FCC Postpones Upper 700 MHz Spectrum Auction

After months of political tug-of-war, the FCC has delayed the auction of the upper 700 MHz spectrum (Channels 60-69) until January 14, 2003, but will hold the auction for the lower 700 MHz spectrum (Channels 52-58) as scheduled June 19.

Wireless companies had sought delays of both auctions. Paxson Communications Corp. and other broadcasters looking to sell their high channels opposed the delays.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell said that, without the timely auctions, incumbent broadcasters would end up investing more in those bandwidths and grow less inclined to surrender those channels.