FCC will begin federal spectrum auctions in '06

The Federal Communications Commission has set the clock in motion for the auction of radio spectrum now occupied by agencies.

FCC last month notified the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which oversees federal use of radio spectrum, that it plans to begin auctions by June of next year. Under legislation signed into law last month, revenue from the auctions will be used to reimburse agencies for the cost of moving federal communications into new bands.

Federal communications are being moved out of the 216- to 220-MHz, 1432- to 1435-MHz, 1710- to 1755-MHz and 2385- to 2390-MHz bands to make room for new commercial applications such as Advanced Wireless Services. Licenses to use the bands will be auctioned off to commercial users. The Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act requires FCC to give NTIA 18 months notice of auctions. On Dec. 29, the commission told NTIA that auctions for the 1710-MHz and 2385-MHz bands are expected to begin by June 2006, and for the 1432-MHz band in August that year.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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