Citizens Against Government Waste Report Finds Plan for Private Spectrum Sale Could Cost Taxpayers Billions | Citizens Against Government Waste

Citizens Against Government Waste Report Finds Plan for Private Spectrum Sale Could Cost Taxpayers Billions

For Immediate Release
Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318

April 17, 2019

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released a report entitled, “The Race to 5G:  Protecting Taxpayers through Spectrum Auctions.”  The report emphasized the need for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to oversee a fully transparent, public spectrum auction to ensure taxpayers – not a private consortium of foreign-based satellite companies - reap the benefits that tens of billions of dollars would bring in through a public auction. 

Key findings of the report include:

  • A private C-band spectrum sale would cost American taxpayers billions, whereas an FCC auction ensures taxpayers and U.S. interests are protected.
  • Since 1994, spectrum has generated $121.7 billion for taxpayers, proving it to be the most valuable public asset with strategic importance to economy and national security. The FCC should not deviate now by allowing foreign satellite companies to monetize a crucial taxpayer asset.
  • Satellite operators do not have any ownership rights to C-band spectrum.  A secondary market sale only works with clear property ownership rights.  Satellite operators do not meet this criterion.
  • Spectrum must be used as efficiently and effectively as possible to meet economic, national security, science, safety, and other national goals. An FCC auction is the only way to achieve those objectives.

The report follows a joint coalition letter signed by more than a dozen taxpayer and consumer groups including CAGW that urged the FCC to dismiss the private sale proposal and conduct a public auction to protect taxpayers from a foreign giveaway.

Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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