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Bush proposes auction delay

President George W. Bush's first budget suggests delaying spectrum auctions until 2004 to increase the spectrum's value and fetch more money for the Treasury. The Office of Management and Budget estimates the delay will pull in $7.5 billion. And like his father and President Bill Clinton before him, Bush proposes charging broadcasters $200 million a year in spectrum "squatting" fees in 2002-06, decreasing the fees each year through 2010, when, the assumption appears to be, all the analog broadcast spectrum will have been reclaimed. That would mean nearly $1.5 billion in spectrum fees over eight years. The proposal has often been made but has never gotten far in Congress.