FCC: More than half of AWS bidders seek DE status

The FCC is countering arguments that recent changes to the small-business bidding rules in the upcoming Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) auction is discouraging small businesses from participating. The commission told a federal appeals court that more than half of the 252 entities applying to bid are claiming "designated entity" (DE) status for the 1,122 licenses the FCC will auction August 9.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia is expected to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit tomorrow to stay the AWS auction and repeal new small-business bidding guidelines. Council Tree Communications, Bethel Native and the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council filed the lawsuit earlier this month. They are challenging an FCC decision to extend DE license sale restrictions from five to 10 years and to deny incentives to DEs that resell or lease more than 50 percent of their spectrum capacity. DEs are entitled to wireless license discounts up to 25 percent.

To read more about pending lawsuit over DE rules:
- read this article from RCR Wireless News