Press Releases

“The real winners here are the American taxpayers who not only own the C-Band, but stand to reap the benefits of 5G. Rather than bailing out foreign satellite companies, money from the auction of this spectrum should go to American priorities. This bill gives us the chance to pay down the national debt, improve public safety and get broadband to rural communities that are still handcuffed to dial-up internet.”

WASHINGTON — Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) introduced the Spectrum Management and Reallocation for Taxpayers (SMART) Act, legislation to ensure billions of dollars in proceeds from the public auction of C-Band spectrum go to the taxpayers who own the spectrum. The SMART Act gives the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authority to conduct a public auction of C-Band spectrum and uses nearly all proceeds from the auction to bridge the digital divide, enable next generation public safety services and cut the national deficit.

“The real winners here are the American taxpayers who not only own the C-Band, but stand to reap the benefits of 5G. Rather than bailing out foreign satellite companies, money from the auction of this spectrum should go to American priorities. This bill gives us the chance to pay down the national debt, improve public safety and get broadband to rural communities that are still handcuffed to dial-up internet,” said Kennedy.

“Our bipartisan bill will raise billions so that more people can access the internet. As technology accelerates, we need to do more to close the digital divide and help ensure that everyone benefits,” said Schatz.

“We need money for rural broadband and not giveaways for foreign satellite companies. This bill is a good bipartisan step forward,” said Cantwell.

The SMART Act would ensure that the FCC has the authority to expedite the public auction and clearing of the C-Band for 5G while protecting the millions of people currently using the C-Band. Public auction proceeds would be invested in rural broadband deployment, in building Next Generation 9-1-1 networks and in reducing the national debt.

Kennedy previously called for a public auction of C-Band spectrum to ensure taxpayers benefitted from those sales.