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FAQs: Applying for a Tribal Lands Bidding Credit

How can I identify the tribal lands within a given market and the size of each land within that market?

The Commission obtained a list of federally recognized tribal lands from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and is available in electronic format. We have added information that may be helpful to you such as the telephone penetration rate (if known) and the number of square kilometers of the tribal territory.
In addition to the list of federally recognized tribal lands, we also provide numerous market area lists that include the names of the tribal lands and the number of square kilometers with a given market. These lists can be found under Cross References on the Tribal Lands Bidding Credit page.

When applying for multiple licenses, can I file for all licenses on the same FCC application form?

One application, FCC Form 601 Main Form and Schedule B, can be filed for multiple licenses as long as all filing requirements associated with the application are identical except for the market designator and market name.
However, if you are seeking a tribal lands bidding credit in one or more markets (but not all markets), we encourage you to file two separate applications. One application would include all the markets in which you intend to seek a tribal lands bidding credit. The other application would include the markets where you are not seeking a tribal lands bidding credit. By dividing the markets into two applications, the process for granting the markets without tribal lands bidding credits will not be subject to the delay caused by the 180-day tribal government certification process. Note: When submitting more than one application, we prefer that you send only one wire transfer that includes the requisite payments for all applications at the long-form stage.

How do I advise the Commission of my intent to seek a tribal lands bidding credit?

If you intend to seek a tribal lands bidding credit, you must do so by the filing deadline for the long-form application.
When filing your long-form application, in addition to identifying the markets to be included within the application, you will be asked to indicate each market and channel block where you intend to seek a tribal lands bidding credit.
Unless you are prepared to select the tribal lands to be served and submit the tribal government certification(s), you have completed the requirement to show your intent before the close of the long-form application filing window. You have 180 days to secure and submit the required tribal government certification(s).

What happens if I change my mind about seeking a tribal lands bidding credit?

As stated above, you must express your intent to seek a tribal lands bidding credit by the filing deadline for the long-form application. If you do not, once the filing window has closed, you will not be allowed to amend your application to add your intent to seek a tribal lands bidding credit.
On the other hand, if you expressed your intent to seek a tribal lands bidding credit and your business requirements changed, you are allowed to amend your application to remove your intent. Or, if you fail to provide the required tribal government certification within 180 days, your intent to seek a tribal lands bidding credit will automatically be removed by the FCC.

How do I advise the Commission of the specific tribal lands I intend to serve?

Once you obtain the tribal government certification(s), you must re-enter ULS and amend your long-form application. ULS will provide you with a listing of all markets included in your application.
For each market where you stated your intent to serve tribal lands, ULS will display all the tribal lands within that market and the number of square kilometers for each land within the market. Select the tribal lands you intend to serve and for which you have the tribal government certification(s).
If for some reason you have decided not to seek a tribal lands bidding credit in a specific market, you can change your intent from “YES” to “NO”.

Will the Universal Licensing System (ULS) calculate the tribal lands bidding credit for me?

Yes, after you have selected the tribal lands to be served, ULS will calculate the bidding credit amount for each market according to the size of the tribal territory within the market and in compliance with the bidding credit limit. The bidding credit will be displayed on the screen.
If you are serving tribal lands with multiple channel blocks in the same market, the bidding credit is the aggregate of the gross winning bid amounts for each channel block serving tribal lands and the bidding credit cap is applied against the aggregated amount. The bidding credit is proportionately allocated to each channel block and displayed with the “market” bidding credit.

How do I apply for an additional tribal lands bidding credit?

When seeking an additional tribal lands bidding credit, you must file a waiver request demonstrating that the infrastructure costs exceed the available credit under the Commission’s formula. The waiver must include a certification from an independent auditor that the estimated costs are reasonable. Such additional costs are subject to the bidding credit cap. To file this waiver request, select the attachment description “Tribal Lands Waiver Request.”
In ULS there is a box to enter an amount for an additional “market” bidding credit. If you are seeking an additional bidding credit for a single channel block, then the entire amount, if awarded by the FCC, will be applied to that channel block. If there are multiple channel blocks serving tribal lands, then any additional bidding credit awarded by the FCC will be proportionately allocated to each channel block and displayed accordingly.

What information must be included in the tribal government certification?

The certification must contain a signature of an official of the Tribal Government and his/her title. The Rules require that the certification state:
  1. the tribal land is a qualifying tribal land as defined under 1.2110(e)(3)(i);
  2. the tribal government has not and will not enter into an exclusive contract with the applicant precluding entry by other carriers and will not unreasonably discriminate among wireless carriers seeking to provide service on the qualifying tribal land;.
  3. the tribal government will permit the applicant to site facilities and provide service on the tribal land.
The tribal government will also be required to certify that the telephone penetration rate is equal to or less than 85%.
This tribal government certification should be uploaded into ULS by selecting the attachment description “Tribal Govt. Certification.”

Are there any other certifications involved in obtaining a tribal lands bidding credit?

Yes, the applicant must certify that it will comply with the bidding credit buildout requirements and consult with the tribal government(s) regarding siting of facilities and deployment of service on the tribal land(s) as set forth in the applicable rules.

Where else can I learn more about FCC’s Tribal Lands Bidding Credit Program?

Additional information on the Tribal Lands Bidding Credit Program can be found in the following: 47 C.F.R. §1.2110(f)(3), the Third Report & Order adopted August 18, 2004, the Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making adopted March 7, 2003, the Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted June 8, 2001, the Public Notice providing basic information released on September 28, 2002 and the Public Notice providing additional information on procedures released on December 14, 2003. To learn about other FCC initiatives in Indian Country, visit the FCC’s tribal web page.
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Last reviewed/updated on
3/2/2010