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Winning Bidders Announced for Mobility Fund Auction

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Released: October 3, 2012

PUBLIC NOTICE
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 12-1566
October 3, 2012

MOBILITY FUND PHASE I AUCTION CLOSES

WINNING BIDDERS ANNOUNCED FOR AUCTION 901

FCC Form 680 Due November 1, 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading
Paragraph #
I. INTRODUCTION .....................................................................................................................1
II. WINNING BIDDERS ...............................................................................................................2
III. AUCTION RESULTS ...............................................................................................................3
IV. POST-AUCTION PROCEDURES ...........................................................................................5
A. Winning Bidder’s Obligation to Apply for Support -- FCC Form 680 Filing.....................6
B. Tribal Notification ...............................................................................................................9
C. Failure to File Constitutes an Auction Default..................................................................10
V. LONG-FORM APPLICATION (FCC FORM 680): GENERAL INFORMATION...............11
A. Ownership Disclosure........................................................................................................12
B. Long-Form Application (FCC Form 680): Winning Bidder Information and
Disclosures and Certifications ...........................................................................................14
1. Documentation of ETC Designations..........................................................................15
2. Project Description - Construction Schedule/Specifications.......................................16
3. Spectrum Access Description......................................................................................22
4. Letter of Credit Commitment Letter............................................................................23
5. Letter of Credit and Bankruptcy Code Opinion Letter ................................................24
6. Tribal Engagement Requirements: Certification and Summary of Engagement
Results .........................................................................................................................26
C. Long-Form Application (FCC Form 680) Certifications ..................................................29
D. Maintaining Accuracy of Information ...............................................................................34
E. Application Processing and Authorization of Support ......................................................37
1. Prepared to Authorize Public Notice ...........................................................................37
2. Authorized Public Notice ............................................................................................38
3. New Study Area Codes and Support Disbursements ..................................................39
F. Default Payments...............................................................................................................40

1. Auction Default Payment ............................................................................................41
2. Performance Default Payment .....................................................................................42
VI. OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION...............................................................................44
A. Maintaining Prohibition on Certain Communications ......................................................44
B. Public Interest Obligations and/or Annual Reporting Requirements ................................46
C. Return of SecurID® Tokens ...............................................................................................47
D. Contact Information...........................................................................................................48
ATTACHMENT A: Winning Bids
ATTACHMENT B: Instructions for Completing FCC Form 680

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
On September 27, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission completed the
Mobility Fund Phase I Auction. In this auction, which was designated Auction 901, there were a
total of 33 winning bidders. The winning bidders are eligible to receive a total of $299,998,632
in one-time Mobility Fund Phase I universal service support to provide 3G or better mobile voice
and broadband services covering up to 83,494.23 road miles in 795 biddable geographic areas
located in 31 states and 1 territory.

II.

WINNING BIDDERS

2.
This Public Notice provides detailed information concerning winning bidders,
FCC Form 680 filing requirements, and award disbursement matters. Key information appears in
the following attachments:

Attachment A:

“Bidder Summary” lists for each bidder the number of
winning bids, the amount of assigned support, and the number of
road miles covered by the winning bids.

Attachment B:

“Instructions for Completing FCC Form 680” provides
detailed information about how a winning bidder should complete
the required long-form application (FCC Form 680).
A copy of this Public Notice will be sent via overnight delivery to each bidder.

III.

AUCTION RESULTS

3.
Concurrent with the release of this Public Notice, the Commission is making
available information previously withheld under the limited information procedures for Auction
901.

Interactive Map:

An interactive visual representation of the auction results is
available on the Auction 901 web page
(http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/901/) and at
http://apps.fcc.gov/auction901/map/auction_result_ext.html. The
map displays non-Tribal lands with winning bids in blue and Tribal
lands with winning bids in green. There are options for displaying
all eligible areas and non-winning bids. Clicking on a state or
2

winning bid listed on the right-hand side of the map will zoom the
map in to that area.

Results Files:

Files that include the identities of bidders and all of their bidding
data are now available on the web page for Auction 901
(http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/901/) and in the FCC Auction
System (http://auctions.fcc.gov/).
4.
Additionally, all information submitted in applications to participate in the auction
(FCC Forms 180) is publicly available. The applications are viewable in the FCC Auction
System via the link for Auction Application Search at https://auctionfiling.fcc.gov.

IV.

POST-AUCTION PROCEDURES

5.
Under the competitive bidding rules adopted in the USF/ICC Transformation
Order, Auction 901 winning bidders have a binding obligation to file a post-auction long-form
application – by the applicable deadline and consistent with other requirements of the long-form
application process.1

A.

Winning Bidder’s Obligation to Apply for Support -- FCC Form 680 Filing

6.
Prior to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on November 1, 2012, each winning
bidder must electronically submit a properly-completed long-form application (FCC Form 680)
for its winning bids in Auction 901. Attachment B provides instructions for completing the long-
form application and describes how certain information will be automatically transferred from a
winning bidder’s short-form application (FCC Form 180) to its long-form application (FCC
Form 680).
7.
The FCC Form 680 application filing window will open at 12:00 pm (noon) ET
on

October 18, 2012

. Applications may generally be filed at any time after the filing window
opens until the filing window closes at 6:00 p.m. ET on

November 1, 2012

. Applicants are
strongly encouraged to file early and are responsible for allowing adequate time for filing their
applications. Applications can be updated or amended multiple times until the filing deadline on

November 1, 2012

.
8.
An applicant must always click on the SUBMIT button on the “Certify & Submit”
screen to successfully submit its FCC Form 680 and any modifications; otherwise the application
or changes to the application will not be received or reviewed by Commission staff. If you need
guidance or encounter technical difficulties in filing your electronic Form 680, you should
contact FCC Auctions Technical Support using the information in the Contact section, below.


1 Connect America Fund, WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
, FCC 11-161, 26 FCC Rcd 17663, 17822-23 para. 489 (2011) (“USF/ICC Transformation Order”),
pets. for review pending sub nom. In re: FCC 11-161, No. 11-9900 (10th Cir. filed Dec. 8, 2011); Connect America
Fund, WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Order on Reconsideration, 26 FCC Rcd 17633 (2011); Connect America Fund,
WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Second Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd 4648 (2012); Connect America Fund,
WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Third Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd 5622 (2012); Connect America Fund,
WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Fourth Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd 8814 (2012); 47 C.F.R. §54.1005(b).
3

B.

Tribal Notification

9.
Pursuant to section 54.1004(d)(2) of the Commission’s rules, any bidder winning
support for areas within Tribal lands must notify the relevant Tribal government no later than

October 11, 2012

, which is five business days after being identified as a winning bidder by this
Public Notice.2 The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 3 maintains a routinely
updated and comprehensive directory of American Indian Tribal and Alaska Native Village
government leaders, addresses, and telephone numbers. The NCAI Tribal directory can be sorted
by geographical area and can be found at http://www.ncai.org/tribal-directory. Where needed, the
FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP) also will serve as a resource for
communications providers and Tribal governments.

C.

Failure to File Constitutes an Auction Default

10.
Any Auction 901 winning bidder that fails to file a long-form application by the
applicable deadline – 6:00 p.m. ET on November 1, 2012 – or that for any reason is not
subsequently authorized to receive support, has defaulted on its bid(s) and will be subject to an
auction default payment as described in section V.F.1 below.4 Agreeing to such payment in
event of a default was a condition for participating in bidding.5 In the event of an auction default,
a default payment of five percent of the total defaulted bid will be assessed.6

V.

LONG-FORM APPLICATION (FCC FORM 680): GENERAL INFORMATION

11.
Winning bidders will use the new FCC Form 680 and the FCC Auction System to
submit the long-form application. General application information is provided below. More
detailed instructions are provided in Attachment B to this public notice.

A.

Ownership Disclosure

12.
Each winning bidder must provide information required by sections
54.1005(b)(2)(i) and 1.2112(a) of the Commission’s rules.7 Specifically, in completing the long-
form application, a winning bidder will be required to fully disclose information on the real
party- or parties-in-interest and the ownership structure of the applicant, including both direct and
indirect ownership interests of 10 percent or more, as prescribed in section 1.2112(a) of the


2 47 C.F.R. §54.1004(d); USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17822-23 para. 489; see also Office of
Native Affairs and Policy, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Wireline Competition Bureau Issue Further
Guidance on Tribal Government Engagement Obligation Provisions of the Connect America Fund, WC Docket Nos.
10-90, 07-135, 05-337, 03-109, CC Docket Nos. 01-92, 96-45, WT Docket No. 10-208, GN Docket No. 09-51,
Public Notice, DA 12-1165, 27 FCC Rcd 8176 (2012) (Tribal Engagement Further Guidance Public Notice), pet.
for recon. pending
.
3 NCAI is a broadly representative inter-Tribal government and communities organization, representing American
Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages.
4 47 C.F.R. § 1.21004; USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17808 para. 436; 47 C.F.R. § 54.1005(b).
5 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17813-14 paras. 458-460.
6 Mobility Fund Phase I Auction Scheduled for September 27, 2012; Notice and Filing Requirements and Other
Procedures for Auction 901, Public Notice, AU Docket No. 12-25, DA 12-641, 27 FCC Rcd 4725, 4776-77
paras.184-188 (2012) (“Auction 901 Procedures Public Notice”).
7 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.2112(a), 54.1005(b)(2)(i). See also USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17804
para. 418. 47 C.F.R. § 54.1005(b)(2)(i) requires the disclosure of the applicant’s ownership information as set forth
in 47 C.F.R. § 1.2112(a).
4

Commission’s rules.8 Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that information submitted in its
long-form application is complete and accurate.
13.
The ownership information provided on each winning bidder’s short-form
application (FCC Form 180) will automatically be entered into the applicant’s long-form
application. Each applicant must carefully review any information automatically entered to
confirm that it is complete and accurate as of the deadline for filing the long-form application.
Any information that needs to be corrected or updated must be changed directly in the long-form
application.

B.

Long-Form Application (FCC Form 680): Winning Bidder Information and
Disclosures and Certifications

14.
Pursuant to section 54.1005(b)(2) of the Commission’s rules, a winning bidder’s
long-form application must include the information described below. The FCC Form 680 allows
an applicant to submit different information with respect to each of multiple bids in separate
attachments to a single long-form application.
1.

Documentation of ETC Designations

15.
A winning bidder is required to submit with its long-form application appropriate
documentation of its ETC designation, or pending petition if it is a Tribal entity seeking
designation, in each area for which it seeks to receive support, and certify that its proof is
accurate.9 Appropriate documentation should include the original designation order, any relevant
modifications, e.g., expansion of service area or inclusion of wireless, along with any name-
change orders. Any relevant information provided as an attachment to the long-form application
must use the attachment type “ETC Designation” for this information. As described in the
attached instructions, an ETC designation attachment must be provided for each winning bid.
2.

Project Description - Construction Schedule/Specifications

16.
Applicants must provide in their long-form application an attachment for each
winning bid with a detailed project description that describes the network, identifies the proposed
technology, demonstrates that the project is technically feasible, discloses the complete project
budget and describes each specific phase of the project, e.g., network design, construction,
deployment, and maintenance.10 A complete project schedule, including timelines, milestones
and costs must be provided. Milestones should include the start and end date for network design;
start and end date for drafting and posting requests for proposal; start and end date for selecting
vendors and negotiating contracts; start date for commencing construction and end date for
completing construction; and the dates by which it will meet applicable requirements to
receive the installments of Mobility Fund Phase I support.11
17.
In the project description, applicants should include an initial statement that
describes at a high-level what is to be accomplished with the Mobility Fund Phase I support (e.g.,
build new network or expand an existing network, deploy new technology or current technology).


8 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.2112(a), 54.1005(b)(2)(i).
9 47 C.F.R. § 54.1005(b)(2)(iii).
10 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.1005(b)(2)(iv).
11 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17809 para. 442.
5

This initial statement should avoid highly technical terminology or jargon unless it is integral to
the understanding of the project.
18.
Applicants must describe in more detail the network to be built. As part of that
description, applicants should identify the network components that will need to be deployed
(e.g., number of base stations, switching facilities and backhaul capabilities). The detailed
description should also include the type of technology that will be deployed (e.g., LTE, HSPA,
EV-DO, etc.) and the type of spectrum (e.g., 700 MHz, Cellular, Broadband PCS, AWS, etc.) to
be used with the technology. Applicants may demonstrate technical feasibility by explaining
how the use of this particular technology and spectrum will allow it to meet its public interest
obligations for 3G or 4G. Applicants should consider including information on any key
challenges or risks to the completion of the project that have been identified and mitigation plans
developed to ensure the completion of the project.
19.
In addition, applicants must disclose the total budget along with the amount
budgeted for each phase of the project. Any funds required to complete the project that are not
included in the winning bid amount for support should be noted. The budget should specifically
relate to the costs for the activities in the project plan.
20.
If a project encompasses areas in multiple winning bids, an applicant may submit
the same or similar project description for each winning bid. However, the information in the
project description, budget and plan must identify the activities and costs associated with each
winning bid.
21.
Applicants will indicate for each winning bid whether the supported network will
provide third generation (3G) mobile service within the period prescribed by section 54.1006(a)
or fourth generation (4G) mobile service within the period prescribed by section 54.1006(b). The
description of the proposed technology should include information on whether the network will
qualify as either a 3G or 4G network.
3.

Spectrum Access Description

22.
Applicants are required to provide a description of the spectrum access that the
applicant will use to meet its obligations in the areas for which it is the winning bidder, including
whether the applicant currently holds a license for or leases the spectrum. The description should
identify the license applicable to the spectrum to be accessed. The description of the license
must include the type of service – e.g., AWS, 700 MHz, BRS, PCS – the particular frequency
bands and the call sign. If the licensee is a different party than the applicant, the licensee name
and the relationship between the applicant and the licensee that provides the applicant with the
required access should be described. If the applicant is leasing spectrum the lease number should
be provided along with the license information. An applicant must provide this required
information relating to spectrum access in an attachment to the long-form application using the
attachment type “Spectrum Access.”
4.

Letter of Credit Commitment Letter

23.
A winning bidder must submit with its long-form application either a Letter of
Credit (“LOC”) for each winning bid, or a written commitment letter from an acceptable bank to
issue such an LOC. If the applicant submits a commitment letter, the letter will at a minimum
provide the dollar amount of the LOC and the issuing bank’s agreement to follow the terms and
conditions of the Commission’s model LOC, found in Appendix N of the USF/ICC
6

Transformation Order.12 The commitment letter must be from an acceptable bank, as defined in
section 54.1007(a)(1).
5.

Letter of Credit and Bankruptcy Code Opinion Letter

24.
After receipt and review of the long-form applications, the Commission will issue
a public notice identifying each winning bidder that may be authorized to receive Mobility Fund
Phase I support. No later than 10 business days following the release of the public notice, a
winning bidder for Mobility Fund Phase I support must submit an irrevocable stand-by LOC,
issued in substantially the same form as set forth in the model LOC provided in Appendix N of
the USF/ICC Transformation Order13 by a bank that is acceptable to the Commission.14 An LOC
must be submitted for each winning bid in an amount equal to one-third of the winning bid
amount, plus an additional 10 percent of the winning bid amount which, in the event of a
performance default, shall serve as the performance default payment. The Commission’s rules
provide specific requirements, as defined in section 54.1007(a)(1), for a bank to be acceptable to
the Commission to issue the LOC.15 Those requirements vary for United States banks and non-
U.S. banks. In addition, a winning bidder will be required to provide with the LOC an opinion
letter from legal counsel clearly stating, subject only to customary assumptions, limitations and
qualifications, that, in a proceeding under the Bankruptcy Code, the bankruptcy court would not
treat the LOC or proceeds of the LOC as property of winning bidder’s bankruptcy estate, or the
bankruptcy estate of any other bidder-related entity requesting issuance of the LOC, under
section 541 of the Bankruptcy Code.16 Each winning bidder must attach a copy of the Letter of
Credit and opinion letter for each winning bid in its long-form application by the applicable
deadline.
25.
The original of the LOC and the opinion letter must be submitted to the Universal
Service Administrative Company at the following address: Mobility Fund LOC, USAC, 2000 L
Street, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036. We recommend that each winning bidder send the
original of the LOC and the opinion letter by means of delivery requiring signature.
6.

Tribal Engagement Requirements: Certification and Summary of
Engagement Results

26.
As noted in section IV.B. above, any winning bidder for areas within Tribal lands
must notify the relevant Tribal government no later than five business days after being identified
by this Public Notice as such a winning bidder – i.e., on or before

October 11, 2012

.17 In the
long-form application, each such winning bidder must include a certification and detailed
description of its efforts to contact the relevant Tribal government(s) and initiate substantive
discussions.18 The description should include a statement that the winning bidder contacted the


12 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 18319 Appendix N.
13 Id.
14 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 54.1007(a)(1), 54.1005(b)(3)(v).
15 Id.
16 11 U.S.C. § 541; see 47 C.F.R. § 54.1007(b).
17 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.1004(d)(2).
18 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17822-23, 17868 paras. 489, 637; 47 C.F.R. §§ 54.313(a)(9),
54.1004(d), 54.1009; see also Tribal Engagement Further Guidance Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 8176.
7

appropriate Tribal government and affirm that such notification took place no later than five
business days after being identified by public notice as a winning bidder.
27.
In the long-form application, each winning bidder for areas within Tribal lands
must also report on its engagement with the affected Tribal government.19 This engagement
should be between decision-makers on both sides, so that the dialogue is undertaken at a level
within the winning bidders and Tribal governments that is commensurate with this important
engagement requirement.20 The attachment should include a summary of the engagement that
has taken place to date, including discussion regarding (1) a needs assessment and deployment
planning with a focus on Tribal community anchor institutions; (2) feasibility and sustainability
planning; (3) marketing services in a culturally sensitive manner; (4) rights of way processes,
land use permitting, facilities siting, environmental and cultural review processes; and (5)
compliance with Tribal business and licensing requirements.21 Since the engagement may be
somewhat preliminary in nature at the long-form application stage and the Commission’s rules
contemplate an ongoing dialogue between the winning bidder and Tribal government, the
applicant may not need to discuss each item listed above in order to comply with this
requirement.
28.
Any Tribal engagement information must be provided as a “Tribal Engagement”
attachment to the long-form application. The Tribal engagement information also must be
submitted to the appropriate Tribal government official concurrent with the filing of the long-
form application. Thereafter, support recipients must demonstrate their compliance with Tribal
engagement requirements on an annual basis, and prior to any disbursement of support from the
Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). We remind carriers that failure to satisfy
the Tribal government engagement obligation could subject them to financial consequences,
including potential reduction in support or liability for a performance default payment.

C.

Long-Form Application (FCC Form 680) Certifications

29.
Program Requirements Certification. In the long-form application, the winning
bidder must certify that it has available funds for all project costs that exceed the amount of
support to be received and that it will comply with all program requirements.22 Each applicant
must certify that it will meet the applicable deadline for construction of a network meeting the
coverage and performance requirements set forth in the rules, that it will comply with the
Mobility Fund Phase I collocation obligations specified in the rules, and that it will comply with
the voice and data roaming obligations the Commission has established with respect to Phase I of


19 For a listing of all federally recognized American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages, see
www.bia.gov/cs/groups/xofa/documents/document/idc012038.pdf. ONAP, in coordination with the Bureaus, will
endeavor to provide additional resources to Tribal governments and carriers to help facilitate this engagement,
including the possibility of using the Commission’s website as a repository of information. See also Tribal
Engagement Further Guidance Public Notice,
27 FCC Rcd 8176.
20 See Tribal Engagement Further Guidance Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd at 8179 para. 10.
21 47 C.F.R. §§ 54.313(a)(9), 54.1004(d), 54.1009.
22 47 C.F.R. § 54.1005(b)(2)(vi).
8

the Mobility Fund.23 With respect to demonstrating compliance with the coverage requirements,
the Commission rules set forth the standards for applicable drive test data.24
30.
Financial and Technical Capability Certification. As in the pre-auction short-
form application stage, a long-form applicant must certify that it is financially and technically
capable of providing 3G or better service within the specified timeframe in the geographic areas
in which it seeks support.25 This certification indicates that an applicant for Mobility Fund Phase
I funds can provide the requisite service without any assurance of ongoing support for the areas
in question after Mobility Fund Phase I support has been exhausted. An applicant should take
care to review its resources and its plans before making the required certification and be prepared
to document its review, if necessary.
31.
Reasonably Comparable Rates Certification. To satisfy one of the public interest
obligations of winning bidders that receive support, the long-form application also must contain a
certification that the winning bidder will offer service in supported areas at rates that are within a
reasonable range of rates for similar service plans offered by mobile wireless providers in urban
areas for a period extending until five years after the date on which it is authorized to receive
support.26
32.
ETC Designation Certification. In the long-form application, a winning bidder
must certify that it (a) has been designated as an ETC pursuant to Section 214(e) of Title 47 of
the US Code 47 USC 214(e) in the area(s) for which it seeks support, or (b) is a Tribally-owned
or -controlled entity with a pending application to become an ETC pursuant to 47 USC 214(e) in
area(s) for which it seeks support.27 The applicant must provide proof of its status in this
application. If the applicant relies upon clause (b) in the preceding sentence, the applicant must
identify the applicable Tribe and applicable Tribal lands in its application.
33.
Spectrum Access Certification. Each winning bidder must certify that the
description of spectrum access in the areas of its winning bids provided in its application is
correct and that it will retain such access for at least five years after the date on which it is
authorized to receive support.28

D.

Maintaining Accuracy of Information

34.
After the auction closes, each applicant must make all changes to its information
in the FCC Auction System using FCC Form 680.29 With the release of this Public Notice,


23 47 C.F.R. § 54.1005(b)(2).
24 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.1006(c). Recipients of Mobility Fund Phase I support must provide coverage of road miles
and scattered site testing is not acceptable as an alternative to drive tests to demonstrate such coverage. See id.
25 47 C.F.R. § 54.1005(b)(2)(ii).
26 47 C.F.R. § 54.1005(b)(2)(viii). As explained in the Auction 901 Procedures Public Notice, winning bidders may
demonstrate that they offer supported services at rates comparable to those in urban areas by offering one (1) stand-
alone voice and one (1) data plan in supported area(s) that match plans in urban areas, i.e., in top 100 Cellular
Market Areas (CMAs), and cost no more than the matching plans. Auction 901 Procedures Public Notice, 27 FCC
Rcd at 4728, 4772-75 paras. 4, 174-80.
27 47 C.F.R. §§ 54.1005(b)(2)(iii), 54.1004(a); see also FCC Form 680 Certify & Submit page.
28 47 C.F.R. §§ 54.1005(b)(2)(iv); see also FCC Form 680 Certify & Submit page.
29 47 C.F.R. § 1.65.
9

applicants are no longer required to maintain the accuracy and completeness of information
furnished on their short-form applications and exhibits.30
35.
An applicant will be permitted to make minor modifications to its application
after the deadline for submitting applications.31 Minor modifications include correcting
typographical errors and supplying non-material information that was inadvertently omitted or
was not available at the time the application was submitted.32 If an applicant makes a major
modification to its application, the application will be denied.33 In such event, the applicant
would be subject to an auction default payment for its winning bid(s). Major modifications
include, but are not limited to, any changes in the ownership of the applicant that constitute an
assignment or transfer of control, or any changes in the identity of the applicant, or any changes
in the required certifications.34
36.
An applicant may request that submitted information not be made routinely
available for public inspection following the procedures set forth in section 0.459 of the
Commission’s rules.35 Any such request must be included as an attachment to the applicant’s
FCC Form 680 and identify the specific information to which the confidentiality request applies.
Because the required information bears on each applicant’s qualifications, confidentiality
requests will not be routinely granted.

E.

Application Processing and Authorization of Support

1.

Prepared to Authorize Public Notice

37.
After the deadline for filing FCC Form 680 applications, the Commission will
process all timely submitted applications to determine which are complete, which have minor
defects that may be corrected or require additional information, or which are denied.
Applications will be reviewed by Commission staff for completeness and compliance with the
Commission’s rules. The Commission will notify an applicant if additional information is
required. If the application and the information with respect to each winning bid is complete, the
Commission will issue a public notice identifying the applicant and the winning bids that the
Commission is prepared to authorize for Mobility Fund Phase I support. If not already provided,
the applicant will have ten (10) business days from the date of the public notice to provide the
LOC and opinion letter and any required final designation as an ETC for Tribally-owned or
controlled applicants.36 If an applicant is denied authorization to receive support for a winning
bid, it will be in default and subject to an auction default payment for that winning bid.37


30 During the period from the release of this Public Notice until the window for filing long-form applications is
opened, winning bidders will be unable to report such changes using the FCC Auction System. In such event, an
applicant should summarize any such reportable changes and submit that description by email to the Auctions and
Spectrum Access Division to auction901@fcc.gov.
31 47 C.F.R. § 54.1005(b)(3)(iii).
32 Id.
33 47 C.F.R. § 54.1005(b)(3)(iv).
34 Id.
35 47 C.F.R. § 0.459.
36 47 C.F.R. § 54.1005(b)(3)(v).
37 47 C.F.R. § 1.21004.
10

2.

Authorized Public Notice

38.
Once Commission staff has determined that a long-form application and the
winning bid information is complete, the original LOC and accompanying opinion letter has been
received and approved by USAC, and the final designation as an ETC for a Tribally-owned or
controlled applicant is provided (where applicable), the Commission will issue a public notice
announcing the authorization of support for the winning bid.
3.

New Study Area Codes and Support Disbursements

39.
A new study area code will be issued for each winning bid for Mobility Fund
Phase I support. Winning bidders will be notified of the new study area code prior to the
authorization for support along with the procedures for disbursing support.

F.

Default Payments

40.
The Commission determined that, depending on the nature of any default, a
winning bidder may be liable for two possible types of default payment obligations: an auction
default payment that would be owed by a Mobility Fund winning bidder that defaults on its
winning bid(s) prior to authorization of support or a performance default payment that would be
owed by a Mobility Fund winning bidder that applies for and is authorized to receive support but
subsequently fails to meet its public interest obligations or other terms and conditions of Mobility
Fund support.38
1.

Auction Default Payment

41.
If a winning bidder fails to timely submit a long-form application, is found
ineligible or unqualified to receive Mobility Fund support, has its long-form application
dismissed, or otherwise defaults on its bid or is disqualified for any reason after the close of the
auction and prior to the authorization of support for a winning bid, it will be subject to an auction
default payment.39 The auction default payment for Auction 901 was set at five percent of the
total defaulted bid.40
2.

Performance Default Payment

42.
A winning bidder that has been authorized to receive Mobility Fund support will
be subject to a performance default payment if it fails or is unable to meet its minimum coverage
requirement, other service requirements, or fails to fulfill any other term or condition of Mobility
Fund Phase I support.41 The performance default payment for Auction 901 is ten percent of the
total level of support for which a winning bidder is eligible.42
43.
The Commission recognized in the USF/ICC Transformation Order that a
Mobility Fund recipient’s failure to fulfill its obligations may impose significant costs on the
Commission and higher support costs for the USF and concluded that it was necessary to adopt a


38 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17814 paras. 460-61; 47 C.F.R. § 1.21004(b), 47 C.F.R. §
54.1006(f).
39 47 C.F.R. § 1.21004.
40 Auction 901 Procedures Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd at 4777 para. 187.
41 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17814 para. 460.
42 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.1006(f). See also Auction 901 Procedures Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd at 4777-78 paras. 189-
92.
11

default payment obligation for performance defaults.43 In addition to being liable for a
performance default payment, the recipient will be required to repay the Mobility Fund all of the
support it has received, and depending on circumstances, could be disqualified from receiving
any additional Mobility Fund or other USF support.44

VI.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

A.

Maintaining Prohibition on Certain Communications

44.
To ensure the competitiveness of the auction process, the Commission’s rules
prohibit an applicant in a Mobility Fund auction from cooperating or collaborating with any other
applicant with respect to its own, or one another’s, or any other competing applicant’s bids or
bidding strategies, and from communicating with any other applicant in any manner the
substance of its own, or one another’s, or any other competing applicant’s bids or bidding
strategies, until after the post-auction deadline for winning bidders to submit applications for
support, unless such applicants are members of a joint bidding arrangement identified on the
short-form application(s) pursuant to section 1.21001(b)(3)-(4).45 As explained more fully in the
Auction 901 Procedures Public Notice, this prohibition began at the short-form application filing
deadline at 6:00 p.m. ET on July 11, 2012, and continues until the long-form deadline, which is
6:00 p.m. ET on November 1, 2012.46
45.
The prohibition on certain communications applies to all applicants in Auction
901 (unless they have identified each other on their short-form applications as parties with whom
they have entered into agreements under section 1.21001(b)(3)) regardless of whether an
applicant became a qualified bidder or actually participated in the bidding, and the prohibition
continues for all applicants until the long-form application filing deadline regardless of whether
an applicant is a winning bidder.47 Each applicant in this auction certified its compliance with
sections 1.21001(b)(3) and 1.21002 when it filed its short-form application.48

B.

Public Interest Obligations and/or Annual Reporting Requirements

46.
To ensure that Mobility Fund Phase I support meets the Commission’s public
interest objectives, all recipients are subject to a variety of obligations, including service
requirements, performance deadlines, annual reporting and record retention requirements,
collocation, voice and data roaming requirements, and Tribal engagement obligations in
exchange for the support they receive.49 As these requirements, as well as all the public interest
obligations, are a condition of Mobility Fund Phase I support, violations may result in the


43 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17810-11 para. 446.
44 Id. at 17814 para. 461.
45 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.21001(b)(4), 1.21002; see also USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17807 para. 431.
46 See Auction 901 Procedures Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd at 4743 para. 53.
47 Id., 27 FCC Rcd at 4742-43 paras. 48-53.
48 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.21001(b)(3), 1.21002.
49 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17791-97, 17822-23 paras. 359-85, 489; see 47 C.F.R. §
54.1004(d), 54.1006.
12

withholding or clawing back of universal service support in addition to any other applicable
sanctions.50

C.

Return of SecurID® Tokens

47.
The SecurID® tokens distributed to qualified bidders were tailored to this auction
and will not work for future auctions. Each bidder should return its SecurID® tokens to the
Commission for recycling. The Commission will send each bidder, along with the copy of this
Public Notice, a pre-addressed, stamped envelope for returning the SecurID® tokens. Each
bidder should return the tokens by

November 1, 2012

.

D.

Contact Information

48.
For further information, contact:

FCC Technical Support

Technical assistance in filing a Form 680 is
available at (877) 480-3201, option nine; (202)
414-1250; or (202) 414-1255 (text telephone
(TTY)); hours of service are Monday through
Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. In
order to provide better service to the public, all
calls to Technical Support are recorded.

News Media

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau

Cecilia Sulhoff at (202) 418-0587

General Universal Service Information

Wireline Competition Bureau,
Telecommunications Access Policy Division

Alex Minard at (202) 418-7400

Auction 901 Information

Auctions and Spectrum Access Division

General Auction Information, Process, and
Lisa Stover or Debbie Smith at (717) 338-2868
Procedures
Post-Auction Rules, Policies, and
Lynne Milne at (202) 418-0660
Regulations

Tribal Issues

Office of Native Affairs and Policy

Additional information for entities seeking to (202) 418-2930
provide service to Tribal lands and Tribal
native@fcc.gov
governments

Accessible Formats

Consumer and Governmental Affairs

Braille, large print, electronic files, or

Bureau

audio format for people with disabilities
(202) 418-0530 or (202) 418-0432 (TTY)
fcc504@fcc.gov


50 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17794-95 para. 380.
13

FCC Internet Sites

http://www.fcc.gov
http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions
http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls
- FCC -
14

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