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Valuable Spectrum Auction Would Raise Minimum $5 Billion for U.S. Treasury

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Verizon Wireless today notified the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that the company is prepared to open bidding at $5 billion for 10 MHz of nationwide PCS spectrum in the 1.9 GHz band should the Commission, as required by law, determine to make spectrum in that band available for auction to the highest bidder. The FCC is currently deliberating how to solve interference to public safety caused by Nextel's radio transmissions; Nextel argues that it will fix the problems it has created for public safety throughout the nation only if it is rewarded with an extraordinary grant of prime spectrum in the 1.9 GHz band. This would violate FCC rules, federal law and more than a decade of U.S. spectrum policy. Verizon Wireless, law enforcement and others have long noted that Nextel's interference with public safety channels can be resolved within the 800 MHz band, without grabbing at valuable spectrum that should be put to best public use in an auction.

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