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FCC to hold public auction of satellite C-band spectrum
Posted: Sat, Nov 23, 2019, 10:01 AM ET (1501 GMT)
The chairman of the FCC said Monday he now backs a public auction of satellite C-band spectrum, a decision that could deprive satellite operators of billions of dollars. In a letter to members of Congress, Ajit Pai said he will seek a public auction of 280 megahertz of C-band spectrum for 5G applications, rather than the private auction that satellite operators, under the C-Band Alliance industry group, had proposed. Pai said the proceeds of the public auction would go to the U.S. treasury. Some members of Congress had opposed the private auction plan that could net satellite companies up to $60 billion, arguing the money should go to the public. The C-Band Alliance had, in recent days, proposed contributing as much as $24 billion to the treasury if it was allowed to run a private auction. The C-Band Alliance criticized the FCC's move in a statement, but said it would "continue to work cooperatively with the FCC to develop an effective alternative plan." Intelsat shares dropped 40% in trading Monday on the news of the FCC's plan.
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