Citizens Against Government Waste Puts a Price Tag of up to $60 Billion on Foreign Operators’ Taxpayer Rip Off
There is growing opposition to the C-Band Alliance’s (CBA) devious plan to hoodwink the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in to allowing foreign operated satellite companies to re-sell crucial mid-band (“c-band”) spectrum on the secondary market for 5G deployment. Coming on the heels of a coalition lettersigned by over one dozen taxpayers, consumer, free market and small business groups, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released this week a reportconcluding taxpayers face up to $60 billion lost in revenue should the FCC allow the consortium of foreign operators for forgo an auction, and re-sell on the secondary market.
CAGW finds in its report three crucial reasons why the FCC ought to turn down the Alliance’s self-serving scheme, and instead oversee a transparent auction that returns billions of dollars to the U.S. Treasury and taxpayer.
1. Taxpayers stand to lose the most
U.S. taxpayers face up to $60 billion in revenue loss if the FCC allows the CBA to re-sell on the secondary market. When considering past FCC-led auctions, an auction of this kind could bring in anywhere between $11 billion and $60 billion dollars in revenue for taxpayers.
Allowing the C-Band Alliance to coordinate a private sale on the secondary market means a multi-billion dollar taxpayer rip, at the expense of foreign operators.
2. Spectrum is a U.S. asset, and must be used as efficiently and effectively as possible
In the race to 5G, the FCC must recognize this spectrum as a crucial resource which belongs to the U.S. taxpayer. The spectrum must be deployed efficiently and effectively in order to advance America in the telecommunications sector.
As Chairman Pai stated, this must be the “right” decision, not a “right now” decision. The FCC must be cautious to accept the CBA’s proposal, which promises speed and efficiency in 5G deployment. In reality, speed and efficiency will take a back-burner, as litigation will surely arise and will delay 5G deployment for years to come.
3. The C-Band Alliance cannot claim ownership rights to the spectrum
In the 1960’s, these four satellite companies were giventhe spectrum by the U.S., free of charge. Nowhere along the way was there a monetary transaction that gave ownership rights to the C-Band Alliance.
The fact of the matter is, the C-Band Alliance cannot sell something it does now own. This includes the mid-band spectrum.
As the FCC moves towards its decision, it must remember these key elements and decline the C-Band Alliance’s wish to re-sell a crucial U.S. asset. Taxpayers ought to be the ones to gain here, not a group of foreign-operated satellite companies who have successfully assumed the role of “squatters” on U.S. taxpayer property.