WASHINGTON — The chairman of a Senate subcommittee that oversees the FCC wants the agency to auction off C-band spectrum used for satellite communications and deposit the proceeds in the U.S. treasury.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations financial services and general government subcommittee, said at an Oct. 17 hearing that he is unconvinced a private auction led by commercial satellite operators will be faster at transitioning the spectrum for 5G wireless service than the Federal Communications Commission.
Commercial satellite operators Intelsat, SES and Telesat — via the C-Band Alliance — have told the FCC they can clear 200 megahertz of U.S. C-band spectrum within three years if permitted to hold a private auction expected to fetch billions of dollars.
Kennedy said the FCC should be able to clear the spectrum just as fast, if not faster, by holding a public auction.
“I’ve been around government long enough, there’s going to be one, if not more, that’s going to go ‘oh Mr. Chairman, you don’t know how hard it is. It’s going to take us seven years.’ That’s the one you fire,” Kennedy said. “Say you’re going to do this in two to three ...