Advanced Television

C-Band “positive” for major satellite players

March 19, 2019

There’s positive feedback from Deutsche Bank following a series on US media and broadcasting interviews over the past few days, and including a Regulatory Panel which included Andrew Lipman, a partner with major law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Deutsche Bank, in a report, says that the panel pointed to a high likelihood of the C-Band Alliance (which includes SES, Intelsat & Eutelsat) getting approval for their private market-based solution to the auction of C-Band spectrum [over the US] with low risk of rival bids from T-Mobile getting approved.

The report added that the C-Band Alliance (which includes Telesat of Canada) should be well positioned to keep most, or all, of the proceeds. But legal appeals are likely to continue for 5-6 years. “There is risk of political support for a windfall tax developing in the meantime.”

However, it also seems that some US lawmakers are determined to stymie the Alliance’s plans.

A Louisiana Republican, for example, (Sen. John Kennedy) in a letter to the FCC argues that the Commission should reject the CBA’s proposal. While admitting that he was in favour of finding more spectrum to develop 5G he nevertheless wanted any FCC-mandated auction to be “fair, open and transparent” and questioned whether the CBA’s plan met those benchmarks and would be “out of the public view”.

“Luxembourg shouldn’t reap huge profits at the expense of Louisianans,” Kennedy argued in his letter. “A multi-billion dollar, closed-door spectrum deal would mostly benefit foreign-owned satellite companies. The C-band needs to be put up for public auction. Our rural families stand to lose the most when only one or two giant corporations control all of the spectrum access. Competition is what makes America the great nation that it is today.”

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