52-59 auction slated for June 19


Spectrum now used for TV channels 52 through 59 will be auctioned for new
users June 19 -- the same day channels 60 through 69 will be put on the block --
the Federal Communications Commission said Friday.

Although the two auctions cover adjacent blocks of spectrum and are being
sought by fixed and mobile wireless companies, the sales will have very
different characteristics.

Under the 52-through-59 reallocation, the spectrum will be divided into three
12-megahertz blocks. Two of the blocks will be sold in six geographic regions.
The third will be divvied into licenses covering 734 metro and rural areas.

Demand for the new licenses is expected to be dampened because few of the
existing broadcasters are expected to take advantage of early buyout offers, and
they may encumber the band until at least 2006.

In the 60-through-69 reallocation, the auction will consist of one 20-MHz and
one 10-MHz block for each of six geographic areas.

That part of the TV band is less crowded than 52 through 59 and the stations
less profitable, so many are expected to relinquish their