Spectrum-delay battle wages on

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The House of Representatives Tuesday evening passed a voice vote on a bill
that would indefinitely delay auctions of the 700-megahertz spectrum, now
scheduled for June 19.

The bill was sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Billy
Tauzin (R-La.); that committee's ranking member, John Dingell (D-Mich.); and 50
other members of the committee.

It now goes to the Senate, where Sens. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and John Kerry
(D-Mass.) have introduced a similar bill, although Senate passage is not as
certain.

Sources said Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) plans on Thursday to introduce a bill
that would require the Federal Communications Commission to hold the auctions,
causing a bit of a dilemma for the FCC.

Meanwhile, it is unclear whether the agency plans to go ahead with the
auctions or delay them, as per the wishes of the Bush administration and the
House of Representatives.

Wednesday was the FCC's deadline for applications to participate in the
auction, which would sell off channels 52 through 59 and 60 through 69.

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