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Navajo Pillars Public Notice

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Released: October 30, 2013


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.


Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 13-2100

Released: October 30, 2013




CC Docket No. 96-45, WC Docket No. 09-197, WC Docket No. 10-90, GN Docket No. 09-51, WC

Docket No. 07-135, WC Docket No. 05-337, CC Docket No. 01-92

Comment Date: December 2, 2013
Reply Comment Date: December 16, 2013

The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) seeks comment on a petition filed by Navajo Pillars
Telecommunications, Inc. (Navajo Pillars) seeking designation as an eligible telecommunications
carrier (ETC) and for waiver of several related rules, including a waiver of the definition of the “Study
Area” boundary rules codified in part 36 of the Commission’s rules.1 In addition to seeking an ETC
designation on certain lands located entirely within the borders of the Navajo Nation in the state of
Arizona, Navajo Pillars seeks a waiver of the definition of “study area” contained in part 36 of the
Commission’s rules to modify the current study area of Frontier Communications Corporation (Frontier)
in order to create a new study area.2 Second, Navajo Pillars seeks a finding that Section 54.305 of the
Commission’s rules does not apply to this transaction.3 Third, Navajo Pillars seeks waiver of Sections
36.611 and 36.612 of the Commission's historical cost rules to allow Navajo Pillars immediate access
to High-Cost Loop Support (HCLS) based on Navajo Pillars’ current data for an interim period.4

1 Petition of Navajo Pillars Telecommunications, Inc. for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier
and Related Waivers, CC Docket No. 96-45 et al. (filed Sept. 13, 2013) (Petition);
2 Petition at 1-2; see also 47 C.F.R. Part 36 App. (defining “study area”). Effective November 15, 1984, the
Commission froze all study area boundaries to prevent incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) from establishing
separate study areas made up only of high-cost exchanges to maximize their receipt of high-cost universal service
support. See MTS and WATS Market Structure, Amendment of Part 67 of the Commission’s Rules and
Establishment of a Joint Board
, CC Docket Nos. 78-72, 80-286, Decision and Order, 50 Fed. Reg. 939 (1985) (Part
67 Order
). A carrier must therefore apply to the Commission for a waiver of the study area boundary freeze if it
wishes to transfer or acquire additional exchanges.
3 Petition at 2-5; 47 C.F.R. § 54.305 (providing that a carrier acquiring exchanges from an unaffiliated carrier shall
receive the same levels of high-cost support for which the exchanges were eligible prior to transfer).
4 Petition at 5; 47 C.F.R. §§ 36.611, 36.612

Fourth, Navajo Pillars seeks waiver of Section 54.903(a)(3) of the Commission's rules to allow Navajo
Pillars to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS) immediately.5 Fifth, Navajo
Pillars seeks waiver of the definition of “telephone company” in Section 69.2(hh) to allow Navajo Pillars
to become a member of the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) and immediately participate
in NECA pools and tariffs.6 Sixth, Navajo Pillars seeks a five-year waiver of the cap on interstate
originating and terminating rates and intrastate terminating rates and the transition path for interstate and
intrastate terminating rates as set forth in Section 51.909 of the Commission's rules.7 Seventh, Navajo
Pillars seeks a five-year waiver of the rule limiting reimbursable capital and operating expenses for
We find that it is not appropriate to process this study area waiver petition via the streamlined
study area waiver rules adopted in the USF/ICC Transformation Order.9 In that Order, the Commission
streamlined its rules governing study area waiver requests, creating a method similar to the Bureau’s
processing of routine section 214 transfer of control applications.10 Under the revised process, if the
Bureau concludes that a petition is appropriate for streamlined treatment, the petition will be deemed
granted 60 days after the reply comment due date unless the Bureau issues a public notice stating
otherwise.11 Most petitions for study area waiver are routine in nature and are granted as filed without
modification and the Commission’s new streamlined procedures were created to specifically address such
routine study area waivers.12 However, if the Bureau has concerns with any aspect of a petition for study
area waiver or related waivers, it may find that such petition is inappropriate for streamlined treatment
and that it should be subject to further analysis and review.13 Given the complexities of the issues raised
in the Petition, the Bureau finds that the Petition is inappropriate for streamlined treatment, and should be
subject to further analysis and review. Accordingly, the Bureau will issue an order either granting or
denying the Petition after considering the record, including the record received in response to this public
Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules, interested parties may file
comments on or before the dates indicated above.14 Comments may be filed using the Commission’s
Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies.15

5 Petition at 6; 47 C.F.R. § 54.903(a)(3).
6 Petition at 6; 47 C.F.R. § 69.2(hh).
7 Petition at 6; 47 C.F.R. § 51.909.
8 Petition at 6.
9 Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 17663, 17763, paras. 266-67 (2011) (USF/ICC Transformation Order), pets. for review
pending sub nom. In re: FCC,
No. 11-9900 (10th Cir. filed Dec. 18, 2011).
10 See USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17763, paras. 266-67.
11 See id.; 47 C.F.R. § 36.4.
12 See USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17763, para 266.
13 See id. at para. 267; see also 47 C.F.R. § 36.4(a).
14 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.415, 1.419.
15 See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, GC Docket No. 97-113, Report and Order, 13
FCC Rcd 11322 (1998).

Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each
filing. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by
first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the
Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary
must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325,
Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries
must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be
disposed of before entering the building.
Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority
Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th
Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities
(Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (tty).

In addition, we request that one copy of each pleading be sent to each of the following:

(1) Abdel Eqab, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, 445 12th
Street, SW, Room 5-B431, Washington, DC 20554; e-mail:;
(2) Charles Tyler, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, 445 12th
Street, SW, Room 5-A452, Washington, DC 20554; e-mail:;
(3) Craig Glenn, Pricing Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, 445 12th Street, SW, Room 5-
A100, Washington, DC 20554; e-mail:; and
(4) Rebekah Bina, Office of Native Affairs and Policy, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, 445
12th Street, SW, Room 4-B522, Washington, DC 20554; e-mail:
The proceeding this Notice initiates shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in
accordance with the Commission’s ex parte rules.16 Persons making ex parte presentations must file a
copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two
business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies).
Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation
must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte

16 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200 et seq.

presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the
presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments
already reflected in the presenter’s written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the
presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or
other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be
found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission
staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed
consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has
made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing
oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment
filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt,
searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission’s ex
For further information, please contact Abdel Eqab, Telecommunications Access Policy Division,
Wireline Competition Bureau at (202) 418-7400 or TTY (202) 418-0484.
- FCC -

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