The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau develops, recommends and administers the programs and policies for the regulation of the terms and conditions under which communications entities offer domestic wireless telecommunications services and of ancillary operations related to the provision of such services (satellite communications excluded). These functions include all wireless telecommunications service providers' and licensees' activities. The Bureau also performs the following specific functions:
(a) Advises and makes recommendations to the Commission, or acts for the Commission under delegated authority, in all matters pertaining to the licensing and regulation of wireless telecommunications, including ancillary operations related to the provision or use of such services; any matters concerning wireless carriers that also affect wireline carriers in cooperation with the Wireline Competition Bureau; and, in cooperation with the Office of Economics and Analytics, all policies, programs, and rules regarding spectrum auctions, and, in cooperation with the Wireline Competition Bureau and the Office of Economics and Analytics, USF mechanisms affecting wireless carriers. These activities include: Policy development and coordination; conducting rulemaking and adjudicatory proceedings, including licensing and complaint proceedings for matters not within the responsibility of the Enforcement Bureau; acting on waivers of rules; acting on applications for service and facility authorizations; compliance and enforcement activities for matters not within the responsibility of the Enforcement Bureau; determining resource impacts of existing, planned or recommended Commission activities concerning wireless telecommunications, and developing and recommending resource deployment priorities.
(b) Develops and recommends policy goals, objectives, programs and plans for the Commission on matters concerning wireless telecommunications, drawing upon relevant economic, technological, legislative, regulatory and judicial information and developments. Such matters include meeting the present and future wireless telecommunications needs of the Nation; fostering economic growth by promoting efficiency and innovation in the allocation, licensing and use of the electromagnetic spectrum; ensuring choice, opportunity and fairness in the development of wireless telecommunications services and markets; promoting economically efficient investment in wireless telecommunications infrastructure and the integration of wireless communications networks into the public telecommunications network; enabling access to national communications services; promoting the development and widespread availability of wireless telecommunications services. Reviews and coordinates orders, programs and actions initiated by other Bureaus and Offices in matters affecting wireless telecommunications to ensure consistency of overall Commission policy.
(c) Serves as a staff resource, in coordination with the Office of Economics and Analytics with regard to the development and implementation of spectrum policy through spectrum auctions. Jointly with the Office of Economics and Analytics, develops, recommends and administers policies, programs and rules concerning licensing of spectrum for wireless telecommunications through auctions and advises the Commission on policy, engineering, and technical matters relating to auctions of spectrum used for other purposes.
(d) Regulates the charges, practices, classifications, terms and conditions for, and facilities used to provide, wireless telecommunications services. Develops and recommends consistent, integrated policies, programs and rules for the regulation of commercial mobile radio services and private mobile radio services.
(e) Develops and recommends policy, rules, standards, procedures and forms for the authorization and regulation of wireless telecommunications facilities and services, including all facility authorization applications involving domestic terrestrial transmission facilities. Coordinates with and assists the International Bureau regarding frequency assignment, coordination and interference matters.
(f) Develops and recommends responses to legislative, regulatory or judicial inquiries and proposals concerning or affecting wireless telecommunications.
(g) Develops and recommends policies regarding matters affecting the collaboration and coordination of relations among Federal agencies, and between the Federal government and the states, concerning wireless telecommunications issues. Maintains liaison with Federal and state government bodies concerning such issues.
(h) Develops and recommends policies, programs and rules to ensure interference-free operation of wireless telecommunications equipment and networks. Coordinates with and assists other Bureaus and Offices, as appropriate, concerning spectrum management, planning, and interference matters and issues, and in compliance and enforcement activities. Studies technical requirements for equipment for wireless telecommunications services in accordance with standards established by the Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology.
(i) Advises and assists consumers, businesses and other government agencies on wireless telecommunications issues and matters related thereto. Also assists the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau with informal consumer complaints and other general inquiries by consumers.
(j) Administers the Commission's commercial radio operator program (part 13 of this chapter); the Commission's program for registration, construction, marking and lighting of antenna structures (part 17 of this chapter), and the Commission's privatized ship radio inspection program (part 80 of this chapter).
(k) Coordinates with and assists the International Bureau with respect to treaty activities and international conferences concerning wireless telecommunications.
(l) Exercises such authority as may be assigned, delegated or referred to it by the Commission.
(m) Certifies frequency coordinators; considers petitions seeking review of coordinator actions; and engages in oversight of coordinator actions and practices.
(n) Administers the Commission's amateur radio programs (part 97 of this chapter) and the issuing of maritime mobile service identities (MMSIs).
(o) Exercises authority to issue non-hearing related subpoenas for the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, schedules of charges, contracts, agreements, and any other records deemed relevant to the investigation of wireless telecommunications operators for any alleged violation or violations of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, or the Commission's rules and orders. Before issuing a subpoena, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau shall obtain the approval of the Office of General Counsel.
(p) Certifies, in the name of the Commission, volunteer entities to coordinate maintain and disseminate a common data base of amateur station special event call signs, and issues Public Notices detailing the procedures of amateur service call sign systems.
(q) Coordinates with the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau on all matters affecting public safety, homeland security, national security, emergency management, disaster management, and related issues.
(r) In coordination with the Wireline Competition Bureau and the Office of Economics and Analytics, develops and recommends policies, programs, rules and procedures concerning the use of market-based mechanisms, including competitive bidding, to distribute universal service support.
(1) Extends the Communications Act Safety Radiotelephony Certificate for a period of up to 90 days beyond the specified expiration date.
(2) Grants emergency exemption requests, extensions or waivers of inspection to ships in accordance with applicable provisions of the Communications Act, the Safety Convention, the Great Lakes Agreement or the Commission's rules.
[60 FR 35505, July 10, 1995, as amended at 61 FR 4361, Feb. 6, 1996; 62 FR 17567, Apr. 10, 1997; 64 FR 60718, Nov. 8, 1999; 65 FR 375, Jan. 5, 2000; 67 FR 13219, Mar. 21, 2002; 69 FR 24997, May 5, 2004; 71 FR 69035, Nov. 29, 2006; 76 FR 73851, Nov. 29, 2011; 78 FR 23151, Apr. 18, 2013; 78 FR 32165, May 29, 2013; 83 FR 63076, Dec. 7, 2018; 85 FR 34526, June 5, 2020]