As part of their renewed legal challenge to the FCC’s designated entity (DE) rules, Council Tree Communications, Bethel Native Corp., and the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council told the Third Circuit appeals court that the results of the recent 700 MHz auction confirm their longstanding claim that DE rule modifications adopted in 2006 effectively bar DE participation in the FCC’s auction process. This week, Council Tree and the other petitioners filed a supplemental brief with the Third Circuit, which last September dismissed the parties’ previous appeal on grounds that the FCC had yet to act on a pending petition for reconsideration of the modified DE rules that imposed various leasing and resale restrictions on DEs and extended the unjust enrichment period from five years to ten. After the FCC denied reconsideration in March, the petitioners renewed their appeal before the Third Circuit, which has agreed to incorporate the previous record into the current case. Charging that “FCC actions since the agency adopted the new DE rules provide powerful confirmation of the need for this court to vacate the new DE rules,” the petitioners pointed to statistics for the 700 MHz auction demonstrating that DEs won only 2.6% of the licenses by dollar value. That auction reaped total bids in excess of $19 billion. According to the petitioners, that figure represents a 4% reduction from the results of the 2006 advanced wireless service (AWS) auction—the first auction in which the modified DE rules were applied—in which DEs won 4% of the licenses by dollar value. By comparison, the petitioners noted that DEs won 70% of available licenses by dollar value in the six auctions preceding the 2006 AWS event. Declaring that “this string of DE failures in [the 700 MHz and AWS] auctions ultimately translated into a tremendous set-back for U.S. wireless consumers,” the petitioners lamented: “a vibrant DE program, free of the Commission’s harmful new DE rules, would have ushered in another era of new competition and innovation.”