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Sens. Thune, Wicker Urge FCC to Stick to C-Band Auction Deadline

The Republican leadership of the Senate Commerce Committee have the FCC's back when it comes to reclaiming satellite C-band spectrum for terrestrial 5G. 

In a letter to FCC chairman Ajit Pai, Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the committee, and John Thune (R-S.D.) urged the FCC to meet its Dec. 8 deadline for launching the auction. 

Sen. John Thune

Sen. John Thune

Last week, the FCC denied a petition by some satellite operators to delay the auction. 

Related: FCC Denies Petition to Delay C-Band Payment Comments 

The FCC voted unanimously to reclaim 300 MHz from the 500 MHz in the C-band, auctioning 280 MHz for 5G wireless and 20 MHz for a guard band. The other 200 MHz will house the satellite operators who deliver network programming to cable operators and broadcasters. 

Sen. Roger Wicker

Sen. Roger Wicker

"We welcome the Federal Communications Commission’s continued efforts to make more mid-band spectrum available for 5G," they wrote. "The FCC’s sound and decisive approach to free up 280 megahertz of C-Band spectrum for flexible use will help deliver 5G services to all Americans. It will also help promote investment and innovation in new 5G applications and services and address America’s mid-band spectrum deficit." 

Related: FCC Gets Early C-Band Clearing Agreements 

The Republicans said clearing mid-band spectrum ASAP is all about winning the race to 5G, something President Trump has made a national priority.