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Forbearance Procedural Rules

47 C.F.R. § 1.49 Specifications as to pleadings and documents.
(f)(1) * * *
(iv) Petition for forbearance proceedings.

47 C.F.R. § 1.53 Separate pleadings for petitions for forbearance.
In order to be considered as a petition for forbearance subject to the one-year deadline set forth in 47
U.S.C. 160(c), any petition requesting that the Commission exercise its forbearance authority under 47
U.S.C. 160 shall be filed as a separate pleading and shall be identified in the caption of such pleading as a
petition for forbearance under 47 U.S.C. 160(c). Any request which is not in compliance with this rule is
deemed not to constitute a petition pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 160(c), and is not subject to the deadline set
forth therein.

47 C.F.R. § 1.54 Petitions for forbearance must be complete as filed.
(a) Description of relief sought. Petitions for forbearance must identify the requested relief, including:

(1) Each statutory provision, rule, or requirement from which forbearance is sought.
(2) Each carrier, or group of carriers, for which forbearance is sought.
(3) Each service for which forbearance is sought.
(4) Each geographic location, zone, or area for which forbearance is sought.
(5) Any other factor, condition, or limitation relevant to determining the scope of the requested

(b) Prima facie case. Petitions for forbearance must contain facts and arguments which, if true and
persuasive, are sufficient to meet each of the statutory criteria for forbearance.

(1) A petition for forbearance must specify how each of the statutory criteria is met with regard to
each statutory provision or rule, or requirement from which forbearance is sought.
(2) If the petitioner intends to rely on data or information in the possession of third parties, the
petition must identify:

(i) The nature of the data or information.
(ii) The parties believed to have or control the data or information.
(iii) The relationship of the data or information to facts and arguments presented in the

(3) The petitioner shall, at the time of filing, provide a copy of the petition to each third party
identified as possessing data or information on which the petitioner intends to rely.

(c) Identification of related matters. A petition for forbearance must identify any proceeding pending
before the Commission in which the petitioner has requested, or otherwise taken a position regarding,
relief that is identical to, or comparable to, the relief sought in the forbearance petition. Alternatively, the
petition must declare that the petitioner has not, in a pending proceeding, requested or otherwise taken a
position on the relief sought.
(d) Filing requirements. Petitions for forbearance shall comply with the filing requirements in § 1.49.

(1) Petitions for forbearance shall be emailed to at the time for filing.
(2) All filings related to a forbearance petition, including all data, shall be provided in a
searchable format. To be searchable, a spreadsheet containing a significant amount of data must
be capable of being manipulated to allow meaningful analysis.

(e) Contents. Petitions for forbearance shall include:

(1) A plain, concise, written summary statement of the relief sought.
(2) A full statement of the petitioner’s prima facie case for relief.
(3) Appendices that list:

(i) The scope of relief sought as required in § 1.54(a);
(ii) All supporting data upon which the petition intends to rely, including a
market analysis; and
(iii) Any supporting statements or affidavits.

(f) Supplemental information. The Commission will consider further facts and arguments entered into the
record by a petitioner only:

(1) In response to facts and arguments introduced by commenters or opponents.
(2) By permission of the Commission.

47 C.F.R. § 1.55 Public notice of petitions for forbearance.
(a) Filing a petition for forbearance initiates the statutory time limit for consideration of the petition.
(b) The Commission will issue a public notice when it receives a properly filed petition for forbearance.
The notice will include:

(1) A statement of the nature of the petition for forbearance.
(2) The scope of the forbearance sought and a description of the subjects and issues involved.
(3) The docket number assigned to the proceeding.
(4) A statement of the time for filing oppositions or comments and replies thereto.

47 C.F.R. § 1.56 Motions for summary denial of petitions for forbearance.
(a) Opponents of a petition for forbearance may submit a motion for summary denial if it can be shown
that the petition for forbearance, viewed in the light most favorable to the petitioner, cannot meet the
statutory criteria for forbearance.
(b) A motion for summary denial may not be filed later than the due date for comments and oppositions
announced in the public notice.
(c) Oppositions to motions for summary denial may not be filed later than the due date for reply
comments announced in the public notice.
(d) No reply may be filed to an opposition to a motion for summary denial.

47 C.F.R. § 1.57 Circulation and voting of petitions for forbearance.
(a) If a petition for forbearance includes novel questions of fact, law or policy which cannot be resolved
under outstanding precedents and decisions, the Chairman will circulate a draft order no later than 28
days prior to the statutory deadline, unless all Commissioners agree to a shorter period.
(b) The Commission will vote on any circulated order resolving a forbearance petition not later than seven
days before the last day that action must be taken to prevent the petition from being deemed granted by
operation of law.

47 C.F.R. § 1.58 Forbearance petition quiet period prohibition.
The prohibition in § 1.1203(a) on contacts with decisionmakers concerning matters listed in the Sunshine
Agenda shall also apply to a petition for forbearance for a period of 14 days prior to the statutory deadline
under 47 U.S.C. 160(c) or as announced by the Commission.

47 C.F.R. § 1.59 Withdrawal or narrowing of petitions for forbearance.
(a) A petitioner may withdraw or narrow a petition for forbearance without approval of the Commission
by filing a notice of full or partial withdrawal at any time prior to the end of the tenth business day after
the due date for reply comments announced in the public notice.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, a petition for forbearance may be withdrawn, or
narrowed so significantly as to amount to a withdrawal of a large portion of the forbearance relief
originally requested by the petitioner, only with approval of the Commission.

Published: June 24, 2013 Updated: June 24, 2013

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