A US government committee tipped the scales in favour of a public auction of C-Band spectrum, advancing a measure which would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to sell at least 280MHz by end-2020.
Legislation cleared by the Senate Commerce Committee must still be approved by both chambers of Congress, but bolsters the position of FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who last month called for a public sale of the spectrum in the 3.7GHz to 4.2GHz range.
The proposed legislation would allocate at least 50 per cent of the gross proceeds of the sale to the US Treasury, with 10 per cent reserved to fund rural broadband deployments. The remaining 40 or so per cent would be available to compensate satellite service providers currently using the band.
In a statement, the C-Band Alliance applauded the vote as a “good step,” adding it would continue to advocate for an auction plan which acknowledges its members “legal rights and their significant investments over decades in the operating C-band ecosystem”.
The group had also pushed for a private sale of the spectrum, proposing a plan it said would deliver “billions of dollars” to the government while also offering adequate compensation to satellite companies.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back