C-Band Alliance rallies against objectors

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The C-band Alliance (CBA) of Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat has written to the FCC stating that several recent submissions to the FCC are wrong in their contentions that a potential “market-based approach” (where the CBA sells off its C-band spectrum itself) violates the USA’s Communications Act and is “inconsistent with precedent”.

Most objectors, including T-Mobile, want an FCC-controlled auction of the spectrum. Comcast and NBCUniversal argue that the Market-Based Approach would violate the FCC’s rules.

The Alliance comprehensively states that these objections are mistaken, and the February 6th letter states the objectors arguments miss the point and that the FCC can authorise a sale of spectrum if it is in the public interest. They say that the CBA’s scheme, which contemplated by a Market-Based Approach fits comfortably within the expansive language of the relevant statute, which refers specifically to “negotiation” as a permissible alternative.

With billions of dollars at stake – and the promise by the CBA to build and launch up to 8 new satellites to serve the US –  no doubt the lawyers on both sides are rubbing their hands!


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