The House Communications & Technology Subcommittee has announced a hearing on the C-Band and plans to repurpose some, or even all, of that midband satellite spectrum for terrestrial wireless.
The hearing will be Oct. 29 at 10 a.m.
“The FCC must repurpose the C-Band in a manner that promotes competition, spurs the 5G revolution, and yields revenue for important priorities here at home," said House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Communications Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) in a joint statement. "There may be a need for legislation to reduce uncertainty and benefit Americans. What we don’t want is the Federal Communications Commission to become mired in litigation that slows 5G deployment. We must ensure the American people benefit from this process, and we look forward to discussing these important issues at the hearing next week.”
The "mired in legislation" reference is to the proposal that the FCC repurpose the spectrum through free-market deals (satellite operators favor those) rather than an FCC auction where most of the money would go to the Treasury.
The C-Band is used by cable operators and broadcasters to receive network programming and to get content from remote locations back to the studio. The FCC plans to free up at least 200 Mhz of the 500 MHz worth of spectrum, but how it does so remains an open question. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says he hopes to answer that question this fall.