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National Security Vets Back C-Band Auction

Some A-List vets from the national security sphere have signed on to a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to add their support for taking a strong stand against suspect tech in 5G networks and to argue that the U.S. is falling behind China in the race to 5G. 

That is according to a copy of the letter obtained by Multichannel News, a letter which was as much a push for the C-Band auction as anything else using the argument that that was another way to take the lead in 5G. 

In the letter, which was put together by C-Band spectrum auction advocacy group 5G Action, the signatories praise Pai for understanding the threat of suspect technology from Chinese suppliers Huawei and ZTE. 

The FCC on Wednesday began the process of ripping and replacing Huawei and ZTE tech from networks getting government broadband subsidy money

The letter also praises Pai's planned Feb. 28 vote on a framework for freeing up C-Band midband spectrum for 5G. "Earlier this month, Chairman Pai proposed a plan for a public C-band auction that includes $9.7 billion in acceleration payments to the incumbent satellite companies to clear the 5G spectrum as quickly as possible," the letter said, though since it was addressed to Pai they were preaching to the choir. "If executed, this plan would mean the C-band auction would occur before the end of this year, as opposed to the spectrum not being available for at least 10 years due to litigation. There is too much at risk to waste any more time."

Among those signing on to the letter were former United States Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, retired Admiral James Barnett, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.