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Select Electronic FCC Authorizations Considered Official

Changes do not cover broadcast licenses in CDBS, satellite licenses in IBFS, or CARS licenses

This article originally appeared in TV Technology.

The FCC has released a Public Notice announcing enhancements to its Universal Licensing System (ULS) and Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) System to allow all commercial, private and public safety wireless service licensees and ASR registrants electronic access to their current official authorization in “Active” status. The Public Notice states, “We deem the electronic version of an authorization stored in ULS or the ASR System as the official commission document. All licensees and registrants can access, through License Manager in ULS or ASR Dashboard in the ASR System, the official electronic versions of their current authorizations in Active status, whether granted prior to or after release of this Public Notice.”

During an interim test period licensees and registrants may elect to stop receiving authorizations on paper through the U.S. Postal Service. If no election is made, they will continue to receive paper authorizations. In either case, all licensees and registrants may access official electronic authorizations online and provide feedback to the Wireless Bureau through the public comment process. The general public will continue to be able to access unofficial “reference” copies of authorizations through ULS or the ASR system.

Once final procedures are adopted, the commission will stop providing paper copies of current authorizations to licensees and registrants unless it is notified that the licensee or registrant wishes to continue receiving official authorizations on paper.

These changes apply only to authorizations in the ULS and ASR systems. Broadcast licenses in CDBS and satellite licenses in IBFS, as well as CARS licenses, are not included.

A footnote in the Public Notice explains that commercial radio operator licenses normally valid for the lifetime of the holder may not be available in ULS. “When the commission transitioned the commercial radio operator service into ULS, it did not convert into the ULS database the licensing information in existence at that time from the Restricted Permit database. As a result, commercial radio operator licenses that had been issued for the lifetime of the holder were not transferred to ULS. The bureau notes that while we are deeming the electronic version of an authorization stored in ULS to be the commission’s official document, those lifetime commercial radio operator licenses issued prior to implementation of ULS remain valid even though the license itself is not stored in ULS.”