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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 12, 2019

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter DPart 101Subpart B → Subject Group


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 101—FIXED MICROWAVE SERVICES
Subpart B—Applications and Licenses


License Transfers, Modifications, Conditions and Forfeitures

§101.55   Considerations involving transfer or assignment applications.

(a) Except as provided for in paragraph (d) of this section, licenses not authorized pursuant to competitive bidding procedures may not be assigned or transferred prior to the completion of construction of the facility.

(b) [Reserved]

(c) At its discretion, the Commission may require the submission of an affirmative, factual showing (supported by affidavits of a person or persons with personal knowledge thereof) to demonstrate that the proposed assignor or transferor has not acquired an authorization or operated a station for the principal purpose of profitable sale rather than public service. This showing may include, for example, a demonstration that the proposed assignment or transfer is due to changed circumstances (described in detail) affecting the licensee subsequent to the acquisition of the license, or that the proposed transfer of radio facilities is incidental to a sale of other facilities or merger of interests.

(d) If a proposed transfer of radio facilities is incidental to a sale or other facilities or merger of interests, the showing specified under paragraph (c) of this section shall be submitted and include an additional exhibit that:

(1) Discloses complete details as to the sale of facilities or merger of interests;

(2) Segregates clearly by an itemized accounting, the amount of consideration involved in the sale of facilities or merger of interests; and

(3) Demonstrates that the amount of consideration assignable to the facilities or business interests involved represents their fair market value at the time of the transaction.

[61 FR 26677, May 28, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 6104, Feb. 6, 1998; 63 FR 68982, Dec. 14, 1998; 65 FR 38327, June 20, 2000; 68 FR 4955, Jan. 31, 2003]

§101.56   [Reserved]

§101.61   Certain modifications not requiring prior authorization in the Local Multipoint Distribution Service and 24 GHz Service

In the Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) licensees may add, remove, or relocate facilities within the area authorized by the license without prior authorization. Upon request by an incumbent licensee or the Commission, an LMDS licensee shall furnish the technical parameters, location and coordinates of the completion of the addition, removal, relocation or modification of any of its facilities within the BTA. The LMDS licensee must provide such information within ten (10) days of receiving a written request. This section also applies to 24 GHz licensees that are licensed according to Economic Areas.

[65 FR 59357, Oct. 5, 2000]

§101.63   Period of construction; certification of completion of construction.

(a) Each Station, except in Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service, Local Multipoint Distribution Service, and the 24 GHz Service, authorized under this part must be in operation within 18 months from the initial date of grant.

(b) For the 70 GHz, 80 GHz, and 90 GHz bands, the 12-month construction period will commence on the date of each registration of each individual link; adding links will not change the overall renewal period of the license.

(c) Failure to timely begin operation means the authorization cancels automatically.

(d) The frequencies associated with all point-to-multipoint authorizations which have cancelled automatically or otherwise been recovered by the Commission will again be made available for reassignment on a date and under terms set forth by Public Notice. See §101.1331(d) for treatment of MAS incumbent site-by-site licenses recovered in EAs.

(e) Requests for extension of time may be granted upon a showing of good cause pursuant to §1.946(e) of this chapter.

(f) Construction of any authorized facility or frequency must be completed by the date specified in the license as pursuant to §1.946 of this chapter.

(g) MVPD licensees which have both analog and digital emissions designators specified on the license and which already have, or may transition from analog to digital operations, or a combination of both, meet their completion of construction requirements and do not automatically surrender their license provided they are using either set of emissions. If the licensee has completed the transition to digital, the license can remove the unused analog emission designators the next time a modification or renewal application is filed.

[61 FR 26677, May 28, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 23165, Apr. 29, 1997; 63 FR 6104, Feb. 6, 1998; 63 FR 68982, Dec. 14, 1998; 64 FR 45893, Aug. 23, 1999; 65 FR 17448, Apr. 3, 2000; 65 FR 38327, June 20, 2000; 65 FR 59357, Oct. 5, 2000; 69 FR 3266, Jan. 23, 2004; 69 FR 16832, Mar. 31, 2004; 71 FR 69048, Nov. 29, 2006; 81 FR 79944, Nov. 14, 2016]

§101.64   Service areas.

Service areas for 38.6-40.0 GHz service are Economic Areas (EAs) as defined below. EAs are delineated by the Regional Economic Analysis Division, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce. The Commerce Department organizes the 50 States and the District of Columbia into 172 EAs. Additionally, there are four EA-like areas: Guam and Northern Mariana Islands; Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; American Samoa and the Gulf of Mexico. A total of 175 authorizations (excluding the Gulf of Mexico EA-like area) will be issued for each channel block in the 39 GHz band.

[64 FR 45893, Aug. 23, 1999]

§101.65   Termination of station authorizations.

In addition to the provisions of §1.953 of this chapter, a site-based license will be automatically terminated in whole or in part without further notice to the licensee upon the voluntary removal or alteration of the facilities, so as to render the station not operational for a period of 30 days or more. A licensee is subject to this provision commencing on the date it is required to be providing service or operating under §101.63. This provision is inapplicable to blanket authorizations to operate fixed stations at temporary locations pursuant to the provisions of §101.31(a)(2). See §101.305 for additional rules regarding temporary and permanent discontinuation of service.

[82 FR 41549, Sept. 1, 2017]

Effective Date Note: At 82 FR 41549, Sept. 1, 2017, §101.65 was revised. This section contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

§101.67   License period.

Licenses for stations authorized under this part will be issued for a period not to exceed 10 years. Unless otherwise specified by the Commission, the expiration of regular licenses shall be on the date (month and day) selected by licensees in the year of expiration.

Policies Governing Microwave Relocation From the 1850-1990 and 2110-2200 MHz Bands

§101.69   Transition of the 1850-1990 MHz, 2110-2150 MHz, and 2160-2200 MHz bands from the fixed microwave services to personal communications services and emerging technologies.

Fixed Microwave Services (FMS) in the 1850-1990 MHz, 2110-2150 MHz, and 2160-2200 MHz bands have been allocated for use by emerging technology (ET) services, including Personal Communications Services (PCS), Advanced Wireless Services (AWS), and Mobile Satellite Services (MSS). The rules in this section provide for a transition period during which ET licensees may relocate existing FMS licensees using these frequencies to other media or other fixed channels, including those in other microwave bands.

(a) ET licensees may negotiate with FMS licensees authorized to use frequencies in the 1850-1990 MHz, 2110-2150 MHz, and 2160-2200 MHz bands, for the purpose of agreeing to terms under which the FMS licensees would:

(1) Relocate their operations to other fixed microwave bands or other media; or alternatively

(2) Accept a sharing arrangement with the ET licensee that may result in an otherwise impermissible level of interference to the FMS operations.

(b)-(c) [Reserved]

(d) Relocation of FMS licensees in the 2110-2150 and 2160-2200 MHz band will be subject to mandatory negotiations only. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, mandatory negotiation periods are defined as follows:

(1) Non-public safety incumbents will have a two-year mandatory negotiation period; and

(2) Public safety incumbents will have a three-year mandatory negotiation period.

(e) Relocation of FMS licensees by Mobile-Satellite Service (MSS) licensees will be subject to mandatory negotiations only.

(1) The mandatory negotiation period for non-public safety incumbents will end December 8, 2004.

(2) The mandatory negotiation period for public safety incumbents will end December 8, 2005.

(f) AWS licensees operating in the 1910-1920 MHz and 2175-2180 MHz bands will follow the requirements and procedures set forth in ET Docket No. 00-258 and WT Docket No. 04-356.

(g) If no agreement is reached during the mandatory negotiation period, an ET licensee may initiate involuntary relocation procedures. Under involuntary relocation, the incumbent is required to relocate, provided that the ET licensee meets the conditions of §101.75.

[62 FR 12758, Mar. 18, 1997, as amended at 65 FR 48182, Aug. 7, 2000; 68 FR 3464, Jan. 24, 2003; 68 FR 68253, Dec. 8, 2003; 69 FR 62622, Oct. 27, 2004; 71 FR 29842, May 24, 2006; 78 FR 8271, Feb. 5, 2013; 78 FR 48621, Aug. 9, 2013]

§101.71   [Reserved]

§101.73   Mandatory negotiations.

(a) A mandatory negotiation period may be initiated at the option of the ET licensee. Relocation of FMS licensees by Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) operators and AWS licensees in the 2110-2150 MHz and 2160-2200 MHz bands will be subject to mandatory negotiations only.

(b) Once mandatory negotiations have begun, an FMS licensee may not refuse to negotiate and all parties are required to negotiate in good faith. Good faith requires each party to provide information to the other that is reasonably necessary to facilitate the relocation process. In evaluating claims that a party has not negotiated in good faith, the FCC will consider, inter alia, the following factors:

(1) Whether the ET licensee has made a bona fide offer to relocate the FMS licensee to comparable facilities in accordance with Section 101.75(b);

(2) If the FMS licensee has demanded a premium, the type of premium requested (e.g., whether the premium is directly related to relocation, such as system-wide relocations and analog-to-digital conversions, versus other types of premiums), and whether the value of the premium as compared to the cost of providing comparable facilities is disproportionate (i.e., whether there is a lack of proportion or relation between the two);

(3) What steps the parties have taken to determine the actual cost of relocation to comparable facilities;

(4) Whether either party has withheld information requested by the other party that is necessary to estimate relocation costs or to facilitate the relocation process.

(c) Any party alleging a violation of our good faith requirement must attach an independent estimate of the relocation costs in question to any documentation filed with the Commission in support of its claim. An independent cost estimate must include a specification for the comparable facility and a statement of the costs associated with providing that facility to the incumbent licensee.

(d) Provisions for Relocation of Fixed Microwave Licensees in the 2110-2150 and 2160-2200 MHz bands. A separate mandatory negotiation period will commence for each FMS licensee when an ET licensee informs that FMS licensee in writing of its desire to negotiate. Mandatory negotiations will be conducted with the goal of providing the FMS licensee with comparable facilities defined as facilities possessing the following characteristics:

(1) Throughput. Communications throughput is the amount of information transferred within a system in a given amount of time. If analog facilities are being replaced with analog, comparable facilities provide an equivalent number of 4 kHz voice channels. If digital facilities are being replaced with digital, comparable facilities provide equivalent data loading bits per second (bps).

(2) Reliability. System reliability is the degree to which information is transferred accurately within a system. Comparable facilities provide reliability equal to the overall reliability of the FMS system. For digital systems, reliability is measured by the percent of time the bit error rate (BER) exceeds a desired value, and for analog or digital voice transmission, it is measured by the percent of time that audio signal quality meets an established threshold. If an analog system is replaced with a digital system, only the resulting frequency response, harmonic distortion, signal-to-noise and its reliability will be considered in determining comparable reliability.

(3) Operating Costs. Operating costs are the cost to operate and maintain the FMS system. ET licensees would compensate FMS licensees for any increased recurring costs associated with the replacement facilities (e.g., additional rental payments, and increased utility fees) for five years after relocation. ET licensees could satisfy this obligation by making a lump-sum payment based on present value using current interest rates. Additionally, the maintenance costs to the FMS licensee would be equivalent to the 2 GHz system in order for the replacement system to be comparable.

[61 FR 29694, June 12, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 12758, Mar. 18, 1997; 65 FR 48182, Aug. 7, 2000; 68 FR 3464, Jan. 24, 2003; 68 FR 68253, Dec. 8, 2003; 69 FR 62622, Oct. 27, 2004; 71 FR 29842, May 24, 2006; 78 FR 8272, Feb. 5, 2013; 78 FR 48621, Aug. 9, 2013]

§101.75   Involuntary relocation procedures.

(a) If no agreement is reached during the mandatory negotiation period, an ET licensee may initiate involuntary relocation procedures under the Commission's rules. ET licensees are obligated to pay to relocated only the specific microwave links to which their systems pose an interference problem. Under involuntary relocation, the FMS licensee is required to relocate, provided that the ET licensee:

(1) Guarantees payment of relocation costs, including all engineering, equipment, site and FCC fees, as well as any legitimate and prudent transaction expenses incurred by the FMS licensee that are directly attributable to an involuntary relocation, subject to a cap of two percent of the hard costs involved. Hard costs are defined as the actual costs associated with providing a replacement system, such as equipment and engineering expenses. ET licensees are not required to pay FMS licensees for internal resources devoted to the relocation process. ET licensees are not required to pay for transaction costs incurred by FMS licensees during the voluntary or mandatory periods once the involuntary period is initiated, or for fees that cannot be legitimately tied to the provision of comparable facilities;

(2) Completes all activities necessary for implementing the replacement facilities, including engineering and cost analysis of the relocation procedure and, if radio facilities are used, identifying and obtaining, on the incumbents' behalf, new microwave frequencies and frequency coordination; and

(3) Builds the replacement system and tests it for comparability with the existing 2 GHz system.

(b) Comparable facilities. The replacement system provided to an incumbent during an involuntary relocation must be at least equivalent to the existing FMS system with respect to the following three factors:

(1) Throughput. Communications throughput is the amount of information transferred within a system in a given amount of time. If analog facilities are being replaced with analog, the ET licensee is required to provide the FMS licensee with an equivalent number of 4 kHz voice channels. If digital facilities are being replaced with digital, the ET licensee must provide the FMS licensee with equivalent data loading bits per second (bps). ET licensees must provide FMS licensees with enough throughput to satisfy the FMS licensee's system use at the time of relocation, not match the total capacity of the FMS system.

(2) Reliability. System reliability is the degree to which information is transferred accurately within a system. ET licensees must provide FMS licensees with reliability equal to the overall reliability of their system. For digital data systems, reliability is measured by the percent of time the bit error rate (BER) exceeds a desired value, and for analog or digital voice transmissions, it is measured by the percent of time that audio signal quality meets an established threshold. If an analog voice system is replaced with a digital voice system, only the resulting frequency response, harmonic distortion, signal-to-noise ratio and its reliability will be considered in determining comparable reliability.

(3) Operating costs. Operating costs are the cost to operate and maintain the FMS system. ET licensees must compensate FMS licensees for any increased recurring costs associated with the replacement facilities (e.g., additional rental payments, increased utility fees) for five years after relocation. ET licensees may satisfy this obligation by making a lump-sum payment based on present value using current interest rates. Additionally, the maintenance costs to the FMS licensee must be equivalent to the 2 GHz system in order for the replacement system to be considered comparable.

(c) The FMS licensee is not required to relocate until the alternative facilities are available to it for a reasonable time to make adjustments, determine comparability, and ensure a seamless handoff.

(d) Twelve-month trial period. If, within one year after the relocation to new facilities, the FMS licensee demonstrates that the new facilities are not comparable to the former facilities, the ET licensee must remedy the defects or pay to relocate the microwave licensee to one of the following: its former or equivalent 2 GHz channels, another comparable frequency band, a land-line system, or any other facility that satisfies the requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section. This trial period commences on the date that the FMS licensee begins full operation of the replacement link. If the FMS licensee has retained its 2 GHz authorization during the trial period, it must return the license to the Commission at the end of the twelve months. FMS licensees relocated from the 2110-2150 and 2160-2200 MHz bands may not be returned to their former 2 GHz channels. All other remedies specified in paragraph (d) are available to FMS licensees relocated from the 2110-2150 MHz and 2160-2200 MHz bands, and may be invoked whenever the FMS licensee demonstrates that its replacement facility is not comparable, subject to no time limit.

[61 FR 29694, June 12, 1996, as amended at 65 FR 48183, Aug. 7, 2000; 68 FR 3464, Jan. 24, 2003; 71 FR 29842, May 24, 2006]

§101.77   Public safety licensees in the 1850-1990 MHz, 2110-2150 MHz, and 2160-2200 MHz bands.

(a) In order for public safety licensees to qualify for a three year mandatory negotiation period as defined in §101.69(d)(2), the department head responsible for system oversight must certify to the ET licensee requesting relocation that:

(1) The agency is a Police licensee, a Fire Licensee, or an Emergency Medical Licensee as defined in §90.7 of this chapter, or meets the eligibility requirements of §90.20(a)(2) of this chapter, except for §90.20(a)(2)(ii) of this chapter, or that it is a licensee of other part 101 facilities licensed on a primary basis under the eligibility requirements of part 90, subpart B of this chapter; and

(2) The majority of communications carried on the facilities at issue involve safety of life and property.

(b) A public safety licensee must provide certification within thirty (30) days of a request from a ET licensee, or the ET licensee may presume that special treatment is inapplicable. If a public safety licensee falsely certifies to an ET licensee that it qualifies for the extended time periods, this licensee will be in violation of the Commission's rules and will subject to appropriate penalties, as well as immediately subject to the non-public safety time periods.

[61 FR 29695, June 12, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 12758, Mar. 18, 1997; 62 FR 18936, Apr. 17, 1997; 71 FR 29842, May 24, 2006]

§101.79   Sunset provisions for licensees in the 1850-1990 MHz, 2110-2150 MHz, and 2160-2200 MHz bands.

(a) FMS licensees will maintain primary status in the 1850-1990 MHz, 2110-2150 MHz, and 2160-2200 MHz bands unless and until an ET licensee requires use of the spectrum. ET licensees are not required to pay relocation costs after the relocation rules sunset. Once the relocation rules sunset, an ET licensee may require the incumbent to cease operations, provided that the ET licensee intends to turn on a system within interference range of the incumbent, as determined by TIA TSB 10-F (for terrestrial-to-terrestrial situations) or TIA TSB 86 (for MSS satellite-to-terrestrial situations) or any standard successor. ET licensee notification to the affected FMS licensee must be in writing and must provide the incumbent with no less than six months to vacate the spectrum. After the six-month notice period has expired, the FMS licensee must turn its license back into the Commission, unless the parties have entered into an agreement which allows the FMS licensee to continue to operate on a mutually agreed upon basis. The date that the relocation rules sunset is determined as follows:

(1) For the 2110-2150 MHz and 2160-2175 MHz and 2175-2180 MHz bands, ten years after the first ET license is issued in the respective band; and

(2) For the 2180-2200 MHz band, for MSS/ATC December 8, 2013 (i.e., ten years after the mandatory negotiation period begins for MSS/ATC operators in the service), and for ET licensees authorized under part 27 ten years after the first part 27 license is issued in the band. To the extent that an MSS operator is also an ET licensee authorized under part 27, the part 27 sunset applies to its relocation and cost sharing obligations should the two sets of obligations conflict.

(b) If the parties cannot agree on a schedule or an alternative arrangement, requests for extension will be accepted and reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The Commission will grant such extensions only if the incumbent can demonstrate that:

(1) It cannot relocate within the six-month period (e.g., because no alternative spectrum or other reasonable option is available), and;

(2) The public interest would be harmed if the incumbent is forced to terminate operations (e.g., if public safety communications services would be disrupted).

[61 FR 29695, June 12, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 12758, Mar. 18, 1997; 68 FR 68254, Dec. 8, 2003; 71 FR 29842, May 24, 2006; 78 FR 8272, Feb. 5, 2013]

§101.81   Future licensing in the 1850-1990 MHz, 2110-2150 MHz, and 2160-2200 MHz bands.

After April 25, 1996, all major modifications and extensions to existing FMS systems in the 1850-1990 MHz, 2110-2150 MHz, and 2160-2200 MHz bands will be authorized on a secondary basis to ET systems. All other modifications will render the modified FMS license secondary to ET operations, unless the incumbent affirmatively justifies primary status and the incumbent FMS licensee establishes that the modification would not add to the relocation costs of ET licensees. Incumbent FMS licensees will maintain primary status for the following technical changes:

(a) Decreases in power;

(b) Minor changes (increases or decreases) in antenna height;

(c) Minor location changes (up to two seconds);

(d) Any data correction which does not involve a change in the location of an existing facility;

(e) Reductions in authorized bandwidth;

(f) Minor changes (increases or decreases) in structure height;

(g) Changes (increases or decreases) in ground elevation that do not affect centerline height;

(h) Minor equipment changes.

[61 FR 29695, June 12, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 12759, Mar. 18, 1997; 65 FR 38327, June 20, 2000]

§101.82   Reimbursement and relocation expenses in the 2110-2150 MHz and 2160-2200 MHz bands.

(a) Reimbursement and relocation expenses for the 2110-2130 MHz and 2160-2200 MHz bands are addressed in §§27.1160-27.1174.

(b) Cost-sharing obligations between AWS and MSS (space-to-Earth downlink). Whenever an ET licensee (AWS or Mobile Satellite Service for space-to-Earth downlink in the 2130-2150 or 2180-2200 MHz bands) relocates an incumbent paired microwave link with one path in the 2130-2150 MHz band and the paired path in the 2180-2200 MHz band, the relocator is entitled to reimbursement of 50 percent of its relocation costs (see paragraph (e)) of this section from any other AWS licensee or MSS space-to-Earth downlink operator which would have been required to relocate the same fixed microwave link as set forth in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.

(c) Cost-sharing obligations for MSS (space-to-Earth downlinks). For an MSS space-to-Earth downlink, the cost-sharing obligation is based on the interference criteria for relocation, i.e., TIA TSB 86 or any standard successor, relative to the relocated microwave link. Subsequently entering MSS space-to-Earth downlink operators must reimburse AWS or MSS space-to-Earth relocators (see paragraph (e)) of this section before the later entrant may begin operations in these bands, unless the later entrant can demonstrate that it would not have interfered with the microwave link in question.

(d) Cost-sharing obligations among terrestrial stations. For terrestrial stations (AWS), cost-sharing obligations are governed by §§27.1160 through 27.1174 of this chapter; provided, however, that MSS operators are not obligated to reimburse voluntarily relocating FMS incumbents in the 2180-2200 MHz band. (AWS reimbursement and cost-sharing obligations relative to voluntarily relocating FMS incumbents are governed by §27.1166 of this chapter).

(e) The total costs of which 50 percent is to be reimbursed will not exceed $250,000 per paired fixed microwave link relocated, with an additional $150,000 permitted if a new or modified tower is required.

[71 FR 29843, May 24, 2006, as amended at 78 FR 8272, Feb. 5, 2013]

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