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FCC Chairman Wants Public Auction to Replace Satellite Bands for 5G

An FCC official told the Wall Street Journal that the regulator hoped to auction off the C-strip in 2020 and start auctioning by the end of that year.

However, satellite companies may not be so happy. Industry giants such as Intelsat and SES do not oppose the sale of their spectrum, but demand a private auction to share the money earned and claim that the FCC is not allowed to use spectrum for use without paying them. The public auction flies in the face of this. The C-Band Alliance, a group representing satellite companies, has hinted at a "lengthy lawsuit" if the FCC presses ahead. Carriers also have mixed views. AT&T, which owns DirecTV, called the C-band an "opportunity" but also wants compensation and a "reasonable transition plan" to avoid disruption. Verizon (Engadget's parent company and former employer of Pai) also seeks "appropriate incentives and protections" to ensure a speedy process.

This is not the first time the FCC has been bumping heads for more 5G airwaves. Senators accused the FCC of ignoring evidence of possible interference with the weather forecast if 5G was allowed in the 24GHz band, as an example.

With that said, there is no doubt that 5G in the US has problems. AT&T and Verizon have to launch their current 5G in very high frequency bands, making a signal difficult to find and too easy to lose ̵

1; in some cases it doesn't even cover full sports arenas. Access to the C-band will still be in a larger range than the LTE you typically use today, but could provide much wider coverage and more capacity. It may be more a question of when these frequencies are opened than whether they are being performed at all.

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