Federal Commincations Commission: Air-Ground Telecommunications Services

GAO-06-340R: Jan 10, 2006

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GAO reviewed the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) new rule on air-ground telecommunication services. GAO found that (1) the rule adopts competitive bidding rules for the 800 MHz commercial Air-Ground Radiotelephone Service and the 400 MHz general aviation Air-Ground Radiotelephone Service; and (2) FCC complied with applicable requirements in promulgating the rule.

Federal Communications Commission: Air-Ground Telecommunications Services, GAO-06-340R, January 10, 2006

B-297786

January 10, 2006

The Honorable Ted Stevens
Chairman
The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
United States Senate

The Honorable Joe Barton
Chairman
The Honorable John D. Dingell
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce
House of Representatives

Subject: Federal Communications Commission: Air-Ground Telecommunications Services

Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on a major rule promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission (Commission), entitled –Air-Ground Telecommunications Services— (FCC 05-202). We received the rule on December 22, 2005. It was published in the Federal Register as a final rule on December 27, 2005. 70 Fed. Reg. 76414.

The final rule adopts competitive bidding rules for the 800 MHz commercial Air-Ground Radiotelephone Service and the 400 MHz general aviation Air-Ground Radiotelephone Service.

Enclosed is our assessment of the Commission's compliance with the procedural steps required by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rule. Our review indicates that the Commission complied with the applicable requirements.

If you have any questions about this report, please contact James W. Vickers, Assistant General Counsel, at (202) 512-8210. The official responsible for GAO evaluation work relating to the subject matter of the rule is Patricia Dalton, Managing Director, Physical Infrastructure. Ms. Dalton can be reached at (202)
512-2834.

signed

Kathleen E. Wannisky
Managing Associate General Counsel

Enclosure

cc: Zenji Nakazawa
Legal Advisor/Chief, Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau
Federal Communications Commission


ENCLOSURE

ANALYSIS UNDER 5 U.S.C. sect. 801(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) OF A MAJOR RULE
ISSUED BY THE
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
ENTITLED
"AIR-GROUND TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES"
(FCC 05-202)

(i) Cost-benefit analysis

The Federal Communications Commission is not required to prepare and did not prepare a cost-benefit analysis for the final rule.

(ii) Agency actions relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. sections 603-605, 607, and 609

The Commission prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis and a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in connection with the proposed and final rules, respectively. The analyses comply with the requirements of the Act, including a description of the small entities affected and their size and the steps taken to reduce the burden on small entities, including bidding credits.

(iii) Agency actions relevant to sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. sections 1532-1535

As an independent regulatory agency, the Commission is not subject to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under acts and executive orders

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. sections 551 et seq.

The final rule was issued using the notice and comment procedures found at 5 U.S.C. 553. On April 13, 2005, the Commission published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register. 70 Fed. Reg. 19377.

Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. sections 3501-3520

The final rule does not contain any new or modified information collections that are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Statutory authorization for the rule

The final rule was promulgated under the authority found at 47 U.S.C. 154, 222, 303, 309, and 332.

Executive Order No. 12866

As an independent regulatory agency, the Commission is not subject to the review requirements of the order.

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