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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



(WT Docket No. 98-20)

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted today, the Federal Communications Commission proposed to facilitate its implementation of the Universal Licensing System (ULS), and to consolidate, revise, and streamline rules governing application procedures for radio services licensed by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

ULS is an automated licensing system now in development that will be used to handle all future licensing of wireless radio services regulated by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. When fully operational, ULS will replace eleven separate licensing systems and databases now being used for various wireless services. It will support full electronic filing of all licensing-related applications and other filings associated with such applications. ULS will also provide the public with on-line access to public licensing information, which will be obtainable by dialing into the Commission's wide area network and using any World Wide Web browser. ULS will also be designed to keep licensee information secure from outside tampering.

In the Notice, the Commission proposed a variety of rule changes that will allow wireless applicants and licensees to take full advantage of the technological benefits of ULS, and that will make the Commission's wireless licensing procedures faster, less burdensome, and more consistent. Specifically, the Commission proposed to:

  • -- Consolidate service-specific application and licensing rules into a single set of rules for all wireless radio services, eliminating many duplicative rules. This will allow the elimination of nearly 200 duplicative and inconsistent rules in 11 other rule parts.

  • -- Replace over 40 existing wireless application forms with five new forms. Thus, all wireless radio service providers, regardless of service, will use the same set of forms for applications, technical and ownership information, transfers and assignments, and renewals. Moreover, because all information provided on these forms will be stored in the ULS database, wireless providers can file multiple applications in multiple services on a single form, and can file subsequent applications without having to resubmit information already on file.

  • -- Require applicants and licensees in most wireless radio services to file applications and other documents electronically using ULS. The Commission noted that electronic filing will greatly reduce the time involved for the public to file applications, and will improve speed of processing and eliminate data entry errors. The Commission nevertheless sought comment on whether it should continue to allow manual filing in some services.

  • -- Streamline rules regarding amendments, modifications, and cancellation of licenses; standardize the collection of ownership information from wireless licensees; and eliminate unnecessary or duplicative filing requirements, such as (1) microfiche requirements and submission of antenna information in the Public Land Mobile Service, (2) equipment information in the Fixed Microwave Service, (3) coordination showings in the Maritime and Aviation Services, and (4) technical showings in the General Mobile Radio Service.

The Commission stated that proposals made in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will reduce the administrative burden on applicants and licensees, enhance the efficiency of the Commission in carrying out its regulatory responsibilities; and help make licensing information more accessible to the public; including persons with disabilities.

The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will host a half-day seminar on the ULS on Thursday, March 19, 1998. This seminar will be held in the Commission Meeting Room, Room 854, 1919 M Street, N.W. beginning at 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The seminar will feature a demonstration of a prototype of the ULS system and will provide attendees with information about the development and implementation of this system.

For more details on the ULS visit the FCC's beta site at http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/uls.

Action by the Commission, Thursday, February 19, 1998, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 98-25). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani.

- FCC -

News Media Contact: Meribeth McCarrick at (202) 418-0654
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Contacts: Mika Savir at (202) 418-0620; Susan Magnotti at (202) 418- 0871; Karen Wrege at (202) 418-0600; TTY (202) 418-7233.