March 31, 2020

Below you will find a compilation of instructions for filings that can be made with WTB during emergencies or other urgent conditions.  This information is being provided for guidance as a result of the current declaration of national emergency due to COVID-19 issued on March 13, 2020. 

 

Quick Reference

Type of Filing How to File Point of Contact Mobility Point of Contact Broadband
STA (Emergency) Informal Letter, E-mail, phone or ULS Keith Harper (202) 418-2759; Keith.Harper@fcc.gov Paul Malmud (202) 418-0006; Paul.Malmud@fcc.gov
STA - auctioned spectrum (non-emergency) Manually Keith Harper (202) 418-2759; Keith.Harper@fcc.gov Paul Malmud (202) 418-0006; Paul.Malmud@fcc.gov
STA - all other spectrum (non-emergency) ULS Keith Harper (202) 418-2759; Keith.Harper@fcc.gov Paul Malmud (202) 418-0006; Paul.Malmud@fcc.gov
Waivers (associated w/ licenses) ULS Keith Harper (202) 418-2759; Keith.Harper@fcc.gov Paul Malmud (202) 418-0006; Paul.Malmud@fcc.gov
Waivers (other) Prefer in ECFS Keith Harper (202) 418-2759; Keith.Harper@fcc.gov Paul Malmud (202) 418-0006; Paul.Malmud@fcc.gov

During evening hours, weekends, and holidays, licensees needing FCC emergency assistance or STAs can call the FCC’s Operations Center, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (202) 418-1122 or by email at FCCOPCenter@fcc.gov.

STA

An application for special temporary authority (“STA”) allows an applicant to obtain immediate or temporary operation of certain radio facilities.  An STA may be granted in the following circumstances:

  1. In emergency situations, such as natural disasters;
  2. To permit restoration or relocation of existing facilities to continue communication service;
  3. For a temporary, non-recurring service where a regular authorization is not appropriate; and
  4. In other situations involving circumstances which are of such extraordinary nature that delay in the initiation of temporary operation would seriously prejudice the public interest.

See section 1.931 of the FCC’s rules for more details on STAs: https://gov.ecfr.io/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=63fbcf8ac0029fa17180d350b1625096&mc=true&n=sp47.1.1.f&r=SUBPART&ty=HTML#se47.1.1_1931

How to file an STA:

  1. Emergency STAs:
    • Emergency requests for STA may be submitted by informal letter, email or, if necessary, by telephone. To file STA requests via email or telephone, or to receive an oral STA during regular business hours, licensees may contact the FCC personnel listed above.
      • As appropriate, licensees may also file emergency STA requests electronically through the Commission’s Universal Licensing System (ULS): https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/systems-utilities/universal-licensing-system Please notify the POC for the type of license for which the STA is requested as well.
      • For emergency requests for STA that the FCC grants and that are not filed in the first instance in ULS (i.e., requests by informal letter, email, or by telephone), the grant may include a requirement that the applicant file a subsequent request in ULS within 10 days. Applicants should follow the processes outlined in section two or three below, as appropriate.
    • All emergency STA requests should provide the emergency nature of the request, the technical parameters of the proposed operation, and a contact point. These requests will be handled as expeditiously as possible.
    • Please note that an Applicant’s emergency STA request may be posted publicly on the Commission’s webpage, so please do not include any confidential information.
  2. STAs for market-based services (auctioned licenses):
    • For services where licenses are issued through an auction, and are therefore market-based, STAs must be filed manually using FCC Form 601.
    • Follow the instructions under FCC Form 601 for manual filings: https://www.fcc.gov/licensing-databases/forms.
    • For manual filing instructions during the current pandemic due to COVID-19, please refer to the Commission’s Public Notice: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-346A1.pdf
    • If the STA request asks for the use of spectrum that is currently authorized to another licensee, then the application must include written consent from the licensee of that market-based spectrum.
    • An applicant should also include with its STA application a request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement in section 1.931 of the FCC’s rules, due to impracticability.
  3. All other STA applications:

 

Type of Filing How to File Point of Contact Mobility Point of Contact Broadband
STA (Emergency) Informal Letter, E-mail, phone or ULS Keith Harper (202) 418-2759; Keith.Harper@fcc.gov Paul Malmud (202) 418-0006; Paul.Malmud@fcc.gov
STA - auctioned spectrum (non-emergency) Manually Keith Harper (202) 418-2759; Keith.Harper@fcc.gov Paul Malmud (202) 418-0006; Paul.Malmud@fcc.gov
STA - all other spectrum (non-emergency) ULS Keith Harper (202) 418-2759; Keith.Harper@fcc.gov Paul Malmud (202) 418-0006; Paul.Malmud@fcc.gov

Waiver

The Commission may waive specific requirements of its rules upon request.  Grant of a waiver request requires a showing that:

  1. The underlying purpose of the rule(s) would not be served or would be frustrated by application to the instant case, and that a grant of the requested waiver would be in the public interest; or
  2. In view of unique or unusual factual circumstances of the instant case, application of the rule(s) would be inequitable, unduly burdensome or contrary to the public interest, or the applicant has no reasonable alternative.

See section 1.925 of the FCC’s rules for more details on waiver requests: https://gov.ecfr.io/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=192c7d6fedffff8b669582fabf19423d&mc=true&node=se47.1.1_1925&rgn=div8

How to file a Waiver:

1. Waivers associated with an FCC authorization:

  • Requests for waiver of rules associated with licenses or applications in the Wireless Radio Services (as defined in Part 1 of the FCC’s rules) must be filed on FCC Form 601, 603, or 605.
  • See specific instructions for how to include a waiver request by locating the specified forms: https://www.fcc.gov/licensing-databases/forms
  • All waiver requests must include the following:
    • A statement of reasons sufficient to justify the waiver, identifying the specific rules or policies for which the waiver is requested, for each rule waiver desired.

2. Waivers not associated with an FCC authorization:

  • All other waiver requests are encouraged to be filed electronically, through the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System ("ECFS"): https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings.
  • Filings in an existing proceeding with a docket number can be made using the standard filing tab in ECFS.
  • Filings without an existing docket number can be filed through the non-docketed filing tab in ECFS using "Inbox 1.3 – Petition for Waiver (Miscellaneous)."
  • For assistance with using ECFS, please contact the ECFS Help Desk at 202-418-0193 or via email at ECFSHelp@fcc.gov.

 

Type of Filing How to File Point of Contact Mobility Point of Contact Broadband
Waivers (associated w/ licenses) ULS Keith Harper (202) 418-2759; Keith.Harper@fcc.gov Paul Malmud (202) 418-0006; Paul.Malmud@fcc.gov
Waivers (other) Prefer in ECFS Keith Harper (202) 418-2759; Keith.Harper@fcc.gov Paul Malmud (202) 418-0006; Paul.Malmud@fcc.gov

After Hours Contact

During evening hours, weekends, and holidays, licensees needing FCC emergency assistance or STAs can call the FCC’s Operations Center, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (202) 418-1122 or by email at FCCOPCenter@fcc.gov.

Date Last Updated/Reviewed: 
Monday, February 22, 2021