Senator Cantwell wants 5G spectrum auction to fund rural broadband expansion

Sen. Maria Cantwell discusses net neutrality at a 2017 town hall in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

Several U.S. Senators, led by Washington’s Maria Cantwell, want the proceeds from an upcoming spectrum auction to go toward bridging the urban-rural digital divide.

Cantwell introduced legislation this week that would ensure some of the proceeds from a public auction of C-Band airwaves would be invested in rural broadband deployment and next-generation 9-1-1 networks.

Satellite companies use C-Band spectrum to deliver video and radio programming. The FCC is planning a public auction of C-Band in February to make the spectrum available for the coming wave of 5G wireless technology. Satellite companies said they want “fair compensation” to clear the spectrum, according to a New York Times report.

“We need money for rural broadband and not giveaways for foreign satellite companies,” Cantwell said in a statement “This bill is a good bipartisan step forward.”

Read the full text of the bill:

SMART Act by GeekWire on Scribd

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