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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
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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).

November 19, 1998


The CMRS spectrum cap made a lot of economic sense when it was adopted in 1994, and when we last reviewed it two years ago. Since it has been enacted, it has been very effective in promoting competition. However, there have been significant changes to the wireless telecommunications market since the last time we examined the cap. Indeed, we have largely completed the auctioning of broadband PCS licenses, and PCS is now being deployed in many markets throughout the country. While the mobile voice market basically consisted of the cellular duopoly in 1994, consumers in many parts of the country now have a greatly expanded array of competitive choices.

The future also promises many changes for wireless markets. Technology is constantly changing. Third-generation wireless services promise exciting new devices for consumers. We are also witnessing the emergence of competition between wireline and wireless services. It is thus an opportune time to re-examine, as part of the biennial review process, the existing CMRS spectrum cap. Now is the time as well for a reevaluation of the need for the cellular cross interest rule, which predates the spectrum cap.

This Notice asks many important questions as part of a comprehensive and vigorous analysis of issues regarding spectrum aggregation limitations. I believe this is an appropriate approach. In response to this Notice, I would like commenters to provide analytical and empirical evidence of the current state of competition. We need evidence of the level of competition not only in urban markets, but in rural markets as well. It may be that relaxation of these rules would be appropriate in some but not all markets. I would also like to see thoughtful analysis of how the state of competition affects the need for these rules and what, if any, rules may be appropriate given the current and foreseeable state of competition.

Finally, I would be interested in hearing from commenters on whether important policy goals, such as promoting service to underserved markets or promoting wireless as a substitute for wireline services in local markets, could be more easily achieved under a more relaxed regulatory scheme.

- FCC -