Press release

Citizens Against Government Waste Report Finds Plan for Private Spectrum Sale Could Cost Taxpayers Billions

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Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released a report
entitled, “The Race to 5G: Protecting Taxpayers through Spectrum
Auctions.” The report emphasized the need for the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) to oversee a fully transparent, public spectrum auction
to ensure taxpayers – not a private consortium of foreign-based
satellite companies – reap the benefits that tens of billions of dollars
would bring in through a public auction.

Key findings of the report include:

  • A private C-band spectrum sale would cost American taxpayers billions,
    whereas an FCC auction ensures taxpayers and U.S. interests are
  • Since 1994, spectrum has generated $121.7 billion for taxpayers,
    proving it to be the most valuable public asset with strategic
    importance to economy and national security. The FCC should not
    deviate now by allowing foreign satellite companies to monetize a
    crucial taxpayer asset.
  • Satellite operators do not have any ownership rights to C-band
    spectrum. A secondary market sale only works with clear property
    ownership rights. Satellite operators do not meet this criterion.
  • Spectrum must be used as efficiently and effectively as possible to
    meet economic, national security, science, safety, and other national
    goals. An FCC auction is the only way to achieve those objectives.

The report follows a joint coalition letter
signed by more than a dozen taxpayer and consumer groups including CAGW
that urged the FCC to dismiss the private sale proposal and conduct a
public auction to protect taxpayers from a foreign giveaway.

Against Government Waste
 is the nation’s largest nonpartisan,
nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and
mismanagement in government.