(Reuters) — Federal Communications Fee Chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday proposed $nine.7 billion in incentive bills to boost up the releasing up of spectrum within the key C-band through moving present satellite tv for pc customers.
The telecommunications regulator had advised lawmakers ultimate month it used to be taking into consideration proposing “single-digit billions” in bills. Main satellite tv for pc corporations, together with Intelsat, are anticipated to again Pai’s proposal to shift them to other portions of the spectrum band, an individual briefed at the topic stated.
Pai stated in a speech on Thursday he sponsored the accelerated relocation payments to “make to be had the C-band for 5G deployment as temporarily as imaginable” and to “align the satellite tv for pc firms’ personal pursuits with the general public passion.”
The C-band is a block of spectrum utilized by satellite tv for pc corporate shoppers to ship video and radio programming to 120 million U.S. families. Pai stated an public sale to make use of the freed spectrum will start on Dec. eight and is critical to the deployment of 5G wireless.
Pai stated he expects the true prices of relocating satellite companies is within the $three billion to $five billion vary.
He stated new satellites will wish to be introduced, and filters will wish to be put on earth stations to shift spectrum.
Pai stated he needs to fund transition and incentive bills with a surcharge paid through winners of an public sale of 280 megahertz of the C-band.
Main satellite tv for pc carrier suppliers together with Intelsat, Telesat, and SES, which shape the C-Band Alliance, stated ultimate month they had been in search of “truthful reimbursement” to temporarily transparent the spectrum. They argue that with out their cooperation, “this vital 5G spectrum might not be made to be had for a minimum of 10 years.”
U.S. Senator John Kennedy, a Republican, stated the $nine.7 billion determine “is way too prime, and it’s extremely unfair to these taxpayers.” He added, “We shouldn’t be within the trade of spearheading Luxembourg bailouts when there are cities in Louisiana and around the nation with out get entry to to broadband carrier.”
Kennedy has proposed a invoice with some Democrats to sharply restrict how a lot in reimbursement satellite tv for pc corporations may obtain.
Pai stated “if Congress needs to direct that public sale proceeds be used to handle nationwide priorities like rural broadband, it is going to in finding no larger supporter than me.” He stated that although the FCC strikes forward at the public sale at its Feb. 28 assembly, “Congress may nonetheless require this 12 months that public sale proceeds be used to near the virtual divide.”