strength limits that exceed 47
dBµV/m.
148 See 47 C.F.R. § 24.236.
149 While licensees would be free under our proposal to negotiate a different field strength limit from the limit that is
ultimately adopted in this proceeding, we emphasize that Commission rules do not allow licensees to agree to
transmit their signals at a power level that is higher than the applicable power limit set forth in the rules.
150 Traffic capture has not been a problem in Cellular digital systems (or in PCS systems) because of seamless
national coverage using the various technologies available today. With Cellular analog systems, issues with traffic
capture could arise because of relative differences between the signal levels of the home system and the roaming
system (and “roamers” might be charged higher rates). So long as the same signal level applies to all systems,
traffic capture concerns generally do not arise.
151 47 C.F.R. § 22.907.
24

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

returns to the Commission for re-licensing. For example, if there is no successful bidder at auction, or if a
successful bidder is awarded the Overlay License but then, years later, fails to renew, the only
methodology for re-licensing is to offer the Overlay License again at a subsequent Commission auction.
We seek comment on these considerations under this alternate approach.
60. A Three-Stage Transition. As another alternative, we could subdivide the Blocks that do not
now meet the Substantially Licensed test into two groups, as there may be some markets that need even
more time, such as those in Alaska and other very rural areas with similar construction challenges,
resulting in a third stage in the Cellular licensing transition. We seek specific comment on this approach
as well. For example, what benchmarks should be used to distinguish the Stage II Blocks from the Stage
III Blocks, and what is the basis for choosing such benchmarks? What would be an appropriate dividing
line in terms of licensed area? What should the trigger dates be for Stage II and Stage III, and what would
be the rationale? We also seek comment on whether all Blocks with unique construction challenges
should be subject to an extended build-out requirement while they remain under the site-based licensing
regime.
61. Other Alternatives. We also welcome submission of alternatives that we have not considered
herein. Commenters who oppose our two-stage proposal and advocate an alternative need to address
details of implementation and should demonstrate how their alternative serves the public interest and is
cost effective.

H.

Proposed Amendments to Rules and Possible Rule Relocation

1.

Proposed Amendments

a.

Transition-related Amendments

62. Proposed new and revised rules to reflect the proposed two-stage transition of Cellular
licensing are set forth in Appendix E (Rules Appendix). We urge all parties to review the Rules
Appendix closely and submit detailed comments. Our proposals introduce some new terminology,
including for incumbent operations, and we also propose revisions and some deletions regarding the
definitions in rule section 22.99.152
b.

AMPS-related Data Collection; Other Deletions and Updates

63. Although we are not proposing immediate fundamental changes to the rules for CMA Blocks
that are not to be included in the Stage I transition (except for the proposed establishment of a signal field
strength limit), we have reviewed all the Subpart H rules as well as certain Part 1 rules applicable to
Cellular licensing in an effort to streamline or update them, and we propose certain changes.153 We have
also reviewed these rules to determine whether any should be deleted as obsolete or, going forward, no
longer necessary. For example, we believe that certain items required under sections 22.929154 and
22.953(a)155 will no longer be routinely of interest to the Commission’s engineering staff in their review
of Cellular applications in the future,156 and accordingly, we propose to streamline these requirements in a


152 47 C.F.R. § 22.99.
153 See Appendix E.
154 47 C.F.R. § 22.929.
155 47 C.F.R. § 22.953(a)(4)-(10).
156 In addition, the Bureau is in the process of implementing electronic filing of the large-scale Cellular maps
required to be submitted under 47 C.F.R. § 22.953(a), pursuant to delegated authority and rules adopted in the ULS
proceeding to eliminate paper filings. See 47 C.F.R. § 1.913(b); Biennial Regulatory Review – Amendment of Parts
0, 1, 13, 22, 24, 26, 27, 80, 87, 90, 95, 97, and 101 of the Commission’s Rules to Facilitate the Development and
Use of the Universal Licensing System in the Wireless Telecommunications Services, Report and Order, WT
(continued….)
25

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

revised section 22.953 (and a corresponding deletion of section 22.929). In addition, with sunset of the
requirement to provide analog Cellular service, all of section 22.901(b)157 has been rendered moot
(discussed further below) and we therefore propose to delete it.158 The results of our review are reflected
in the proposed rules set forth in the Rules Appendix. We invite all commenters to review each of the
proposed revisions and deletions and comment on them with specificity. If there are other rules that
commenters believe should be revised or deleted as part of our effort to streamline and update the rules
that govern Cellular licensees, we welcome suggestions regarding such revisions. Commenters should be
specific in their proposals, providing proposed language for the rule itself as well as the rationale for the
change.
64. AMPS Sunset Certifications: Termination of Collection; Deletion of Section 22.901(b). On
June 15, 2007, the Commission released an Order declining to extend the sunset of the Cellular analog
service requirement set forth in section 22.901(b) of our rules.159 Pursuant to the 2007 AMPS Sunset
Order,
on November 16, 2007, the Bureau released a Public Notice with instructions for Cellular
licensees on how to file a one-time Cellular Coverage Certification (AMPS Sunset Certification), which
would certify that discontinuance of analog service would not result in any loss of wireless coverage
throughout the CGSA.160 By filing an AMPS Sunset Certification, licensees could preserve the rights
associated with their previously determined CGSAs on file with the Commission as of the AMPS Sunset
Certification’s filing date.161 The overwhelming majority of Cellular licensees have opted to file an
AMPS Sunset Certification. We believe that all Cellular licensees have had ample time—more than four
years since the AMPS Instructions Notice—to make their choice and file either the one-time AMPS
Sunset Certification or the appropriate revised CGSA showing.162 Accordingly, we propose to terminate
(Continued from previous page)


Docket No. 98-20, 13 FCC Rcd 21027, 21094 (1998), recon. granted in part, 14 FCC Rcd 11476, 11492 (1999). As
a step in that process, the Bureau has announced optional electronic filing of such maps. See “Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau Announces Electronic Filing Option for Cellular Radiotelephone Service Full-Size
Maps,” Public Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 11475 (WTB 2011). We hereby reaffirm the Bureau’s delegated authority to
issue further Public Notices, as it deems appropriate, with instructions for applicants that are required to submit
exhibits with their Cellular applications, including the effective date of mandatory electronic filing of the full-size
Cellular maps, and with instructions for the public regarding access to such submissions.
157 47 C.F.R. § 22.901(b).
158 See also supra ¶ 34 (discussing proposed deletion of provisions regarding the initial 5-year build-out period, and
references thereto, as well as provisions regarding Phase I applications, and references thereto).
159 See Sunset of the Cellular Radiotelephone Service Analog Service Requirement and Related Matters,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, RM No. 11355, 22 FCC Rcd 11243 (2007) (2007 AMPS Sunset Order); 47
C.F.R. § 22.901(b).
160 See Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Provides Instructions for Electronic Filing of Cellular Coverage
Certifications, Public Notice, 22 FCC Rcd 19922 (WTB 2007) (AMPS Instructions Notice).
161 2007 AMPS Sunset Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 11266-67. CTIA asserts that, in light of the AMPS Sunset, “CGSAs
on record may understate digital coverage” and that “such existing digital coverage should be recognized and
protected.” CTIA Petition at 7. The AMPS Sunset Certification process established by the Commission permitted
incumbents to maintain their analog-determined CGSA (on file with the Commission as of the Certification filing
date). See 2007 AMPS Sunset Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 11267. We reiterate that it is a licensee’s obligation to file the
appropriate modification application seeking approval of any changes to the CGSA, including changes that may
have resulted from a switch from analog to digital operations. We also reiterate that licensees have had ample
opportunity since the AMPS Instructions Notice was released in November 2007 to file applications concerning
CGSA changes resulting from the cessation of analog operations.
162 A Cellular licensee could also opt to make no filing if, in transitioning from analog to digital technology, there
was no effect on its CGSA-defining location, power, or height parameters. See 2007 AMPS Sunset Order, 22 FCC
Rcd at 11267.
26

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

the Commission’s collection of such Certifications163 and to delete section 22.901(b). We welcome
comment on these proposals.
2.

Possible Relocation of Part 22 Cellular and Part 24 PCS Rules to Part 27

65. In light of our proposal to revise the Cellular licensing rules to bring them in line with the
more flexible rules that govern other wireless services, we take this opportunity to invite comment on
placement of revised rules that may ultimately be adopted in this proceeding. Specifically, in the event
that we adopt a geographic area regime that includes Overlay Licenses, should the new Cellular rules be
incorporated into Part 27, which houses the existing rules for certain other flexible wireless services, such
as AWS, rather than in Subpart H of Part 22? If the revised Cellular rules are to be incorporated into Part
27, we believe that the rules for Part 24 PCS—which is already a flexible service governed by geographic
area-based licensing—should then also be moved into Part 27. Should the Commission initiate a separate
rulemaking to revise the Part 27 rules and reserve the possible relocation of Cellular and PCS rules to that
separate proceeding? We welcome comment on such relocations and the optimal timing for them.
3.

Proposed Correction of Section 1.958(d)

66. We take this opportunity to propose correction of a clerical error in the distance computation
formula in section 1.958(d) of our rules.164 The error was introduced in the process of moving the
provision containing the formula from Part 22 (section 22.157) to Subpart F of Part 1.165 The proposed
correction is included in the Rules Appendix of this NPRM.

IV.

ORDER

A.

Suspension of Certain Filings

67. To permit the orderly and effective resolution of the fundamental changes and issues we
raise herein, and consistent with our actions in numerous prior proceedings,166 we find it appropriate to


163 See AMPS Instructions Notice, 22 FCC Rcd at 19923 (referencing http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/cellular/ with
instructions for attaching a Certification at the Cellular Coverage Certifications Submission page).
164 47 C.F.R. § 1.958(d).
165 See Amendment of Part 22 of the Commission’s Rules To Benefit the Consumers of Air-Ground
Telecommunications Services, Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rule Making, WT Docket No. 03-103, 20
FCC Rcd 4403, 4448-49 (2005). See also Letter to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary of the Commission, from Dane E.
Ericksen, Hammett & Edison, Inc., dated Mar. 21, 2011 (regarding, inter alia, this clerical error in 47 C.F.R. §
1.958(d)).
166 See, e.g., Amendment of Parts 1, 21, 73, 74 and 101 of the Commission’s Rules to Facilitate the Provision of
Fixed and Mobile Broadband Access, Educational and Other Advanced Services in the 2150-2162 and 2500-2690
MHz Bands, Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Memorandum Opinion and Order, WT Docket No. 03-66, RM-
10586, 18 FCC Rcd 6722, 6813-14 (2003) (2003 ITFS NPRM); Amendment of the Commission’s Rules Concerning
Maritime Communications, Fourth Report and Order and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 15 FCC
Rcd 22585, 22621-22 (2000) (2000 Maritime Services FNPRM); Revision of Part 22 and Part 90 of the
Commission’s Rules to Facilitate Future Development of Paging Systems, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 11 FCC
Rcd 3108, 3136-37 (1996) (1996 Paging Services NPRM); Amendment of Parts 2 and 90 of the Commission’s
Rules to Provide for the Use of 200 Channels Outside the Designated Filing Areas in the 896-901 MHz and the 935-
940 MHz Bands Allotted to the Specialized Mobile Radio Pool; Implementation of Section 309(j) of the
Communications Act – Competitive Bidding and Implementation of Sections 3(n) and 322 [sic] of the
Communications Act, Second Order on Reconsideration and Seventh Report and Order, PR Docket No. 89-553, GN
Docket No. 93-252, 11 FCC Rcd 2639, 2658-59 (1995) (1995 900 MHz SMR Order). See also Amendment of Parts
1, 22, 24, 27, 74, 80, 90, and 101 to Establish Uniform License Renewal, Discontinuance of Operation, and
Geographic Partitioning and Spectrum Disaggregation Rules and Policies for Certain Wireless Radio Services;
Imposition of a Freeze, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order, WT Docket No. 10-112, FCC 10-86, 25 FCC
(continued….)
27

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

impose an immediate freeze on the acceptance of certain Cellular applications.167 We recognize that the
imposition of a freeze imposes costs for a limited period on some licensees, e.g., those that have already
undertaken preparation of applications to change their system parameters or establish new systems.
Rather than imposing a freeze on all modification and new-system applications, we are tailoring the
freeze in this proceeding to: (1) provide for the continued expansion of service to consumers during the
pendency of this proceeding; and (2) help the Commission identify Unserved Area and inform potential
bidders of encumbrances well in advance of the auction. A tailored freeze will facilitate much needed
network changes. We conclude that the benefits described above outweigh the limited potential costs of
this tailored freeze. In addition, consistent with our actions in numerous prior proceedings,168 by this
Order we adopt other interim procedures for certain Cellular applications, as explained below.169
68. We recognize that licensees in the Cellular Service, with approximately three decades of
deployment, have demonstrated levels of service in excess of other commercial wireless services. We
seek to allow licensees to continue limited expansion of existing systems necessary to respond to
customer needs by addressing technical changes at the periphery of their current CGSAs without facing
strike applications, i.e., applications filed primarily to block such service during a transition to
geographic area licensing.170 Moreover, accepting and processing all applications in the normal course
under our current rules would arguably be inconsistent with our goal of changing to a less burdensome
licensing system.171
69. Accordingly, as of the adoption date of this Order (Adoption Date) and until further notice,
we hereby suspend acceptance of certain Cellular applications claiming Unserved Area in “Covered”
CMA Blocks. Covered Blocks include: (i) those we preliminarily determine to be Substantially
Licensed under either benchmark of our proposed test (listed in Appendix C); and (ii) those we
(Continued from previous page)


Rcd 6996, 7033-34 (2010) (2010 WRS NPRM); Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules to Facilitate
Future Development of SMR Systems in the 800 MHz Frequency Band, Second Report and Order, PR Docket No.
93-144, GN Docket No. 93-252, PP Docket No. 93-253, RMs-8117, -8029, -8030, 12 FCC Rcd 19079, 19105
(1997) (1997 800 MHz Second R&O); Licensing of General Category Frequencies in the 806-809.750/851-854.750
MHz Bands, Order, 10 FCC Rcd 13190 (WTB 1995) (1995 800 MHz Freeze Order).
167 Our decision to impose a freeze and other interim procedures is procedural and therefore not subject to the notice
and comment or effective date requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. See 5 U.S.C. § 553(b)(A)-(B),
(d). See also Bachow Communications, Inc. v. FCC, 237 F.3d 683 (D.C. Cir. 2001) (Bachow) (affirming imposition
of a freeze and interim procedures without notice and comment for applications in the 39 GHz band during
transition of licensing regime); Neighborhood TV Co., Inc. v. FCC, 742 F.2d 629, 638 (D.C. Cir. 1984)
(Neighborhood TV) (deeming interim processing rules, including a freeze on applications, as procedural); Kessler v.
FCC,
326 F.2d 673 (D.C. Cir. 1963) (Kessler) (same).
168 See supra note 166.
169 We note that CTIA and several other commenters address a possible freeze and/or interim processing procedures
for Cellular applications during the pendency of this proceeding. See CTIA Petition at 15; CTIA Revised Plan at 5-
6; Commnet Comments at 12-14; Commnet Reply Comments at 2, 8; GCI Comments at 2-3, 10-13; GCI Reply
Comments at 6; MetroPCS Comments at 10; NTCA Comments at 2, 4; RTG Comments at 2, 8; Verizon Wireless
Comments at 5-6.
170 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.946(c).
171 See, e.g., Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Report and Order, Fifth Report and
Order, Fourth Memorandum Opinion and Order, and Order,
WT Docket No. 02-55, ET Docket No. 00-258, RM-
9498, RM-10024, and ET Docket No. 95-18, 19 FCC Rcd 14651, 14992 (2004) (errata citations omitted)
(explaining that a freeze was imposed “to ensure that resolution of the spectrum allocation issues raised in [the
proceeding] would not be compromised”).
28

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

preliminarily determine to be more than 90% but less than 95% licensed (listed in Appendix F).172 In
Covered Blocks, we prohibit the filing of applications for: (a) new-system Cellular licenses; and (b)
major modifications to expand existing systems if claiming Unserved Area that is not contiguous to the
existing CGSA. The prohibition applies even if a portion of the area to be claimed as CGSA lies in a
non-Covered Block.173 Any applications prohibited under this Order that are received on or after the
Adoption Date are to be dismissed by the Bureau as unacceptable for filing.
70. We will permit major modification applications that propose CGSA expansion in, or into,
Covered Blocks only if claiming Unserved Area that is contiguous to the existing CGSA.174 Also, as of
the Adoption Date and until further notice, we will use a “same-day filing group” for purposes of
determining mutual exclusivity of permissible Cellular applications that entail Unserved Area in
Covered Blocks. We will dismiss any mutually exclusive applications claiming Unserved Area in
Covered Blocks that are received on or after the Adoption Date rather than conduct closed auctions to
resolve such applications. We will permit major amendments to permissible major modification
applications only so long as the proposed CGSA expansion in the amendment is claiming Unserved
Area that is contiguous175 to the existing licensed CGSA. Also, for such major amendments filed on or
after the Adoption Date and until further notice, we will use a “same-day filing group” for purposes of
determining mutual exclusivity, and we will dismiss any such mutually exclusive major amendments
rather than conduct closed auctions to resolve them.
71. These interim filing procedures do not affect applications claiming Unserved Area solely in
non-Covered CMA Blocks, which we will continue to accept and process under current rules and
procedures, nor do they affect any applications that do not propose a new Cellular system or a CGSA
expansion (e.g., renewals, transfers, assignments, modifications that do not extend a CGSA boundary,
administrative updates, and required notifications), no matter the Block.176 We advise all parties,
however, that although minor modification applications (regardless of market) are not affected by the
freeze we impose under this Order, we know from experience that staff might find on review that a
purported minor modification application submitted on or after the Adoption Date is in fact a major
modification application. If such an application is for Unserved Area (in whole or in part) in a Covered
CMA Block, the application will be subject to the same procedures and restrictions described above
(including dismissal if an impermissible filing under this Order).
72. As the Commission has previously stated, a freeze is “a necessary adjunct to any efficient
and effective rule making” until the current rules can be reexamined “and in which amendments to the
rules might be made.”177 In sum, we find that the public interest is best served by imposition of the


172 We have not listed in this Appendix the Blocks already listed in Appendix C (i.e., those that preliminarily meet
either benchmark of our proposed Substantially Licensed test), which are also Covered Blocks for purposes of this
Order.
173 Thus, for example, if a proposed new-system or major modification application proposes to claim (as CGSA)
Unserved Area that straddles a CMA boundary, where the CMA Block on one side of the boundary is Covered
while the Block on the other side of the boundary is non-Covered, the entire application will be treated as if solely
for Unserved Area in a Covered Block.
174 If an application proposes to claim (as CGSA) contiguous Unserved Area that is partially in a Covered Block and
partially in a non-Covered Block, the application will be treated as if the entire claimed area is in a Covered Block.
175 See supra note 174.
176 Applications for renewal must comply with any applicable provisions of the Notice released by the Commission
in the WRS proceeding in May 2010. See generally 2010 WRS NPRM, supra note 166. See also 47 C.F.R. § 1.939.
177 Kessler, 326 F.2d at 680-81.
29

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

freeze and related interim procedures we adopt today. In the following Section B, we discuss how we
will process currently pending new-system and CGSA-expansion applications in Covered CMA Blocks.

B.

Currently Pending Non-Mutually Exclusive Applications in Covered CMA Blocks

73. New-System and Major Modification Applications. Currently pending applications (i.e.,
filed prior to the Adoption Date) that propose either a new Cellular system or a modification that would
expand an existing system’s CGSA boundary in, or into, Covered CMA Blocks fall into one of two
categories: (1) those accepted for filing and placed on public notice at least 30 days before the
Adoption Date; and (2) those for which the 30-day public comment period has not yet expired as of the
Adoption Date. We will treat non-mutually exclusive applications in the first category (including
pending applications that would be impermissible under this Order if filed on or after the Adoption
Date) under existing rules and will process them in the normal course as expeditiously as possible,
subject to certain interim procedures regarding major amendments. Specifically, for pending
modification applications proposing expansion of an existing CGSA, we will permit major amendments
on or after the Adoption Date subject to the same interim procedures described above in Section
IV.A.178 For pending new-system applications, we will permit major amendments on or after the
Adoption Date only so long as the proposed new-system CGSA in the amendment is claiming Unserved
Area that is contiguous to the CGSA proposed in the application that was pending as of the Adoption
Date.179 For such amendments, we will use a “same-day filing group” for purposes of determining
mutual exclusivity, and we will dismiss any such mutually exclusive major amendments claiming
Unserved Area in Covered Blocks that are received on or after the Adoption Date rather than conduct
closed auctions to resolve them. On balance, rather than holding the applications in abeyance until
conclusion of this proceeding, we conclude that processing pending applications in the first category
under existing rules, subject to the interim procedures described herein, will not sacrifice the goals we
seek to accomplish in this proceeding.180
74. Pending new-system and major modification applications in the second category (i.e., filed
prior to the Adoption Date but for which the 30-day comment period has not expired) claiming any
Unserved Area in Covered CMA Blocks will be deemed mutually exclusive only if a competing
application was filed prior to the Adoption Date of this Order. Applications in the second category that
are not mutually exclusive will be processed under our current rules, except that we will only permit the
filing of major amendments subject to the same interim procedures described above regarding major
amendments to applications in the first category.
75. Minor Modifications. As explained above, applications submitted as minor modifications
of an existing CGSA are sometimes found by staff to be major modification applications. During the
pendency of this proceeding, a minor modification application submitted prior to the Adoption Date
that is determined to be proposing a major modification claiming (as CGSA) Unserved Area in a
Covered Block will be treated the same as a pending major modification application in accordance with
the interim procedures described above.


178 See supra ¶ 70.
179 If an application proposes to claim (as CGSA) contiguous Unserved Area that is partially in a Covered Block and
partially in a non-Covered Block, the application will be treated as if the entire claimed area is in a Covered Block.
180 See, e.g., 2003 ITFS NPRM, 18 FCC Rcd at 6813-14; 2000 Maritime Services FNPRM, 15 FCC Rcd at 22622;
1996 Paging Services NPRM, 11 FCC Rcd at 3137. See also Kessler, 326 F.2d at 684 (noting FCC’s conclusion
that the total number of potential grants “was not sufficiently great to frustrate the ends [it] sought to accomplish
through [the] rule making”).
30

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

V.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

A.

Ex Parte

Rules – Permit-But-Disclose

76. The proceeding this NPRM initiates shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in
accordance with the Commission’s ex parte rules.181 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 section 1.1206(b).182 In proceedings governed by section 1.49(f)183 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.

B.

Comment Period and Procedures

77. Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules,184 interested parties may file
comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. All
comments and reply comments should refer to WT Docket No. 12-40. Comments may be filed using the
Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).185
§
Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.
§
Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each
filing.
Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-
class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s
Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
§
All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary
must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325,
Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries


181 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200 et seq.
182 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206(b).
183 47 C.F.R. § 1.49(f).
184 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.415, 1.419.
185 See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 Fed. Reg. 24121 (1998).
31

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be
disposed of before entering the building.
§
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.
78. People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with
disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call
the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

C.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

79. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA),186 the Commission has
prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on
small entities of the policies and rules proposed in the NPRM. The analysis is found in Appendix G. We
request written public comment on the analysis. Comments must be filed by the same dates as listed on
the first page of this document and must have a separate and distinct heading designating them as
responses to the IRFA. The Commissions Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference
Information Center, will send a copy of this Notice, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for
Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

D.

Initial Paperwork Reduction Analysis

80. This document contains proposed new and modified information collection requirements.
The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public
and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection
requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public
Law 104-13. 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.”

E.

Further Information

81. For further information, contact Nina Shafran of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau,
Mobility Division, at 202-418-2781, or by e-mail to Nina.Shafran@fcc.gov.

VI.

ORDERING CLAUSES

82. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 301, 302, 303, 308, 309(j), and
332 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151, 152, 154(i), 301, 302, 303, 308,
309(j), and 332, that this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order are hereby ADOPTED.
83. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to sections 4(i), 301, 303, 308, and 309 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 301, 303, 308, and 309, that effective as
of the date of the adoption of this Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Order, THE FEDERAL
COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION WILL NOT ACCEPT FOR FILING ANY APPLICATIONS for
licenses in the Cellular Band that are inconsistent with the terms of the application freeze discussed
herein. This suspension is effective until further notice and applies to any such applications received on
or after the date of adoption of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order.


186 5 U.S.C. § 603.
32

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

84. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN of the proposed regulatory
changes described in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and that comment is sought on these proposals.
85. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs
Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and
Order, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the
Small Business Administration.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary
33

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

APPENDIX A

List of Commenters

I.

Comments

AT&T Inc. (AT&T)
Broadpoint, Inc. (Broadpoint)
Commnet Wireless, LLC (Commnet)
GCI Communication Corp. (GCI)
MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (MetroPCS)
National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA)
Rural Independent Competitive Alliance (RICA)
The Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc. (RTG)
United States Cellular Corporation (USCC)
Verizon Wireless

II.

Reply Comments

AT&T
CTIA – The Wireless Association (CTIA)
Commnet
GCI
USCC
Verizon Wireless

III.

Ex Parte

Filings

CTIA (Feb. 13, 2009)
CTIA (Aug. 5, 2009)
CTIA (Sept. 21, 2010, as corrected on Sept. 22, 2010) (Revised Plan)
CTIA (May 20, 2011)
CTIA (Jan. 24, 2012) (Noel)
CTIA (Feb. 2, 2012) (Levine)
CTIA (Feb. 2, 2012) (Peraertz)
CTIA (Feb. 8, 2012) (Giancarlo)
GCI (Apr. 15, 2010)
GCI (Oct. 7, 2010)
GCI (May 19, 2011)
NTCA (May 23, 2011) (on behalf of NTCA and GCI)
RTG (Nov. 8, 2010) (RTG Letter Response)
34

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

APPENDIX B

Maps Showing Unserved Area in (1) Continental U.S., and (2) Alaska

(Data as of 1/11/2012)
35

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

36

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

APPENDIX C

List of CMA Blocks That Meet Proposed “Substantially Licensed” Test

(Block A listed first, in 2 groupings, followed by Block B, in 2 groupings)
(meeting proposed test as of 01/11/2012)

Block A >= 95%


A-Block

Percent

CMA

DESC

Licensed Area

1
CMA001A
New York, NY-NJ/Nassau-Suffolk, NY/Newark, Jersey
99.94%
2
CMA002A
Los Angeles-Long Beach/Anaheim-Santa Ana-Garden Gr
98.70%
3
CMA003A
Chicago, IL
99.31%
4
CMA004A
Philadelphia, PA
99.92%
5
CMA005A
Detroit/Ann Arbor, MI
99.96%
6
CMA006A
Boston-Lowell-Brockton-Lawrence-Haverhill, MA-NH
100.00%
7
CMA007A
San Francisco-Oakland, CA
100.00%
8
CMA008A
Washington, DC-MD-VA
100.00%
9
CMA009A
Dallas-Forth Worth, TX
99.86%
10
CMA010A
Houston, TX
100.00%
11
CMA011A
St. Louis, MO-IL
99.82%
12
CMA012A
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, FL
97.28%
13
CMA013A
Pittsburgh, PA
99.99%
14
CMA014A
Baltimore, MD
99.94%
15
CMA015A
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI
96.00%
16
CMA016A
Cleveland, OH
99.93%
17
CMA017A
Atlanta, GA
99.98%
18
CMA018A
San Diego, CA
99.91%
19
CMA019A
Denver-Boulder, CO
95.37%
20
CMA020A
Seattle-Everett, WA
99.96%
21
CMA021A
Milwaukee, WI
100.00%
22
CMA022A
Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL
99.97%
23
CMA023A
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
98.69%
24
CMA024A
Kansas City, MO-KS
99.78%
25
CMA025A
Buffalo, NY
99.84%
26
CMA027A
San Jose, CA
100.00%
27
CMA028A
Indianapolis, IN
100.00%
28
CMA030A
Portland, OR-WA
99.99%
29
CMA031A
Columbus, OH
99.97%
30
CMA032A
Hartford-New Britain-Bristol, CT
99.92%
31
CMA033A
San Antonio, TX
99.96%
32
CMA034A
Rochester, NY
100.00%
33
CMA035A
Sacramento, CA
100.00%
34
CMA036A
Memphis, TN-AR-MS
97.03%
35
CMA037A
Louisville, KY-IN
100.00%
36
CMA038A
Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket, RI
99.96%
37

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

37
CMA040A
Dayton, OH
99.95%
38
CMA041A
Birmingham, AL
99.89%
39
CMA042A
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk-Danbury, CT
100.00%
40
CMA043A
Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Portsmouth, VA/NC
98.36%
41
CMA044A
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
100.00%
42
CMA045A
Oklahoma City, OK
97.31%
43
CMA046A
Nashville-Davidson, TN
99.98%
44
CMA047A
Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, NC
100.00%
45
CMA048A
Toledo, OH-MI
98.71%
46
CMA049A
New Haven-West Haven-Waterbury-Meriden, CT
100.00%
47
CMA050A
Honolulu, HI
97.77%
48
CMA051A
Jacksonville, FL
98.33%
49
CMA052A
Akron, OH
99.99%
50
CMA053A
Syracuse, NY
99.83%
51
CMA054A
Gary-Hammond-East Chicago, IN
100.00%
52
CMA055A
Worchester-Fitchburg-Leominster, MA
99.98%
53
CMA056A
Northeast Pennsylvania, PA
100.00%
54
CMA057A
Tulsa, OK
99.29%
55
CMA058A
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ
100.00%
56
CMA059A
Richmond, VA
99.84%
57
CMA060A
Orlando, FL
100.00%
58
CMA061A
Charlotte-Gastonia, NC
99.98%
59
CMA062A
New Brunswick-Perth Amboy-Sayreville, NJ
100.00%
60
CMA063A
Springfield-Chicopee-Holyoke, MA
99.66%
61
CMA064A
Grand Rapids, MI
99.98%
62
CMA065A
Omaha, NE-IA
100.00%
63
CMA066A
Youngstown-Warren, OH
100.00%
64
CMA067A
Greenville-Spartanburg, SC
100.00%
65
CMA068A
Flint, MI
100.00%
66
CMA069A
Wilmington, DE-NJ-MD
99.99%
67
CMA070A
Long Branch-Asbury Park, NJ
99.81%
68
CMA071A
Raleigh-Durham, NC
100.00%
69
CMA072A
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL
99.79%
70
CMA073A
Oxnard-Simi Valley-Ventura, CA
98.61%
71
CMA075A
Austin, TX
99.92%
72
CMA076A
New Bedford-Fall River, MA
99.92%
73
CMA077A
Tuscon, AZ
95.97%
74
CMA078A
Lansing-East Lansing, MI
100.00%
75
CMA079A
Knoxville, TN
99.89%
76
CMA080A
Baton Rouge, LA
99.91%
77
CMA081A
El Paso, TX
99.77%
78
CMA082A
Tacoma, WA
99.99%
79
CMA083A
Mobile, AL
97.68%
80
CMA084A
Harrisburg, PA
100.00%
81
CMA085A
Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA
99.97%
82
CMA086A
Albuquerque, NM
99.28%
38

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

83
CMA087A
Canton, OH
99.86%
84
CMA088A
Chattanooga, TN-GA
99.95%
85
CMA089A
Wichita, KS
97.74%
86
CMA090A
Charleston-North Charleston, SC
99.72%
87
CMA091A
San Juan-Caguas, PR
100.00%
88
CMA092A
Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR
99.91%
89
CMA094A
Saginaw-Bay City-Midland, MI
99.91%
90
CMA095A
Columbia, SC
100.00%
91
CMA096A
Fort Wayne, IN
99.52%
92
CMA097A
Bakersfield, CA
99.49%
93
CMA098A
Davenport-Rock Island-Moline, IA/IL
99.97%
94
CMA099A
York, PA
100.00%
95
CMA100A
Shreveport, Louisiana
99.87%
96
CMA101A
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX
96.78%
97
CMA102A
Des Moines, IA
99.87%
98
CMA103A
Peoria, IL
99.90%
99
CMA105A
Lancaster, PA
100.00%
100
CMA106A
Jackson, MS
100.02%
101
CMA107A
Stockton, CA
99.90%
102
CMA108A
Augusta, GA/SC
99.95%
103
CMA109A
Spokane, WA
99.90%
104
CMA110A
Huntington-Ashland, WV/KY/OH
98.45%
105
CMA111A
Vallejo-Fairfield-Napa, CA
100.00%
106
CMA112A
Corpus Christi, TX
100.01%
107
CMA113A
Madison, WI
99.92%
108
CMA114A
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
99.91%
109
CMA115A
Utica-Rome, NY
99.99%
110
CMA116A
Lexington-Fayette, KY
99.98%
111
CMA118A
Reading, PA
99.99%
112
CMA119A
Evansville, IN/KY
99.84%
113
CMA120A
Huntsville, AL
99.93%
114
CMA121A
Trenton, NJ
99.87%
115
CMA122A
Binghamton, NY
100.00%
116
CMA123A
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA
99.69%
117
CMA124A
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, CA
98.34%
118
CMA125A
Appleton-Oskosh-Neenah, WI
99.97%
119
CMA127A
Pensacola, FL
99.94%
120
CMA128A
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
99.64%
121
CMA129A
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN
100.00%
122
CMA130A
Erie, PA
100.00%
123
CMA131A
Rockford, IL
99.91%
124
CMA132A
Kalamazoo, MI
99.99%
125
CMA133A
Manchester-Nashua, NH
99.87%
126
CMA134A
Atlantic City, NJ
100.00%
127
CMA136A
Lorain-Elyria, OH
97.74%
128
CMA137A
Melbourne-Titusville-Palm Bay, FL
99.86%
39

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

129
CMA138A
Macon-Warner Robins, GA
100.00%
130
CMA139A
Montgomery, AL
99.87%
131
CMA140A
Charleston, WV
99.08%
132
CMA141A
Duluth, MN-WI
97.30%
133
CMA142A
Modesto, CA
99.79%
134
CMA143A
Johnstown, PA
100.00%
135
CMA144A
Orange County, NY
100.00%
136
CMA145A
Hamilton-Middletown, OH
99.96%
137
CMA146A
Daytona Beach, FL
99.85%
138
CMA147A
Ponce, PR
100.00%
139
CMA148A
Salem, OR
99.74%
140
CMA149A
Fayetteville, NC
99.74%
141
CMA151A
Poughkeepsie, NY
100.00%
142
CMA152A
Portland, ME
99.92%
143
CMA153A
Columbus, GA-AL
99.86%
144
CMA154A
New London-Norwich, CT
99.54%
145
CMA155A
Savannah, GA
99.72%
146
CMA156A
Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester, NH-ME
99.91%
147
CMA157A
Roanoke, VA
95.30%
148
CMA158A
Lima, OH
99.94%
149
CMA159A
Provo-Orem, UT
98.78%
150
CMA160A
Killeen-Temple, TX
100.02%
151
CMA161A
Lubbock, TX Counties - Lubbock
100.00%
152
CMA162A
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX
97.98%
153
CMA163A
Springfield, MO
99.61%
154
CMA164A
Fort Myers, FL Counties - Lee
99.92%
155
CMA165A
Fort Smith, AK-OK
99.74%
156
CMA166A
Hickory, NC
97.65%
157
CMA167A
Sarasota, FL
99.90%
158
CMA168A
Tallahassee, FL
99.97%
159
CMA170A
Galveston-Texas City, TX
99.51%
160
CMA172A
Lincoln, NE
99.62%
161
CMA173A
Biloxi-Gulfport, MS
99.53%
162
CMA174A
Lafayette, LA
99.55%
163
CMA175A
Santa Cruz, CA
100.00%
164
CMA176A
Springfield, IL
99.94%
165
CMA177A
Battle Creek, MI
99.39%
166
CMA178A
Wheeling, WV-OH
99.93%
167
CMA179A
Topeka, KS
99.99%
168
CMA180A
Springfield, OH
99.98%
169
CMA181A
Muskegon, MI
99.95%
170
CMA182A
Fayetteville-Springdale, AK
99.99%
171
CMA183A
Asheville, NC
99.96%
172
CMA185A
Terre Haute, IN
100.00%
173
CMA186A
Green Bay, WI
99.48%
174
CMA188A
Amarillo, TX
98.18%
40

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

175
CMA189A
Racine, WI
99.99%
176
CMA190A
Boise City, ID
100.00%
177
CMA192A
Gainesville, FL
99.81%
178
CMA193A
Benton Harbor, MI
99.99%
179
CMA194A
Waco, TX
99.96%
180
CMA195A
Cedar Rapids, IA
100.00%
181
CMA196A
Champaign-Urbana-Rantoul, IL
99.97%
182
CMA197A
Lake Charles, LA
99.96%
183
CMA198A
St. Cloud, MN
99.97%
184
CMA199A
Steubenville-Weirton, OH-WV
99.94%
185
CMA200A
Parkersburg-Marietta, OH-WV
99.89%
186
CMA201A
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA
99.90%
187
CMA202A
Arecibo, PR
99.75%
188
CMA203A
Lynchburg, VA
98.90%
189
CMA204A
Aguadilla, PR
99.91%
190
CMA205A
Alexandria, LA
99.95%
191
CMA206A
Longview-Marshall, TX
99.88%
192
CMA207A
Jackson, MI
99.94%
193
CMA208A
Fort Pierce, FL
99.79%
194
CMA209A
Clarksville-Hopkinsville, TN/KY
99.95%
195
CMA211A
Bradenton, FL
99.99%
196
CMA212A
Bremerton, WA
99.80%
197
CMA213A
Pittsfield, MA
99.89%
198
CMA214A
Richland-Kennewick-Pasco, WA
95.91%
199
CMA215A
Chico
99.95%
200
CMA216A
Janesville-Beloit, WI
100.01%
201
CMA217A
Anderson, IN
99.90%
202
CMA218A
Wilmington, NC
99.30%
203
CMA219A
Monroe, LA
99.94%
204
CMA220A
Abilene, TX
99.31%
205
CMA221A
Fargo-Moorehead, ND-MN
98.69%
206
CMA222A
Tuscaloosa, AL
97.53%
207
CMA223A
Elkhart-Goshen, IN
99.97%
208
CMA225A
Altoona, PA
99.88%
209
CMA226A
Florence, AL
99.65%
210
CMA227A
Anderson, SC
99.99%
211
CMA228A
Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, NJ
99.70%
212
CMA229A
Medford, OR
97.02%
213
CMA230A
Decatur, IL
99.95%
214
CMA231A
Mansfield, OH
99.83%
215
CMA232A
Eau Claire, WI
99.94%
216
CMA233A
Wichita Falls, TX
98.31%
217
CMA234A
Athens, GA
100.00%
218
CMA235A
Petersburg-Colonial Heights-Hopewell, VA
98.27%
219
CMA236A
Muncie, IN
99.99%
220
CMA237A
Tyler, TX
99.89%
41

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

221
CMA238A
Sharon, PA
99.99%
222
CMA239A
Joplin, MO
100.01%
223
CMA240A
Texarkana, TX - Texarkana, AR
100.00%
224
CMA242A
Olympia, WA
99.39%
225
CMA243A
Greeley, CO
95.49%
226
CMA244A
Kenosha, WI
99.77%
227
CMA246A
Dothan, AL
99.79%
228
CMA247A
Lafayette, IN
99.99%
229
CMA248A
Burlington, VT
99.99%
230
CMA249A
Anniston, AL
100.00%
231
CMA250A
Bloomington-Normal, IL
99.99%
232
CMA251A
Williamsport, PA
99.99%
233
CMA252A
Pascagoula, MS
99.46%
234
CMA253A
Sioux City, IA-NE
99.65%
235
CMA255A
Odessa, TX
99.84%
236
CMA256A
Charlottesville, VA
99.48%
237
CMA257A
Hagerstown, MD
99.66%
238
CMA258A
Jacksonville, NC
99.56%
239
CMA259A
State College, PA
100.00%
240
CMA260A
Lawton, OK
99.56%
241
CMA261A
Albany, GA
100.00%
242
CMA262A
Danville, VA
98.84%
243
CMA263A
Wausau, WI
99.96%
244
CMA264A
Florence, SC
100.00%
245
CMA265A
Fort Walton Beach, FL
99.66%
246
CMA266A
Glens Falls, NY
100.00%
247
CMA267A
Sioux Falls, SD
99.78%
248
CMA269A
Cumberland, MD-WV
99.79%
249
CMA271A
Kokomo, IN
99.94%
250
CMA272A
Gadsden, AL
99.96%
251
CMA273A
Kankakee, IL
100.04%
252
CMA274A
Yuba City, CA
100.00%
253
CMA275A
St. Joseph, MO
99.13%
254
CMA276A
Grand Forks, ND-MN
98.10%
255
CMA277A
Sheboygan, WI
99.86%
256
CMA278A
Columbia, MO
99.86%
257
CMA279A
Lewiston-Auburn, ME
99.88%
258
CMA280A
Burlington, NC
99.99%
259
CMA281A
Laredo, TX
99.77%
260
CMA282A
Bloomington, IN
99.98%
261
CMA283A
Panama City, FL
99.73%
262
CMA284A
Elmira, NY
100.00%
263
CMA286A
Dubuque, IA
99.98%
264
CMA287A
Bryan-College Station, TX
99.68%
265
CMA288A
Rochester, MN
100.01%
266
CMA290A
La Crosse, WI
99.91%
42

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

267
CMA291A
Pine Bluff, AK
99.82%
268
CMA292A
Sherman-Denison, TX
97.25%
269
CMA293A
Owensboro, KY
99.79%
270
CMA295A
Midland, TX
99.60%
271
CMA296A
Iowa City, IA
99.77%
272
CMA297A
Great Falls, MT
97.91%
273
CMA298A
Bismarck, ND
98.65%
274
CMA300A
Victoria, TX
100.00%
275
CMA301A
Lawrence, KS
99.90%
276
CMA302A
Enid, OK
98.30%
277
CMA303A
Aurora-Elgin, IL
99.80%
278
CMA304A
Joliet, IL
100.00%
279
CMA305A
Alton-Granite City, IL
100.00%
280
CMA307A
Alabama 1 - Franklin
99.99%
281
CMA308A
Alabama 2 - Jackson
100.00%
282
CMA309A
Alabama 3 - Lamar
99.24%
283
CMA310A
Alabama 4 - Bibb
99.78%
284
CMA311A
Alabama 5 - Cleburne
99.71%
285
CMA312A
Alabama 6 - Washington
95.42%
286
CMA313A
Alabama 7 - Butler
99.84%
287
CMA314A
Alabama 8 - Lee
99.87%
288
CMA320A
Arizona 3 - Navajo
97.49%
289
CMA322A
Arizona 5 - Gila
95.91%
290
CMA324A
Arkansas 1 - Madison
99.90%
291
CMA325A
Arkansas 2 - Marion
99.93%
292
CMA326A
Arkansas 3 - Sharp
99.93%
293
CMA327A
Arkansas 4 - Clay
99.56%
294
CMA328A
Arkansas 5 - Cross
97.11%
295
CMA329A
Arkansas 6 - Cleburne
99.91%
296
CMA330A
Arkansas 7 - Pope
100.00%
297
CMA331A
Arkansas 8 - Franklin
99.99%
298
CMA332A
Arkansas 9 - Polk
100.00%
299
CMA333A
Arkansas 10 - Garland
100.00%
300
CMA334A
Arkansas 11 - Hempstead
96.93%
301
CMA335A
Arkansas 12 - Ouachita
98.08%
302
CMA340A
California 5 - San Luis Obispo
97.54%
303
CMA344A
California 9 - Mendocino
98.40%
304
CMA345A
California 10 - Sierra
98.87%
305
CMA346A
California 11 - El Dorado
99.99%
306
CMA347A
California 12 - Kings
99.42%
307
CMA349A
Colorado 2 - Logan
98.96%
308
CMA351A
Colorado 4 - Park
96.43%
309
CMA357A
Connecticut 1 - Litchfield
100.00%
310
CMA358A
Connecticut 2 - Windham
100.00%
311
CMA359A
Delaware 1 - Kent
99.99%
312
CMA360A
Florida 1 - Collier
99.94%
43

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

313
CMA361A
Florida 2 - Glades
97.68%
314
CMA362A
Florida 3 - Hardee
99.95%
315
CMA363A
Florida 4 - Citrus
99.97%
316
CMA364A
Florida 5 - Putnam
97.35%
317
CMA365A
Florida 6 - Dixie
99.75%
318
CMA366A
Florida 7 - Hamilton
99.96%
319
CMA367A
Florida 8 - Jefferson
100.00%
320
CMA368A
Florida 9 - Calhoun
95.34%
321
CMA369A
Florida 10 - Walton
99.64%
322
CMA371A
Georgia 1 - Whitfield
98.68%
323
CMA372A
Georgia 2 - Dawson
99.99%
324
CMA373A
Georgia 3 - Chattooga
100.00%
325
CMA374A
Georgia 4 - Jasper
96.77%
326
CMA375A
Georgia 5 - Haralson
99.93%
327
CMA376A
Georgia 6 - Spalding
99.98%
328
CMA377A
Georgia 7 - Hancock
99.98%
329
CMA378A
Georgia 8 - Warren
99.54%
330
CMA379A
Georgia 9 - Marion
100.00%
331
CMA380A
Georgia 10 - Bleckley
99.92%
332
CMA381A
Georgia 11 - Toombs
99.80%
333
CMA382A
Georgia 12 - Liberty
99.88%
334
CMA383A
Georgia 13 - Early
99.78%
335
CMA384A
Georgia 14 - Worth
100.00%
336
CMA386A
Hawaii 2 - Maui
95.10%
337
CMA394A
Illinois 1 - Jo Daviess
99.97%
338
CMA395A
Illinois 2 - Bureau
99.63%
339
CMA396A
Illinois 3 - Mercer
99.89%
340
CMA397A
Illinois 4 - Adams
99.99%
341
CMA398A
Illinois 5 - Mason
99.97%
342
CMA399A
Illinois 6 - Montgomery
100.00%
343
CMA400A
Illinois 7 - Vermilion
99.90%
344
CMA401A
Illinois 8 - Washington
99.80%
345
CMA402A
Illinois 9 - Clay
99.56%
346
CMA403A
Indiana 1 - Newton
99.94%
347
CMA404A
Indiana 2 - Kosciusko
99.94%
348
CMA405A
Indiana 3 - Huntington
99.95%
349
CMA406A
Indiana 4 - Miami
100.00%
350
CMA407A
Indiana 5 - Warren
99.96%
351
CMA408A
Indiana 6 - Randolph
99.95%
352
CMA409A
Indiana 7 - Owen
99.92%
353
CMA410A
Indiana 8 - Brown
99.98%
354
CMA411A
Indiana 9 - Decatur
99.98%
355
CMA412A
Iowa 1 - Mills
99.96%
356
CMA413A
Iowa 2 - Union
100.00%
357
CMA414A
Iowa 3 - Monroe
99.84%
358
CMA416A
Iowa 5 - Jackson
99.98%
44

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

359
CMA417A
Iowa 6 - Iowa
99.90%
360
CMA418A
Iowa 7 - Audubon
99.89%
361
CMA419A
Iowa 8 - Monona
97.24%
362
CMA420A
Iowa 9 - Ida
99.70%
363
CMA421A
Iowa 10 - Humbolt
98.81%
364
CMA422A
Iowa 11 - Hardin
99.99%
365
CMA423A
Iowa 12 - Winneshiek
99.10%
366
CMA424A
Iowa 13 - Mitchell
99.81%
367
CMA425A
Iowa 14 - Kossuth
98.40%
368
CMA426A
Iowa 15 - Dickinson
99.52%
369
CMA427A
Iowa 16 - Lyon
98.35%
370
CMA430A
Kansas 3 - Jewell
95.06%
371
CMA431A
Kansas 4 - Marshall
99.48%
372
CMA432A
Kansas 5 - Brown
99.77%
373
CMA434A
Kansas 7 - Trego
99.25%
374
CMA435A
Kansas 8 - Ellsworth
97.25%
375
CMA437A
Kansas 10 - Franklin
98.63%
376
CMA438A
Kansas 11 - Hamilton
97.04%
377
CMA443A
Kentucky 1 - Fulton
97.59%
378
CMA444A
Kentucky 2 - Union
99.44%
379
CMA445A
Kentucky 3 - Meade
99.97%
380
CMA446A
Kentucky 4 - Spencer
99.94%
381
CMA447A
Kentucky 5 - Barren
99.97%
382
CMA448A
Kentucky 6 - Madison
100.00%
383
CMA449A
Kentucky 7 - Trimble
99.33%
384
CMA450A
Kentucky 8 - Mason
97.34%
385
CMA451A
Kentucky 9 - Elliott
99.96%
386
CMA452A
Kentucky 10 - Powell
99.98%
387
CMA453A
Kentucky 11 - Clay
99.98%
388
CMA454A
Louisiana 1 - Claiborne
99.91%
389
CMA455A
Louisiana 2 - Morehouse
99.65%
390
CMA456A
Louisiana 3 - De Soto
99.93%
391
CMA457A
Louisiana 4 - Caldwell
99.75%
392
CMA458A
Louisiana 5 - Beauregard
99.86%
393
CMA459A
Louisiana 6 - Iberville
95.82%
394
CMA460A
Louisiana 7 - West Feliciana
99.86%
395
CMA461A
Louisiana 8 - St. James
98.31%
396
CMA463A
Maine 1 - Oxford
96.98%
397
CMA465A
Maine 3 - Kennebec
98.53%
398
CMA466A
Maine 4 - Washington
99.66%
399
CMA467A
Maryland 1 - Garrett
99.84%
400
CMA468A
Maryland 2 - Kent
99.45%
401
CMA469A
Maryland 3 - Frederick
99.95%
402
CMA470A
Massachusetts 1 - Franklin
99.67%
403
CMA471A
Massachusetts 2 - Barnstable
99.78%
404
CMA472A
Michigan 1 - Gogebic
96.21%
45

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

405
CMA473A
Michigan 2 - Alger
99.84%
406
CMA474A
Michigan 3 - Emmet
99.97%
407
CMA475A
Michigan 4 - Cheboygan
99.96%
408
CMA476A
Michigan 5 - Manistee
99.82%
409
CMA477A
Michigan 6 - Roscommon
99.90%
410
CMA478A
Michigan 7 - Newaygo
99.98%
411
CMA479A
Michigan 8 - Allegan
99.93%
412
CMA480A
Michigan 9 - Cass
100.00%
413
CMA481A
Michigan 10 - Tuscola
99.93%
414
CMA486A
Minnesota 5 - Wilkin
95.65%
415
CMA487A
Minnesota 6 - Hubbard
99.94%
416
CMA488A
Minnesota 7 - Chippewa
97.97%
417
CMA489A
Minnesota 8 - Lac qui Parle
99.61%
418
CMA490A
Minnesota 9 - Pipestone
100.00%
419
CMA491A
Minnesota 10 - Le Sueur
99.56%
420
CMA492A
Minnesota 11 - Goodhue
97.51%
421
CMA493A
Mississippi 1 - Tunica
99.90%
422
CMA494A
Mississippi 2 - Benton
100.00%
423
CMA495A
Mississippi 3 - Bolivar
97.25%
424
CMA496A
Mississippi 4 - Yalobusha
99.68%
425
CMA497A
Mississippi 5 - Washington
96.14%
426
CMA498A
Mississippi 6 - Montgomery
99.15%
427
CMA499A
Mississippi 7 - Leake
100.00%
428
CMA500A
Mississippi 8 - Claiborne
100.00%
429
CMA501A
Mississippi 9 - Copiah
99.94%
430
CMA502A
Mississippi 10 - Smith
97.84%
431
CMA503A
Mississippi 11 - Lamar
99.88%
432
CMA504A
Missouri 1 - Atchison
99.78%
433
CMA505A
Missouri 2 - Harrison
99.48%
434
CMA506A
Missouri 3 - Schuyler
98.56%
435
CMA507A
Missouri 4 - De Kalb
99.49%
436
CMA508A
Missouri 5 - Linn
98.47%
437
CMA509A
Missouri 6 - Marion
99.41%
438
CMA510A
Missouri 7 - Saline
99.58%
439
CMA511A
Missouri 8 - Callaway
99.43%
440
CMA512A
Missouri 9 - Bates
99.96%
441
CMA513A
Missouri 10 - Benton
99.50%
442
CMA514A
Missouri 11 - Moniteau
99.95%
443
CMA516A
Missouri 13 - Washington
98.44%
444
CMA518A
Missouri 15 - Stone
96.35%
445
CMA519A
Missouri 16 - Laclede
98.67%
446
CMA520A
Missouri 17 - Shannon
95.04%
447
CMA521A
Missouri 18 - Perry
99.90%
448
CMA522A
Missouri 19 - Stoddard
97.18%
449
CMA534A
Nebraska 2 - Cherry
95.76%
450
CMA535A
Nebraska 3 - Knox
99.63%
46

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

451
CMA536A
Nebraska 4 - Grant
95.23%
452
CMA537A
Nebraska 5 - Boone
99.35%
453
CMA538A
Nebraska 6 - Keith
98.93%
454
CMA539A
Nebraska 7 - Hall
99.37%
455
CMA541A
Nebraska 9 - Adams
99.82%
456
CMA542A
Nebraska 10 - Cass
99.81%
457
CMA548A
New Hampshire 1 - Coos
95.95%
458
CMA549A
New Hampshire 2 - Carroll
99.84%
459
CMA550A
New Jersey 1 - Hunterdon
100.00%
460
CMA551A
New Jersey 2 - Ocean
99.88%
461
CMA552A
New Jersey 3 - Sussex
99.99%
462
CMA559A
New York 1 - Jefferson
99.97%
463
CMA560A
New York 2 - Franklin
99.99%
464
CMA561A
New York 3 - Chautauqua
100.00%
465
CMA562A
New York 4 - Yates
100.00%
466
CMA563A
New York 5 - Otsego
100.00%
467
CMA564A
New York 6 - Columbia
100.00%
468
CMA565A
North Carolina 1 - Cherokee
99.98%
469
CMA566A
North Carolina 2 - Yancey
99.99%
470
CMA567A
North Carolina 3 - Ashe
99.80%
471
CMA568A
North Carolina 4 - Henderson
99.95%
472
CMA569A
North Carolina 5 - Anson
98.57%
473
CMA570A
North Carolina 6 - Chatham
99.84%
474
CMA571A
North Carolina 7 - Rockingham
99.90%
475
CMA572A
North Carolina 8 - Northampton
99.95%
476
CMA573A
North Carolina 9 - Camden
98.27%
477
CMA574A
North Carolina 10 - Harnett
97.76%
478
CMA575A
North Carolina 11 - Hoke
97.08%
479
CMA576A
North Carolina 12 - Sampson
98.73%
480
CMA577A
North Carolina 13 - Greene
99.88%
481
CMA578A
North Carolina 14 - Pitt
97.18%
482
CMA579A
North Carolina 15 - Cabarrus
99.99%
483
CMA583A
North Dakota 4 - McKenzie
96.52%
484
CMA584A
North Dakota 5 - Kidder
99.20%
485
CMA585A
Ohio 1 - Williams
100.01%
486
CMA586A
Ohio 2 - Sandusky
99.95%
487
CMA587A
Ohio 3 - Ashtabula
99.88%
488
CMA588A
Ohio 4 - Mercer
99.86%
489
CMA589A
Ohio 5 - Hancock
99.16%
490
CMA590A
Ohio 6 - Morrow
99.99%
491
CMA591A
Ohio 7 - Tuscarawas
99.60%
492
CMA592A
Ohio 8 - Clinton
99.54%
493
CMA593A
Ohio 9 - Ross
99.88%
494
CMA594A
Ohio 10 - Perry
98.59%
495
CMA595A
Ohio 11 - Columbiana
99.99%
496
CMA598A
Oklahoma 3 - Grant
98.34%
47

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

497
CMA599A
Oklahoma 4 - Nowata
97.62%
498
CMA600A
Oklahoma 5 - Roger Mills
99.34%
499
CMA601A
Oklahoma 6 - Seminole
99.33%
500
CMA602A
Oklahoma 7 - Beckham
99.94%
501
CMA603A
Oklahoma 8 - Jackson
99.13%
502
CMA604A
Oklahoma 9 - Garvin
97.66%
503
CMA605A
Oklahoma 10 - Haskell
98.77%
504
CMA606A
Oregon 1 - Clatsop
99.96%
505
CMA607A
Oregon 2 - Hood River
99.78%
506
CMA609A
Oregon 4 - Lincoln
99.94%
507
CMA610A
Oregon 5 - Coos
97.07%
508
CMA612A
Pennsylvania 1 - Crawford
100.00%
509
CMA613A
Pennsylvania 2 - McKean
99.76%
510
CMA614A
Pennsylvania 3 - Potter
98.87%
511
CMA615A
Pennsylvania 4 - Bradford
100.00%
512
CMA616A
Pennsylvania 5 - Wayne
99.95%
513
CMA617A
Pennsylvania 6 - Lawrence
100.00%
514
CMA618A
Pennsylvania 7 - Jefferson
99.94%
515
CMA619A
Pennsylvania 8 - Union
99.98%
516
CMA620A
Pennsylvania 9 - Greene
99.95%
517
CMA621A
Pennsylvania 10 - Bedford
99.88%
518
CMA622A
Pennsylvania 11 - Huntingdon
100.00%
519
CMA623A
Pennsylvania 12 - Lebanon
100.00%
520
CMA624A
Rhode Island 1 - Newport
100.00%
521
CMA625A
South Carolina 1 - Oconee
99.93%
522
CMA626A
South Carolina 2 - Laurens
99.89%
523
CMA627A
South Carolina 3 - Cherokee
99.98%
524
CMA628A
South Carolina 4 - Chesterfield
96.50%
525
CMA629A
South Carolina 5 - Georgetown
99.95%
526
CMA630A
South Carolina 6 - Clarendon
99.85%
527
CMA631A
South Carolina 7 - Calhoun
99.97%
528
CMA632A
South Carolina 8 - Hampton
99.75%
529
CMA633A
South Carolina 9 - Lancaster
99.90%
530
CMA637A
South Dakota 4 - Marshall
98.06%
531
CMA640A
South Dakota 7 - Sully
99.66%
532
CMA641A
South Dakota 8 - Kingsbury
99.32%
533
CMA642A
South Dakota 9 - Hanson
98.91%
534
CMA643A
Tennessee 1 - Lake
99.91%
535
CMA644A
Tennessee 2 - Cannon
99.99%
536
CMA645A
Tennessee 3 - Macon
99.95%
537
CMA646A
Tennessee 4 - Hamblen
98.79%
538
CMA647A
Tennessee 5 - Fayette
99.85%
539
CMA648A
Tennessee 6 - Giles
99.86%
540
CMA649A
Tennessee 7 - Bledsoe
100.00%
541
CMA650A
Tennessee 8 - Johnson
100.00%
542
CMA651A
Tennessee 9 - Maury
100.00%
48

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

543
CMA653A
Texas 2 - Hansford
95.61%
544
CMA655A
Texas 4 - Briscoe
99.98%
545
CMA657A
Texas 6 - Jack
97.92%
546
CMA658A
Texas 7 - Fanni
99.43%
547
CMA660A
Texas 9 - Runnels
99.75%
548
CMA661A
Texas 10 - Navarro
99.92%
549
CMA662A
Texas 11 - Cherokee
99.64%
550
CMA664A
Texas 13 - Reeves
97.71%
551
CMA666A
Texas 15 - Concho
98.15%
552
CMA667A
Texas 16 - Burleson
99.63%
553
CMA668A
Texas 17 - Newton
98.16%
554
CMA669A
Texas 18 - Edwards
98.85%
555
CMA670A
Texas 19 - Atascosa
98.36%
556
CMA671A
Texas 20 - Wilson
99.72%
557
CMA679A
Vermont 1 - Franklin
99.30%
558
CMA680A
Vermont 2 - Addison
99.99%
559
CMA681A
Virginia 1 - Lee
99.96%
560
CMA682A
Virginia 2 - Tazewell
99.64%
561
CMA683A
Virginia 3 - Giles
99.94%
562
CMA684A
Virginia 4 - Bedford
99.92%
563
CMA685A
Virginia 5 - Bath
96.23%
564
CMA686A
Virginia 6 - Highland
99.92%
565
CMA687A
Virginia 7 - Buckingham
96.22%
566
CMA688A
Virginia 8 - Amelia
99.93%
567
CMA689A
Virginia 9 - Greensville
97.35%
568
CMA690A
Virginia 10 - Frederick
99.98%
569
CMA691A
Virginia 11 - Madison
100.00%
570
CMA692A
Virginia 12 - Caroline
99.94%
571
CMA695A
Washington 3 - Ferry
99.16%
572
CMA697A
Washington 5 - Kittitas
99.28%
573
CMA700A
Washington 8 - Whitman
96.84%
574
CMA702A
West Virginia 2 - Wetzel
99.80%
575
CMA703A
West Virginia 3 - Monongalia
100.00%
576
CMA704A
West Virginia 4 - Grant
99.92%
577
CMA705A
West Virginia 5 - Tucker
99.10%
578
CMA706A
West Virginia 6 - Lincoln
100.00%
579
CMA707A
West Virginia 7 - Raleigh
100.00%
580
CMA708A
Wisconsin 1 - Burnett
99.73%
581
CMA710A
Wisconsin 3 - Vilas
100.00%
582
CMA711A
Wisconsin 4 - Marinette
100.01%
583
CMA712A
Wisconsin 5 - Pierce
98.74%
584
CMA713A
Wisconsin 6 - Trempealeau
99.68%
585
CMA714A
Wisconsin 7 - Wood
99.66%
586
CMA715A
Wisconsin 8 - Vernon
99.22%
587
CMA716A
Wisconsin 9 - Columbia
99.98%
588
CMA717A
Wisconsin 10 - Door
100.00%
49

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

589
CMA723A
Puerto Rico 1 - Rincon
100.00%
590
CMA724A
Puerto Rico 2 - Adjuntas
100.00%
591
CMA725A
Puerto Rico 3 - Ciales
100.00%
592
CMA726A
Puerto Rico 4 - Aibonito
100.00%
593
CMA727A
Puerto Rico 5 - Ceiba
100.00%
594
CMA728A
Puerto Rico 6 - Vieques
100.00%
595
CMA729A
Puerto Rico 7 - Culebra
100.00%
596
CMA730A
Virgin Islands 1 - St.Thomas Island
100.00%
597
CMA731A
Virgin Islands 2 - St. Croix Island
100.00%
598
CMA732A
Guam
100.00%

Block A < 95% But No Contiguous 50 Sq Mi Area

A-Block
Percent

CMA

DESC

Licensed Area

1
CMA169A
Mayaguez, PR
90.46%
2
CMA733A
American Samoa
70.68%
3
CMA734A
Northern Mariana Islands
64.82%

Block B >= 95%

A-Block

Percent

CMA

DESC

Licensed Area

1
CMA001B
New York, NY-NJ/Nassau-Suffolk, NY/Newark, Jersey
99.23%
2
CMA002B
Los Angeles-Long Beach/Anaheim-Santa Ana-Garden Gr
96.16%
3
CMA003B
Chicago, IL
100.00%
4
CMA004B
Philadelphia, PA
100.00%
5
CMA005B
Detroit/Ann Arbor, MI
99.96%
6
CMA006B
Boston-Lowell-Brockton-Lawrence-Haverhill, MA-NH
99.42%
7
CMA007B
San Francisco-Oakland, CA
99.05%
8
CMA008B
Washington, DC-MD-VA
96.00%
9
CMA009B
Dallas-Forth Worth, TX
100.00%
10
CMA010B
Houston, TX
99.68%
11
CMA011B
St. Louis, MO-IL
100.00%
12
CMA012B
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, FL
97.15%
13
CMA013B
Pittsburgh, PA
99.83%
14
CMA014B
Baltimore, MD
98.70%
15
CMA015B
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI
99.70%
16
CMA016B
Cleveland, OH
100.00%
17
CMA017B
Atlanta, GA
100.00%
50

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

18
CMA019B
Denver-Boulder, CO
96.07%
19
CMA021B
Milwaukee, WI
100.00%
20
CMA022B
Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL
99.93%
21
CMA023B
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
99.98%
22
CMA024B
Kansas City, MO-KS
97.91%
23
CMA025B
Buffalo, NY
100.00%
24
CMA027B
San Jose, CA
99.95%
25
CMA028B
Indianapolis, IN
100.00%
26
CMA030B
Portland, OR-WA
98.23%
27
CMA031B
Columbus, OH
99.99%
28
CMA032B
Hartford-New Britain-Bristol, CT
100.00%
29
CMA033B
San Antonio, TX
99.88%
30
CMA034B
Rochester, NY
99.90%
31
CMA035B
Sacramento, CA
99.71%
32
CMA036B
Memphis, TN-AR-MS
99.74%
33
CMA037B
Louisville, KY-IN
99.95%
34
CMA038B
Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket, RI
100.00%
35
CMA040B
Dayton, OH
99.95%
36
CMA041B
Birmingham, AL
99.46%
37
CMA042B
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk-Danbury, CT
100.00%
38
CMA043B
Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Portsmouth, VA/NC
97.74%
39
CMA044B
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
99.77%
40
CMA045B
Oklahoma City, OK
99.87%
41
CMA046B
Nashville-Davidson, TN
99.99%
42
CMA047B
Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, NC
98.72%
43
CMA048B
Toledo, OH-MI
99.63%
44
CMA049B
New Haven-West Haven-Waterbury-Meriden, CT
99.88%
45
CMA050B
Honolulu, HI
96.28%
46
CMA051B
Jacksonville, FL
98.74%
47
CMA052B
Akron, OH
100.00%
48
CMA053B
Syracuse, NY
99.38%
49
CMA054B
Gary-Hammond-East Chicago, IN
99.93%
50
CMA055B
Worchester-Fitchburg-Leominster, MA
99.96%
51
CMA056B
Northeast Pennsylvania, PA
98.30%
52
CMA057B
Tulsa, OK
98.41%
53
CMA058B
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ
99.03%
54
CMA059B
Richmond, VA
99.99%
55
CMA060B
Orlando, FL
100.00%
56
CMA061B
Charlotte-Gastonia, NC
99.92%
57
CMA062B
New Brunswick-Perth Amboy-Sayreville, NJ
99.81%
58
CMA063B
Springfield-Chicopee-Holyoke, MA
100.00%
59
CMA064B
Grand Rapids, MI
99.97%
60
CMA065B
Omaha, NE-IA
99.95%
61
CMA066B
Youngstown-Warren, OH
99.96%
62
CMA067B
Greenville-Spartanburg, SC
99.97%
63
CMA068B
Flint, MI
100.00%
51

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

64
CMA069B
Wilmington, DE-NJ-MD
99.93%
65
CMA070B
Long Branch-Asbury Park, NJ
99.79%
66
CMA071B
Raleigh-Durham, NC
99.89%
67
CMA072B
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL
97.81%
68
CMA075B
Austin, TX
99.95%
69
CMA076B
New Bedford-Fall River, MA
99.37%
70
CMA078B
Lansing-East Lansing, MI
99.96%
71
CMA079B
Knoxville, TN
98.90%
72
CMA080B
Baton Rouge, LA
100.00%
73
CMA081B
El Paso, TX
95.90%
74
CMA083B
Mobile, AL
99.74%
75
CMA084B
Harrisburg, PA
98.69%
76
CMA085B
Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA
99.98%
77
CMA086B
Albuquerque, NM
97.71%
78
CMA087B
Canton, OH
100.00%
79
CMA088B
Chattanooga, TN-GA
100.00%
80
CMA089B
Wichita, KS
95.93%
81
CMA090B
Charleston-North Charleston, SC
99.98%
82
CMA092B
Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR
99.98%
83
CMA094B
Saginaw-Bay City-Midland, MI
100.00%
84
CMA095B
Columbia, SC
99.91%
85
CMA096B
Fort Wayne, IN
99.43%
86
CMA098B
Davenport-Rock Island-Moline, IA/IL
99.57%
87
CMA099B
York, PA
99.97%
88
CMA100B
Shreveport, Louisiana
99.72%
89
CMA101B
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX
97.10%
90
CMA102B
Des Moines, IA
100.00%
91
CMA103B
Peoria, IL
99.93%
92
CMA105B
Lancaster, PA
99.97%
93
CMA106B
Jackson, MS
99.94%
94
CMA107B
Stockton, CA
95.37%
95
CMA108B
Augusta, GA/SC
98.48%
96
CMA109B
Spokane, WA
99.83%
97
CMA110B
Huntington-Ashland, WV/KY/OH
99.62%
98
CMA111B
Vallejo-Fairfield-Napa, CA
99.98%
99
CMA112B
Corpus Christi, TX
99.96%
100
CMA113B
Madison, WI
99.99%
101
CMA114B
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
99.86%
102
CMA115B
Utica-Rome, NY
96.32%
103
CMA116B
Lexington-Fayette, KY
99.96%
104
CMA118B
Reading, PA
97.54%
105
CMA119B
Evansville, IN/KY
100.00%
106
CMA120B
Huntsville, AL
99.25%
107
CMA121B
Trenton, NJ
99.60%
108
CMA122B
Binghamton, NY
100.00%
109
CMA123B
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA
99.83%
52

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

110
CMA124B
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, CA
99.06%
111
CMA125B
Appleton-Oskosh-Neenah, WI
99.82%
112
CMA126B
Salinas-Seaside-Monterey, CA
99.70%
113
CMA127B
Pensacola, FL
100.00%
114
CMA128B
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
99.90%
115
CMA129B
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN
99.98%
116
CMA130B
Erie, PA
99.78%
117
CMA131B
Rockford, IL
99.99%
118
CMA132B
Kalamazoo, MI
99.99%
119
CMA133B
Manchester-Nashua, NH
99.97%
120
CMA134B
Atlantic City, NJ
99.96%
121
CMA136B
Lorain-Elyria, OH
100.00%
122
CMA137B
Melbourne-Titusville-Palm Bay, FL
100.00%
123
CMA138B
Macon-Warner Robins, GA
99.99%
124
CMA139B
Montgomery, AL
99.96%
125
CMA140B
Charleston, WV
99.95%
126
CMA142B
Modesto, CA
98.63%
127
CMA144B
Orange County, NY
99.97%
128
CMA145B
Hamilton-Middletown, OH
100.00%
129
CMA146B
Daytona Beach, FL
100.00%
130
CMA147B
Ponce, PR
99.47%
131
CMA148B
Salem, OR
98.29%
132
CMA149B
Fayetteville, NC
99.74%
133
CMA151B
Poughkeepsie, NY
100.00%
134
CMA152B
Portland, ME
99.55%
135
CMA153B
Columbus, GA-AL
99.99%
136
CMA154B
New London-Norwich, CT
99.94%
137
CMA155B
Savannah, GA
99.58%
138
CMA156B
Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester, NH-ME
99.77%
139
CMA158B
Lima, OH
98.42%
140
CMA159B
Provo-Orem, UT
96.68%
141
CMA160B
Killeen-Temple, TX
100.00%
142
CMA161B
Lubbock, TX Counties - Lubbock
97.54%
143
CMA162B
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX
99.22%
144
CMA163B
Springfield, MO
98.43%
145
CMA164B
Fort Myers, FL Counties - Lee
100.00%
146
CMA165B
Fort Smith, AK-OK
100.00%
147
CMA166B
Hickory, NC
96.38%
148
CMA167B
Sarasota, FL
99.89%
149
CMA168B
Tallahassee, FL
99.99%
150
CMA170B
Galveston-Texas City, TX
99.17%
151
CMA172B
Lincoln, NE
99.98%
152
CMA173B
Biloxi-Gulfport, MS
95.04%
153
CMA174B
Lafayette, LA
100.00%
154
CMA175B
Santa Cruz, CA
99.79%
155
CMA176B
Springfield, IL
97.28%
53

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

156
CMA177B
Battle Creek, MI
100.00%
157
CMA178B
Wheeling, WV-OH
99.56%
158
CMA179B
Topeka, KS
99.88%
159
CMA180B
Springfield, OH
99.85%
160
CMA181B
Muskegon, MI
100.00%
161
CMA182B
Fayetteville-Springdale, AK
99.93%
162
CMA183B
Asheville, NC
95.58%
163
CMA185B
Terre Haute, IN
99.64%
164
CMA186B
Green Bay, WI
99.73%
165
CMA188B
Amarillo, TX
98.21%
166
CMA189B
Racine, WI
99.92%
167
CMA190B
Boise City, ID
99.95%
168
CMA192B
Gainesville, FL
99.99%
169
CMA193B
Benton Harbor, MI
100.00%
170
CMA194B
Waco, TX
99.98%
171
CMA195B
Cedar Rapids, IA
99.90%
172
CMA196B
Champaign-Urbana-Rantoul, IL
99.95%
173
CMA197B
Lake Charles, LA
99.96%
174
CMA198B
St. Cloud, MN
99.89%
175
CMA199B
Steubenville-Weirton, OH-WV
99.98%
176
CMA200B
Parkersburg-Marietta, OH-WV
99.18%
177
CMA201B
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA
99.92%
178
CMA203B
Lynchburg, VA
99.39%
179
CMA205B
Alexandria, LA
99.80%
180
CMA206B
Longview-Marshall, TX
100.00%
181
CMA207B
Jackson, MI
99.99%
182
CMA208B
Fort Pierce, FL
98.95%
183
CMA209B
Clarksville-Hopkinsville, TN/KY
99.95%
184
CMA211B
Bradenton, FL
99.91%
185
CMA213B
Pittsfield, MA
100.00%
186
CMA214B
Richland-Kennewick-Pasco, WA
98.53%
187
CMA216B
Janesville-Beloit, WI
100.01%
188
CMA217B
Anderson, IN
99.99%
189
CMA218B
Wilmington, NC
100.00%
190
CMA219B
Monroe, LA
99.98%
191
CMA220B
Abilene, TX
100.00%
192
CMA222B
Tuscaloosa, AL
99.98%
193
CMA223B
Elkhart-Goshen, IN
99.99%
194
CMA224B
Bangor, ME
96.12%
195
CMA225B
Altoona, PA
97.62%
196
CMA226B
Florence, AL
99.99%
197
CMA227B
Anderson, SC
99.88%
198
CMA228B
Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, NJ
99.64%
199
CMA229B
Medford, OR
95.48%
200
CMA230B
Decatur, IL
99.96%
201
CMA231B
Mansfield, OH
99.98%
54

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

202
CMA232B
Eau Claire, WI
99.38%
203
CMA233B
Wichita Falls, TX
99.34%
204
CMA234B
Athens, GA
100.00%
205
CMA235B
Petersburg-Colonial Heights-Hopewell, VA
99.99%
206
CMA236B
Muncie, IN
100.00%
207
CMA237B
Tyler, TX
99.88%
208
CMA238B
Sharon, PA
99.73%
209
CMA239B
Joplin, MO
100.02%
210
CMA240B
Texarkana, TX - Texarkana, AR
99.59%
211
CMA241B
Pueblo, CO
98.82%
212
CMA242B
Olympia, WA
96.81%
213
CMA244B
Kenosha, WI
100.00%
214
CMA245B
Ocala, FL
99.85%
215
CMA246B
Dothan, AL
99.93%
216
CMA247B
Lafayette, IN
100.00%
217
CMA248B
Burlington, VT
99.95%
218
CMA249B
Anniston, AL
99.92%
219
CMA250B
Bloomington-Normal, IL
99.82%
220
CMA251B
Williamsport, PA
99.21%
221
CMA252B
Pascagoula, MS
98.27%
222
CMA253B
Sioux City, IA-NE
98.48%
223
CMA254B
Redding, CA
99.85%
224
CMA255B
Odessa, TX
100.00%
225
CMA256B
Charlottesville, VA
99.51%
226
CMA257B
Hagerstown, MD
99.60%
227
CMA258B
Jacksonville, NC
99.59%
228
CMA259B
State College, PA
98.94%
229
CMA260B
Lawton, OK
98.97%
230
CMA261B
Albany, GA
97.43%
231
CMA262B
Danville, VA
99.52%
232
CMA263B
Wausau, WI
99.46%
233
CMA264B
Florence, SC
99.77%
234
CMA265B
Fort Walton Beach, FL
99.99%
235
CMA266B
Glens Falls, NY
97.89%
236
CMA267B
Sioux Falls, SD
99.98%
237
CMA269B
Cumberland, MD-WV
99.65%
238
CMA271B
Kokomo, IN
99.93%
239
CMA272B
Gadsden, AL
99.82%
240
CMA273B
Kankakee, IL
99.96%
241
CMA274B
Yuba City, CA
99.70%
242
CMA275B
St. Joseph, MO
100.01%
243
CMA276B
Grand Forks, ND-MN
96.48%
244
CMA277B
Sheboygan, WI
100.00%
245
CMA278B
Columbia, MO
99.93%
246
CMA279B
Lewiston-Auburn, ME
99.88%
247
CMA280B
Burlington, NC
99.95%
55

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

248
CMA281B
Laredo, TX
99.95%
249
CMA282B
Bloomington, IN
100.00%
250
CMA283B
Panama City, FL
99.99%
251
CMA284B
Elmira, NY
99.57%
252
CMA286B
Dubuque, IA
100.00%
253
CMA287B
Bryan-College Station, TX
99.85%
254
CMA288B
Rochester, MN
99.99%
255
CMA290B
La Crosse, WI
99.52%
256
CMA291B
Pine Bluff, AK
99.82%
257
CMA292B
Sherman-Denison, TX
99.87%
258
CMA293B
Owensboro, KY
99.77%
259
CMA295B
Midland, TX
100.00%
260
CMA296B
Iowa City, IA
99.99%
261
CMA298B
Bismarck, ND
95.18%
262
CMA300B
Victoria, TX
99.91%
263
CMA301B
Lawrence, KS
99.96%
264
CMA302B
Enid, OK
99.94%
265
CMA303B
Aurora-Elgin, IL
99.97%
266
CMA304B
Joliet, IL
99.91%
267
CMA307B
Alabama 1 - Franklin
99.87%
268
CMA308B
Alabama 2 - Jackson
99.99%
269
CMA309B
Alabama 3 - Lamar
96.47%
270
CMA310B
Alabama 4 - Bibb
99.97%
271
CMA311B
Alabama 5 - Cleburne
99.46%
272
CMA312B
Alabama 6 - Washington
96.48%
273
CMA313B
Alabama 7 - Butler
99.77%
274
CMA314B
Alabama 8 - Lee
99.48%
275
CMA319B
Arizona 2 - Coconino
96.12%
276
CMA322B
Arizona 5 - Gila
95.06%
277
CMA324B
Arkansas 1 - Madison
98.96%
278
CMA325B
Arkansas 2 - Marion
98.85%
279
CMA326B
Arkansas 3 - Sharp
99.86%
280
CMA327B
Arkansas 4 - Clay
99.88%
281
CMA328B
Arkansas 5 - Cross
99.87%
282
CMA329B
Arkansas 6 - Cleburne
99.85%
283
CMA330B
Arkansas 7 - Pope
99.80%
284
CMA331B
Arkansas 8 - Franklin
99.78%
285
CMA332B
Arkansas 9 - Polk
100.00%
286
CMA333B
Arkansas 10 - Garland
100.00%
287
CMA334B
Arkansas 11 - Hempstead
99.98%
288
CMA335B
Arkansas 12 - Ouachita
97.92%
289
CMA339B
California 4 - Madera
95.09%
290
CMA340B
California 5 - San Luis Obispo
99.73%
291
CMA347B
California 12 - Kings
99.02%
292
CMA348B
Colorado 1 - Moffat
97.30%
293
CMA357B
Connecticut 1 - Litchfield
99.93%
56

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

294
CMA358B
Connecticut 2 - Windham
100.00%
295
CMA359B
Delaware 1 - Kent
100.00%
296
CMA360B
Florida 1 - Collier
99.26%
297
CMA361B
Florida 2 - Glades
96.48%
298
CMA362B
Florida 3 - Hardee
98.77%
299
CMA363B
Florida 4 - Citrus
99.72%
300
CMA364B
Florida 5 - Putnam
99.99%
301
CMA365B
Florida 6 - Dixie
99.98%
302
CMA366B
Florida 7 - Hamilton
100.00%
303
CMA367B
Florida 8 - Jefferson
99.90%
304
CMA368B
Florida 9 - Calhoun
99.42%
305
CMA369B
Florida 10 - Walton
99.04%
306
CMA371B
Georgia 1 - Whitfield
99.92%
307
CMA372B
Georgia 2 - Dawson
99.91%
308
CMA373B
Georgia 3 - Chattooga
100.00%
309
CMA374B
Georgia 4 - Jasper
99.64%
310
CMA375B
Georgia 5 - Haralson
99.67%
311
CMA376B
Georgia 6 - Spalding
99.87%
312
CMA377B
Georgia 7 - Hancock
99.90%
313
CMA378B
Georgia 8 - Warren
98.64%
314
CMA379B
Georgia 9 - Marion
97.23%
315
CMA380B
Georgia 10 - Bleckley
99.40%
316
CMA381B
Georgia 11 - Toombs
99.11%
317
CMA382B
Georgia 12 - Liberty
97.89%
318
CMA383B
Georgia 13 - Early
99.90%
319
CMA384B
Georgia 14 - Worth
99.99%
320
CMA386B
Hawaii 2 - Maui
98.76%
321
CMA387B
Hawaii 3 - Hawaii
96.97%
322
CMA393B
Idaho 6 - Clark
95.48%
323
CMA394B
Illinois 1 - Jo Daviess
99.65%
324
CMA395B
Illinois 2 - Bureau
99.43%
325
CMA396B
Illinois 3 - Mercer
97.91%
326
CMA397B
Illinois 4 - Adams
99.13%
327
CMA399B
Illinois 6 - Montgomery
99.15%
328
CMA400B
Illinois 7 - Vermilion
99.72%
329
CMA401B
Illinois 8 - Washington
99.50%
330
CMA402B
Illinois 9 - Clay
99.27%
331
CMA403B
Indiana 1 - Newton
99.88%
332
CMA404B
Indiana 2 - Kosciusko
100.00%
333
CMA405B
Indiana 3 - Huntington
99.98%
334
CMA406B
Indiana 4 - Miami
99.83%
335
CMA407B
Indiana 5 - Warren
99.99%
336
CMA408B
Indiana 6 - Randolph
99.97%
337
CMA409B
Indiana 7 - Owen
99.95%
338
CMA410B
Indiana 8 - Brown
99.98%
339
CMA411B
Indiana 9 - Decatur
99.07%
57

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

340
CMA412B
Iowa 1 - Mills
99.61%
341
CMA413B
Iowa 2 - Union
99.97%
342
CMA414B
Iowa 3 - Monroe
99.70%
343
CMA415B
Iowa 4 - Muscatine
99.43%
344
CMA416B
Iowa 5 - Jackson
100.00%
345
CMA417B
Iowa 6 - Iowa
99.45%
346
CMA418B
Iowa 7 - Audubon
99.81%
347
CMA419B
Iowa 8 - Monona
99.95%
348
CMA420B
Iowa 9 - Ida
99.96%
349
CMA421B
Iowa 10 - Humbolt
99.94%
350
CMA422B
Iowa 11 - Hardin
99.96%
351
CMA423B
Iowa 12 - Winneshiek
99.59%
352
CMA424B
Iowa 13 - Mitchell
99.64%
353
CMA425B
Iowa 14 - Kossuth
99.66%
354
CMA426B
Iowa 15 - Dickinson
99.89%
355
CMA427B
Iowa 16 - Lyon
98.82%
356
CMA429B
Kansas 2 - Norton
98.72%
357
CMA430B
Kansas 3 - Jewell
99.98%
358
CMA431B
Kansas 4 - Marshall
99.97%
359
CMA432B
Kansas 5 - Brown
97.91%
360
CMA434B
Kansas 7 - Trego
99.58%
361
CMA435B
Kansas 8 - Ellsworth
98.04%
362
CMA436B
Kansas 9 - Morris
98.98%
363
CMA437B
Kansas 10 - Franklin
99.65%
364
CMA439B
Kansas 12 - Hodgeman
95.55%
365
CMA440B
Kansas 13 - Edwards
97.57%
366
CMA441B
Kansas 14 - Reno
95.56%
367
CMA442B
Kansas 15 - Elk
99.89%
368
CMA443B
Kentucky 1 - Fulton
99.97%
369
CMA444B
Kentucky 2 - Union
96.73%
370
CMA445B
Kentucky 3 - Meade
100.00%
371
CMA446B
Kentucky 4 - Spencer
100.00%
372
CMA447B
Kentucky 5 - Barren
100.00%
373
CMA448B
Kentucky 6 - Madison
99.95%
374
CMA449B
Kentucky 7 - Trimble
99.98%
375
CMA450B
Kentucky 8 - Mason
99.97%
376
CMA451B
Kentucky 9 - Elliott
100.00%
377
CMA452B
Kentucky 10 - Powell
99.96%
378
CMA453B
Kentucky 11 - Clay
99.99%
379
CMA454B
Louisiana 1 - Claiborne
99.97%
380
CMA455B
Louisiana 2 - Morehouse
95.81%
381
CMA456B
Louisiana 3 - De Soto
98.40%
382
CMA457B
Louisiana 4 - Caldwell
99.80%
383
CMA458B
Louisiana 5 - Beauregard
99.34%
384
CMA459B
Louisiana 6 - Iberville
95.44%
385
CMA460B
Louisiana 7 - West Feliciana
97.95%
58

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

386
CMA461B
Louisiana 8 - St. James
100.00%
387
CMA463B
Maine 1 - Oxford
97.28%
388
CMA465B
Maine 3 - Kennebec
98.94%
389
CMA466B
Maine 4 - Washington
99.13%
390
CMA467B
Maryland 1 - Garrett
100.01%
391
CMA468B
Maryland 2 - Kent
97.22%
392
CMA469B
Maryland 3 - Frederick
99.21%
393
CMA470B
Massachusetts 1 - Franklin
100.00%
394
CMA471B
Massachusetts 2 - Barnstable
98.05%
395
CMA472B
Michigan 1 - Gogebic
96.62%
396
CMA473B
Michigan 2 - Alger
96.15%
397
CMA474B
Michigan 3 - Emmet
99.68%
398
CMA475B
Michigan 4 - Cheboygan
99.76%
399
CMA476B
Michigan 5 - Manistee
99.78%
400
CMA477B
Michigan 6 - Roscommon
99.83%
401
CMA478B
Michigan 7 - Newaygo
100.00%
402
CMA479B
Michigan 8 - Allegan
99.94%
403
CMA480B
Michigan 9 - Cass
100.00%
404
CMA481B
Michigan 10 - Tuscola
99.74%
405
CMA482B
Minnesota 1 - Kittson
98.50%
406
CMA486B
Minnesota 5 - Wilkin
99.94%
407
CMA487B
Minnesota 6 - Hubbard
98.42%
408
CMA488B
Minnesota 7 - Chippewa
98.06%
409
CMA489B
Minnesota 8 - Lac qui Parle
100.01%
410
CMA490B
Minnesota 9 - Pipestone
98.54%
411
CMA491B
Minnesota 10 - Le Sueur
99.98%
412
CMA492B
Minnesota 11 - Goodhue
99.98%
413
CMA493B
Mississippi 1 - Tunica
99.71%
414
CMA494B
Mississippi 2 - Benton
100.00%
415
CMA495B
Mississippi 3 - Bolivar
99.78%
416
CMA498B
Mississippi 6 - Montgomery
99.76%
417
CMA499B
Mississippi 7 - Leake
99.97%
418
CMA500B
Mississippi 8 - Claiborne
99.38%
419
CMA501B
Mississippi 9 - Copiah
98.15%
420
CMA502B
Mississippi 10 - Smith
99.14%
421
CMA503B
Mississippi 11 - Lamar
98.92%
422
CMA504B
Missouri 1 - Atchison
99.92%
423
CMA505B
Missouri 2 - Harrison
99.22%
424
CMA507B
Missouri 4 - De Kalb
99.99%
425
CMA508B
Missouri 5 - Linn
99.57%
426
CMA509B
Missouri 6 - Marion
99.09%
427
CMA510B
Missouri 7 - Saline
99.90%
428
CMA511B
Missouri 8 - Callaway
99.86%
429
CMA512B
Missouri 9 - Bates
98.83%
430
CMA513B
Missouri 10 - Benton
99.91%
431
CMA514B
Missouri 11 - Moniteau
100.00%
59

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

432
CMA515B
Missouri 12 - Maries
99.98%
433
CMA516B
Missouri 13 - Washington
99.93%
434
CMA517B
Missouri 14 - Barton
96.35%
435
CMA518B
Missouri 15 - Stone
99.98%
436
CMA519B
Missouri 16 - Laclede
99.94%
437
CMA520B
Missouri 17 - Shannon
99.99%
438
CMA521B
Missouri 18 - Perry
100.00%
439
CMA522B
Missouri 19 - Stoddard
99.97%
440
CMA535B
Nebraska 3 - Knox
97.72%
441
CMA537B
Nebraska 5 - Boone
99.89%
442
CMA538B
Nebraska 6 - Keith
98.14%
443
CMA539B
Nebraska 7 - Hall
99.99%
444
CMA541B
Nebraska 9 - Adams
98.81%
445
CMA542B
Nebraska 10 - Cass
99.90%
446
CMA549B
New Hampshire 2 - Carroll
99.30%
447
CMA550B
New Jersey 1 - Hunterdon
99.82%
448
CMA551B
New Jersey 2 - Ocean
99.73%
449
CMA552B
New Jersey 3 - Sussex
99.92%
450
CMA554B
New Mexico 2 - Colfax
99.22%
451
CMA556B
New Mexico 4 - Santa Fe
99.54%
452
CMA559B
New York 1 - Jefferson
99.20%
453
CMA560B
New York 2 - Franklin
99.60%
454
CMA561B
New York 3 - Chautauqua
99.91%
455
CMA562B
New York 4 - Yates
99.65%
456
CMA563B
New York 5 - Otsego
99.23%
457
CMA564B
New York 6 - Columbia
99.84%
458
CMA565B
North Carolina 1 - Cherokee
99.98%
459
CMA566B
North Carolina 2 - Yancey
99.44%
460
CMA567B
North Carolina 3 - Ashe
99.88%
461
CMA568B
North Carolina 4 - Henderson
99.90%
462
CMA569B
North Carolina 5 - Anson
99.41%
463
CMA570B
North Carolina 6 - Chatham
100.00%
464
CMA571B
North Carolina 7 - Rockingham
100.00%
465
CMA572B
North Carolina 8 - Northampton
99.90%
466
CMA573B
North Carolina 9 - Camden
97.81%
467
CMA574B
North Carolina 10 - Harnett
99.98%
468
CMA575B
North Carolina 11 - Hoke
100.01%
469
CMA576B
North Carolina 12 - Sampson
100.00%
470
CMA577B
North Carolina 13 - Greene
98.26%
471
CMA579B
North Carolina 15 - Cabarrus
99.18%
472
CMA582B
North Dakota 3 - Barnes
97.68%
473
CMA585B
Ohio 1 - Williams
98.70%
474
CMA586B
Ohio 2 - Sandusky
99.94%
475
CMA587B
Ohio 3 - Ashtabula
99.81%
476
CMA588B
Ohio 4 - Mercer
99.99%
477
CMA589B
Ohio 5 - Hancock
99.98%
60

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

478
CMA590B
Ohio 6 - Morrow
99.95%
479
CMA591B
Ohio 7 - Tuscarawas
99.98%
480
CMA592B
Ohio 8 - Clinton
99.91%
481
CMA593B
Ohio 9 - Ross
99.91%
482
CMA594B
Ohio 10 - Perry
99.98%
483
CMA595B
Ohio 11 - Columbiana
99.92%
484
CMA596B
Oklahoma 1 - Cimarron
99.41%
485
CMA597B
Oklahoma 2 - Harper
99.27%
486
CMA598B
Oklahoma 3 - Grant
99.71%
487
CMA599B
Oklahoma 4 - Nowata
99.92%
488
CMA600B
Oklahoma 5 - Roger Mills
96.41%
489
CMA601B
Oklahoma 6 - Seminole
99.56%
490
CMA602B
Oklahoma 7 - Beckham
98.54%
491
CMA603B
Oklahoma 8 - Jackson
96.77%
492
CMA604B
Oklahoma 9 - Garvin
99.91%
493
CMA605B
Oklahoma 10 - Haskell
97.66%
494
CMA606B
Oregon 1 - Clatsop
99.23%
495
CMA609B
Oregon 4 - Lincoln
97.27%
496
CMA612B
Pennsylvania 1 - Crawford
100.00%
497
CMA613B
Pennsylvania 2 - McKean
100.00%
498
CMA614B
Pennsylvania 3 - Potter
96.44%
499
CMA615B
Pennsylvania 4 - Bradford
97.04%
500
CMA616B
Pennsylvania 5 - Wayne
100.00%
501
CMA617B
Pennsylvania 6 - Lawrence
99.24%
502
CMA618B
Pennsylvania 7 - Jefferson
99.97%
503
CMA619B
Pennsylvania 8 - Union
99.97%
504
CMA620B
Pennsylvania 9 - Greene
99.95%
505
CMA621B
Pennsylvania 10 - Bedford
99.94%
506
CMA622B
Pennsylvania 11 - Huntingdon
98.98%
507
CMA623B
Pennsylvania 12 - Lebanon
100.01%
508
CMA624B
Rhode Island 1 - Newport
100.00%
509
CMA625B
South Carolina 1 - Oconee
98.20%
510
CMA626B
South Carolina 2 - Laurens
99.51%
511
CMA627B
South Carolina 3 - Cherokee
99.13%
512
CMA628B
South Carolina 4 - Chesterfield
99.90%
513
CMA629B
South Carolina 5 - Georgetown
100.00%
514
CMA630B
South Carolina 6 - Clarendon
100.00%
515
CMA631B
South Carolina 7 - Calhoun
99.93%
516
CMA632B
South Carolina 8 - Hampton
98.32%
517
CMA633B
South Carolina 9 - Lancaster
99.90%
518
CMA636B
South Dakota 3 - McPherson
97.08%
519
CMA637B
South Dakota 4 - Marshall
99.98%
520
CMA638B
South Dakota 5 - Custer
99.95%
521
CMA640B
South Dakota 7 - Sully
99.13%
522
CMA641B
South Dakota 8 - Kingsbury
97.89%
523
CMA642B
South Dakota 9 - Hanson
98.83%
61

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

524
CMA643B
Tennessee 1 - Lake
99.80%
525
CMA644B
Tennessee 2 - Cannon
99.98%
526
CMA645B
Tennessee 3 - Macon
97.96%
527
CMA646B
Tennessee 4 - Hamblen
95.19%
528
CMA647B
Tennessee 5 - Fayette
99.99%
529
CMA648B
Tennessee 6 - Giles
100.00%
530
CMA649B
Tennessee 7 - Bledsoe
97.86%
531
CMA650B
Tennessee 8 - Johnson
100.00%
532
CMA651B
Tennessee 9 - Maury
100.00%
533
CMA652B
Texas 1 - Dallam
98.99%
534
CMA653B
Texas 2 - Hansford
97.69%
535
CMA654B
Texas 3 - Parmer
99.33%
536
CMA655B
Texas 4 - Briscoe
97.32%
537
CMA657B
Texas 6 - Jack
99.37%
538
CMA658B
Texas 7 - Fanni
99.44%
539
CMA660B
Texas 9 - Runnels
99.03%
540
CMA661B
Texas 10 - Navarro
98.81%
541
CMA662B
Texas 11 - Cherokee
99.09%
542
CMA666B
Texas 15 - Concho
99.85%
543
CMA667B
Texas 16 - Burleson
99.67%
544
CMA668B
Texas 17 - Newton
99.63%
545
CMA669B
Texas 18 - Edwards
98.75%
546
CMA670B
Texas 19 - Atascosa
98.53%
547
CMA671B
Texas 20 - Wilson
99.73%
548
CMA672B
Texas 21 - Chambers
97.88%
549
CMA676B
Utah 4 - Beaver
96.61%
550
CMA677B
Utah 5 - Carbon
96.69%
551
CMA679B
Vermont 1 - Franklin
99.61%
552
CMA680B
Vermont 2 - Addison
99.94%
553
CMA681B
Virginia 1 - Lee
99.41%
554
CMA682B
Virginia 2 - Tazewell
98.73%
555
CMA683B
Virginia 3 - Giles
99.95%
556
CMA684B
Virginia 4 - Bedford
99.33%
557
CMA685B
Virginia 5 - Bath
99.93%
558
CMA686B
Virginia 6 - Highland
98.85%
559
CMA687B
Virginia 7 - Buckingham
99.11%
560
CMA688B
Virginia 8 - Amelia
97.67%
561
CMA689B
Virginia 9 - Greensville
96.85%
562
CMA690B
Virginia 10 - Frederick
99.07%
563
CMA691B
Virginia 11 - Madison
99.41%
564
CMA692B
Virginia 12 - Caroline
97.34%
565
CMA697B
Washington 5 - Kittitas
98.12%
566
CMA698B
Washington 6 - Pacific
96.31%
567
CMA701B
West Virginia 1 - Mason
100.00%
568
CMA702B
West Virginia 2 - Wetzel
100.00%
569
CMA703B
West Virginia 3 - Monongalia
98.55%
62

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

570
CMA706B
West Virginia 6 - Lincoln
99.90%
571
CMA707B
West Virginia 7 - Raleigh
99.31%
572
CMA708B
Wisconsin 1 - Burnett
99.97%
573
CMA709B
Wisconsin 2 - Bayfield
99.30%
574
CMA710B
Wisconsin 3 - Vilas
100.00%
575
CMA711B
Wisconsin 4 - Marinette
99.79%
576
CMA712B
Wisconsin 5 - Pierce
100.00%
577
CMA713B
Wisconsin 6 - Trempealeau
99.98%
578
CMA714B
Wisconsin 7 - Wood
99.98%
579
CMA715B
Wisconsin 8 - Vernon
99.85%
580
CMA716B
Wisconsin 9 - Columbia
99.82%
581
CMA717B
Wisconsin 10 - Door
100.00%
582
CMA723B
Puerto Rico 1 - Rincon
100.00%
583
CMA724B
Puerto Rico 2 - Adjuntas
99.36%
584
CMA725B
Puerto Rico 3 - Ciales
95.09%
585
CMA726B
Puerto Rico 4 - Aibonito
99.44%
586
CMA727B
Puerto Rico 5 - Ceiba
96.45%
587
CMA728B
Puerto Rico 6 - Vieques
100.00%
588
CMA731B
Virgin Islands 2 - St. Croix Island
100.00%
589
CMA732B
Guam
99.01%

Block B < 95% But No Contiguous 50 Sq Mi Area

B-Block

CMA

DESC

Percent

Licensed Area

1
CMA169B
Mayaguez, PR
84.77%
2
CMA202B
Arecibo, PR
82.90%
3
CMA204B
Aguadilla, PR
89.17%
4
CMA305B
Alton-Granite City, IL
90.44%
5
CMA729B
Puerto Rico 7 - Culebra
87.08%
6
CMA730B
Virgin Islands 1 - St.Thomas Island
86.05%
7
CMA733B
American Samoa
70.68%
63

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

APPENDIX D

Maps Showing “Substantially Licensed” CMAs in (1) Block A, and (2) Block B

(CMA Blocks that meet proposed test as of 01/11/2012)
64

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

65

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

APPENDIX E

Proposed Rules

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR
Parts 1 and 22 as follows:

PART 1 – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

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), and 309.
Amend Section 1.919 by removing and reserving paragraph (c).
Amend Section 1.929 by revising paragraph (b)(1), removing and reserving paragraph (b)(3), and adding
a new paragraph (b)(4), to read as follows:
§ 1.929 Classification of filings as major or minor.
* * * * *
(b) * * *
(1) Request for an authorization or an amendment to a pending application that would expand the
Cellular Geographic Service Area (CGSA) of an existing cellular system or, in the case of an amendment,
as previously proposed in an application, in a CMA Block that has not been included in an auction for
Cellular Overlay Authorizations under § 22.985.
* * * * *
(3) [Reserved]
(4) Request for a Cellular Overlay Authorization. See § 22.985.
* * * * *
Amend Section 1.958 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 1.958 Distance computation.
* * * * *
(d) Calculate the number of kilometers per degree of longitude difference for the mean geodetic
latitude calculated in paragraph (b) of this section as follows:
KPDlon = 111.41513 cos ML – 0.09455 cos 3ML + 0.00012 cos 5ML
* * * * *

PART 22 – PUBLIC MOBILE SERVICES

The authority citation for part 22 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 222, 303, 309 and 332.
Amend Section 22.99 by removing the terms “Build-out transmitters,” “Extension,” “Five year build-out
period,” and “Partitioned cellular market” and their definitions, and by revising the definition of “Cellular
66

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

markets,” and by revising the term “Unserved Area” and its definition, and by adding new terms and
definitions, to read as follows:
§ 22.99 Definitions.
* * * * *
Cellular area-based authorization. An authorization in the Cellular Radiotelephone Service where the
licensed area is a specified fixed geographic area other than a CGSA (e.g., a CMA, as in the case of a
Cellular Overlay Authorization) irrespective of the locations and technical parameters of base stations
(cell sites), in a CMA Block included in an auction under § 22.985.
* * * * *
Cellular Geographic Service Area (CGSA). The licensed geographic area, determined by the specified
locations and technical parameters of base stations (cell sites) pursuant to the procedures set forth in
§ 22.911, within which a cellular system is entitled to protection and adverse effects are recognized, for
the purpose of determining whether a petitioner has standing, in the Cellular Radiotelephone Service.
* * * * *
Cellular Licensed Area. The geographic area within which the cellular licensee is permitted to transmit,
or consent to allow other cellular licensees to transmit, electromagnetic energy and signals on the
assigned channel block, in order to provide cellular service.
* * * * *
Cellular Market Area (CMA). A standard geographic area used by the FCC for administrative
convenience in the licensing of cellular systems; a more recent term for “cellular market” (and includes
Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Rural Service Areas (RSAs)). See § 22.909.
* * * * *
Cellular markets (obsolescent). See definition for “Cellular Market Area (CMA)”.
* * * * *
Cellular Overlay Authorization (COA). A cellular area-based authorization in a CMA Block included in
an auction under § 22.985, where the cellular licensed area is the geographic area within the CMA
boundary (Channel Block A or B), subject to the requirement to protect incumbent licensees’ operations
from harmful interference under applicable rules.
* * * * *
Cellular Overlay Licensee. The holder of a Cellular Overlay Authorization.
* * * * *
Cellular site-based authorization. An authorization in the Cellular Radiotelephone Service where the
Cellular Licensed Area is determined by the specified locations and technical parameters of base stations
(cell sites), pursuant to the procedures set forth in § 22.911.
* * * * *
CMA Block. In the Cellular Radiotelephone Service, a CMA considered in regard to a specified channel
block, i.e., either Channel Block A or Channel Block B (see § 22.905).
* * * * *
67

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

Substantially Licensed CMA Block. A CMA Block (A or B) where at least 95% of the total land area is
Cellular Geographic Service Area or which contains no contiguous parcel of Unserved Area larger than
130 square kilometers (50 square miles).
* * * * *
Unserved Area. With regard to a channel block allocated for assignment in the Cellular Radiotelephone
Service: Geographic area in the District of Columbia, or any State, Territory or Possession of the United
States of America that is not within any Cellular Geographic Service Area of any cellular system
authorized to transmit on that channel block. * * *
Amend Section 22.131 by revising paragraphs (c)(3)(iii) and (d)(2)(iv), to read as follows:
§ 22.131 Procedures for mutually exclusive applications.
* * * * *
(c) * * *
(3) * * *
(iii) If all of the mutually exclusive applications filed on the earliest filing date are applications for
initial authorization, a 30-day notice and cut-off filing group is used.
* * * * *
(d) * * *
(2) * * *
(iv) Any application to expand the CGSA of a cellular system (as defined in § 22.911) in a CMA
Block that has not been included in an auction under § 22.985.
* * * * *
Amend Section 22.165 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:
§ 22.165 Additional transmitters for existing systems.
* * * * *
(e) Cellular Radiotelephone Service.
(1) In a CMA Block that has not been included in an auction under § 22.985, the service area
boundaries of the additional transmitters, as calculated by the method set forth in section 22.911(a), must
remain within the CGSA; the licensee must seek prior approval (using FCC Form 601) regarding any
transmitters to be added under this section that would cause a change in the CGSA boundary. See §
22.953.
(2) With regard to an incumbent’s CGSA in a CMA Block that has been included in an auction under
§ 22.985, the service area boundaries of the additional transmitters, as calculated by the method set forth
in section 22.911(a), must remain within the incumbent’s CGSA.
(3) A Cellular Overlay Licensee is permitted to expand into any Unserved Area within its licensed
CMA Block so long as it protects existing cellular licensees from harmful interference.
* * * * *
Remove Section 22.228.
68

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

Revise Section 22.901 in its entirety to read as follows:
§ 22.901 Cellular service requirements and limitations.
Each cellular system must provide either mobile service, fixed service, or a combination of mobile
and fixed service, subject to the requirements, limitations and exceptions in this section. Mobile service
provided may be of any type, including two-way radiotelephone, dispatch, one-way or two-way paging,
and personal communications services (as defined in part 24 of this chapter). Fixed service is considered
to be primary service, as is mobile service. When both mobile and fixed services are provided, they are
considered to be co-primary services. In providing cellular service, each cellular system may incorporate
any technology that meets all applicable technical requirements in this part.
Revise Section 22.909 in its entirety, to read as follows:
§ 22.909 Cellular market areas (CMAs).
Cellular market areas (CMAs) are standard geographic areas used by the FCC for administrative
convenience in the licensing of cellular systems. CMAs comprise Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
and Rural Service Areas (RSAs). All CMAs and the counties they comprise are listed in: “Common
Carrier Public Mobile Services Information, Cellular MSA/RSA Markets and Counties,” Public Notice,
Report No. CL–92–40, 6 FCC Rcd 742 (1992).
(a) MSAs. Metropolitan Statistical Areas are 306 areas, including New England County Metropolitan
Areas and the Gulf of Mexico Service Area (water area of the Gulf of Mexico, border is the coastline),
defined by the Office of Management and Budget, as modified by the FCC.
(b) RSAs. Rural Service Areas are 428 areas, other than MSAs, established by the FCC.
Remove Section 22.912.
Remove Section 22.929. See § 22.953.
Revise Section 22.946 in its entirety to read as follows:
§ 22.946 Construction period for cellular systems under site-based authorizations.
The construction period applicable to specific new or modified cellular facilities for which a site-
based authorization is granted is one year, beginning on the date the authorization is granted. To satisfy
this requirement, a cellular system must be providing service to mobile stations operated by subscribers
and roamers. The licensee must notify the FCC (FCC Form 601) after the requirements of this section are
met. See § 1.946 of this chapter. GMEZ cellular systems are not subject to construction period
requirements. See § 22.950.
Revise Section 22.947 in its entirety to read as follows:
§ 22.947 Build-out period for CMA Block 672A (Chambers, TX).
This rule section applies only to cellular systems operating on Channel Block A in CMA 672
(Chambers, Texas).
(a) A licensee that holds the Cellular Overlay Authorization for CMA Block 672A (Chambers,
Texas) initially awarded via auction (i.e., the CMA Block for which cellular service was authorized solely
under interim operating authority prior to the Stage I auction described in § 22.985) must be providing
signal coverage and offering service over at least 35% of the geographic area of the CMA Block within
four years of the grant of the authorization, and over at least 70% of the geographic area of its license
authorization by the end of the license term. In applying this geographic benchmark, the licensee is to
count total land area.
69

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

(b) The licensee must notify the FCC (FCC Form 601) after the requirements of this section are met
and must include with its notification(s) GIS map files and other supporting documents showing
compliance with the construction requirement. See § 1.946 of this chapter. See also § 22.953.
(c) Failure to meet the requirements in this section by the deadline will result in automatic
termination of the authorization and such licensee will be ineligible to regain it.
Revise Section 22.948 in its entirety to read as follows:
§ 22.948 Geographic partitioning and spectrum disaggregation.
Cellular licensees may apply to partition their cellular licensed area or to disaggregate their licensed
spectrum at any time following the grant of their authorization(s). Parties seeking approval for
partitioning and disaggregation shall request from the FCC an authorization for partial assignment of a
license pursuant to § 1.948 of this chapter. See also paragraph (f) of this § 22.948.
(a) Partitioning. Applicants must file FCC Form 603 pursuant to § 1.948 of this chapter. The filing
must include the attachments required under § 22.953, including GIS map files and a reduced-size PDF
map, for both the assignor and the assignee.
(1) Within a CMA Block that has not yet been included in an auction under § 22.985, partitioning of
a CGSA must be on a site-by-site basis; i.e., the partitioned area must comprise only the area resulting
from one or more cell sites pursuant to § 22.911. At least one entire cell site must be partitioned. If all
cell sites are assigned, it is not partitioning, but rather a full assignment of authorization.
(2) Partitioning of the licensed area of a cellular area-based authorization (including, e.g., the
licensed area of a Cellular Overlay Authorization) to a licensee in a CMA Block that has not yet been
included in an auction under § 22.985 must be on a site-by-site basis; i.e., the partitioned area must
comprise CGSA resulting from one or more cell sites pursuant to § 22.911.
(3) Partitioning of the licensed area of a cellular area-based authorization within the same CMA
Block that has been included in an auction under § 22.985, or to a licensee in another CMA Block that has
also been included in such an auction (including, e.g., the partitioning of a Cellular Overlay
Authorization area by one Cellular Overlay Licensee to another Cellular Overlay Licensee), may involve
any proportion of division. If all of the licensed area is assigned, it is not partitioning, but rather a full
assignment of authorization.
(b) Disaggregation. Spectrum may be disaggregated in any amount.
(c) Combined partitioning and disaggregation. The FCC will consider requests for partial
assignment of licenses that propose combinations of partitioning and disaggregation.
(d) Field strength limit. For purposes of partitioning and disaggregation, cellular systems must be
designed so as not to exceed a median field strength level of 40 dBµV/m at or beyond the boundary of the
Cellular Licensed Area, unless all affected adjacent service area licensees agree to a different signal
level. See § 22.983.
(e) License term. The license term for a partitioned license area and for disaggregated spectrum will
be the remainder of the original license term.
(f) Spectrum Leasing. Cellular spectrum leasing is subject to the provisions of paragraphs (a)(1)
through (a)(3), (b) and (c) of this § 22.948, except that applicants must file FCC Form 608 (not FCC
Form 603), as well as all applicable provisions of subpart X of part 1 of this chapter.
Revise Section 22.949 in its entirety to read as follows:
70

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

§ 22.949 Unserved Area licensing process for site-based systems.
This section sets forth the process for licensing Unserved Area in CMA Blocks not yet included in an
auction pursuant to § 22.985. The licensing process in this § 22.949 allows eligible parties to apply for
any Unserved Area that remains in such CMA Blocks.
(a) The Unserved Area licensing process described in this section is on-going and applications may
be filed at any time, until the CMA Block is included in an auction pursuant to § 22.985.
(b) There is no limit to the number of Unserved Area applications that may be granted on each CMA
Channel Block that remains subject to the procedures of this section. Consequently, such Unserved Area
applications are mutually exclusive only if the proposed CGSAs would overlap. Mutually exclusive
applications are processed using the general procedures in § 22.131. See also § 22.961.
(c) Unserved Area applications under this section may propose a CGSA covering more than one
CMA. Each such Unserved Area application must request authorization for only one CGSA.
(d) Settlements among some, but not all, applicants with mutually exclusive applications for
Unserved Area (partial settlements) under this section are prohibited. Settlements among all applicants
with mutually exclusive applications under this section (full settlements) are allowed and must be filed no
later than the date that the FCC Form 175 (short-form) is filed.
Amend Section 22.950 by revising paragraphs (c) and (d), to read as follows:
§ 22.950 Provision of service in the Gulf of Mexico Service Area (GMSA).
* * * * *
(c) Gulf of Mexico Exclusive Zone (GMEZ). GMEZ licensees have an exclusive right to provide
cellular service in the GMEZ, and may add, modify, or remove facilities anywhere within the GMEZ
without prior FCC approval. There is no Unserved Area licensing procedure for the GMEZ.
(d) Gulf of Mexico Coastal Zone (GMCZ). The GMCZ is subject to the Unserved Area licensing
procedure set forth in § 22.949.
Amend Section 22.953 by revising the introductory text, paragraph (a), paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3),
and (b), and by removing and reserving paragraphs (a)(4) through (a)(10), and by adding a new paragraph
(a)(11), and by reserving paragraph (c), to read as follows:
§ 22.953 Content and form of applications for cellular authorizations.
Applications for authority to operate a new cellular system or to modify an existing cellular system must
comply with the specifications in this section.
(a) New Systems. In addition to information required by subparts B and D of this part and by FCC
Form 601, applications for a site-based authorization to operate a cellular system must comply with all
applicable requirements set forth in part 1 of this chapter, including the requirements specified in §§
1.913, 1.923, and 1.924, and must include the information listed below, in numbered exhibits.
Geographical coordinates must be correct to ±1 second using the NAD 83 datum.
(1) Exhibit IGeographic Information System (GIS) map files. The FCC will specify the file format
required for the Geographic Information System (GIS) map files that are to be submitted electronically
via the Universal Licensing System (ULS). In addition to GIS map files submitted electronically, the
FCC reserves the right to request a full-size paper map from the applicant. The scale of the full-size paper
map must be 1:500,000, regardless of whether any different scale is used for the reduced-size PDF map
required in Exhibit II. In addition to the information required for the GIS map files, the paper map, if
requested, must include all the information required for the reduced-size PDF map (see paragraph (a)(2)
of this section).
71

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

(2) Exhibit IIReduced-size PDF map. This map must be 8½ × 11 inches (if possible, a
proportional reduction of a 1:500,000 scale map). The map must have a legend, a distance scale and
correctly labeled latitude and longitude lines. The map must be clear and legible. The map must
accurately show the cell sites (transmitting antenna locations), the service area boundaries of additional
and modified cell sites, the entire CGSA, extensions of the composite service area beyond the CGSA (see
§ 22.911), and the relevant portions of the CMA boundary.
(3) Exhibit IIIAntenna Information. In addition, upon request by an applicant, licensee, or the
FCC, a cellular applicant or licensee of whom the request is made shall furnish the antenna type, model,
the name of the antenna manufacturer, antenna gain in the maximum lobe, the beam width of the
maximum lobe of the antenna, a polar plot of the horizontal gain pattern of the antenna, antenna height to
tip above ground level, the height of the center of radiation of the antenna above the average terrain, the
height of the antenna center of radiation above the average elevation of the terrain along each of the
8 cardinal radials, the maximum effective radiated power, and the electric field polarization of the wave
emitted by the antenna when installed as proposed to the requesting party within ten (10) days of
receiving written notification.
(4)-(10) [Reserved]
(11) Additional Information. The FCC may request information not specified in paragraphs (a)(1)
through (a)(3) as necessary to process an application.
(b) Existing systems: major and minor modifications. Licensees making major modifications
pursuant to § 1.929(a) and (b) of this chapter, and licensees making minor modifications pursuant to §
1.929(k) of this chapter, must file FCC Form 601 and comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) of
this § 22.953.
(c) [Reserved]
Remove Section 22.960.
Remove the designation of Sections 22.961-22.967 as “[Reserved]”.
Add new Section 22.961 to read as follows:
§ 22.961 Cellular licenses subject to competitive bidding.
The following mutually exclusive initial applications for cellular licensed area authorizations are
subject to competitive bidding, and unless otherwise provided by this subpart, the general competitive
bidding procedures set forth in part 1, subpart Q of this chapter will apply:
(a) Mutually exclusive initial applications for cellular site-based authorizations; and
(b) Mutually exclusive initial applications for Cellular Overlay Authorizations.
Remove Section 22.969.
Add a new Section 22.983 to part 22 to read as follows:
§ 22.983 Field strength limit.
The predicted or measured median field strength at any location on or beyond the boundary of any
Cellular Licensed Area must not exceed 40 dBµV/m, unless the adjacent cellular service licensee(s) on
the same Channel Block agree(s) to a different field strength. This value applies to both the initially
authorized areas and to partitioned areas.
Add a new Section 22.985 to part 22 to read as follows:
72

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

§ 22.985 Geographic area licensing via auctions.
The licensing procedures in this § 22.985 do not apply to any CMA Block in the GMSA (see §
22.950).
(a) Determination of licensing status of CMA Blocks. The FCC will determine whether each CMA
Block is Substantially Licensed. A CMA Block will be deemed Substantially Licensed if, as of a cut-off
date established by the FCC, either:
(1) at least 95 % of the total land area in the CMA Block is already licensed as CGSA; or
(2) the CMA Block contains no contiguous parcel of Unserved Area that is larger than 130 square
kilometers (50 square miles).
(b) Stage I Auction. Any auction to resolve mutually exclusive applications filed with respect to
CMA Blocks that are included in Stage I for the assignment of Cellular Overlay Authorizations shall be
conducted pursuant to the procedures set forth in part 1, subpart Q of this chapter. Any eligible entity
may bid in the Stage I auction. A CMA Block is eligible to be included in the Stage I auction if either:
(1) the CMA Block is determined by the FCC to be Substantially Licensed; or,
(2) the CMA Block has cellular service that has been authorized solely under interim operating
authority (i.e., for which no license has ever been issued).
(c) Stage II Auction. Any auction to resolve mutually exclusive applications filed with respect to
CMA Blocks that are included in Stage II for the assignment of Cellular Overlay Authorizations in such
Blocks shall be conducted pursuant to the procedures set forth in part 1, subpart Q of this chapter. Any
eligible entity may bid in the Stage II auction.
Add a new Section 22.986 to part 22 to read as follows:
§ 22.986. Designated Entities.
(a) Eligibility for small business provisions in the Cellular Radiotelephone Service.
(1) A very small business is an entity that, together with its controlling interests and affiliates, has
average annual gross revenues not exceeding $3 million for the preceding three years.
(2) A small business is an entity that, together with its controlling interests and affiliates, has average
annual gross revenues not exceeding $15 million for the preceding three years.
(3) An entrepreneur is an entity that, together with its controlling interests and affiliates, has average
annual gross revenues not exceeding $40 million for the preceding three years.
(b) Bidding credits in the Cellular Radiotelephone Service. 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 § 1.2110(f)(2)(i) of this chapter. 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 §
1.2110(f)(2)(ii) of this chapter. A winning bidder that qualifies as an entrepreneur, as defined in this
section, or a consortium of entrepreneurs may use the bidding credit specified in § 1.2110(f)(2)(iii) of this
chapter.
73

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

APPENDIX F

List of Additional “Covered Blocks” Subject to Certain Interim Filing Restrictions

Data as of 1/11/2012
(See also Appendix C, Listing Blocks that meet proposed “Substantially Licensed” Test,
which are also “Covered Blocks” for purposes of the Interim Filing Restrictions)

A BLOCK

A-Block
Percent

CMA

DESC

Licensed Area

1
CMA029A
New Orleans, LA
94.36%
2
CMA093A
Las Vegas, NV
90.59%
3
CMA117A
Colorado Springs, CO
92.00%
4
CMA126A
Salinas-Seaside-Monterey, CA
94.47%
5
CMA135A
Eugene-Springfield, OR
94.36%
6
CMA169A
Mayaguez, PR
90.46%
7
CMA224A
Bangor, ME
91.74%
8
CMA241A
Pueblo, CO
92.11%
9
CMA245A
Ocala, FL
92.71%
10
CMA254A
Redding, CA
93.85%
11
CMA268A
Billings, MT
90.41%
12
CMA338A
California 3 - Alpine
91.16%
13
CMA342A
California 7 - Imperial
92.24%
14
CMA356A
Colorado 9 - Costilla
91.99%
15
CMA415A
Iowa 4 - Muscatine
93.90%
16
CMA428A
Kansas 1 - Cheyenne
94.32%
17
CMA429A
Kansas 2 - Norton
94.04%
18
CMA433A
Kansas 6 - Wallace
90.77%
19
CMA436A
Kansas 9 - Morris
94.65%
20
CMA439A
Kansas 12 - Hodgeman
91.88%
21
CMA442A
Kansas 15 - Elk
92.76%
22
CMA482A
Minnesota 1 - Kittson
92.61%
23
CMA484A
Minnesota 3 - Koochiching
91.54%
24
CMA515A
Missouri 12 - Maries
94.93%
25
CMA517A
Missouri 14 - Barton
94.65%
26
CMA528A
Montana 6 - Deer Lodge
94.75%
27
CMA545A
Nevada 3 - Storey
91.43%
28
CMA580A
North Dakota 1 - Divide
94.22%
29
CMA581A
North Dakota 2 - Bottineau
94.45%
30
CMA582A
North Dakota 3 - Barnes
94.13%
31
CMA597A
Oklahoma 2 - Harper
94.91%
32
CMA611A
Oregon 6 - Crook
94.21%
33
CMA638A
South Dakota 5 - Custer
94.92%
34
CMA639A
South Dakota 6 - Haakon
93.64%
74

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

35
CMA652A
Texas 1 - Dallam
90.36%
36
CMA654A
Texas 3 - Parmer
94.22%
37
CMA656A
Texas 5 - Hardeman
93.95%
38
CMA694A
Washington 2 - Okanogan
92.80%
39
CMA696A
Washington 4 - Grays Harbor
92.14%
40
CMA699A
Washington 7 - Skamania
93.68%
41
CMA709A
Wisconsin 2 - Bayfield
92.77%

B BLOCK

B-Block

Percent

CMA

DESC

Licensed Area

1
CMA018B
San Diego, CA
94.63%
2
CMA073B
Oxnard-Simi Valley-Ventura, CA
92.05%
3
CMA082B
Tacoma, WA
93.67%
4
CMA091B
San Juan-Caguas, PR
91.41%
5
CMA093B
Las Vegas, NV
92.69%
6
CMA097B
Bakersfield, CA
91.19%
7
CMA104B
Newport News-Hampton, VA
93.17%
8
CMA117B
Colorado Springs, CO
91.95%
9
CMA141B
Duluth, MN-WI
93.55%
10
CMA212B
Bremerton, WA
94.70%
11
CMA215B
Chico
92.19%
12
CMA221B
Fargo-Moorehead, ND-MN
92.08%
13
CMA243B
Greeley, CO
91.31%
14
CMA289B
Rapid City, SD
90.01%
15
CMA305B
Alton-Granite City, IL
90.44%
16
CMA323B
Arizona 6 - Graham
91.47%
17
CMA336B
California 1 - Del Norte
92.38%
18
CMA338B
California 3 - Alpine
92.85%
19
CMA344B
California 9 - Mendocino
91.52%
20
CMA345B
California 10 - Sierra
90.28%
21
CMA346B
California 11 - El Dorado
94.29%
22
CMA349B
Colorado 2 - Logan
92.94%
23
CMA350B
Colorado 3 - Garfield
90.70%
24
CMA351B
Colorado 4 - Park
94.56%
25
CMA398B
Illinois 5 - Mason
91.10%
26
CMA428B
Kansas 1 - Cheyenne
94.55%
27
CMA433B
Kansas 6 - Wallace
90.43%
28
CMA506B
Missouri 3 - Schuyler
93.78%
29
CMA529B
Montana 7 - Fergus
90.78%
30
CMA536B
Nebraska 4 - Grant
94.53%
31
CMA540B
Nebraska 8 - Chase
91.85%
75

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

32
CMA578B
North Carolina 14 - Pitt
93.07%
33
CMA610B
Oregon 5 - Coos
94.62%
34
CMA634B
South Dakota 1 - Harding
94.31%
35
CMA656B
Texas 5 - Hardeman
94.78%
36
CMA659B
Texas 8 - Gaines
93.42%
37
CMA675B
Utah 3 - Juab
93.37%
38
CMA678B
Utah 6 - Piute
93.17%
39
CMA696B
Washington 4 - Grays Harbor
92.10%
76

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

APPENDIX G

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

1. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),1 the Commission
has prepared this 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 this Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
. Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must
be filed by the same dates as listed on the first page of the NPRM and must have a separate and distinct
heading designating them as responses to this IRFA. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM,
including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).2 In
addition, the NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.3

A.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

2. In the NPRM, the Commission proposes a transition for the 800 MHz Cellular (Cellular)
Service from site-based licensing to geographic-area licensing. The proposed transition would occur in
two stages, via Commission auction. We believe that the current site-based paradigm is outdated and
hinders carriers from being able to respond quickly to changing market conditions and consumer
demands. We also believe it is contrary to the public interest to maintain a burdensome system to
preserve extremely limited Unserved Area licensing opportunities. The Commission’s early key goal of
creating a seamless and integrated nationwide Cellular Service has been achieved throughout the vast
majority of our nation. The Commission has long held that market-based licensing regimes are simpler to
administer for all parties concerned. The proposed transition would reduce administrative burdens for
licensees as well as Commission staff. The proposed transition is consistent with the Commission’s
ongoing regulatory reform agenda and also supports the Commission’s Data Innovation Initiative,
launched in June 2010, by reducing information collection burdens under the Paperwork Reduction Act.
We anticipate that, with the proposed additional flexibility provided to licensees, the regulatory and
compliance costs associated with service provision would be reduced. These changes would also put
Cellular licensees more on par with other wireless telecommunications licensees and further the
Commission’s goal of rule harmonization for the different wireless services.
3. As detailed in Section III, we propose a transition in two stages. Consistent with precedent,
we would accept competing applications for Overlay Licenses, and resolve them via auction, for each
CMA Block.4 In Stage I, the Commission would offer Overlay Licenses for all CMA Blocks that are
“Substantially Licensed” or authorized solely under interim operating authority (IOA). We propose the
following test to determine if a CMA Block is Substantially Licensed: either (1) at least 95% of the total
land area in the CMA Block is licensed; or (2) there is no parcel within the Block at least 50 contiguous
square miles in size that is not licensed. We believe it is appropriate to include total land area without
exclusions in calculating the licensed area. If a CMA Block meets either benchmark as of an established


1 See 5 U.S.C. § 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. § 601–612, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Pub. L. No. 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).
2 See 5 U.S.C. § 603(a).
3 Id.
4 As explained in the NPRM, each CMA has two channel Blocks: A and B.
77

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

date, it would be deemed Substantially Licensed and included in the Stage I transition. We propose,
however, that the Gulf of Mexico Service Area (GMSA) be exempt from the transition because it is
governed by a specialized licensing regime.

4. All CMA Blocks that do not meet the Substantially Licensed test would remain under site-
based licensing until Stage II is triggered. In Stage II, the Commission proposes to offer Overlay
Licenses for all remaining CMA Blocks (except the GMSA), regardless of the percentage of total land
area licensed, and terminate site-based licensing. In the NPRM, we propose to continue the site-based
model for seven years before Stage II is triggered, and we seek comment on whether this is the
appropriate period of time. We believe that the public interest is best served by preserving the current
scheme’s direct spectrum access through site-based applications in Blocks that are not yet Substantially
Licensed, primarily rural areas out west, for a defined period of time. This will allow all interested parties
to have the opportunity to identify the specific areas they wish to serve as demographics change or service
otherwise becomes economically feasible in such markets. Moreover, site-based licensing in such Blocks
will ensure build-out within one year of authorization of such areas.
5. Overlay Licensees would be obligated to protect incumbent licensees’ operations from
harmful interference. That obligation would cease with respect to any incumbent’s licensed area
relinquished for any reason in the future (e.g., through failure to renew the license). Such relinquished
areas would not be returned to the Commission’s auction inventory but, rather, could by served
immediately by the Overlay Licensee on a primary basis without being subject to competitive bidding.
6. The Chambers, Texas Block-A market (“Chambers”) is the only CMA Block for which a
license has never been issued; the market is served solely under IOA. We propose to include Chambers
in the Stage I auction and award an Overlay License consistent with the process described for the
Substantially Licensed Blocks, but subject to specific build-out requirements for the Chambers Overlay
Licensee, as explained in Section III.A.2. We believe this is the most efficient and effective way to
resolve the continued lack of a licensee and help bring additional advanced service to this Texas market.
7. We also propose that all Cellular licensees, regardless of Block, should be subject to a field
strength limit at their respective license boundaries, similar to licensees in other flexible services such as
PCS, certain AWS, etc. The NPRM proposes a median field strength limit of 40 dBµV/m for the Cellular
Service. We also propose certain other revisions in individual Cellular rules to reflect the proposed
transition, and to delete provisions that we deem obsolete or unnecessary going forward, including certain
application requirements and other filings, and to streamline certain other provisions. The proposed rules
are set forth in Appendix E and we encourage all interested parties to review them carefully. We seek
comment on how the proposals will impact the amount of information available to regulated entities and
the public.

B.

Legal Basis

8. The proposed action is taken under Sections 1, 2, 4(i), 301, 303, 307, 309, 319, 324, and 332
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151, 152, 154(i), 301, 303, 307, 309, 319,
324, and 332.

C.

Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which the Proposed
Rules Will Apply

78

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

9. 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, if adopted.5 The RFA generally
defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small
organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.”6 In addition, the term “small business” has the
same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.7 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.8
10. 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.9 First, nationwide, there are a
total of approximately 27.5 million small businesses, according to the SBA.10 In addition, a “small
organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and
is not dominant in its field.”11 Nationwide, as of 2007, there were approximately 1,621,315 small
organizations.12 Finally, the term “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments
of cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than
fifty thousand.”13 Census Bureau data for 2011 indicate that there were 89,476 local governmental
jurisdictions in the United States.14 We estimate that, of this total, as many as 88,506 entities may qualify
as “small governmental jurisdictions.”15 Thus, we estimate that most governmental jurisdictions are


5 5 U.S.C. § 603(b)(3).
6 5 U.S.C. § 601(6).
7 5 U.S.C. § 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small business concern” in 15 U.S.C. § 632).
Pursuant to the RFA, the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an agency, after consultation with the
Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or
more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in
the Federal Register.” Id.
8 Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. § 632 (1996).
9 See 5 U.S.C. §§ 601(3)–(6).
10 See SBA, Office of Advocacy, “Frequently Asked Questions,” web.sba.gov/faqs (last visited May 6, 2011;
figures are from 2009).
11 5 U.S.C. § 601(4).
12 INDEPENDENT SECTOR, THE NEW NONPROFIT ALMANAC & DESK REFERENCE (2010).
13 5 U.S.C. § 601(5).
14 U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF THE UNITED STATES: 2011, Table 427 (2007).
15The 2007 U.S. Census data for small governmental organizations indicate that there were 89, 476 “Local
Governments” in 2007. (U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF THE UNITED STATES 2011,
Table 428). The criterion by which the size of such local governments is determined to be small is a population of
50,000. However, because the Census Bureau does not specifically apply that criterion, it cannot be determined with
precision how many of such local governmental organizations are small. Nonetheless, the inference seems
reasonable that a substantial number of these governmental organizations has a population of less than 50,000. To
look at Table 428 in conjunction with a related set of data in Table 429 in the Census’s Statistical Abstract of the
U.S., that inference is further supported by the fact that in both Tables, many entities that may well be small are
included in the 89,476 local governmental organizations, e.g., county, municipal, township and town, school district
and special district entities. Measured by a criterion of a population of 50,000, many specific sub-entities in this
category seem more likely than larger county-level governmental organizations to have small populations.
(continued….)
79

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

small.
11. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). 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.16 Census Bureau data for 2007,
which now supersede data from the 2002 Census, show that there were 3,188 firms in this category that
operated for the entire year. Of this total, 3,144 had employment of 999 or fewer, and 44 firms had
employment of 1,000 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.17 The Commission’s own data—
available on its Spectrum Dashboard—indicate that, as of February 9, 2012, there are 347 Cellular
licensees that will be affected by this NPRM.18 The Commission does not know how many of these
licensees are small, as the Commission does not collect that information for these types of entities.

D.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance
Requirements

12. In the NPRM, the Commission seeks to reduce filing burdens and recordkeeping for all
Cellular licensees by changing from site-based to geographic area licensing. We propose that, in the
Blocks for which an Overlay License is offered, the CGSA boundaries of incumbents that do not become
Overlay Licensees would be permanently fixed insofar as such incumbents would not be permitted to
expand their CGSAs, except through contractual arrangements with other licensees. They would,
however, be free to modify their systems in response to market demands without Commission filings in
most cases, so long as the CGSA would not be changed as a result, and subject to any obligations we
impose on all Cellular licensees.
13. Under our proposal, in most cases Overlay Licensees would be free as well to modify their
systems without Commission filings, thereby minimizing their regulatory burdens. In addition, while
Overlay Licensees would be obligated to protect incumbent licensees’ operations from harmful
interference, that obligation would cease with respect to any incumbent’s licensed area (CGSA) or portion
thereof that is relinquished for any reason in the future (e.g., through failure to renew the license). Such
relinquished areas would not be returned to the Commission’s auction inventory but, rather, could be
served by the Overlay Licensee on a primary basis immediately, without being subject to competitive
bidding.
14. Once an Overlay License is granted via auction for Chambers, we propose not to subject the
Licensee to the existing rules concerning the five-year build-out phase or the Phase I or Phase II license
application processes that have been applicable to other CMA Blocks. Instead, we propose that the
(Continued from previous page)


Accordingly, of the 89,746 small governmental organizations identified in the 2007 Census, the Commission
estimates that a substantial majority are small.
16 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
17 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-geo_id=&-_skip=600&;-
ds_name=EC0751SSSZ5&-_lang=en.
18 See http://reboot.fcc.gov/reform/systems/spectrum-dashboard. For the purposes of this IRFA, consistent with
Commission practice for wireless services, the Commission estimates the number of licensees based on the number
of unique FCC Registration Numbers (FRNs).
80

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

Chambers Overlay Licensee be required to demonstrate that it has built out a Cellular system that is
providing signal coverage and offering service over at least 35% of the geographic area of its license
authorization within four years of initial license grant and at least 70% of the geographic area of its
license authorization by the end of the license term, with failure to meet these build-out deadlines
resulting in automatic forfeiture of the license. We further propose that, after the build-out requirements
have been met, the Chambers Overlay Licensee should be subject to the same rules and obligations that
we apply to the other Overlay Licenses issued in Stage I of the transition. For example, we seek comment
in the NPRM on whether Overlay Licensees should be subject to performance requirements.
15. The Commission also proposes that all Cellular licensees be subject to a field strength limit at
their respective license boundaries and that a median field strength limit of 40 dBµV/m is appropriate for
the Cellular Band. Coordination among co-channel licensees regarding channel usage will remain
essential in actually preventing harmful interference. We therefore propose to retain the current Cellular
Service rule mandating coordination in certain circumstances (section 22.907), but we also propose to
allow Cellular licensees to negotiate contractual agreements specifying different field strength limits.
This will provide licensees with additional flexibility in their operations.
16. In this NPRM, we also propose various other changes in parts 1 and 22 of the Commission’s
rules that apply to Cellular Service licensees. For example, we propose to streamline the application
requirements for site-based Unserved Area applications, notably section 22.953 (deleting certain technical
data requirements that, going forward, we believe will no longer be routinely necessary). We also
propose to delete obsolete and outdated provisions, such as those requiring certifications associated with
cessation of analog service, often referred to as the “analog sunset.” Here too, our proposals are
consistent with the Commission’s regulatory reform agenda and its Data Innovation Initiative. The
proposed rules are set forth in Appendix E and we encourage all interested parties to review them
carefully and comment on them with specificity.

E.

Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and
Significant Alternatives Considered

17. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, specifically small business,
alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed 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 and 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.19
18. The NPRM discusses several alternatives to the proposed two-stage transition. These include,
for example, alternatives that would entail transition via auction in more than two stages as well as
possible exemption for certain extremely rural markets such as Alaskan markets and others with special
build-out challenges. The NPRM also discusses proposals put forth by industry stakeholders thus far in
this proceeding, including an approach that would not entail competitive bidding. The NPRM specifically
invites interested parties to comment on these various alternatives and to suggest other alternative
proposals. At this time, the Commission has not excluded any alternative proposal from its consideration,
but it would do so in this proceeding if the record indicates that a particular proposal would have a


19 5 U.S.C. § 603(c).
81

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

significant and unjustifiable adverse economic impact on small entities.
19. The Commission believes that the proposed transition to a geographic-area licensing system
for the Cellular Service in two stages via auction will benefit all Cellular incumbents and entrants,
regardless of size. The proposed scheme would put Cellular licensees on a regulatory par with other
wireless licensees that hold geographic area licenses, such as PCS and certain AWS licensees, thus easing
the regulatory burden of compliance by eliminating discrepancies in competing services. The
Commission has historically valued harmonization in the rules for wireless licensees by eliminating
burdensome requirements, as appropriate. Furthermore, we anticipate that the modernized licensing
scheme will encourage Cellular licensees to invest in and deploy ever more advanced technologies as they
evolve. By reducing the paperwork burden on Cellular providers, we would also expect their resulting
lower costs to have some positive effect on the rates paid by subscriber groups, including small
businesses that rely on Cellular service.

F.

Federal Rules that May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

20. None.
82

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

STATEMENT OF

CHAIRMAN JULIUS GENACHOWSKI

Re:
Amendment of Parts 1 and 22 of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to the Cellular Service,
Including Changes in Licensing of Unserved Area; Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with
Regard to Relocation of Part 24 to Part 2; Interim Restrictions and Procedures for Cellular Service
Applications
, WT Docket No. 12-40, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order (FCC 12-20).
Today we take another important step in our work to reform the FCC, reduce unnecessary
administrative burdens, and increase regulatory parity. We are proposing to migrate the 800 MHz cellular
spectrum from a site-based to a geographic-based licensing system, which will reduce licensing and filing
burdens relating to use of the spectrum.
The 800 MHz Cellular Radiotelephone Service is the band that spawned the mobile revolution
roughly 30 years ago, and its unique site-by-site licensing model helped bring mobile service to all
Americans, even in remote rural areas. But the original licensing model has outlived its original utility.
It’s time to transition from the old site-based licensing model to a more flexible geographically-licensed
model.
The new licensing model for 800 MHz will be the same as our more recent, flexibly licensed
bands, such as PCS, AWS, and the 700 MHz band.
We’ll implement this with a two-stage transition using auctions of “overlay licenses” to ensure
efficiency and convey more flexible rights to license holders.
The NPRM also proposes several changes to the Cellular rules to update or eliminate outdated
technical provisions and data collection requirements to reduce administrative burdens on licensees. This
item proposes to eliminate seven unnecessary data collections, which, if adopted, will bring to 32 the
number of unnecessary data collections we have eliminated.
The Commission’s actions to end these data collections – and eliminate more than 210
regulations – are consistent with two Executive Orders that called on federal agencies to review rules and
regulations and ensure they are cost-effective and don’t place unnecessary burdens on industry.
I’m pleased to thank CTIA for its petition, which spurred this rulemaking, as well as NTCA, and
RTG – the Rural Telecommunications Group – for their comments and insight. We look forward to
comments from all interested parties to ensure the transition is a success.
Thank you to the staff of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for their hard work and
creative thinking on ways in which we can remove regulatory barriers, make more spectrum available for
critical services, and increase spectrum flexibility.
83

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER ROBERT M. McDOWELL

Re:
Amendment of Parts 1 and 22 of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to the Cellular Service,
Including Changes in Licensing of Unserved Area; Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with
Regard to Relocation of Part 24 to Part 2; Interim Restrictions and Procedures for Cellular Service
Applications
, WT Docket No. 12-40, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order (FCC 12-20).
Today we seek comment on a comprehensive proposal to make the Commission’s cellular service
rules consistent with those of virtually all other commercial wireless services. Updating these rules will
offer greater flexibility to construct and operate facilities within a larger geographic area and commence
operations without prior Commission approval, thereby reducing regulatory requirements.

Adopted decades ago, the current site-based cellular licensing rules are now obsolete and create
unnecessary burdens for both licensees and Commission staff. Given our aim to modernize and
streamline our licensing processes and to create parity among competing mobile providers, I am pleased
to support this notice and associated order.
The notice is detailed and broad in scope, setting forth an array of ideas. The order suspending certain
filings associated with cellular licensing will permit the orderly and effective resolution of the
fundamental changes and issues raised today. I thank the Chairman for bringing these matters forward, as
well as the talented team in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for your thoughtful, creative work.
I look forward to engaging with interested stakeholders to learn more about the pros and cons of this
proposal.
84

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-20

STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER MIGNON L. CLYBURN

Re:
Amendment of Parts 1 and 22 of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to the Cellular Service,
Including Changes in Licensing of Unserved Area; Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with
Regard to Relocation of Part 24 to Part 2; Interim Restrictions and Procedures for Cellular Service
Applications
, WT Docket No. 12-40, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order (FCC 12-20).
Last July, President Obama issued an Executive Order directing independent agencies to identify,
and repeal or modify rules that are outmoded or excessively burdensome. Based on the record, thus far, I
agree that many of the site-based licensing rules of the 800 MHz Cellular Radiotelephone Service meet
the Executive Order’s standard. When the FCC established the initial rules for allocating this cellular
service some thirty years ago, it adopted a hybrid licensing approach. Original Service Licensees were
given five years to build networks in any part of a geographic location. Any area, which was not built out
during that time period, was then relinquished, and the FCC would subsequently re-license those
unconstructed areas on a site-by-site basis. This licensing approach helped to drive construction of
mobile wireless networks across the nation.
But now we find that many of the site-based rules in this cellular service have become outdated.
The existing technical rules for this service define a cellular carrier's service area based upon analog
signal propagation. As a result of the Commission’s 2002 order, which established the sunset of analog
cellular service rules, analog service is generally no longer being offered. Therefore, it no longer makes
sense to define a cellular service area based on analog signals.
Over the years, the Commission has also learned that there are a number of administrative costs
associated with site-based licensing. Under the current rules, a cellular licensee making any system
change, that would expand or decrease its service area, must file an application with comprehensive
engineering data. Geographic area licenses, especially when used in more metropolitan areas, obviate the
need for these numerous filings. Therefore, these licenses allow providers to more rapidly deploy and
modify facilities within their licensed areas. Of all the licensed services that providers use to offer
consumers commercial mobile wireless service, the 800 MHz Cellular Service is the only one that still
incorporates site-based licensing. So, eliminating site-based licensing rules, when they no longer make
sense, appropriately promotes more rapid network deployment and furthers regulatory parity.
There are a number of important proposals in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, such as:
awarding Overlay Licenses through competitive bidding; allowing licensees to use secondary market
measures to spur deployment; and the use of bidding credits to encourage small businesses to enter the
mobile industry. I strongly encourage the industry and the public to carefully consider all of the proposals
in this item. I am particularly interested in hearing how these proposals, or any alternatives, could
promote more competitive options for consumers.
I commend Rick Kaplan and his staff of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for their hard
work on this item.
85

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.