Regulators are signaling that they plan to limit payments to satellite providers including
Staff of the U.S.
Other reports have suggested the FCC payment could be lower, in the “low single-digit-billion dollar” range to $5 billion.
Concerns about the
Intelsat and SES have said they want to split a total of almost half of airwaves sales that could reach $77 billion.
The plan could change as lobbying continues. Pai earlier rejected a proposal by satellite providers to conduct the airwaves sale privately, and said he favors a public auction run by the FCC.
The satellite companies have proposed vacating part of the airwaves they use to beam TV and radio programs to stations and continue serving customers on airwaves they retain.
Mobile providers are expected to bid for the freed frequencies, for use in high-speed 5G service that will underpin such uses as autonomous vehicles and remote surgery. Pai has said he wants the auction to begin this year.
The figures said to be under discussion are well below the sum needed for Intelsat to tame its $14 billion debt load to a more sustainable level, given its share of the proceeds, according to
(Updates second paragraph with FCC planning February vote.)
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