Monday, March 2, 2020

FCC Backs C-Band Auction Plan That May Bring $9.7B to Satellite Companies

In a move that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he hoped would quickly free up spectrum for 5G, the FCC voted 3-2 Friday in favor of allowing incentivised C-band auction payments to satellite companies. The C-band spectrum, slated to be auctioned off, is currently used by those high-flying companies to deliver video and radio programming to 120 million U.S. households. The FCC wants to divert much of the under-utilized band to 5G but has been debating with Congress on how best to do it.

"We want satellite operators to vacate the lower portion of the C-band quickly. And this transition will be much faster if we align the incentives of satellite operators with the incentives of wireless providers who want expedited access to that spectrum," Pai said.

The satellite companies, according to Reuters, can make up to $9.7 billion in potential incentive payments from the auction with Intelsat SA receiving up to $4.9B, with other C-band Alliance non-U.S.-based companies like SES SA, and Telesat garnering the remains. Continue Reading

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