The Federal Communications Commission Tuesday released for public comment
Cablevision Systems Corp.'s plan to sell a batch of wireless-phone licenses to
Last month, Cablevision agreed to sell 50 personal-communications-service
licenses in the northeast region to Verizon for about $750 million, which the
cable company hopes to use to pay down bank debt. Cablevision's PCS company is
called Northcoast Communications LLC.
The licenses cover major metropolitan markets on the East Coast and in the
Midwest, including New York; Boston; Minneapolis; Columbus, Ohio; Providence,
R.I.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Hartford, Conn.
Cablevision -- which owns a 49.9 percent equity stake and a 90 percent
economic interest in Northcoast -- has said approximately $60 million of the
proceeds will be used to pay Northcoast's debt to the FCC.
The FCC needs to approve the Verizon sale. Initial comments are due at the
agency by Feb. 20. The companies expected to close by the second quarter of
Cablevision bought the PCS licenses in 1996 for about $117 million. In
Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the MSO said it has invested another
$217 million in the company.