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Sprint Nextel Corporation Request to Relinquish Granted

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Released: November 16, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1849

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for
)
WC Docket No. 09-197
Universal Service Support
)
)

Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service
)
CC Docket No. 96-45
)
Sprint Corporation Designation as an
)
Eligible Telecommunications Carrier in
)
Alabama, Georgia, New York, and Virginia
)

ORDER

Adopted: November 16, 2012

Released: November 16, 2012

By the Chief, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau:
1.
In this order, we approve the request of Sprint Nextel Corporation (Sprint Nextel) to
relinquish the eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) designation of its affiliate Sprint Corporation
(Sprint) in Alabama, Georgia, New York, and Virginia, effective December 31, 2012.1
2.
Section 214(e)(6) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act), authorizes
the Federal Communications Commission to designate a carrier as an ETC when a state commission lacks
jurisdiction.2 Section 214(e)(4) of the Act provides that the Commission shall permit an ETC to
relinquish its designation “in any area served by more than one” ETC so long as “the remaining [ETCs]
ensure that all customers served by the relinquishing carrier will continue to be served.”3
3.
In 2004, the Wireline Competition Bureau designated Sprint as an ETC in certain areas in
Alabama, Georgia, New York, and Virginia.4 In 2008, Sprint merged with Clearwire and agreed as a
condition of the merger to reduce its federal high-cost universal service support in five equal increments
beginning in January 2009.5 In 2010, the Commission provided Sprint with instructions on how to
implement the merger condition to phase-out its high-cost universal service support, including
relinquishment of ETC status.6


1 See Notice of Relinquishment of Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Designation, WC Docket No. 09-197 (filed
Aug. 1, 2012) (Sprint Relinquishment Notice).
2 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(6).
3 Id. at § 214(e)(4).
4 See Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service; Sprint Corporation, CC Docket No. 96-45, Order, 19 FCC
Rcd 22663 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2004).
5 Sprint Nextel Corp. and Clearwire Corporation, Applications For Consent to Transfer Control of Licenses, Leases,
and Authorizations
, WT Docket No. 08-94, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 23 FCC Rcd 17570, 17613, para. 108
(2008).
6 See High-Cost Universal Service Support; Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Request for Review of
Decision of Universal Service Administrator by Corr Wireless Communications, LLC
, WC Docket No. 05-337, CC
(continued...)

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1849

4.
Pursuant to section 214(e) of the Act, Sprint Nextel filed, on behalf of its affiliate, notice
of its intent to relinquish Sprint’s ETC designation in the states identified above.7 In its filing, Sprint
Nextel demonstrates that various carriers are designated as ETCs in the areas in which it seeks to
relinquish its designations.8 Sprint Nextel also indicates that it will continue to offer service on a non-
ETC basis in these areas.9 Finally, Sprint Nextel has indicated that it will provide written notice to each
of its current Lifeline customers, advising the customer that while the company will discontinue providing
Lifeline service, Lifeline discounts may be obtained from another ETC.10 Based on these circumstances,
we conclude that Sprint Nextel’s present relinquishment is consistent with the phase-out obligations
adopted by the Commission.11 We therefore find it appropriate to grant Sprint Nextel’s request to
relinquish its designations.
5.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to the authority contained in section
214(e)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(4), and the authority
delegated in sections 0.91 and 0.291 of the Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.91, 0.291, the ETC
designations of Sprint Corporation in Alabama, Georgia, New York, and Virginia ARE
RELINQUISHED, effective December 31, 2012.12
6.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, on behalf of its affiliate, Sprint Nextel Corporation
SHALL TRANSMIT a copy of this order to the Alabama Public Service Commission, the Georgia Public
Service Commission, the New York State Public Service Commission, the Virginia State Corporation
Commission, and the Universal Service Administrative Company.
7.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to section 1.102(b)(1) of the Commission’s
rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.102(b)(1), this order SHALL BE EFFECTIVE upon release.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSSION
Trent B. Harkrader
Chief
Telecommunications Access Policy Division
Wireline Competition Bureau
(Continued from previous page)


Docket No. 96-45, Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 25 FCC Rcd 12854, 12860-61, para. 16 n.39 (2010)
(Corr Wireless Order).
7 See generally Sprint Relinquishment Notice.
8 See id. at 3 (stating that other ETCs currently serve the entire service areas for which the company seeks to
relinquish its designations), and Attachs. A through D (listing ETCs serving wire centers by state).
9 See id. at 2-3.
10 See id. at 4.
11 Corr Wireless Order, 25 FCC Rcd at 12860, para. 15.
12 Accordingly, the Universal Service Administrative Company should discontinue, effective December 31, 2012,
the eligibility of study area codes 259007, 229001, 159007, and 199003, which are assigned to Nextel, and 259790,
229003, 159009, and 199005, which are assigned to Sprint.
2

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