Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I
|Date||Auction 902 is scheduled to begin on
|Eligible Geographic Areas||
1,007 bidding areas: 231 total Census Tracts with a total of 5,616 eligible Census Blocks (Total of 281 Tribal Lands with Eligible Census Blocks)
General information and associated licensing parameters are provided below. Public notices provide specific information regarding this auction. This fact sheet includes:
|Auction Tutorial Available (via Internet)||
|FCC Form 180 (Short Form) Application Filing Window Opens||
11/18/2013; Noon ET
|FCC Form 180 (Short Form) Application Filing Deadline||
12/5/2013; 6:00 pm ET
Universal Service Support Offered
The Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I Auction (Auction 902) will offer up to $50 million in one-time support to carriers that commit to provide 3G or better mobile voice and broadband services to Tribal lands that lack such service. Support will be allocated to maximize the population covered by new mobile services without exceeding the budget of $50 million. Winning bidders will have to deploy third-generation (often called “advanced” or “3G”) service within two years or fourth-generation (“4G”) service within three years after the award of support.
Auction 902 will award high-cost universal service support through competitive bidding. Using a reverse auction format, bidders will identify a per-pop support price at which they are willing to meet our requirements to cover the population in a given area. Support will be awarded based on the lowest per-pop bid amounts submitted, to at most one provider in a given area. Thus, bidders will compete not only against other carriers that may be bidding for support in the same areas, but also against carriers bidding for support in other Tribal land areas nationwide. Support will be awarded equal to the per-pop bid rate multiplied by the population within the eligible census blocks that the winning bidder actually covers within the required timeframe.
Areas Eligible for Support
Tribal lands currently without 3G or better services, and eligible for Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support, were determined on a census block basis using 2010 Census data, January 2013 Mosaik Solutions data, and information submitted by third parties. Because Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support will be awarded based on the bid amounts that will maximize the population covered by new mobile services, census blocks without population were excluded, as well as those census blocks that were the subject of winning bids in Auction 901 for which support has been authorized. Eligible census blocks were aggregated by Tribal land and census tract. If a single Tribal land included more than one census tract, then the Tribal land was subdivided by tract for bidding area purposes; there will be one bidding area for each tract in the Tribal land. Bidders will not bid on individual blocks, except in Alaska, where bids may be placed for individual census blocks that are outside of the Alaska Native village statistical areas. Bidders may bid on multiple bidding areas and be awarded support for any or all of them.
More information on the eligible census blocks and the bidding areas in Auction 902 is available at http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/902/.
Applicant Requirements for Participation
Each applicant should consult the applicable Commission rules and public notices concerning Auction 902 to ensure that, in addition to meeting the requirements listed below, it can certify that it is legally, technically, and financially qualified to participate in the auction and will be able to meet the public interest obligations associated with Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support. The applicant must:
- Certify that it has been designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) in any geographic area for which it will seek support, or that it is a Tribally-owned or -controlled entity with a pending application for ETC designation within the boundaries of its associated Tribal lands where it will seek support.
- Provide a description of its required spectrum access and certify that the description is accurate and that the applicant will retain such access for at least five years from the date on which it is authorized to receive support. In general, an applicant that holds a license or lease, or has otherwise contracted for access to spectrum consistent with Commission rules, for the required timeframe will meet this requirement.
- Be financially and technically capable of providing 3G or better service in the geographic areas for which it seeks support.
- Not seek support for any areas in which it has made a public commitment to deploy 3G or better wireless service by December 31, 2012. This restriction does not prevent another applicant from seeking and receiving support for an eligible geographic area where another provider has announced such a commitment.
Submission of a false certification to the Commission may result in penalties, including monetary forfeitures, the forfeiture of universal service support, license forfeitures, ineligibility to participate in future auctions, and/or criminal prosecution.
Bidding Credit for Tribal Entities
A 25 percent “reverse” bidding credit is available for any Tribally-owned or -controlled provider seeking Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support on its Tribal lands. The credit is available with respect to the eligible census blocks located within the geographic area defined by the boundaries of the Tribal land associated with the Tribe that owns or controls the provider seeking support.
The bidding credit reduces the Tribal entity’s bid amount by 25 percent for the purpose of comparing it to other bids, but if the entity were to win, support would be calculated at the full, undiscounted bid amount.
Public Interest Obligations
To ensure that Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I support meets the Commission’s public interest objectives, all recipients will be subject to a variety of obligations, including service requirements, performance deadlines, annual reporting and record retention requirements, collocation, voice and data roaming requirements, and Tribal engagement obligations, in exchange for the support they receive. Among other things, a winning bidder will be required to provide coverage to a minimum of 75 percent of the population associated with the eligible census blocks in each bidding area for which it is awarded support within two years for 3G deployments or three years for 4G deployments.
USF/ICC Transformation Order, FCC 11-161, 26 FCC Rcd 17663 (2011) (pdf