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City of Lewistown, Montana

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Released: April 29, 2013
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
April 29, 2013

DA 13-958

Ms. Holly Phelps
City of Lewistown Public Works
308 4th Ave. S.
Lewistown, MT 59457
City of Lewistown, Montana Request for Reinstatement of Call Sign KNFW729
Dear Ms. Phelps:
On December 27, 2012, on behalf of the City of Lewistown, Montana (Lewistown), you filed a
waiver request1 to permit Lewistown to file an untimely renewal application for Conventional Public
Safety Station KNFW729. The KNFW729 license expired on June 23, 2012. Because Lewistown filed
its renewal application after the expiration of its license renewal period, Lewistown requests a waiver of
Section 1.949(a) of the Commission’s Rules2 to permit acceptance of its late-filed application and the
renewal of its expired license.3 For the reasons stated below, we deny Lewistown’s waiver request.
On April 2, 2012, the Commission sent a license renewal reminder notice to Lewistown.4 Section
1.949(a) of the Commission’s Rules requires licensees to file renewal applications no later than the
license expiration date.5 On June 23, 2012, the license for Station KNFW729 expired automatically. The
Commission cancelled the license on August 25, 2012. Approximately six months after the license
expiration date -- on December 27, 2012 -- Lewistown filed an application to renew and modify its
expired license. Lewistown requests a waiver of Section 1.949(a) of the Commission’s Rules to permit
the acceptance of its late-filed renewal/modification application.6

In its waiver request, Lewistown states that “on 6/22/2012 [it] filed what [it] thought was a
renewal application.”7 Lewistown adds that it called “your tech support and was helped.”8 Lewistown
states that it “actually filled out an administrative update and unfortunately this license [KNFW729]
expired.”9 Our licensing records indicate that, on June 22, 2012, Lewistown only updated its licensee
contact phone number and email address; it did not file a renewal application.10

1 Waiver Request, (filed Feb. 12, 2013) (Waiver Request) attached to File No. 0005575382 (filed Dec. 27, 2012
amended Feb. 4, 2013).
2 47 C.F.R. § 1.949(a).
3 Waiver Request.
4 Renewal Reminder Notice, Ref. No. 0005346941 Apr. 2, 2012).
5 47 C.F.R. § 1.949(a).
6 Waiver Request.
7 Id.
8 Id.
9 Id.
10 See FCC File No. 0005275138 (filed Jun. 22, 2012).

Ms. Holly Phelps

Pursuant to the Commission’s rules, licensees must file renewal applications no later than the
expiration date of the license for which renewal is sought.11 Licenses automatically terminate upon the
expiration date, unless a timely application for renewal is filed.12
The Commission’s policy regarding reinstatement procedures in the Wireless Radio Services is as
follows: Renewal applications that are filed up to thirty days after the expiration date of the license will
be granted nunc pro tunc if the application is otherwise sufficient under the Commission’s Rules, but the
licensee may be subject to an enforcement action for untimely filing and unauthorized operation during
the time between the expiration of the license and the untimely renewal filing.13 Applicants who file
renewal applications more than thirty days after the license expiration date may also request renewal of
the license nunc pro tunc, but such requests will not be routinely granted, will be subject to stricter
review, and also may be accompanied by enforcement action, including more significant fines or
forfeitures.14 In determining whether to reinstate a license, we consider all of the facts and circumstances,
including the length of the delay in filing, the reasons for the failure to timely file, the potential
consequences to the public if the license should terminate, and the performance record of the licensee.15
Taking into consideration the Commission’s above policy regarding license reinstatement
procedures, we now consider the merits of Lewistown’s Waiver Request. A waiver of the Commission’s
rules may be granted where the applicant demonstrates that (1) the underlying purpose of the rule would
not be served or would be in the public interest; or (2) in view of unique or unusual factual circumstances
of the instant case, application of the rule would be inequitable, unduly burdensome or contrary to the
public interest, or the applicant has no reasonable alternative.16
Based on the facts before us, we find that Lewistown has satisfied neither prong of the
Commission’s general waiver standard. Specifically, Lewistown makes no showing that the underlying
purpose of Section 1.949(a) – to preserve the integrity and administration of the Commission’s licensing
processes -- would not be served or would be frustrated by application to Lewistown in the instant case.
Nor does Lewistown demonstrate that its inadvertent failure to renew a license in a timely manner is a
unique and unusual circumstance such that application of the rule would be unduly burdensome or
contrary to the public interest to warrant a waiver in this instance.17 In reaching this decision, we note
that each licensee is solely responsible for knowing the terms of its license and submitting a renewal
application to the Commission in a timely manner.18 Lewistown’s bare statement that it called “your tech

11 47 C.F.R. § 1.949(a).
12 47 C.F.R. § 1.955(a)(1).
13 Biennial Regulatory Review - Amendment of Parts 0, 1, 13, 22, 24, 26, 27, 80, 87, 90, 95, 97, and 101 of the
Commission's Rules to Facilitate the Development and Use of the Universal Licensing System in the Wireless
Telecommunications Services, Memorandum Opinion and Order on Reconsideration, WT Docket No. 98-20, 14
FCC Rcd 11476, 11485 ¶ 22 (1999) (ULS MO&O).
14 Id. at 11486 ¶ 22.
15 Id. at 11485 ¶ 22.
16 47 C.F.R. § 1.925(b)(3).
17 ULS MO&O, 14 FCC Rcd at 11485 ¶ 21.
18 Id.; Amendment of Parts 1 and 90 of the Commission’s Rules Concerning the Construction, Licensing, and
Operation of Private Land Mobile Radio Stations, Report and Order, PR Docket No. 90-481, 6 FCC Rcd 7297,
7301 n.41 (1991) (R&O).

Ms. Holly Phelps

support and was helped” does not absolve it from not completing the renewal application form.
Lewistown does not contend, and we do not believe, that “tech support” informed Lewistown that a
license could be renewed simply by updating the licensee contact information.
We also find that waiver relief in this instance would not be consistent with the public interest.
The Commission has stated that it will not afford special consideration to licensees for failing to file a
timely renewal application merely because the licensee engages in activities relating to public health or
safety.19 Taking into account all the facts and circumstances of the instant matter, we therefore conclude
that grant of Lewistown’s Waiver Requests is not warranted.20 Should Lewistown desire to use its
previously licensed frequencies it may file a new, properly coordinated application. Should Lewistown
need to operate while its application is being prepared and coordinated, it may file a request for special
temporary authority pursuant to Section 1.931 of the Commission’s rules.21 Finally, in connection with
use of the frequencies under Call Signs KNFW729, we remind Lewistown of the Commission’s
VHF/UHF narrowbanding policy, which requires PLMR licensees in the 150-174 MHz and 421-470
MHz (VHF/UHF) bands to operate using channel bandwidth of no more than 12.5 kHz, or equivalent
efficiency, by January 1, 2013.22
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Sections 4(i) and 309 of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 309, and Section 1.925 of the Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. §
1.925, that the request for waiver of Section 1.949(a) of the Commission’s Rules filed December 27, 2012
by the City of Lewistown, Montana IS DENIED.
These actions are taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections 0.191 and 0.392 of the
Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.191, 0.392.
Michael J. Wilhelm
Deputy Chief, Policy and Licensing Division
Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau

19 R&O, 6 FCC Rcd at 7301 ¶ 20.
20 See, e.g., WSYX Licensee, Inc., Order, 15 FCC Rcd 19084 (WTB PSPWD 2000) (denying a request for waiver of
Section 1.949 of the Commission’s Rules to allow submission of late-filed renewal applications after the licenses
expired, and dismissing the subject applications).
21 See 47 C.F.R. §1.931.
22 See, e.g., Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Office of
Engineering and Technology Provide Guidance on Compliance With Narrowband Requirement Now in Effect for
Private Land Mobile Radio Operations in the 150-174 MHz and 421-470 MHz Bands, Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd
2296 (WTB/PSHSB/OET 2013).

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