On November 18, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the commission would pursue a public auction of the C-band.
The following can be attributed to Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director of Digital Liberty:
While it is not the outcome that we advocated for, we hope the public auction will be able to avoid bureaucratic roadblocks throughout the notice and comment period to be finalized before the end of 2020. We are encouraged by Chairman Pai’s dedication to the timeline. We hope that the FCC will employ adequate incentives for both would be buyers and sellers to ensure this timeline is met.
Proper market incentives, not government, put goods and services to their highest use. The greatest loss in the process is that we do not know how many companies or federal agencies will be discouraged from voluntarily coming forward with their own underutilized spectrum. The C-Band Alliance has gone through a lengthy process of becoming comfortable with clearing and moving a significant amount of spectrum, while maintaining taxpayer considerations. By the FCC cutting the process short and asserting control of airwaves that were likely not on their radar previously, we can expect that private and public sector users of spectrum will be hesitant to come forward in the future.
Photo credit: Dilshan Jayakody (Flickr)