FCC Expands Wireless Spectrum Auctions

SAN MATEO (06/02/2000) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday opened the door for larger wireless companies to participate in upcoming spectrum auctions once cordoned off entirely on behalf of the smallest businesses.

In a reversal of its original position, the FCC has decided to waive a proposed requirement that would have opened its auctions of C and F block personal communications services spectrum only to companies holding "entrepreneur" status.

That requirement mandated that no company with more than a US$125 million in total revenue or $500 million in assets over the last two years would be eligible to participate.

The FCC changed its view on the eligibility requirement based on feedback from industry, according to recent rule changes posted on the agency's Web site.

In its June 1 rule changes, the FCC has also decided to whittle down the spectrum license size of block C, its larger PCS block.

Originally, FCC was going to sell off the C block in 30MHz sized licenses. Now FCC will split those 30MHz blocks into three 10MHz block licenses.

Finally, FCC has decided not to limit the number of licenses a single purchaser can buy in the auction.

The Federal Communications Commission, in Washington, is at www.fcc.gov.

Jennifer Jones is an InfoWorld senior editor.

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