The C-Band Alliance (“CBA”), comprised of the leading global satellite operators Intelsat (NYSE: I), SES (Euronext Paris: SESG), and Telesat, today responded to remarks delivered by Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Ajit Pai at an industry event hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, D.C.
The Chairman’s commentary previewed the key elements of a highly anticipated draft order in response to the proceeding to bring C-band spectrum to the market, upon which the CBA was premised and has been an active participant since 2018. Once issued, the draft order is expected to detail the FCC’s approach to clearing C-band spectrum to enable rapid and nationwide 5G network deployment in the U.S.
Chairman Pai has indicated that the order as written by the Commission is expected to achieve the Commission’s core objectives of the C-band clearing proceeding—namely a robust amount of spectrum cleared to enable 5G, a rapid clearing process, revenues that will benefit the American public, and protection of incumbent C-band services. He indicated that with the anticipated February 7, 2020 release of a draft order, the FCC will pursue a 2020 public auction of the C-band spectrum.
In a statement, the CBA said, “The imminent issuance of the draft order reflects the tireless efforts of many over the past several years to ensure that this critical spectrum comes to market safely, quickly, and efficiently. Today’s comments by Chairman Pai are a significant development in this important proceeding. We look forward to reviewing the draft order, once issued, to place Chairman Pai’s comments in full context.”