Wireless Bureau Dismisses TMO Petition Regarding DISH Entities Former Defaulter Status
The Wireless Bureau has released an Order dismissing two petitions for reconsideration of the Incentive Auction Applications Procedures Public Notice filed by PBP Group et al. and T-Mobile. The PBP Group Petition sought reconsideration of the eligibility requirements for the rural service provider bidding credit, and the T-Mobile Petition requested that the FCC declare that DISH, Northstar and SNR as “former defaulters” under the FCC’s rules, in the alternative, T-Mobile requested a Declaratory Ruling. T-Mobile’s Petition and subsequent filings argued that Northstar and SNR selectively defaulted on certain AWS-3 licenses after they were denied small bidding credits, which deprived competitors of the spectrum and allowed DISH to reap the economic benefits. In subsequent filings, T-Mobile recognized that the FCC need not reconsider the Incentive Auction Applications Procedures Public Notice to provide the relief requested. In this Order, the Bureau finds that T-Mobile’s requests are outside the scope of the Incentive Auction Applications Procedures Public Notice and therefore dismisses its Petition as procedurally defective. The Bureau further notes that even if T-Mobile wanted to seek reconsideration of the Memorandum Order and Opinion that addressed the DISH entities’ actions, T-Mobile did not file a Petition to Deny or otherwise participate in the proceeding so it would lack standing to challenge the determination, and even if it had participated, its Petition would have been untimely. The Bureau also finds that a declaratory ruling in this situation would be inappropriate, and denies T-Mobile’s request for a declaratory ruling. The Bureau notes that a declaratory ruling may be issued to terminate a controversy or remove uncertainty, however at this point, it is unknown whether DISH will participate in the Forward Auction, and therefore “the controversy is of T-Mobile’s own making.” The Bureau further notes that even if it were inclined to issue a declaratory ruling on individual applications prior to the auction short-form deadline, it would not do so here because T-Mobile requests the FCC apply the rule to the DISH entities even though the former defaulter rule does not address the conduct of which T-Mobile complains. Please contact us if you have any questions.