The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) filed an informal objection to a Waiver Request filed by License Acquisitions, LLC (LA), a Smartcomm-affiliated entity, which seeks reinstatement of four Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio (ESMR) licenses in the 800 MHz band that LA failed to timely renew.
LA failed to file timely renewal applications even though the FCC, as a courtesy, sent renewal reminders to the address provided by LA — as it does to all wireless licensees ninety (90) days in advance of the renewal deadline. In its Waiver Request, LA claims that it failed to renew because it had entered conflicting address information into the FCC’s database and so did not receive the notices. It further claimed confusion because the expiration date of these four licenses is different from that of its other seven license authorizations.EWA stated that an inability to keep track of contact information or manage license renewal dates has not been considered justification for reinstating licenses in other instances and should not be in this case.
EWA cited several decisions in which the FCC had rejected license reinstatement requests from 800 MHz licensees and even licensees that acquired spectrum at auction when they missed their filing deadlines. Like LA, the 800 MHz licensees had claimed confusion about the renewal requirements for licenses affected by rebanding, an argument that the FCC found unpersuasive. EWA also noted that the licensees in the cases cited were required to discontinue service to their customers, which will not be an issue for LA as it has not placed its eleven licenses into service in the eight years since it acquired them because of the ongoing FCC 800 MHz rebanding proceeding. EWA also took the opportunity to remind the FCC that LA is part of a “web of intertwined entities” including M2M Spectrum Networks LLC (M2M; now doing business as Iota Communications); Smartcomm, LLC; Spectrum Acquisitions Group, LLC; Spectrum Networks Group, LLC; and members of the Downs family, all of which are identified as disclosable interest holders in LA’s FCC Ownership Report and most of which currently hold or have held FCC licenses. LA is also represented by seasoned FCC counsel. EWA urged the FCC to deny the waiver request and hold LA to the “highest standard of knowledge with regard to their licensing requirements.”