FAQs

I received a “Renewal Notice”, what is this?

You received this notice because you currently hold a license to operate on frequencies allocated within the wireless spectrum. This notice lets you know that your license is eligible for renewal for another ten year term.

 


I received a “Notice of Construction Coverage /Buildout Notification”, what is this?

Any licensee who acquires a new license or modifies an existing license is required by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rules and Regulations to file this notification within one calendar year of granting.   By making notification the licensee is stating that they have placed the frequencies into use and the system is operational as intended. 

**Failure to comply will result in termination of whole or part of the associated license.**


I received an “Administrative Update Notice”, what is this?

During the 10 year term of your current Part 90 LMR FCC license, many components of that license will change.  Continued operation under the original, possibly outdated, parameters would indicate that you are operating in non-compliance of the Code of Federal Regulations: CFR Title 47 Chapter I Subchapter D Part 90 Subpart N Section 90.403 (a) (b) – General Operating Requirements. It is the sole responsibility of the licensee to maintain current information and to make notification of any parameter changes.

Necessary information includes such data as:

  • mailing address change
  • name/contact change (phone, address, or email)
  • change in control point.

What if we change ownership?

1.   Section 310(d) of the Communications Act reads:
No construction permit or station license, or any rights thereunder, shall be
transferred, assigned, or disposed of in any manner, voluntarily or
involuntarily, directly or indirectly, or by transfer of control of any corporation
holding such permit or license, to any person except upon application to the
Commission and upon finding by the Commission that the public interest,
convenience, and necessity will be served thereby.

47 U.S.C. § 310(d).

Under Section 310(d) of the Act, all licensees, including private wireless service licensees, must seek and obtain FCC consent before assigning or transferring control of FCC-issued licenses or permits.  This means that prior to consummation of an assignment of license (such as in connection with a sale of assets) or a transfer of control of a license (i.e., as in a corporate merger or reorganization), the parties must file the appropriate application(s) with the Commission.  The FCC must grant the application(s) before consummation of the transaction may take place.

 

2.   I have heard that all I have to do is file the application; then I’m free to consummate the transaction.  Is this correct?

No.  The FCC must authorize the assignment or transfer of control of the FCC-issued licenses.  Thus, for Private Radio Service licensees, simply filing the application is insufficient.  The parties must wait for the FCC to grant the application prior to closing or consummating the transaction.  In addition, simply notifying the Commission of the change in name and/or address of the licensee-entity after the transaction has been consummated is not sufficient.

 

3.   What constitutes an “assignment” and a “transfer of control.”  

An assignment of authorization is a transaction in which the license is assigned by one entity to another.  For example, a transaction in which a private land mobile radio license switches  from Company A to Company B would constitute an assignment of license.

A transfer of control is a transaction in which the licensee remains the same, but control of the licensee-entity is transferred from one person or entity or group of persons or entities to another.  For example, if Company B holds private wireless licenses, a transaction in which Company A purchases the stock of Company B would constitute a transfer of control.  In such a transaction, although Company B remains the license-holding entity, ownership of Company B has changed

 

4.   What if we find that the other company does hold FCC licenses that are subject to the transaction?  What questions should we ask about the status of those licenses?

You should make sure that the FCC licenses in question are assignable or 
transferable.  For example, for some services, the FCC requires that the radio facility be constructed and operational in order to be assigned.  See, e.g., Section 101.55 of the Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. § 101.55 (prohibiting voluntary substantial assignments or transfers of control of unauctioned microwave licenses prior to completion of construction).  Accordingly, you should ask the licensee about the status of construction and operation of its FCC-licensed facilities.

The FCC will not assign or transfer a license that has been previously cancelled or allowed to expire by the licensee.  Accordingly, you should verify that all of the licensee’s FCC-issued facilities that are subject to the transaction are, in fact, licensed.  In this regard, please note that the fact that a licensee has a cancelled check covering renewal application filing fees does not mean that the FCC has actually renewed the license. Check the FCC’s database and ask the licensee for a copy of the current license for verification of the current status of the license.

Some private wireless licenses are not assignable or transferable.  For example, ship and aircraft radio licenses cannot be assigned or transferred.  Section 1.948 of the Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.948.  In this case, the acquiring entity must obtain a new license.

 

5.   Reading this has made us realize that we have, in fact, consummated at least one transaction without seeking and obtaining prior FCC approval.  What should we do?
 
You should file the appropriate applications for assignment or transfer of control with the Commission as soon as possible.  In addition, you should file a request for Special Temporary Authority (“STA”) pending action on the application.

Your submissions should include an attachment providing full explanation of why you did not seek and obtain Commission approval prior to consummating the transfer or assignment.  The fact that the transaction has already occurred does not make it a pro forma transaction.  If you fail to obtain Commission approval prior to consummation of the transaction, the FCC may take enforcement action.  To alleviate delays in processing, you may want to contact us immediately to begin the process of retaining your compliant status.

 

6.   Will the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau impose a forfeiture for our failure to seek prior FCC consent for assignment and transfer of control of FCC licenses?

Failure to seek FCC approval prior to an assignment or transfer of control is a violation of the Communications Act and the FCC’s rules and, thus, subjects the parties to possible enforcement action, including monetary forfeitures.  Under Section 1.80 of the Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.80, unauthorized substantial transfers of control carry a base forfeiture amount of $8,000 per violation, while unauthorized pro forma transfers of control carry a base forfeiture amount of $1,000 per violation.  These amounts can be adjusted upward or downward based on the applicability of certain criteria.

The Commission strongly encourages parties that may have violated these provisions to disclose voluntarily their transgressions to the Commission as early as possible.  Such voluntary disclosure is a factor that may be considered in determining appropriate enforcement action, if any.  See Section 1.80 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.




 


My license has expired, what do I do?

If your license expired less than thirty days in the past, a renewal may still be filed but only with a mandated late file waiver and associated waiver fee. If your license is more than thirty days expired a new license application will be required.

 


I need a new FCC License, what do I need to do?

This process is a complex undertaking that needs to be completed within the parameters of the FCC rules and regulations. These rules and regulation are governed by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Public Safety Homeland Security Bureau. There are far too many variables involved with the acquisition of a new license to list. Please contact the FCC License Support Team at 866.908.2220 for complete details related to filing for a new authorization or you may complete the "New FCC License Application" located under FCC License Solutions at the top of this page.

 


How will I receive a copy of my new license?

Effective February 17, 2015 all newly granted licenses are sent via email and a link within the body of the email will allow you to open and print an Official Copy of your license. It’s critical that you open this email as soon as possible since the link will only be active for thirty days of granting. When making application please use a valid email address that will be expecting this communication from the FCC.

 


Why do some applications take longer to process and receive final grant than others?

Applications can be processed at different speeds for several reasons. Applications including requests for waivers, engineering studies, and legal submissions require an additional level of review. Applications requesting frequencies that require international coordination and incomplete or erroneous filing may also lead to reviewing delays.

 


Who is eligible to operate in the Public Safety Pool?

Briefly, applicants who were eligible in any of the former Public Safety Radio Services or the former Special Emergency Radio Service are eligible for licensing on channels in the Public Safety Pool.

Non-governmental entities, however, must obtain a letter of consent from the governmental entity having legal jurisdiction over the area to be served in order to operate on any channel that was not previously available to the former Special Emergency Radio Service. There are specific frequency coordinator requirements for particular frequencies.

FCC Rule 90.20(c) lists each frequency in the Public Safety Pool and any required frequency coordinator(s) using the following letter codes:

PF — Fire Coordinator.
PH — Highway Maintenance Coordinator.
PM — Emergency Medical Coordinator.
PO — Forestry-Conservation Coordinator.
PP — Police Coordinator.
PS — Special Emergency Coordinator.
PX — Any Public Safety Coordinator, except the Special Emergency Coordinator
Frequencies without any coordinator, specified in the Coordinator column, may be coordinated by any coordinator certified in the Public Safety Pool.

 


Who is eligible to operate in the Industrial/Business Pool?

Briefly, eligibility is open to persons primarily engaged in any of the following activities:

  • The operation of a commercial activity;
  • The operation of educational, philanthropic, or ecclesiastical institutions;
  • Clergy activities; or
  • The operation of hospitals, clinics, or medical associations.

There are specific frequency coordinator requirements for particular frequencies. FCC Rule 90.35(b) lists each frequency in the Industrial/Business Pool and any required Frequency coordinator(s) using the following letter codes:

IP - Petroleum Coordinator
IW - Power Coordinator
LA - Automobile Emergency Coordinator
LR - Railroad Coordinator

Control Point? What is a Control Point on my license?

A Control Point is simply a location where a person responsible for system operations may be reached.  The commission only needs an address or geographical description, as well as the city, county, state, and phone number.  This would be a place from which a transmitter's functions may be controlled.

Note: Control Point's should not be confused with Control Station's.

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