In supplemental briefs filed with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the FCC and intervenors CTIA and T-Mobile USA defended amendments to the designated entity (DE) rules that were adopted in advance of the 2006 advanced wireless service (AWS) auction, as they urged the court to uphold the AWS auction results regardless of whether the amended DE rules are remanded to the FCC. The briefs respond to the latest legal challenge against the DE rules filed by Council Tree Communications, Bethel Native Corp., and the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council. Claiming that the FCC’s decision to extend the unjust enrichment period and impose new leasing and resale restrictions on DEs effectively blocked DE participation in the AWS and 700 MHz auctions, Council Tree and the other petitioners are again seeking to have the DE rules and the results of both auctions overturned by the Third Circuit. Last year, the Third Circuit dismissed the petitioners’ initial appeal on jurisdictional grounds, noting that the FCC had yet to act on the parties’ pending petition for reconsideration. Last March, the FCC denied reconsideration, thus clearing the way for the appellants to renew their earlier legal challenge. As CTIA and T-Mobile labeled the petitioners’ latest appeal as “meritless,” the FCC shot back at the petitioners’ claims regarding DE participation, arguing that “DE performance in Auctions 66 and 73 was robust by any reasonably objective standard and does not suggest a defect in the Commission’s rules.” Adding, “there is even less merit to the petitioners’ request for nullification of the auctions,” the FCC told the court that “a finding that the rules . . . were invalid thus does not provide a basis on which to reach back and unwind the auction results.” While proclaiming it “settled law that any invalidation of the rules would not affect proceedings already final” such as the AWS auction, CTIA and T-Mobile further warned that any decision to overturn the auction results “would inflict severe harm on federal government agencies, wireless carriers and consumers throughout the nation.”