FCC chairman backs $nine.7 billion plan to transparent three.7GHz C-band spectrum for 5G

(Reuters) — Federal Communications Fee Chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday proposed $nine.7 billion in incentive bills to boost up the liberating up of spectrum within the key C-band by means of moving present satellite tv for pc customers.

The telecommunications regulator had advised lawmakers remaining month it used to be making an allowance for proposing “single-digit billions” in bills. Primary satellite tv for pc corporations, together with Intelsat, are anticipated to again Pai’s proposal to shift them to other portions of the spectrum band, an individual briefed at the subject mentioned.

Pai mentioned in a speech on Thursday he sponsored the speeded up relocation bills to “make to be had the C-band for 5G deployment as briefly as imaginable” and to “align the satellite tv for pc corporations’ personal pursuits with the general public hobby.”

The C-band is a block of spectrum utilized by satellite tv for pc corporate shoppers to ship video and radio programming to 120 million U.S. families. Pai mentioned an public sale to make use of the freed spectrum will start on Dec. eight and is essential to the deployment of 5G wi-fi.

Pai mentioned he expects the real prices of relocating satellite tv for pc corporations is within the $three billion to $five billion vary.

He mentioned new satellites will wish to be introduced, and filters will wish to be put on earth stations to shift spectrum.

Pai mentioned he needs to fund transition and incentive bills with a surcharge paid by means of winners of an public sale of 280 megahertz of the C-band.

Primary satellite tv for pc provider suppliers together with Intelsat, Telesat, and SES, which shape the C-Band Alliance, mentioned remaining month they had been in the hunt for “truthful reimbursement” to briefly transparent the spectrum. They argue that with out their cooperation, “this essential 5G spectrum might not be made to be had for no less than 10 years.”

U.S. Senator John Kennedy, a Republican, mentioned the $nine.7 billion determine “is way too prime, and it’s extremely unfair to these taxpayers.” He added, “We shouldn’t be within the trade of spearheading Luxembourg bailouts when there are cities in Louisiana and around the nation with out get right of entry to to broadband provider.”

Kennedy has proposed a invoice with some Democrats to sharply prohibit how a lot in reimbursement satellite tv for pc corporations may just obtain.

Pai mentioned “if Congress needs to direct that public sale proceeds be used to handle nationwide priorities like rural broadband, it’s going to to find no larger supporter than me.” He mentioned that although the FCC strikes forward at the public sale at its Feb. 28 assembly, “Congress may just nonetheless require this 12 months that public sale proceeds be used to near the virtual divide.”

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