FiberTower Earns Small Victory in License Cancellation Appeal

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The DC Circuit appeals court has given FiberTower a small but meaningful victory in FiberTower’s appeal of the FCC wireless bureau’s cancellation of several hundred 24 GHz and 39 GHz licenses. In 2012, the bureau denied the “substantial service” construction notifications for 689 of FiberTower’s licenses. FiberTower challenged, among other things, the bureau’s cancellation of 42 of these licenses that FibertTower claimed had been constructed but for which the bureau had not reviewed the individual substantial service showings. The bureau’s prior substantial service analysis had been predicated on the umbrella finding that there was no “construction of any facilities whatsoever” in any of FiberTower’s terminated license areas. This decision by the DC Circuit does not mean that FiberTower’s 42 licenses are in the clear, as the bureau must still determine upon remand whether the construction for those licenses satisfies the FCC’s substantial service standard.

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