Mobility Fund Phase I Waiver Request Denied

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The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) has denied TexNet 4G, LLC (TexNet) a waiver of the FCC’s Mobility Fund Phase I (MF-I) rules. Initially, TexNet timely submitted a long-form application indicating that it would be able to meet its Mobility Fund Phase I performance requirements for a 4G network, but then later indicated that it would not be able to fulfill its performance obligations. TexNet sought a waiver of the FCC’s MF-I default payment rule on the basis of special circumstances beyond TexNet’s control, specifically that 700 MHz handset equipment it had planned to use would not be commercially available within the three-year construction period for 4G networks and that an additional 15 months would be needed. TexNet planned to construct an all Internet Protocol, multi-cell 700 MHz LTE wireless data network in southern Texas. The Bureau found that commercial unavailability of certain interoperable handsets in the lower 700 MHz band is not special circumstance outside TexNet’s control. Unlike TexNet’s cited example of an industry-wide construction extension that had been granted to licensees in the Multichannel Video and Data Distribution Service due to the lack of viable and affordable equipment, the FCC notes that equipment actually is available to construct and deploy 3G and 4G systems in various spectrum bands. Accordingly, TexNet remains subject to the FCC’s auction default payment rule for failure to perform.

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