Supply Chain Proceeding Prompts Tribal Land Buildout Waiver

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The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) has partially granted a limited waiver and one-year extension to Pine Cellular Phones, Inc. (Pine Cellular) to meet the Tribal lands bidding credit construction requirement to deploy service to the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma communities in Eastern Oklahoma. Pine Cellular argued that when its license was issued in January 2018 it already had wireless mobile infrastructure in place to timely deploy service to its 600 MHz Tribal area within the prescribed three-year period. Soon after, however, the FCC initiated and later adopted its Supply Chain rulemaking proceeding that prospectively prohibited Universal Service Fund (USF) recipients from using USF support for systems with components that present national security risks, including Huawei equipment that Pine Cellular was already using. In light of the setbacks prompted by the Supply Chain proceeding, the FCC granted Pine Cellular a one-year extension but denied the 18-month extension initially requested.

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