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Chairman Response Regarding Positive Train Control

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Released: July 29, 2014
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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

July 14, 2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Paul Cook

U.S. House of Representatives

1222 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Cook:

Thank you for your letter encouraging the Commission to take prompt steps to act on the

Metrolink applications and related waiver requests related to spectrum that could be used for

Positive Train Control (PTC). Your views are very important and, as you indicated, will be

included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part ofthe Commission's review.

PTC is a transformative technology that has the power to save lives, prevent injuries, and

avoid extensive property damage. It is a top priority of the Commission to facilitate this

important safety measure. FCC staff has been working, and will continue to work, with the

Department of Transportation, the National Transportation Safety Board, railroads, and spectrum

licensees to identify and facilitate secondary market transactions to make spectrum available for

PTC operations.

With respect to Metrolink's specific requests, in April2011, the Commission adopted an

Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and Notice of Opportunity for Hearing

(OSCIHD0)1 designating Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC's (MCILM) basic

qualifications to be a Commission licensee for hearing. The Commission also released a Public

Notice, WT Docket 13-85, on March 28, 2013, which sought comment on whether the

Commission should: ( 1) consent to the assignment of some or all of MC/LM' s AMTS licenses to

Choctaw under Second Thursday; 2 (2) consent to the assignment of some of MC/LM' s AMTS

licenses pursuant to footnote seven of the OSC/HDO; (3) waive the construction and

discontinuance-of-service rules for MC/LM's AMTS site-based stations; and (4) terminate its

formal hearing, partially or otherwise, regarding MC/LM's basic qualifications.3

1 See Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC, Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and

Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, EB Docket No. 11-71, 26 FCC Red 6520 (2011) (OSCIHDO).

2 See Second Thursday Corp., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 22 FCC 2d 515, recon. granted, Memorandum

Opinion and Order, 25 FCC 2d 112 (1970) (permitting a bankrupt licensee, whose basic qualifications are at issue,

to assign its licenses for the benefit of innocent creditors).

3 Comment Sought on Choctaw-MC/LM Assignment and Second Thursday Request, Public Notice, 28 FCC Red

3358 (WTB 2013).

image02-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Paul Cook

The Commission may exercise its discretion to apply the Second Thursday doctrine

where the individuals charged with misconduct "will have no part in the proposed operations and

will either derive no benefit from favorable action on the applications or only a minor benefit

which is outweighed by equitable considerations in favor of innocent creditors." Additionally,

footnote seven of the OSC/HDO states that the public interest in facilitating implementation of

PTC might warrant removing from the ambit of the hearing a pending application to assign

spectrum from MC/LM to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority. Comments,

petitions to deny, reply comments, oppositions to petitions to deny, and replies to oppositions

were filed in the docket on May 9, May 30, and June 20 of2013, respectively. Staffis currently

reviewing that record.

I am required to state that this proceeding is restricted under the Commission's ex parte

rules ( 47 C.P.R. §§ 1.1200(a), 1.1208). Therefore, I am restricted from discussing the merits of

this case but am hopeful that the Commission will take action within the next few months to

advance this issue closer to a resolution. I recognize that the complexities of this issue are

frustrating, but I am confident that the Commission can make a determination that is in the

public interest, convenience and necessity in an efficient and timely manner.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

Sincerely,; : /

/

_

~"Y/Vd/

Tom Wheeler

image03-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

July 14, 2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Xavier Becerra

U.S. House of Representatives

1226 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Becerra:

Thank you for your letter encouraging the Commission to take prompt steps to act on the

Metrolink applications and related waiver requests related to spectrum that could be used for

Positive Train Control (PTC). Your views are very important and, as you indicated, will be

included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part of the Commission's review.

PTC is a transformative technology that has the power to save lives, prevent injuries, and

avoid extensive property damage. It is a top priority of the Commission to facilitate this

important safety measure. FCC staff has been working, and will continue to work, with the

Department of Transportation, the National Transportation Safety Board, railroads, and spectrum

licensees to identify and facilitate secondary market transactions to make spectrum available for

PTC operations.

With respect to Metrolink's specific requests, in April2011 , the Commission adopted an

Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and Notice of Opportunity for Hearing

(OSCIHD0)1 designating Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC's (MCILM) basic

qualifications to be a Commission licensee for hearing. The Commission also released a Public

Notice, WT Docket 13-85, on March 28, 2013, which sought comment on whether the

Commission should: (1) consent to the assignment of some or all of MC/LM' s AMTS licenses to

Choctaw under Second Thursday;2 (2) consent to the assignment of some ofMC/LM's AMTS

licenses pursuant to footnote seven ofthe OSC/HDO; (3) waive the construction and

discontinuance-of-service rules for MC/LM's AMTS site-based stations; and (4) terminate its

formal hearing, partially or otherwise, regarding MC/LM's basic qualifications.3

1 See Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC, Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and

Notice ofOpportunityfor Hearing, EB Docket No. 11-71,26 FCC Red 6520 (2011) (OSCIHDO).

?

-See Second Thursday Corp., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 22 FCC 2d 515, recon. granted, Memorandum

Opinion and Order, 25 FCC 2d 112 (1970) (permitting a bankrupt licensee, whose basic qualifications are at issue,

to assign its licenses for the benefit of innocent creditors).

3 Comment Sought on Choctaw-MC/LM Assignment and Second Thursday Request, Public Notice, 28 FCC Red

3358 (WTB 2013).

image04-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Xavier Becerra

The Commission may exercise its discretion to apply the Second Thursday doctrine

where the individuals charged with misconduct "will have no part in the proposed operations and

will either derive no benefit from favorable action on the applications or only a minor benefit

which is outweighed by equitable considerations in favor of innocent creditors." Additionally,

footnote seven of the OSC/HDO states that the public interest in facilitating implementation of

PTC might warrant removing from the ambit of the hearing a pending application to assign

spectrum from MC/LM to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority. Comments,

petitions to deny, reply comments, oppositions to petitions to deny, and replies to oppositions

were filed in the docket on May 9, May 30, and June 20 of2013, respectively. Staff is currently

reviewing that record.

I am required to state that this proceeding is restricted under the Commission's ex parte

rules (47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200(a), 1.1208). Therefore, I am restricted from discussing the merits of

this case but am hopeful that the Commission will take action within the next few months to

advance this issue closer to a resolution. I recognize that the complexities of this issue are

frustrating, but I am confident that the Commission can make a determination that is in the

public interest, convenience and necessity in an efficient and timely manner.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

~;tt~

Tom Wheeler

image05-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

July 14, 2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Alan Lowenthal

U.S. House ofRepresentatives

515 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Lowenthal:

Thank you for your letter encouraging the Commission to take prompt steps to act on the

Metrolink applications and related waiver requests related to spectrum that could be used for

Positive Train Control (PTC). Your views are very important and, as you indicated, will be

included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part ofthe Commission's review.

PTC is a transformative technology that has the power to save lives, prevent injuries, and

avoid extensive property damage. It is a top priority of the Commission to facilitate this

important safety measure. FCC staff has been working, and will continue to work, with the

Department of Transportation, the National Transportation Safety Board, railroads, and spectrum

licensees to identify and facilitate secondary market transactions to make spectrum available for

PTC operations.

With respect to Metrolink's specific requests, in April2011 , the Commission adopted an

Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and Notice of Opportunity for Hearing

(OSC/HDOY designating Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC's (MCILM) basic

qualifications to be a Commission licensee for hearing. The Commission also released a Public

Notice, WT Docket 13-85, on March 28, 2013, which sought comment on whether the

Commission should: (1) consent to the assignment of some or all ofMC/LM's AMTS licenses to

Choctaw under Second Thursday; 2 (2) consent to the assignment of some ofMC/LM's AMTS

licenses pursuant to footnote seven of the OSC/HDO; (3) waive the construction and

discontinuance-of-service rules for MC/LM's AMTS site-based stations; and (4) terminate its

formal hearing, partially or otherwise, regarding MC/LM's basic qualifications.3

1 See Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC, Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and

Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, EB Docket No. 11-71,26 FCC Red 6520 (2011) (OSCIHDO).

2 See Second Thursday Corp., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 22 FCC 2d 515, recon. granted, Memorandum

Opinion and Order, 25 FCC 2d 112 (1970) (permitting a bankrupt licensee, whose basic qualifications are at issue,

to assign its licenses for the benefit of innocent creditors).

3 Comment Sought on Choctaw-MC/LM Assignment and Second Thursday Request, Public Notice, 28 FCC Red

3358 (WTB 2013).

image06-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Alan Lowenthal

The Commission may exercise its discretion to apply the Second Thursday doctrine

where the individuals charged with misconduct "will have no part in the proposed operations and

will either derive no benefit from favorable action on the applications or only a minor benefit

which is outweighed by equitable considerations in favor of innocent creditors." Additionally,

footnote seven of the OSC/HDO states that the public interest in facilitating implementation of

PTC might warrant removing from the ambit of the hearing a pending application to assign

spectrum from MC/LM to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority. Comments,

petitions to deny, reply comments, oppositions to petitions to deny, and replies to oppositions

were filed in the docket on May 9, May 30, and June 20 of2013, respectively. Staff is currently

reviewing that record.

I am required to state that this proceeding is restricted under the Commission's ex parte

rules (47 C.P.R.§§ 1.1200(a), 1.1208). Therefore, I am restricted from discussing the merits of

this case but am hopeful that the Commission will take action within the next few months to

advance this issue closer to a resolution. I recognize that the complexities of this issue are

frustrating, but I am confident that the Commission can make a determination that is in the

public interest, convenience and necessity in an efficient and timely manner.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

Tom Wheeler

image07-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

July 14, 2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Gary Miller

U.S. House ofRepresentatives

2467 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Miller:

Thank you for your letter encouraging the Commission to take prompt steps to act on the

Metrolink applications and related waiver requests related to spectrum that could be used for

Positive Train Control (PTC). Your views are very important and, as you indicated, will be

included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part ofthe Commission's review.

PTC is a transformative technology that has the power to save lives, prevent injuries, and

avoid extensive property damage. It is a top priority of the Commission to facilitate this

important safety measure. FCC staff has been working, and will continue to work, with the

Department of Transportation, the National Transportation Safety Board, railroads, and spectrum

licensees to identify and facilitate secondary market transactions to make spectrum available for

PTC operations.

With respect to Metrolink's specific requests, in April2011, the Commission adopted an

Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and Notice of Opportunity for Hearing

(OSCIHD0) 1 designating Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC's (MC/LM) basic

qualifications to be a Commission licensee for hearing. The Commission also released a Public

Notice, WT Docket 13-85, on March 28,2013, which sought comment on whether the

Commission should: (1) consent to the assignment of some or all of MC/LM' s AMTS licenses to

Choctaw under Second Thursday;2 (2) consent to the assignment of some of MC/LM's AMTS

licenses pursuant to footnote seven of the OSC/HDO; (3) waive the construction and

discontinuance-of-service rules for MC/LM's AMTS site-based stations; and (4) terminate its

formal hearing, partially or otherwise, regarding MC/LM's basic qualifications.3

1 See Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC, Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and

Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, EB Docket No. 11-71 , 26 FCC Red 6520 (2011) (OSCIHDO).

2 See Second Thursday Corp., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 22 FCC 2d 515, recon. granted, Memorandum

Opinion and Order, 25 FCC 2d 112 (1970) (permitting a bankrupt licensee, whose basic qualifications are at issue,

to assign its licenses for the benefit of innocent creditors).

3 Comment Sought on Choctaw-MC/LM Assignment and Second Thursday Request, Public Notice, 28 FCC Red

3358 (WTB 2013).

image08-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Gary Miller

The Commission may exercise its discretion to apply the Second Thursday doctrine

where the individuals charged with misconduct "will have no part in the proposed operations and

will either derive no benefit from favorable action on the applications or only a minor benefit

which is outweighed by equitable considerations in favor of innocent creditors." Additionally,

footnote seven of the OSC/HDO states that the public interest in facilitating implementation of

PTC might warrant removing from the ambit of the hearing a pending application to assign

spectrum from MC/LM to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority. Comments,

petitions to deny, reply comments, oppositions to petitions to deny, and replies to oppositions

were filed in the docket on May 9, May 30, and June 20 of2013, respectively. Staff is currently

reviewing that record.

I am required to state that this proceeding is restricted under the Commission's ex parte

rules (47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200(a), 1.1208). Therefore, I am restricted from discussing the merits of

this case but am hopeful that the Commission will take action within the next few months to

advance this issue closer to a resolution. I recognize that the complexities of this issue are

frustrating, but I am confident that the Commission can make a determination that is in the

public interest, convenience and necessity in an efficient and timely manner.

.t--

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

/

Sincerely, _ /;/._.

-:lj; j/(!hc

Tom Wheeler

image09-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

July 14, 2014

THE CHAIRMAN

The Honorable Ed Royce

U.S. House of Representatives

2185 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Royce:

Thank you for your letter encouraging the Commission to take prompt steps to act on the

Metrolink applications and related waiver requests related to spectrum that could be used for

Positive Train Control (PTC). Your views are very important and, as you indicated, will be

included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part ofthe Commission's review.

PTC is a transformative technology that has the power to save lives, prevent injuries, and

avoid extensive property damage. It is a top priority of the Commission to facilitate this

important safety measure. FCC staff has been working, and will continue to work, with the

Department of Transportation, the National Transportation Safety Board, railroads, and spectrum

licensees to identify and facilitate secondary market transactions to make spectrum available for

PTC operations.

With respect to Metrolink's specific requests, in April2011, the Commission adopted an

Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and Notice of Opportunity for Hearing

(OSCIHDOY designating Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC's (MC/LM) basic

qualifications to be a Commission licensee for hearing. The Commission also released a Public

Notice, WT Docket 13-85, on March 28, 2013, which sought comment on whether the

Commission should: (1) consent to the assignment of some or all ofMC/LM's AMTS licenses to

Choctaw under Second Thursday; 2 (2) consent to the assignment of some ofMC/LM's AMTS

licenses pursuant to footnote seven of the OSC/HDO; (3) waive the construction and

discontinuance-of-service rules for MC/LM's AMTS site-based stations; and (4) terminate its

formal hearing, partially or otherwise, regarding MC/LM's basic qualifications.3

1 See Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC, Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and

Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, EB Docket No. 11-71, 26 FCC Red 6520 (2011) (OSCIHDO).

2 See Second Thursday Corp., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 22 FCC 2d 515, recon. granted, Memorandum

Opinion and Order, 25 FCC 2d 112 (1970) (permitting a bankrupt licensee, whose basic qualifications are at issue,

to assign its licenses for the benefit of innocent creditors).

3 Comment Sought on Choctaw-MC/LM Assignment and Second Thursday Request, Public Notice, 28 FCC Red

3358 (WTB 2013).

image10-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Ed Royce

The Commission may exercise its discretion to apply the Second Thursday doctrine

where the individuals charged with misconduct "will have no part in the proposed operations and

will either derive no benefit from favorable action on the applications or only a minor benefit

which is outweighed by equitable considerations in favor of innocent creditors." Additionally,

footnote seven of the OSC/HDO states that the public interest in facilitating implementation of

PTC might warrant removing from the ambit of the hearing a pending application to assign

spectrum from MC/LM to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority. Comments,

petitions to deny, reply comments, oppositions to petitions to deny, and replies to oppositions

were filed in the docket on May 9, May 30, and June 20 of2013, respectively. Staff is currently

reviewing that record.

I am required to state that this proceeding is restricted under the Commission's ex parte

rules (47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200(a), 1.1208). Therefore, I am restricted from discussing the merits of

this case but am hopeful that the Commission will take action within the next few months to

advance this issue closer to a resolution. I recognize that the complexities of this issue are

frustrating, but I am confident that the Commission can make a determination that is in the

public interest, convenience and necessity in an efficient and timely manner.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

Tom Wheeler

image11-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OFF I CE OF

July 14, 2014

T H E CHA I RMAN

The Honorable Adam Schiff

U.S. House ofRepresentatives

2411 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Schiff:

Thank you for your letter encouraging the Commission to take prompt steps to act on the

Metrolink applications and related waiver requests related to spectrum that could be used for

Positive Train Control (PTC). Your views are very important and, as you indicated, will be

included in the record of the proceeding and considered as part ofthe Commission's review.

PTC is a transformative technology that has the power to save lives, prevent injuries, and

avoid extensive property damage. It is a top priority of the Commission to facilitate this

important safety measure. FCC staff has been working, and will continue to work, with the

Department of Transportation, the National Transportation Safety Board, railroads, and spectrum

licensees to identify and facilitate secondary market transactions to make spectrum available for

PTC operations.

With respect to Metrolink's specific requests, in April2011, the Commission adopted an

Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and Notice of Opportunity for Hearing

(OSCIHDOY designating Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC's (MCILM) basic

qualifications to be a Commission licensee for hearing. The Commission also released a Public

Notice, WT Docket 13-85, on March 28,2013, which sought comment on whether the

Commission should: (1) consent to the assignment of some or all ofMC/LM's AMTS licenses to

Choctaw under Second Thursday;2 (2) consent to the assignment of some of MC/LM' s AMTS

licenses pursuant to footnote seven of the OSC/HDO; (3) waive the construction and

discontinuance-of-service rules for MC/LM' s AMTS site-based stations; and ( 4) terminate its

formal hearing, partially or otherwise, regarding MC/LM's basic qualifications.3

1 See Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC, Order to Show Cause, Hearing Designation Order, and

Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, EB Docket No. 11-71, 26 FCC Red 6520 (20 II) (OSCIHDO).

2 See Second Thursday Corp., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 22 FCC 2d 515, recon. granted, Memorandum

Opinion and Order, 25 FCC 2d 112 (1970) (permitting a bankrupt licensee, whose basic qualifications are at issue,

to assign its licenses for the benefit of innocent creditors).

3 Comment Sought on Choctaw-MC/LM Assignment and Second Thursday Request, Public Notice, 28 FCC Red

3358 (WTB 2013).

image12-00.jpg612x792

Page 2-The Honorable Adam Schiff

The Commission may exercise its discretion to apply the Second Thursday doctrine

where the individuals charged with misconduct "will have no part in the proposed operations and

will either derive no benefit from favorable action on the applications or only a minor benefit

which is outweighed by equitable considerations in favor of innocent creditors." Additionally,

footnote seven of the OSC/HDO states that the public interest in facilitating implementation of

PTC might warrant removing from the ambit of the hearing a pending application to assign

spectrum from MC/LM to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority. Comments,

petitions to deny, reply comments, oppositions to petitions to deny, and replies to oppositions

were filed in the docket on May 9, May 30, and June 20 of2013, respectively. Staff is currently

reviewing that record.

I am required to state that this proceeding is restricted under the Commission's ex parte

rules (47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200(a), 1.1208). Therefore, I am restricted from discussing the merits of

this case but am hopeful that the Commission will take action within the next few months to

advance this issue closer to a resolution. I recognize that the complexities of this issue are

frustrating, but I am confident that the Commission can make a determination that is in the

public interest, convenience and necessity in an efficient and timely manner.

I appreciate your interest in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further

assistance.

Sincerely,

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