If an SAB contour captures 20 square miles of Unserved Area in one Cellular Market Area (CMA) and 200 square miles in the adjacent market, can the licensee claim the total 220 square miles as Cellular Geographic Service Area (CGSA)?

If the 220 square miles of Unserved Area is contiguous, then it may be claimed as CGSA, regardless of the market location of the Unserved Area. If the 20 square mile portion of Unserved Area is not contiguous with the 200 square miles in the adjacent market, then only the 200 square miles may be claimed as CGSA. However, the 20 square miles of Unserved Area could be served on a secondary basis until an additional 30 square miles (totaling 50 square miles) of contiguous Unserved Area could be claimed as CGSA.

With major modifications claiming Unserved Area of at least 50 contiguous square miles as CGSA, will a licensee be required to file a Notification of Construction (NT) that the site is built as proposed in the Major Modification?

Yes, if you file a major modification claiming Unserved Area of at least 50 contiguous square miles, you are required to file a Notification of Construction that the site was timely constructed.

If I filed last year under the former Cellular rules for a CGSA expansion (major modification application) into Unserved Area that is less than 50 contiguous square miles – e.g., 35 square miles -- and the Commission granted that application, do I have to file an NT by the build-out deadline, now that the new rules have taken effect?

Yes, you must file the NT to report timely build-out, or the CGSA expansion will be nullified. Any Commission-approved CGSA expansion requires the filing of the NT by the build-out deadline.

As of the effective date of the new Cellular rules, is a minor modification filing required for a reduction in the CGSA if the reduction does not involve discontinuance of a site and entails an extremely small reduction that results solely from a minor adjustment to an antenna?

Yes. The Report & Order did not eliminate such minor modification filings. Note that comment was sought in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning revisions to the current site-based permanent discontinuance of service rule. In that context, eliminating the requirement for filings for all CGSA reductions, whatever the reason for the reduction, will likely be addressed in the Second Report and Order.

Under the new rules, is a filing required when a land-based Cellular licensee extends its SAB into the Gulf of Mexico Exclusive Zone ("Exclusive Zone")? And what about the reverse situation, where a Cellular licensee in the Exclusive Zone extends its SAB into the licensed area of a land-based Cellular carrier?

As explained in the 2014 R&O (see FCC 14-181, ¶22), land-based Cellular licensees adjoining the Gulf will be required to negotiate any desired SAB extensions into the Exclusive Zone and submit minor modification applications to the Commission, certifying that such consent has been obtained; and Cellular licensees in the Exclusive Zone will likewise be required to negotiate any desired SAB extensions into the licensed area of neighboring land-based carriers and submit minor modification applications to the Commission, certifying that such consent has been obtained. See 47 C.F.R. §§22.912(c) and 22.953(c) (as adopted in the R&O).

Bureau/Office: 

Updated: 
Tuesday, April 11, 2017