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Chairman Response Regarding Positive Train Control

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Released: August 22, 2014




August 8, 2014


The Honorable Diane Feinstein

United States Senate

331 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Feinstein:

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 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 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 license

holders 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 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 7 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 f or 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 20 13).


Page 2-

The Honorable Diane Feinstein

On August 8, 2014, I circulated a draft item to my fellow Commissioners that addresses

the Metrolink applications and other issues raised in the Public Notice. I am required to state

that this proceeding is restricted under the Commission's ex parte rules (47 C.F.R. ยงยง 1.1200(a),

1.1208.) While 1 am restricted from discussing the merits ofthis case, 1 am hopeful that the

Commissioners will vote expeditiously on this item. I recognize that the complexities of this

issue are frustrating, but I am confident that the Commission's determination will be in the

public interest, convenience, and necessity.

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


Sincerely,/ /



Tom Wheeler

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