The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) formally notified the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce that the Commission intends to auction licenses for certain Advanced Wireless Services -- also called "3G" -- as early as June 2006.
In a letter to Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Michael D. Gallagher, FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell stated that the Commission intends to commence an auction for Advanced Wireless Services licenses in the 1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz bands as early as June 2006. The 1710-1755 MHz band is currently occupied by federal government users that would be relocated pursuant to the recently enacted Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act. That Act requires the Commission to notify NTIA at least 18 months in advance of beginning an auction of spectrum transferred from federal government to commercial use. It also requires NTIA to provide the Commission the estimated costs and timelines for the relocation of Federal entities from the bands at least 6 months prior to the auction.
Chairman Powell stated, "I am very pleased that the President has signed this important legislation. The spectrum relocation fund mechanism that Congress has established will result in successful auctions, smooth relocation of important government operations and, most important, competitive high quality communications services being provided to American consumers. For all of us who believe in the future of wireless broadband, it is truly a banner day. My congratulations go out to Michael Gallagher who spearheaded the Administration's successful effort to win passage. We look forward to working closely with NTIA to ensure the swift implementation of this legislation."
Chairman Powell's letter also stated the Commission's intention to auction spectrum at 1432-1435 MHz in July or August 2006. NTIA previously notified the Commission that there are no relocation costs associated with this band.