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AMTA CHALLENGES FCC FREEZING POWER

WASHINGTON-The American Mobile Telecommunications Association asked that the Federal Communications Commission’s authority to implement a licensing freeze be examined as part of the FCC’s rules.

The specialized mobile radio trade association said the FCC’s practice of imposing freezes has become routine when developing auction rules for established services. The group said the FCC freezes are typically characterized as “interim” measures with only minimal likely impact on business activities, but AMTA said the reality has proven to be otherwise.

“In light of the very serious, negative and anti-competitive ramifications associated with a licensing freeze, AMTA urges the FCC to avoid adopting them whenever possible. Moreover, when the commission determines that it must impose a freeze in anticipation of the adoption of substantive regulatory changes, it should be obligated to lift the freeze and/or finalize the associated rule making within six months and to initiate the auction process within three months thereafter,” said AMTA.

The association said freezes have a significant impact on businesses; they are unable to conduct business and provide service to the public or do any kind of business planning.

“The freeze on the 800 MHz SMR band is a prime, but regrettably not the only, example,” the statement said.

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