C-Band Alliance Head of Advocacy and Government Relations Steps Down 

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Preston Padden, head of advocacy and government relations for the C-Band Alliance, said he’s leaving that job. After less than six months, he said balancing work in Washington, D.C., with his family and home in Colorado became too difficult.

Padden will still work as a consultant for the group, and said in a tweet, a successor would be named soon, notably, “a great person and a big upgrade from me!” 

A long-time television executive, Padden previously was executive director of the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition, comprised of television stations looking to sell spectrum in the 2016 FCC incentive auction.

The CBA is comprised of Intelsat, SES of Luxembourg, Paris-based Eutelsat and Ottawa, Canada-based Telesat. His departure occurs as at least one lawmaker questioned the possibility foreign satellite operators receiving money from selling C-band spectrum that could go instead to the U.S. Treasury, reports Bloomberg.  

C-band spectrum is used to transmit television and radio programming and broadcasters say they have no other comparable spectrum for that. They’re concerned about interference, as the FCC reviews proposals that call for sharing the spectrum, or moving broadcast use to another portion of the band.

Alliance members proposed to the FCC, a plan offering to give up 200 MHz of C-band so wireless network operators can use that spectrum for 5G, Inside Towers reported. The CBA says its plan will protect incumbent users.

The CBA would conduct a secondary spectrum market auction. It could generate an estimated total of $40 billion for the four satellite operators, according to the account. “I think we have to ask ourselves: why should the FCC allow a group of foreign satellite providers to walk away with potentially tens of billions of dollars that could be used to solve our own country’s broadband needs?” said Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee.

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has been heavily involved in the C-band issue, and told broadcasters last week there’s “near certainty” reallocation will happen, Inside Towers reported. He assured broadcasters any plan he signs off on must include “full reimbursement and re-tuning” for incumbent broadcasters.

March 8, 2019

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