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Liberty Acquisitions Auto-Term Petition for Reconsideration Order

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Released: June 5, 2014
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-781

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of

)

)

LIBERTY ACQUISITIONS 825, LLC

)

File No. 0005849814

)

Petition for Reconsideration of Pending

)

Termination of License for Station WQPW621

)

)

ORDER ON RECONSIDERATION

Adopted: June 4, 2014

Released: June 5, 2014

By the Deputy Chief, Broadband Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.

In this Order on Reconsideration, we dismiss as untimely a petition for reconsideration of

our placement into termination pending status1 of a license for a broadcast auxiliary Aural Studio

Transmitter Link Station in the Montgomery, Alabama area.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.

On August 31, 2012, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) issued Liberty

Acquisitions 825, LLC (Liberty) a license for broadcast auxiliary Aural Studio Transmitter Link Station

WQPW621.2 The deadline for constructing the Station was February 28, 2014.3 On August 28, 2013, the

Bureau granted Liberty a modified license for Station WQPW621, but the February 28, 2014 buildout

deadline did not change.4 On December 3, 2013, the Bureau sent Liberty a construction/coverage

reminder letter.5 On April 9, 2014, a license auto-termination letter was sent6 and Station WQPW621

entered termination pending status. Accordingly, on the same day, the Bureau provided public notice of

1 When a licensee fails to file a notification that it has completed construction by an applicable buildout deadline, the

license, location, or frequency is placed in “termination pending” status. For a license, location, or frequency in that

status, the Bureau presumes that the licensee did not meet buildout requirement. If the licensee does not file a

petition for reconsideration within 30 days after public notice of the termination pending status demonstrating that it

met that buildout requirement, the status of the license, location, or frequency is changed to “terminated” as of the

buildout deadline. See

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Announces Deployment Of “Auto-Term,” the

Automated Feature in its Universal Licensing System That Identifies Unconstructed Stations Resulting in Automatic

Termination of Licenses, Public Notice, 21 FCC Rcd 163 (WTB 2006).

2 See File No. 0005296432 (granted Aug. 31, 2012).

3 See File No. 0005296432 (granted Aug. 31, 2012).

4 See File No. 0005849814 (granted Aug. 28, 2013).

5 Construct/Coverage Reminder, Ref. No. 5697419 (Dec. 3, 2013).

6 Auto Termination letters, Ref. No. 5768342 (Apr. 9, 2014).

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Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-781

the pending license termination.7 On May 21, 2014, Liberty filed a petition for reconsideration of the

placement of Station WQPW621 into termination pending status.8

III.

DISCUSSION

3.

Section 405(a) of the Communications Act, as implemented by Section 1.106(f) of the

Commission’s Rules, requires that a petition for reconsideration be filed within thirty days from the date

of public notice of Commission action.9 Computation of the thirty-day period is determined in

accordance with Section 1.4 of the Commission’s Rules.10 Since public notice of the impending license

terminations was given on April 9, 2014, pursuant to Section 1.4(b)(4) of the Commission’s rules, the

first day to be counted in computing the thirty-day period was April 10, 2014. The last day for filing a

petition for reconsideration was May 9, 2014.

4.

We received Liberty’s Petition on May 21, 2014. Therefore, we find that Liberty filed

the Petition late. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has consistently

held that the Commission is without authority to extend or waive the statutory thirty-day filing period for

filing petitions for reconsideration specified in Section 405(a) of the Communications Act,11 except where

“extraordinary circumstances indicate that justice would thus be served.”12 We note the filing

requirement of Section 405(a) of the Act applies even if the petition for reconsideration is filed only one

day late.13 We do not believe that Liberty has shown such extraordinary circumstances to be present here.

Indeed, Liberty has failed to acknowledge that it did not file in a timely manner. Accordingly, we

dismiss the Petition as late-filed.

5.

If Liberty wishes to continue operating the terminated facilities, it must file a completed

Form 601, in accordance with all applicable Commission rules, to reauthorize the facilities. In the

interim, Liberty should file a request for Special Temporary Authority, in accordance with Section 1.931

of the Commission’s rules, if it wishes to continue operating the facilities.

7 Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Site Based Licenses Termination Pending, Report No. 9495, Public Notice

(Apr. 9, 2014) at 1.

8 Petition to Reconsider (filed May 21, 2014) (Petition).

9 47 U.S.C. § 405(a); 47 C.F.R. § 1.106(f).

10 47 C.F.R. § 1.4.

11 See Reuters Ltd. v. FCC, 781 F.2d 946, 951-52 (D.C. Cir. 1986); Gardner v. FCC, 530 F.2d 1086 (D.C. Cir.

1976).

12 Gardner v. FCC, 530 F.2d at 1091.

13 See, e.g., Panola Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 68 FCC 2d 533 (1978); Metromedia, Inc.,

Memorandum Opinion and Order, 56 FCC 2d 909 (1975).

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Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-781

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

6.

Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that pursuant to Sections 4(i) and 405 of the

Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 405, and Section 1.106 of the

Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.106, the petition for reconsideration filed by Liberty Acquisitions 825,

LLC on May 21, 2014 IS DISMISSED.

7.

This action is taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections 0.131 and 0.331 of the

Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.131, 0.331.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

John J. Schauble

Deputy Chief, Broadband Division

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau

3

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