WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement after Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans outlining the public auction of the C-Band spectrum.
“My duty, and the FCC’s duty, is to the American taxpayers. The C-Band spectrum belongs to them, and the 5G opportunities it represents are also theirs. Unfortunately, the sum Chairman Pai suggested giving to foreign satellite companies is much too high, and it’s highly unfair to those taxpayers. We shouldn’t be in the business of spearheading Luxembourg bailouts when there are towns in Louisiana and across the country without access to broadband service.
“My colleagues and I have put a bipartisan bill on the table that would pay down our national debt, modernize public safety and finally free rural communities from dial-up prison. Our priorities are in the right place, and I encourage the FCC to consider its proposal in light of those American priorities.”
Kennedy has been a proponent for a public auction of the C-Band spectrum and introduced the bipartisan Spectrum Management and Reallocation for Taxpayers Act with Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) last month.
This legislation would 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 would give the 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.