Congress Proposes Bipartisan Bill Requiring C-Band Auction

WASHINGTON—Members of Congress are sharing their thoughts on how they would like to see the C-band spectrum be handled when it comes to 5G. In a bipartisan bill, the representatives are pushing for a public auction of the spectrum.

The bill, Clearing Broad Airwaves for New Deployment (C-BAND) Act, was introduced by representatives Mike Doyle(D-Pa.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) and Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.)

“This bill would ensure a transparent and fair process that would generate billions of dollars in revenue to address the urgent needs of millions of Americans, such as building out broadband internet service in rural American while protecting users of incumbent services,” said Doyle.

The bill officially calls for the FCC to hold a public auction of C-band spectrum; allows for no less than 200 MHz and no more than 300 MHz of C-band spectrum; and ensures that incumbent C-band users will be protected. There would be a deadline of September 2022 to complete the auction.

FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly, meanwhile, says that while an auction is a possibility, the “primary objective should be to ensure that the spectrum gets into the hands of those who can put it to use as quickly as possible in order to compete not just domestically but internationally as well.”

The House will have a hearing on C-band on Tuesday, Oct. 29.