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Gianforte Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Require Public Auction of Wireless Spectrum

October 24, 2019
Press Release

Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte today introduced the bipartisan Clearing Broad Airwaves for New Deployment (C-BAND) Act, H.R. 4855, with U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee, Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), and Bill Johnson (R-Ohio).

Their bill requires a public auction of C-Band spectrum in a manner that promotes competition, spurs the 5G revolution, and yields revenue for important domestic priorities. 

“Wireless spectrum is a valuable, strategic public asset, and taxpayers should be compensated for its use,” Congressman Gianforte said. “Our bipartisan bill requires the FCC to hold a public auction, promoting a transparent and open process while preventing a private spectrum sale that could benefit foreign entities. The proceeds from the public auction can be used for critical priorities, including expanding reliable broadband service to bridge the digital divide.”

“I am pleased to introduce the bipartisan C-Band Act, which would require the FCC to promptly conduct a public auction to provide more much-needed mid-band spectrum,” Congressman Doyle said. “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 America while protecting users of incumbent services.”

“In the race to 5G and beyond, the United States needs to win, and our path forward needs to ensure all Americans have the opportunity to benefit from it,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “Opening up C-Band spectrum is a significant step toward that goal, which is why the FCC must pursue an open and transparent auction process that respects American taxpayers. Moving forward quickly with a public auction produces a win for the American people and the innovation economy. I am proud to join in introducing this bipartisan bill, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on solutions that solidify American leadership in 5G.”

“I am pleased to join my colleagues in sponsoring the C-BAND Act,” Representative Johnson said. “I believe an open and transparent process that enables competition and protects taxpayer dollars can best be accomplished by the FCC conducting a public auction of C-band spectrum that will help fund broadband deployment where it is needed most – rural America, areas like Eastern and Southeastern Ohio. I look forward to continuing this conversation at our subcommittee hearing next week.”

The bipartisan C-BAND Act requires the FCC to hold a public auction of C-Band spectrum, allows for no less than 200 megahertz and no more than 300 megahertz of C-Band spectrum, and ensures that incumbent C-Band users will be protected.

The Communications and Technology Subcommittee, of which Gianforte is a member, will hold a hearing on the C-Band next week.