Wireless Bureau Affirms that Weekend Beachgoers Aren’t Population

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An Order on Reconsideration from the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) has affirmed that tourists and “weekend populations” do not count for purposes of meeting a population-based “substantial service” safe harbor. The order denies RF Development, LLC’s (RF) request for the Bureau to reconsider its rejection of RF’s substantial service notification for its LMDS license in the beach town of Ocean City, Maryland.  The order does not preclude service to tourist or itinerant populations from ever supporting a substantial service showing under a standard that is not a safe harbor.  For instance, the Bureau indicates that additional information about RF’s services could have supported a conclusion that such services were targeted specifically towards the summer population of Ocean City or a niche market.  However, the order reiterates the default position that the FCC only considers full-time residents in counting population within a service area for a “substantial service” safe harbor.

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