By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 3-10-20

The Senate Financial Services Subcommittee held an FCC budget request hearing Tuesday (March 10) and a C-Band auction hearing broke out.

Actually that was signaled at the outset by Subcommittee chairman John Kennedy (R-La.), who has been critical of the FCC’s decision to award potentially billions of dollars from the auction in incentive payments to satellite carriers, money Kennedy wanted to go to the Treasury for rural broadband and other uses rather than foreign satellite companies.

Kennedy said he would hold a separate hearing later on the budget and wanted the witnesses – FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and three of the four other commissioners, to focus on the C–Band auction.

Pai and Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr defended the payments, while the Democrats agreed with Kennedy that, as Commissioner Geoffrey Starks put it, “Finally, last month’s vote on the C-Band put the interests of foreign satellite companies ahead of taxpayers.”  » Read More