* AWS-3 Interim Buildout Requirement: Within four (4) years, an AWS-3 licensee shall provide reliable signal coverage and offer service to at least forty (40) percent of the population in each of its license areas.
* AWS-3 Final Buildout Requirement: By the end of the license term, i.e., within ten (10) years, an AWS-3 licensee shall provide reliable signal coverage and offer service to at least seventy-five (75) percent of the population in each of its license areas.
128. We propose these performance requirements in an effort to foster deployment expeditiously in the AWS-3 band for the provision of wireless, terrestrial broadband service, and to enable the Commission to take appropriate corrective action should such deployment fail to occur. Specifically, the interim benchmark at four years would ensure that a licensee begins deploying facilities quickly, thereby evidencing meaningful utilization of the spectrum. At the same time, by proposing a relatively low population threshold in the interim benchmark, we acknowledge that large-scale network deployment may ramp up over time as equipment becomes available and a customer base is established. In addition, by proposing a final buildout requirement timeline of ten years, we believe we allow a reasonable amount of time for any AWS-3 licensee to attain nationwide scale.
129. We seek comment on these proposed buildout requirements. We encourage comment on whether our proposals represent the appropriate balance between requirements that are too low as to not result in meaningful buildout and those that would be so high as to be unattainable. We also seek comment on whether other benchmarks represent more appropriate requirements. In particular, are there appropriate performance benchmarks for any AWS-3 uplink spectrum paired with downlink spectrum in a band other than AWS-3? In this event, should the performance requirements applicable to that downlink band apply? How should we account for the areas where Federal use limits or prohibits AWS-3 use? We also seek comment on alternative methodologies for measuring population coverage requirements in the
130. Penalties for Failure to Meet Construction Requirements. Along with construction benchmarks, we seek to adopt meaningful and enforceable consequences, or penalties, for failing to meet the benchmarks. Building on what we have learned from other bands and considering the unique characteristics of the AWS-3 band, we propose and seek comment, including on the costs and benefits, of the following penalties in the event an AWS-3 licensee fails to satisfy its buildout requirements:
* In the event an AWS-3 licensee fails to meet the AWS-3 Interim Buildout Requirement in its license area, the term of the license shall be reduced by two years.
* In the event an AWS-3 licensee fails to meet the AWS-3 Final Buildout Requirement in its license area, the AWS-3 licensee for each license area in which it fails to meet the buildout requirement shall terminate automatically without Commission action.
131. We further propose that, in the event a licensee's authority to operate terminates, the licensee's spectrum rights would become available for reassignment pursuant to the competitive bidding provisions of section 309(j). Further, consistent with the Commission's rules for other spectrum bands, including AWS-1 and the BRS, we propose that any AWS-3 licensee who forfeits its license for failure to meet its performance requirements would be precluded from regaining the license.
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