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Taxpayers Groups Allied Against C-Band Alliance Plan

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 FCC 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 alliance, which comprises fixed satellite service providers Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat--says 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 the Citizens Against Government Waste, the American Consumer Institute and the Americans for Tax Reform. 

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.