FCC Tosses LMDS Licenses for Lack of Substantial Service

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The FCC has terminated over 70 LMDS licenses after determining that licensee Spectrum Holdings Technologies, LLC (SHT) failed to demonstrate substantial service on the licenses.  After obtaining multiple extensions for the licenses’ initial substantial service September 22, 2008, SHT filed construction notifications in July 2012 for 73 LMDS licenses asserting that each license satisfied the FCC’s point-to-multipoint safe harbor of coverage to 20% of the license’s service area.  However, the FCC found that its own analysis of the SHT system indicated that SHT failed to meet the 20% safe harbor threshold due to inadequate line-of-sight coverage.  In June 2013, SHT submitted revised filings describing how the use of beam bending radio repeaters would allow SHT to overcome line of sight obstructions to achieve 20% coverage; however, SHT later admitted that beam benders were never installed but could be upon customer request.  In light of SHT’s lack of installed equipment required to achieve the necessary coverage, the FCC found that substantial service could not be demonstrated based on the licensee’s potential to provide service at some later, indeterminate time.  Accordingly, the FCC automatically terminated the 73 LMDS licenses.

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