FCC Grants Mobility Fund Phase II Challenge Process Participation Waiver

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The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) has granted a waiver to Wireless Partners, LLC to participate as a challenger in the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) challenge process. In the MF-II Challenge Process Order, the Commission established the framework for a challenge process to resolve disputes about areas found to be presumptively ineligible for MF-II support. The Commission concluded that government entities (state, local, and Tribal) and all service providers required to file Form 477 data with the Commission are best suited to participate as challengers in the MF-II challenge process. The Commission explained, however, that other entities wishing to participate in the process as a challenger could request a waiver of this rule.

On March 21, 2018, Wireless Partners filed a petition for a waiver of the rule limiting participation in the MF-II challenge process. Wireless Partners states that it is neither a governmental entity nor a service provider required to file Form 477 data with the Commission and, thus, has no right to participate as a challenger. However, Wireless Partners contends that it qualifies for a rule waiver because it has a bona fide interest in the MF-II challenge process and a plausible ability to submit a valid challenge.

The Bureau concluded that there was good cause for granting the requested waiver, and instructed the Universal Service Administrative Company to grant the users included in Wireless Partners’ Petition for Waiver access to the MF-II challenge portal.

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