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Petition to Impose Spectrum Aggregation Limit, Spectrum Below 2.3 GHz

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Released: October 23, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1702

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Petition of Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc.
)
RM No. 11498
to Impose a Spectrum Aggregation Limit on all
)
(Terminated)
Commercial Terrestrial Wireless Spectrum Below
)
2.3 GHz
)
)

ORDER

Adopted: October 23, 2012

Released: October 23, 2012

By the Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
1. On July 16, 2008, the Rural Telecommunications Group (RTG) filed a petition asking the
Commission to initiate a rulemaking regarding spectrum aggregation limits.1 Specifically, the RTG
Petition requested that the Commission initiate a rulemaking aimed at imposing, on a county level, a 110
megahertz cap on the amount of commercial terrestrial wireless spectrum below 2.3 GHz that one entity
can hold.2 On October 10, 2008, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau released a public notice
seeking comment on the RTG Petition.3 In response, some parties urged the Commission to dismiss
RTG’s petition and not initiate the requested rulemaking,4 while others supported the petition and
recommended that the Commission initiate the rulemaking sought by RTG.5 As courts have long
recognized, the Commission has broad discretion to determine whether and when to initiate a
rulemaking.6
2. In a recently released Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,7 the Commission declined to initiate the
rulemaking RTG requested in its petition and instead launched a broader rulemaking that will address
policies regarding mobile spectrum holdings from a more comprehensive perspective.8 In light of the


1 See RTG Petition for Rulemaking filed July 16, 2008, RM 11498 (RTG Petition).
2 See id. at 3 and 5.
3 Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Rulemaking of Rural Telecommunications
Group, Inc. to Impose a Spectrum Aggregation Limit on All Commercial Terrestrial Wireless Spectrum Below 2.3
GHz, Public Notice, 23 FCC Rcd 14875 (“WTB Public Notice”). Comments on the petition were due December 2,
2008, and reply comments were due December 22, 2008.
4 See, e.g., Comments of AT&T Inc., RM No. 11498 (Dec. 2, 2008).
5 See, e.g., Comments of Leap Wireless International, Inc. (Dec. 2, 2008).
6 See, e.g., WWHT, Inc. v. FCC, 656 F.2d 807, 817 (D.C. Cir. 1981).
7 In the Matter of Policies Regarding Mobile Spectrum Holdings, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WT Docket No.
12-269, FCC 12-119 (rel. Sept. 28, 2012).
8 See id. at 10, n.41.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1702

broader rulemaking recently initiated, we now exercise our discretion, pursuant to the authority delegated
under Sections 0.131 and 0.331 of the Commission’s rules,9 and deny the RTG Petition and terminate
this proceeding.
3. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Sections 4(i) and 303(r) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 303(r), and Section 1.401(e) of the Commission’s Rules,
47 C.F.R. § 1.401(e), and the authority delegated under Sections 0.131 and 0.331 of the Commission’s
Rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.131, 0.331, that the Petition for Rulemaking filed by RTG is DENIED and the
proceeding in RM-11498 IS TERMINATED.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Ruth Milkman
Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau


9 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.131 and 0.331.
2

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