C-Band Dispute Gets Congress’ Attention

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House Energy and Commerce telecom subcommittee chair Mike Doyle (D-PA) and his Democratic colleagues recently expressed interest in legislation to re-allocate a portion of C-band for 5G use auction proceeds to help fund broadband buildout, Inside Towers reported.

But Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) has reservations: “I’m a little skeptical,” Walden told reporters before leaving for the month-long August recess. The current satellite holders of the spectrum licenses, “aren’t being forced to give it up or sell it,” he said, according to Politico.

Walden added that other players are, “starting to raise concerns about potential interference problems in those bands.” The NAB and the C-Band Alliance, a consortium of current satellite license holders, say carving out more than 200 MHz of the C-band to re-allocate for wireless is problematic due to interference concerns.

The Senate may also wade into the debate — top appropriator John Neely Kennedy (R-LA), who like Doyle, is a critic of a privately held auction, told Politico last week he’s still “talking about” trying to attach a C-band provision to government funding legislation. Kennedy declined to outline contours of such a rider. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, meanwhile, has publicly committed to come to a decision on the band this fall, Inside Towers reported. 

August 7, 2019     

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