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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).


March 23, 1999 Reauction Date Announced
(WT Docket No. 97-82)

The Commission has adopted a Fourth Report and Order ("Order") resolving the Commission's proposals in its C Block Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making. In the Order the Commission has set forth rules governing the reauction of Broadband Personal Communications Services (PCS) C block spectrum. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau sets a reauction date of March 23, 1999 for C block licenses.

The Commission concluded in the Order that reauction of C block licenses will include licenses returned to the Commission pursuant to the alternative payment options (disaggregation, amnesty, and prepayment) and all other C block licenses held by the Commission that are available for reauction. The Commission also concluded that it will not delay a reauction pending the resolution of issues in any bankruptcy proceeding.

The Commission will use the same eligibility rules used for the original C block auction, taking into account the modifications of those rules by the C Block Second Report and Order and the C Block Reconsideration Order. Therefore, all applicants qualifying as entrepreneurs under the Commission's rules and all original C block auction applicants whose applications were accepted for filing are also eligible to participate in the reauction. However, all C block licensees that surrendered their licenses pursuant to the disaggregation or amnesty with prepayment credit options are ineligible to reacquire their surrendered licenses through reauction (or by any other means) for a period of two years from the start date of the reauction. Licensees that surrendered licenses pursuant to the pure amnesty option are eligible to reacquire those surrendered licenses. Entities in default are not permitted to participate in the reauction; however, former defaulters that have paid all of their default obligations are eligible to participate.

The Commission concluded that the reauction should conform to the general competitive bidding rules adopted by the Commission in the Part 1 Third Report and Order, with these qualifications. First, the Commission set a ceiling for minimum opening bids that is no more than ten percent of the amount of the net high bid for the corresponding market in the original C block auction. Second, the Commission set the upfront payment amount for the next C block reauction at no higher than $.06 per MHz per pop. Also, in order to preserve the integrity of the auction program, the Commission required that the upfront payment for former defaulters be 50 percent more than required from other applicants. This increased upfront payment formula reflects the increased risk associated with these parties. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will issue a Public Notice requesting comment on these issues within the parameters set by the Commission.

The Commission will use the bidding credit thresholds adopted in the Part 1 Third Report and Order in the C block reauction. As defined by the Part 1 rules, businesses with no more than $40 million annual gross revenues will be eligible for a 15% percent bidding credit and businesses with no more than $15 million annual gross revenue will be eligible for a 25% bidding credit. Eligibility for bidding credits will be determined by the size of the applicant as of the deadline for filing short-form applications.

Action by the Commission, July 27, 1998, by Fourth Report and Order (FCC 98-176). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani.


News Media contact: Meribeth McCarrick at 202-418-0654
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau contact: Audrey Bashkin at (202) 418-0660