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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



Today the Commission's Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) auction, which began on February 18, 1998, closed after 128 rounds raising a total net revenue of $578,663,029. The spectrum auctioned is located in the 28 and 31 GHz bands and represents the largest amount of spectrum the Commission has auctioned to date.

"Today's results are very exciting." said FCC Chairman William E. Kennard. "The marketplace now has 104 new LMDS players. LMDS operators have the potential of being the next serious players offering real competition in the local loop. This can only lead to great things for consumers."

In this auction the Commission simultaneously auctioned two licenses in 493 Basic Trading Areas (BTAs). In each BTA an A Block license consisting of 1,150 MHz of spectrum and a B Block license consisting of 150 MHz of spectrum was auctioned. Of the 864 licenses sold, 142 were won by entities claiming rural telephone status, 30 were won by those claiming women-owned status and 9 by those claiming minority-owned status.

"Potential bidders have been waiting for years for the LMDS opportunity." said Daniel Phythyon, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. "Once again the Commission's auction process has worked in rapidly assigning licenses. Now it is up to the marketplace to determine the best use for these raw materials of competition."

LMDS is a new fixed, broadband point-to-multipoint microwave service, which, because of the amount of spectrum that will be licensed, will offer more capacity than is currently available from existing wireless services. LMDS has the flexibility and the potential to promote competition in both the local telephone and cable television marketplaces -- it may be used, for example, for wireless telephony, data, internet access and video.

License winners must make the first down payment on their licenses ten business days after the release of the Wireless telecommunications Bureau's Public Notice announcing the close of the auction. Winning bidders must also file their long form applications with the FCC within the same time period.

-FCC -

News Media Contact: Meribeth McCarrick at (202) 418-0654
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau contacts: Bob James at (202) 418-0798 and Louis Sigalos at (202) 418-0600