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                          THE WHITE HOUSE

For Immediate Release December 5, 1994

             President Clinton's Foresight, Commitment
        to Public Interest Makes Historic Auction Possible
        WASHINGTON -- Responding to President Clinton's 

leadership and challenge to make new and better use of public resources, Vice President Gore today (12/5) opened the first-ever broadband spectrum auction aimed at giving the public fair value for the sale of its property, increasing investment and competition in the communications industry, and raising billions of dollars for the federal treasury. He also called for bipartisan efforts to pass telecommunications reform legislation this year.

"This auction is the direct result of President Clinton's foresight and commitment to the public interest," Vice President Gore said. "Last year, he challenged Congress in his economic package to pass legislation to establish these auctions, making an irrevocable commitment to competition in all communications markets and to a new way of doing business with public resources. It was part of his overall plan to reform telecommunications legislation. We will spare no effort to work with Congress to achieve reform this year."

Today's auction, sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission, will sell 99 broadband Personal Communications Systems licenses. Auction winners will build new wireless networks to compete head-on with existing cellular networks and the traditional wired phone system. This is the fourth in a series of auctions which provide the federal government a new way to assign blocks of frequencies on the scarce publicly owned electromagnetic spectrum.

"This is not just about the benefits of new technology. It is a revolution in philosophy for the federal government, a reinvention in the way it makes use of public resources," the Vice President said. "We used to hand out licenses after heavily lawyered and intensely lobbied bureaucratic proceedings. Now, we are using the auctions to put licenses in the hands of those who value them most, giving the public fair value for the sale of its property."

The revised frequency allocations will result in less complex and lower-priced consumer equipment, reduced industry start-up costs and better opportunities for small businesses, rural phone companies, and women- and minorityowned businesses. In addition, today's auctions are expected to spur private investment and competition in wireless technologies, meaning consumers and business will benefit from better quality and cheaper phone service among competing suppliers of wireless phone services.

"American citizens will benefit because of these auctions. They will lower the deficit, improve the economy, and stimulate public and private investment in this Administration's goal of linking all of the nation's classrooms, libraries, and hospitals to the information superhighway by the year 2000," Vice President Gore said.