Press Release

Phillip Berenbroick to Testify Before House Energy & Commerce Committee On Repurposing the C-Band to Benefit All Americans

October 28, 2019 , , , , ,

Public Knowledge Policy Director Phillip Berenbroick will testify before the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce Tuesday, October 29 at 10:00 a.m. His testimony in the hearing on “Repurposing the C-Band to Benefit All Americans” will urge Congress to ensure the public airwaves in the 3.7-4.2 gigahertz range (the “C-Band”) benefit the public interest. Public Knowledge also endorses the bipartisan H.R. 4855, the “Clearing Broad Airwaves for New Deployment Act” (C-Band Act), which would require the Federal Communications Commission hold a public auction repurposing at least 200 megahertz of C-Band spectrum.

The testimony will also support unleashing hundreds of MHz of mid-band spectrum for next-generation mobile broadband networks, dramatically upgrading efficient use of the C-Band in ways that spur more widespread availability of high-speed fixed wireless broadband, and recouping tens of billions of dollars through a transparent public auction — enabling the government to then allocate these funds to help close the digital divide.

The following is an excerpt from the testimony:

“Repurposing C-Band spectrum for mobile broadband use via a public auction and authorizing fixed point-to-multipoint (P2MP) use of the band provides an elegant, win-win-win solution that addresses the need to free up additional mid-band spectrum for 5G deployments and helps close the digital divide in rural and Tribal areas. First, modifying and repurposing spectrum in the lower C-Band and publicly auctioning that spectrum would ensure spectrum is allocated for 5G mobile broadband use quickly and efficiently.

“Second, a public auction would ensure transparency, prevent anti-competitive conduct, reduce risk of a failed auction, and make certain the auction serves the public interest. Revenues generated from the auction of the C-Band licenses would be returned to the Treasury. Congress should then allocate those revenues for the deployment of future-proof, high-speed, fixed broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities, along with funding digital inclusion and digital literacy initiatives. Permitting P2MP fixed wireless use of the C-Band would deliver high-speed fixed wireless broadband to millions of unserved and underserved households, helping to close the digital divide.

“Third, the existence of high-speed fixed broadband infrastructure would make it more likely that 5G and future generations of wireless networks are deployed more quickly to these previously unserved areas, leading to even greater potential economic benefits for those communities.”

You may view the testimony here.