167. This formula would ensure that Sprint receives full reimbursement after the first auction by effectively apportioning the reimbursement costs associated with any unsold 2020-2025 MHz band licenses among the winning bidders of 2020-2025 MHz band licenses in the first auction--with an exception in the event a successful bidder's long-form application is not filed or granted, and a contingency to cover an unlikely scenario. We further propose that winning bidders of 2020-2025 MHz band licenses in the first auction of this spectrum would not have a right to seek reimbursement from other 2020-2025 MHz licensees including for licenses awarded in subsequent auctions. We believe this approach would avoid recordkeeping burdens and potential disputes and that it is appropriate given that--in the event that most licenses are awarded--the reimbursement obligation for an individual license will represent but a fraction of overall reimbursement to Sprint. We seek comment on our proposals including the following contingency: In the unlikely event that licenses covering less than 40 percent of the population of
168. Alternatively, we specifically seek comment on the relative costs and benefits of adopting a population based cost-sharing formula as the general rule for the 2020-2025 MHz band. We acknowledge that using a population based approach in all events would offer bidders certainty as to the obligation attached to each license but this approach could also defer Sprint's full reimbursement indefinitely if less than all of the licenses are awarded during the initial auction.
169. We further propose that winning bidders promptly pay Sprint the amount owed, as calculated pursuant to the formula that we adopt, within 30 days of grant of their long form applications for the licenses. For PCS and AWS-1, and AWS-4, cost sharing obligations are triggered when a licensee proposes to operate a base station in an area cleared of incumbents by another licensee. In this case, rather than Sprint itself benefiting from its band clearing efforts, other entrants in the band will reap the benefits of Sprint's efforts. Accordingly, we find no significant reason to treat Sprint any differently than UTAM, for its clearing of the 1910-1915 MHz band and as recently proposed for UTAM's clearing of the 1915-1920 MHz band. Thus, we propose that Sprint be fully reimbursed by AWS licensees that will benefit from Sprint's clearing of the 2020-2025 MHz band. Moreover, as noted above, given the relative fraction of overall reimbursement to Sprint that will be owed by each winning bidder, we believe that it will not disincentivize parties from filing applications or impose a burden on winning bidders to reimburse Sprint within 30 days of the grant of their long-form applications. We seek comment on the above proposals, including the costs and benefits.
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