The Policy and Licensing Division of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released an order today granting Puerto Rico’s Aug. 31 request that the agency accept its late-filed renewal application for a 700 megahertz band license covering state channels. The territory told the FCC that a license renewal reminder letter “was never received by appropriate personnel to submit the license to the renewal process,” the order said.
“Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, including Puerto Rico satisfying the Commission’s initial substantial service requirement, we conclude that Puerto Rico’s request should be granted,” the division said. “In this particular case, we conclude that dismissal of Puerto Rico’s application would be unduly harsh and contrary to public interest.”
But the order cautioned that despite its “decision in this case, we reiterate that a licensee will not be afforded special consideration when it fails to file a timely renewal application simply because it engages in public safety activities. The Commission also has stated that turnover in recordkeeping personnel, failure to check computer records, or simple forgetfulness are not valid excuses for failure to file a timely renewal application. Furthermore, the failure to receive a renewal notice is not a unique circumstance that justifies a waiver.”
Puerto Rico, which says the 700 MHz band license supports its interoperability system, is reeling most recently from a direct hit by Hurricane Maria. —Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org