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October 23, 2000


Friday's decision in GWI PCS 1 et al v. United States, Case No. 99-11294 (5th Cir.October 20, 2000) creates yet another twist in the long road traveled by the Commission'sC Block licensees. The Court's decision to "respectfully disagree" on a number of issueswith the Second Circuit's decision in Nextwave(1) casts renewed doubt on the proper scopeof the Communications Act on the one hand and the Bankruptcy code on the other. Icontinue to believe the C Block re-auction currently scheduled for December 12, 2000should be delayed until the legal cloud surrounding these licenses dissipates. As Iindicated in early September, "[w]e should not endeavor to rush into a re-auction that mayonly exacerbate the already vast troubles suffered by all parties concerned."(2) The FifthCircuit's decision does not alter my view; in fact, Friday's decision serves to emphasizethat the litigation regarding this issue is not yet final. In the current legal environment, a CBlock re-auction would be a risky proposition. After all the challenges faced by the CBlock, it is not a risk I am willing to take.


For more information regarding this release please contact Bryan Tramont 202-418-2000or Btramont@fcc.gov.

1     See In re: NextWave Personal Communications Inc., 200 F.3d 43 (2d Cir. 1999)(per curiam), cert.denied, No. 99-1980 (U.S. Oct. 10., 2000).

2    See Separate Statement Of Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth in re Public Notice DA 00-49,Auction of C and F Block Broadband PCS Licenses, Nextwave Petition for Reconsideration, Order onReconsideration (rel. September 6, 2000).