Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) congratulated and thanked Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai for standing up for taxpayers with his announcement of support for an FCC-conducted public auction of the C-band spectrum. This mid-band spectrum is currently used for transmitting data through satellites and is critical for deploying next generation (5G) networks across the United States.
Following his announcement, CAGW President Tom Schatz issued the following statement:
“I am very pleased that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made the correct choice and decided to put taxpayers first with his plan to conduct a public auction of 280 MHz of C-band spectrum. This decision is consistent with the four principles Chairman Pai provided to the Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Subcommittee hearing on October 17, 2019, when I also testified in favor of a public auction, and reiterated in his November 18, 2019 letter to Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.): ‘First, we must make available a significant amount of C-band spectrum for 5G. Second, we must make C-band spectrum available for 5G quickly. Third, we must generate revenue for the federal government. And fourth, we must protect the services that are currently delivered using the C-band so they can continue to be delivered to the American people.’
“His letter is also consistent with FSGG Subcommittee Chairman John Kennedy (R-La.)’s unwavering support for a public auction.
“Allocating 280 MHz of spectrum for licensed terrestrial use preserves 200 MHz in the upper band for incumbents currently using the band, provides a 20 MHz guardrail to prevent interference, and furthers 5G deployment across the nation.
“CAGW’s strong support for a public auction includes an April 2019 report, The Race to 5G: Protecting Taxpayers through Spectrum Auctions, and CAGW Director of Telecommunications and Technology Policy Deborah Collier’s October 29, 2019 testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
“With respect to proceeds that are derived from this public auction, we are pleased to see that several members of Congress have introduced legislation supporting the public auction and directing proceeds to the taxpayers while ensuring that existing users are reimbursed for the costs associated with vacating or re-locating within the C-band. We look forward to working with Congress and the FCC to ensure that taxpayers continue to be protected throughout this process.”
Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.