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Auction Delayed For TV’s 60-69

Auction Delayed For TV's 60-69

FCC Chairman Bill Kennard apprised members of Congress he intends to postpone the auction for TV channels 60-69 until Sept. 6. The commission previously moved up the auction dates to June when Congress informed the commission the proceeds needed to be in the U.S. treasury by Sept. 30.
Explaining the postponement, Kennard said that UHF broadcasters are using the 700 MHz band and will continue to do so until the target 2006 deadline for TV’s digital conversion.
“This factor makes this auction extremely complex,” wrote Kennard in a letter explaining his decision. He said the extra time would allow bidders to develop better business plans and to form strategic alliances.
Bidders will use the spectrum for wireless phone and Internet services.
Earlier, the Consumer Electronics Alliance had proposed the FCC reserve a portion of the spectrum for a new service called Mobile Multimedia Broadcast Service, which CEA said would consist of multichannel audio delivery with data capacity and robust mobile reception.
CEA criticized the congressional decision to move up the date by which the auction funds needed to be in the U.S. Treasury from Jan. 2001 to this September.
– Leslie Stimson