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Foreign Ownership Rulings Review


This Order on Reconsideration (Order) concerns Commission policies implementing section 310(b) of the Communications Act of 1934 (Act), which governs foreign ownership in holders of certain types of licenses.  In this Order, we consider two petitions for reconsideration filed by Chatham Avalon Park Community Council (Chatham) of the declaratory rulings in two adjudicatory proceedings in which we granted the applications of Cellco Partnership d/b/a/ Verizon Wireless (Verizon Wireless), as transferee, for authority to acquire control of the licenses and authorizations of subsidiaries of Rural Cellular Corporation (RCC) and Alltel Corporation (Alltel) in two separate transactions. Those declaratory rulings extended Verizon Wireless’ foreign ownership ruling under section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act (Act) to encompass the acquisition of control of the relevant entities and licenses.   

In both petitions, Chatham asserts that we erred in accepting the foreign ownership showing provided by Verizon Wireless.  As discussed below, we dismiss Chatham’s petition for reconsideration in the Verizon Wireless-RCC proceeding on procedural grounds. We consider the foreign ownership argument in Chatham’s petition for reconsideration in the Verizon Wireless-Alltel proceeding and deny the petition in that regard for the reasons discussed below.  In responding to Chatham’s petition for reconsideration of the foreign ownership ruling in the Verizon Wireless-Alltel proceeding, we do not consider, in this Order, a second issue in Chatham’s petition related to a proposed divestiture condition, nor do we consider the petitions for reconsideration filed by other parties in the Verizon Wireless-Alltel proceeding, which do not raise any objection to our foreign ownership ruling. Chatham’s divestiture argument and the other petitions for reconsideration in this proceeding will be addressed separately.

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