Taxpayers Groups Allied Against C-Band Alliance Plan

Said it would deny taxpayers billions in funds that could be going to Treasury
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WASHINGTON — The Taxpayers Alliance has joined with more than a dozen groups to applaud the FCC's efforts to free up C-band spectrum for 5G, just not efforts of another alliance — the C-Band Alliance — to do that through private market deals rather than an auction.

The Federal Communications Commission has made it clear it wants to reclaim some of the 500-MHz spectrum in the satellite band for terrestrial wireless, but has been collecting input on just how to do it. The C-band is the swath of spectrum used by cable operators and broadcast networks to distribute programming via satellite. 

The alliance — which comprises fixed satellite service providers Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat — said it will strike secondary market deals for the spectrum within three years of an FCC decision.

The Taxpayer Alliance and its coalition partners say the C-Band Alliance proposal is misguided and, in the name of winning the race to 5G, is instead racing to put money in its members' pockets while denying taxpayers billions in auction proceeds and slowing the rollout of high-speed broadband.

RELATED: Charter Says CBA C-Band Proposal Equals Backroom Deals, Windfall Profits

“While the CBA claims this is a market-based approach, this could not be further from the truth,” they told the FCC commissioners. “In reality, the CBA wants the FCC to allow foreign interests to monetize taxpayer-owned C-band spectrum through private sales that won’t benefit taxpayers. Not only would the CBA’s scheme deny billions — perhaps tens of billions of dollars — in proceeds owed to the U.S. Treasury, but it would also inevitably result in years of litigation and endless delays in 5G deployment. We are alarmed by this proposal and unified in our opposition to the CBA’s egregious private sale plan.”

Other coalition members include Citizens Against Government Waste, the American Consumer Institute and Americans for Tax Reform.