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Saturday, December 20, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
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McCaw pursuing pay-TV spectrum

By Bloomberg News

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WASHINGTON — Craig McCaw, who became a billionaire by building the first nationwide U.S. wireless company and selling it to AT&T, is seeking licenses for wireless spectrum that has potential for high-speed Internet access.

McCaw disclosed in a regulatory filing that he formed a Kirkland company, Flux U.S., in October and acquired rights to a type of spectrum originally designated for broadcasting pay television.

"Given McCaw's knowledge of the industry and his track record, I would say he has done a lot of strategic thinking along the lines of some of the enhanced uses of this old-fashioned spectrum," said Jay Ireland, a telecommunications attorney at the law firm Cole, Raywid & Braverman.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering rule changes to foster the use of these airwaves — once used to transmit wireless pay television — for high-speed Internet and mobile-phone services. The changes could bolster demand for the spectrum, which sold for pennies on the dollar at bankruptcy proceedings for Nucentrix Broadband Networks and the former WorldCom.

McCaw didn't return a telephone call seeking comment.


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