Policy

Cable, DBS Ante for AWS Spectrum

7/17/2006 8:27 AM Eastern

The list of potential bidders for the upcoming advanced-wireless-services auction is out, and it appears that cable and satellite players are mulling whether to vie for any of the 1,222 licenses up for grabs.

As reported, the cable operators aligned with Sprint Nextel -- Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks -- filed to potentially take part in the Federal Communications Commission auction, although it remains to be seen whether they will do so. The group’s application under the name “SpectrumCo LLC” is included on a list of 171 incomplete applications filed with the FCC.

Applicants on that list can become qualified bidders if they submit upfront payments by 6 p.m. (EST) Monday and resubmit their applications by 6 p.m. Tuesday with any omissions corrected, according to FCC rules.

Also on the incomplete list is Wireless DBS LLC, which represents EchoStar Communications and DirecTV. It also includes cable operators Bend Cable Communications and Cable One, as well as Cingular Wireless.

The list of approved bidders, meanwhile, includes Dolan Family Holdings LLC and cellular provider T-Mobile USA.

The AWS auction offers a block of spectrum consisting of 10-megahertz or 20-megahertz chucks in two frequency bands -- one between 1,710-1,755 megahertz and the other between 2,110-2,155 MHz. The licenses can be used for fixed- or mobile-broadband applications, including broadband cellular services.

The auction was delayed from its original June 29 start to allow more time for additional bid applicants.

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