Federal Communications Commission: 24 GHz Service--Licensing and Operation

OGC-01-6: Oct 19, 2000

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) new rule on the licensing and operation of 24 GHz service. GAO noted that: (1) the rule would contain competitive bidding rules to select among mutually exclusive applicants for licenses in these bands; and (2) FCC complied with applicable requirements in promulgating the rule.

Federal Communications Commission: 24 GHz Service; Licensing and Operation, OGC-01-6, October 19, 2000


GAO/ OGC-01-6

October 19, 2000 The Honorable John McCain Chairman The Honorable Ernest F. Hollings Ranking Minority Member Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation United States Senate

The Honorable Thomas J. Bliley, Jr. Chairman The Honorable John D. Dingell Ranking Minority Member Committee on Commerce House of Representatives

Subject: Federal Communications Commission: 24 GHz Service; Licensing and Operation

Pursuant to section 801( a)( 2)( A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on a major rule promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), entitled 24 GHz Service; Licensing and Operation (FCC 00- 272; WT Docket No. 99- 327). We received the rule on September 8, 2000. It was published in the Federal Register as a final rule on October 5, 2000. 65 Fed. Reg. 59350.

The final rule amends and adds regulations governing the licensing and operation of the 24.25- 24.45 GHz and 25.05- 25.25 GHz bands. In addition, the final rule contains competitive bidding rules to select among mutually exclusive applicants for licenses in these bands.

Enclosed is our assessment of the FCCs compliance with the procedural steps required by section 801( a)( 1)( B)( i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rule. Our review indicates that the FCC complied with the applicable requirements.

If you have any questions about this report, please contact James W. Vickers, Assistant General Counsel, at (202) 512- 8210. The official responsible for GAO evaluation work relating to the subject matter of the rule is Stan Czerwinski,

Director, Physical Infrastructure. Mr. Czerwinski can be reached at (202) 512- 7631. Kathleen E. Wannisky Managing Associate General Counsel

Enclosure cc: Ms. Diane Cornell

Associate Bureau Chief Federal Communications Commission

GAO/ OGC- 01- 6 ENCLOSURE

ANALYSIS UNDER 5 U. S. C. 801( a)( 1)( B)( i)-( iv) OF A MAJOR RULE ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

ENTITLED "24 GHZ SERVICE; LICENSING AND OPERATION"

(FCC 00- 272; WT DOCKET NO. 99- 327) (i) Cost- benefit analysis The FCC is not required to prepare and did not prepare a cost- benefit analysis for the final rule.

(ii) Agency actions relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U. S. C. 603- 605, 607, and 609

The FCC prepared both an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis and a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in connection with the proposed rulemaking and the final rule, respectively.

The analyses comply with the requirements of the Act, including the reasons and legal basis for the rule, a description and number of the small entities affected by the rule, and the steps taken to minimize the impacts on small entities.

In order to reduce the impact, the FCC has, among other steps, permitted flexible partitioning and flexible bidding credits for smaller entities.

(iii) Agency actions relevant to sections 202- 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U. S. C. 1532- 1535

As an independent regulatory agency, the FCC is not subject to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under acts and executive orders Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U. S. C. 551 et seq. The final rule was issued using the notice and comment procedures contained at 5 U. S. C. 553. On December 20, 1999, the FCC published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register. 64 Fed. Reg. 71088. The FCC received comments from 11 parties in response to the proposed rule and discussed the comments in the preamble to the final rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U. S. C. 3501- 3520

The final rule contains an information collection that is subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. The preamble to the final rule contains the information required by the Act, including an estimate of the annual burden imposed by the collection. The FCC estimates there will be 952 respondents, with an estimated response time of 50 hours. FCC also estimates the total annual burden to be 14,399 hours at a cost of $952,000.

Statutory authorization for the rule The final rule is promulgated under the authority of sections 4( i), 257, 303, and 309( j) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U. S. C. 154( i), 257, 303, and 309( j).

Executive Order No. 12866 As an independent regulatory agency, the FCC is not subject to the review requirements of the Order.