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BELLSOUTH PETITIONS FCC TO ADOPT OPEN BIDDING PROCESS FOR RADIO SPECTRUM AUCTION

 WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) Tuesday urged the federal government to adopt an open bidding process when it begins examining rules for auctioning off parts of the radio spectrum for a new generation of wireless communications technologies.
 In a petition for rule-making filed at the Federal Communications Commission, BellSouth said an open bid process was the best way to ensure that radio spectrum is put to the best possible use, that the government receives the best value for the spectrum it auctions and that new wireless technologies quickly reach consumers.
 "Open bidding is preferable to sealed bids because it is likely to serve the statutory objective of recovering for the public the value of the spectrum," BellSouth said. "Moreover, it will reward the bidder who most highly values the spectrum, which will result in incentives to utilize spectrum most efficiently and intensively."
 In its filing, BellSouth also urged the FCC to:
 -- Let all interested parties bid for radio spectrum licenses, including phone companies such as BellSouth that already operate cellular phone networks.
 -- Establish rules that require equal blocks of spectrum be awarded to licensees in a given market area. BellSouth called for spectrum licenses in given market to be awarded in equal blocks so that a level playing exists among PCS providers from the outset.
 -- Require that new bidders for spectrum licenses serve equal-sized service areas. Rather than split a region into overlapping large and small markets, each served by a different licensee, BellSouth urged the commission to award licenses for equal-size markets. Otherwise, licensees serving a small area will find themselves competing with a company providing the same customers with a wider calling area. That would put the smaller licensee at a competitive disadvantage.
 BellSouth said these recommendations would ensure that a wide array of bidders, including minority and women-owned firms, participate in spectrum auctions and develop sound and financially healthy businesses. The companies bidding for spectrum are expected to launch Personal Communication Services.
 BellSouth's filing comes as the FCC prepares to decide which companies will be eligible for PCS frequencies. As part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which became law Aug. 10, the FCC must come up with rules to auction radio spectrum by March 1994.
 The Clinton Administration estimates it can collect up to $10 billion in new revenue within five years by auctioning off radio spectrum.
 -0- 9/14/93
 /CONTACT: John Schneidawind of BellSouth Corporation, 202-463-4183/
 (BLS)


CO: BellSouth Corporation ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:

BR-BN -- AT008 -- 1921 09/14/93 16:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 14, 1993
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