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Pai: C Band Auction Will be Public, Conducted by FCC

Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai said in a letter to Congress that the C Band auction will be public and conducted by the FCC, dashing satellite operators’ hopes that they might be able to auction 300 megahertz of prime mid-band spectrum for terrestrial 5G services in an FCC-like auction with minimal involvement from the FCC.

Pai’s letter came on the same day that U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, introduced new legislation to require that the C Band spectrum be auctioned publicly and at least 50% of the auction revenues go to taxpayers in the form of a payment to the U.S. Treasury.

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