CBA Says Its Auction Plan Will Result in “Billions” for U.S. Treasury

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In a new filing with the FCC on Friday, the C-Band Alliance spelled out how its proposal for a private spectrum auction would work. Critics, including government watchdog groups and Senate appropriator John Neely Kennedy (R-LA), have complained the CBA’s plan so far has been sparse on details. They favor an FCC-led auction, saying that would be more transparent.

CBA members Intelsat, SES and Telesat said their proposal would result in “billions of dollars” contributed to the U.S. Treasury following the successful completion of the C-band auction. “This CBA commitment could [come] to the U.S. Treasury at a critical time, while still ensuring that expensive transition costs are covered and that mid-band spectrum is made available for 5G on a time frame that would realistically be years ahead of any other proposal on the record,” states the group. 

If the Commission adopts the CBA proposal, “the CBA commits to pay a portion of net proceeds of a CBA-led auction to the U.S. Treasury using a progressive formula which ranges from 30 percent to 75 percent of proceeds, depending on the outcome of the auction. This payment to the U.S. Treasury would be calculated after the netting of all costs incurred to plan for, and take all actions to implement the CBA proposal to clear 300 MHz of spectrum,” states the CBA.

The group also says the plan includes federal income tax liabilities incurred by the CBA member companies as a direct result of the auction. Also, mindful of Congress’ goal to ensure broadband for rural America, the CBA says it’s “initiated discussions” with lawmakers to develop a proposal to fund the deployment of an open access 5G network for rural broadband, which may include a combination of spectrum and capital contributions.  

November 18, 2019

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