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SHUTDOWN AT FCC DELAYS NOV. 28 AUCTION, AGENCY LISTS EMERGENCY NUMBER

WASHINGTON-The Federal Communications Commission shutdown last week will delay the Nov. 28-scheduled 900 MHz specialized mobile radio auction, while an extended budget fight between the GOP-led Congress and the Clinton administration could cause disruptions in other auctions and wireless regulatory activities.

At press time, Congress was poised to pass a new stopgap spending bill free of a provision objected to by Clinton that raises monthly Medicare premiums. But it calls for the president to accept the Republican’s plan to balance the budget by 2002, something Clinton is not ready to do.

The C-block personal communications services bidding seminar to be held last Thursday was postponed but will be rescheduled when government operations resume. It is unclear whether the Dec. 11 entrepreneur block auction will be affected by the shutdown.

The FCC furloughed 2,000 employees last Tuesday. Some of the 95 exempt employees who remain on the job include Chairman Reed Hundt and four other commissioners (and their staffs), those at the 13 field monitoring stations, and those involved in the World Radiocommunication Conference that ended in Geneva last week.

A Wireless Telecommunications Bureau staff member is on call at the FCC’s Gettsyburg, Pa., office for emergencies (717-337-0682). Other agency bureaus also have designated contact persons. The Office of Managing Director is remaining on staff to maintain the FCC’s computer systems for emergency purposes.

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