From our Better Late Than Never File: Build-out reports for 700 MHz licensees now in effect

The November 21, 2011 Federal Register includes a notice of the effectiveness of certain record-gathering rules adopted by the FCC in July, 2007.   The 2007 Second Report and Order established substantive service requirements for 700 MHz licensees, but also required those licensees to file a report on the progress of their efforts to build out their market. Oddly, there was an impressive four-year gap between the adoption of the Second Report and Order and publication of the required notice that the Office of Management and Budget had approved the new paperwork burden. (Without that approval, the requirement could not become effective.) The terse Federal Register notice sheds no light on why, exactly, it took more than four years to wrap this seemingly ministerial chore up.  This is disturbingly reminiscent of the situation involving Form 477, which we recently reported on, in which the Commission failed for some two years to notify the public of OMB approval of a reporting requirement.

The initial build-out report required by the rules was to have been submitted on June 13 of this year, but the FCC had to delay that filing due to the ineffectiveness of the rule. 700 MHz licensees can now expect the Wireless Bureau to issue a Public Notice establishing a new date for the filing of the status report. We’ll let you know when that happens.