Factors which Commission must consider
In taking actions to manage the spectrum to be made available for use by the private mobile services, the Commission shall consider, consistent with section 151 of this title
, whether such actions will—
promote the safety of life and property;
improve the efficiency of spectrum use and reduce the regulatory burden upon spectrum users, based upon sound engineering principles, user operational requirements, and marketplace demands;
encourage competition and provide services to the largest feasible number of users; or
increase interservice sharing opportunities between private mobile services and other services.
Advisory coordinating committees
The Commission, in coordinating the assignment of frequencies to stations in the private mobile services and in the fixed services (as defined by the Commission by rule), shall have authority to utilize assistance furnished by advisory coordinating committees consisting of individuals who are not officers or employees of the Federal Government.
The authority of the Commission established in this subsection shall not be subject to or affected by the provisions of part III of title 5 or section 1342 of title 31
Any person who provides assistance to the Commission under this subsection shall not be considered, by reason of having provided such assistance, a Federal employee.
Any advisory coordinating committee which furnishes assistance to the Commission under this subsection shall not be subject to the provisions of chapter 10 of title 5.
Regulatory treatment of mobile services
Common carrier treatment of commercial mobile services
A person engaged in the provision of a service that is a commercial mobile service shall, insofar as such person is so engaged, be treated as a common carrier for purposes of this chapter, except for such provisions of subchapter II as the Commission may specify by regulation as inapplicable to that service or person. In prescribing or amending any such regulation, the Commission may not specify any provision of section 201, 202, or 208 of this title, and may specify any other provision only if the Commission determines that—
enforcement of such provision is not necessary in order to ensure that the charges, practices, classifications, or regulations for or in connection with that service are just and reasonable and are not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory;
enforcement of such provision is not necessary for the protection of consumers; and
specifying such provision is consistent with the public interest.
Upon reasonable request of any person providing commercial mobile service, the Commission shall order a common carrier to establish physical connections with such service pursuant to the provisions of section 201 of this title
. Except to the extent that the Commission is required to respond to such a request, this subparagraph shall not be construed as a limitation or expansion of the Commission’s authority to order interconnection pursuant to this chapter.
As a part of making a determination with respect to the public interest under subparagraph (A)(iii), the Commission shall consider whether the proposed regulation (or amendment thereof) will promote competitive market conditions, including the extent to which such regulation (or amendment) will enhance competition among providers of commercial mobile services. If the Commission determines that such regulation (or amendment) will promote competition among providers of commercial mobile services, such determination may be the basis for a Commission finding that such regulation (or amendment) is in the public interest.
The Commission shall, not later than 180 days after August 10, 1993, complete a rulemaking required to implement this paragraph with respect to the licensing of personal communications services, including making any determinations required by subparagraph (C).
Non-common carrier treatment of private mobile services
A person engaged in the provision of a service that is a private mobile service shall not, insofar as such person is so engaged, be treated as a common carrier for any purpose under this chapter. A common carrier (other than a person that was treated as a provider of a private land mobile service prior to August 10, 1993) shall not provide any dispatch service on any frequency allocated for common carrier service, except to the extent such dispatch service is provided on stations licensed in the domestic public land mobile radio service before January 1, 1982. The Commission may by regulation terminate, in whole or in part, the prohibition contained in the preceding sentence if the Commission determines that such termination will serve the public interest.
Notwithstanding sections 152(b) and 221(b) of this title, no State or local government shall have any authority to regulate the entry of or the rates charged by any commercial mobile service or any private mobile service, except that this paragraph shall not prohibit a State from regulating the other terms and conditions of commercial mobile services. Nothing in this subparagraph shall exempt providers of commercial mobile services (where such services are a substitute for land line telephone exchange service for a substantial portion of the communications within such State) from requirements imposed by a State commission on all providers of telecommunications services necessary to ensure the universal availability of telecommunications service at affordable rates. Notwithstanding the first sentence of this subparagraph, a State may petition the Commission for authority to regulate the rates for any commercial mobile service and the Commission shall grant such petition if such State demonstrates that—
market conditions with respect to such services fail to protect subscribers adequately from unjust and unreasonable rates or rates that are unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory; or
such market conditions exist and such service is a replacement for land line telephone exchange service for a substantial portion of the telephone land line exchange service within such State.
The Commission shall provide reasonable opportunity for public comment in response to such petition, and shall, within 9 months after the date of its submission, grant or deny such petition. If the Commission grants such petition, the Commission shall authorize the State to exercise under State law such authority over rates, for such periods of time, as the Commission deems necessary to ensure that such rates are just and reasonable and not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory.
If a State has in effect on June 1, 1993, any regulation concerning the rates for any commercial mobile service offered in such State on such date, such State may, no later than 1 year after August 10, 1993, petition the Commission requesting that the State be authorized to continue exercising authority over such rates. If a State files such a petition, the State’s existing regulation shall, notwithstanding subparagraph (A), remain in effect until the Commission completes all action (including any reconsideration) on such petition. The Commission shall review such petition in accordance with the procedures established in such subparagraph, shall complete all action (including any reconsideration) within 12 months after such petition is filed, and shall grant such petition if the State satisfies the showing required under subparagraph (A)(i) or (A)(ii). If the Commission grants such petition, the Commission shall authorize the State to exercise under State law such authority over rates, for such period of time, as the Commission deems necessary to ensure that such rates are just and reasonable and not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory. After a reasonable period of time, as determined by the Commission, has elapsed from the issuance of an order under subparagraph (A) or this subparagraph, any interested party may petition the Commission for an order that the exercise of authority by a State pursuant to such subparagraph is no longer necessary to ensure that the rates for commercial mobile services are just and reasonable and not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory. The Commission shall provide reasonable opportunity for public comment in response to such petition, and shall, within 9 months after the date of its submission, grant or deny such petition in whole or in part.
Regulatory treatment of communications satellite corporation
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to alter or affect the regulatory treatment required by title IV of the Communications Satellite Act of 1962 [47 U.S.C. 741 et seq.] of the corporation authorized by title III of such Act [47 U.S.C. 731 et seq.].
Space segment capacity
Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Commission from continuing to determine whether the provision of space segment capacity by satellite systems to providers of commercial mobile services shall be treated as common carriage.
The Commission, upon a petition for waiver filed within 6 months after August 10, 1993
, may waive the application of section 310(b) of this title
to any foreign ownership that lawfully existed before May 24, 1993
, of any provider of a private land mobile service that will be treated as a common carrier as a result of the enactment of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, but only upon the following conditions:
The extent of foreign ownership interest shall not be increased above the extent which existed on May 24, 1993.
Preservation of local zoning authority
Except as provided in this paragraph, nothing in this chapter shall limit or affect the authority of a State or local government or instrumentality thereof over decisions regarding the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities.
The regulation of the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities by any State or local government or instrumentality thereof—
shall not unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services; and
shall not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services.
A State or local government or instrumentality thereof shall act on any request for authorization to place, construct, or modify personal wireless service facilities within a reasonable period of time after the request is duly filed with such government or instrumentality, taking into account the nature and scope of such request.
Any decision by a State or local government or instrumentality thereof to deny a request to place, construct, or modify personal wireless service facilities shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record.
No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emissions.
Any person adversely affected by any final action or failure to act by a State or local government or any instrumentality thereof that is inconsistent with this subparagraph may, within 30 days after such action or failure to act, commence an action in any court of competent jurisdiction. The court shall hear and decide such action on an expedited basis. Any person adversely affected by an act or failure to act by a State or local government or any instrumentality thereof that is inconsistent with clause (iv) may petition the Commission for relief.
For purposes of this paragraph—
the term “personal wireless services” means commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services;
the term “personal wireless service facilities” means facilities for the provision of personal wireless services; and
the term “unlicensed wireless service” means the offering of telecommunications services using duly authorized devices which do not require individual licenses, but does not mean the provision of direct-to-home satellite services (as defined in section 303(v) of this title
Mobile services access
A person engaged in the provision of commercial mobile services, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not be required to provide equal access to common carriers for the provision of telephone toll services. If the Commission determines that subscribers to such services are denied access to the provider of telephone toll services of the subscribers’ choice, and that such denial is contrary to the public interest, convenience, and necessity, then the Commission shall prescribe regulations to afford subscribers unblocked access to the provider of telephone toll services of the subscribers’ choice through the use of a carrier identification code assigned to such provider or other mechanism. The requirements for unblocking shall not apply to mobile satellite services unless the Commission finds it to be in the public interest to apply such requirements to such services.
[June 19, 1934, ch. 652], title III, § 332, formerly § 331, as added [Pub. L. 97–259, title I, § 120(a)], Sept. 13, 1982, [96 Stat. 1096]; renumbered § 332, [Pub. L. 102–385, § 25(b)], Oct. 5, 1992, [106 Stat. 1502]; amended [Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, § 6002(b)(2)(A)], Aug. 10, 1993, [107 Stat. 392]; [Pub. L. 104–104, § 3(d)(2)], title VII, §§ 704(a), 705, Feb. 8, 1996, [110 Stat. 61], 151, 153; [Pub. L. 115–141, div. P, title IV, § 402(g)], Mar. 23, 2018, [132 Stat. 1089]; [Pub. L. 117–286, § 4(a)(296)], Dec. 27, 2022, [136 Stat. 4338].)