FCC 22.949 Revised as of December 4, 2012
Goto Year:2011 |
§ 22.949 Unserved area licensing process.
This section sets forth the process for licensing unserved areas in
cellular markets on channel blocks for which the five year build-out
period has expired. This process has two phases: Phase I and Phase II.
This section also sets forth the Phase II process applicable to
applications to serve the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Zone.
(a) Phase I. Phase I is a one-time process that provides an opportunity
for eligible parties to file competing applications for authority to
operate a new cellular system in or to expand an existing cellular
system into unserved areas (Phase I initial applications) as soon as
these areas become available. In addition, each licensee whose Phase I
initial application is granted is afforded one opportunity during the
Phase I process to file an application proposing major modifications to
the cellular system authorized by that grant (a Phase I major
modification application), without being subject to competing
(1) Phase I initial applications must be filed on the 31st day after
the expiration of the five year build-out period of the authorized
system(s) on the channel block requested in the market containing the
(i) Each Phase I application must request authorization for one and
only one cellular geographic service area (CGSA) in one and only one
(ii) Applicants must not file more than one Phase I initial application
for any cellular market.
(iii) Phase I initial applications must not propose any de minimis or
contract service area boundary (SAB) extensions.
(2) Only one Phase I initial application is granted on each channel
block in each market. Consequently, whenever two or more acceptable
Phase I initial applications are timely filed in the same market on the
same channel block, such Phase I initial applications are mutually
exclusive, regardless of any other considerations such as the technical
proposals. In order to determine which of such mutually exclusive Phase
I initial applications to grant, the Commission administers competitive
bidding procedures in accordance with subpart Q of part 1 of this
chapter. After such procedures, the application of the winning bidder
may be granted and the applications excluded by that grant may be
dismissed without prejudice.
Note: Notwithstanding the provisions of § 22.949(a)(2), mutually
exclusive Phase I initial applications that were filed between March
10, 1993 and July 25, 1993, inclusive, are to be included in a random
selection process, following which the selected application may be
granted and the applications excluded by that grant may be dismissed
(3) Phase I major modification applications (applications filed during
Phase I that propose major modifications to cellular systems authorized
by the grant of Phase I initial applications) must be filed no later
than 90 days after the grant of the Phase I initial application. Each
Phase I licensee may file only one Phase I major modification
application. The FCC will not accept any competing applications in
response to a Phase I major modification application. Phase I licensees
may not sell to a third party any rights to apply for unserved area.
(i) Phase I major modification applications may propose de minimis or
contract SAB extensions; provided that a contract SAB extension into an
adjacent market may be proposed only if, at the time the Phase I major
modification application is filed, the licensee in the adjacent market
(on the requested channel block) has the right to enter into such a
contract (see § 22.912(c)).
(ii) Phase I major modification application may propose a CGSA that is
not contiguous with the authorized or proposed CGSA, provided that the
non-contiguous CGSA meets the minimum coverage requirement of § 22.951.
(4) Phase I licensees may also file applications for or notifications
of minor modifications to its system. However, such minor modifications
may not reduce the size of the CGSA below the minimum coverage
requirement of § 22.951.
(b) Phase II. Phase II is an on-going filing process that allows
eligible parties to apply for any unserved areas that may remain in a
market after the Phase I process is complete.
(1) If a Phase I initial application is granted for a market and
channel block, Phase II applications (applications for authority to
operate a cellular system in any remaining unserved area) for that
market and channel block may be filed on or after the 121st day after
the Phase I application was granted. If no Phase I initial applications
are granted for a market and channel block, Phase II applications for
that market and channel block may be filed on or after the 31st day
after the FCC dismissed the last pending Phase I application. If no
Phase I initial applications are received for a market and channel
block, Phase II applications for that market and channel block may be
filed on or after the 32nd day after the expiration of the relevant
five-year build-out period.
(2) There is no limit to the number of Phase II applications that may
be granted on each channel block in each market. Consequently, Phase II
applications are mutually exclusive only if the proposed CGSAs would
overlap. Mutually exclusive applications are processed using the
general procedures in § 22.131.
(3) Phase II applications may propose a CGSA covering more than one
cellular market. Each Phase II application must request authorization
for one and only one CGSA. Phase II applications may propose de minimis
and contract SAB extensions.
(c) Settlements among some, but not all, applicants with mutually
exclusive applications for unserved areas (partial settlements) are
prohibited. Settlements among all applicants with mutually exclusive
applications (full settlements) are allowed and must be filed no later
than the date that the FCC Form 175 (short-form) is filed.
(d) Limitations on amendments . Notwithstanding the provisions of
§ 1.927 of this chapter, Phase I applications are subject to the
following additional limitations in regard to the filing of amendments.
(1) The Commission will not accept amendments (of any type) to mutually
exclusive Phase I applications prior to the conclusion of the
competitive bidding process.
(2) The FCC will not accept major amendments to Phase I applications.
(3) Minor amendments required by § 1.65 of this chapter must be filed
no later than thirty (30) days after public notice announcing the
results of the competitive bidding process.
[ 59 FR 59507 , Nov. 17, 1994, as amended at 59 FR 59956 , Nov. 21, 1994;
61 FR 58339 , Nov. 14, 1996; 67 FR 9610 , Mar. 4, 2002; 70 FR 61059 , Oct.
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