Extension for C-Band Incumbent Registration

NRB members utilizing satellite “C-band” spectrum (3.7 to 4.2 GHz) for distribution of programming should take note that the FCC has extended to the end of this month its window for previously unregistered incumbent users to declare their operations. The deadline had been moved this summer from July 18 to October 17, but the agency’s International Bureau this week announced another two-week extension “due to the large influx of earth station applications filed near the deadline” leading to “intermittent difficulties that have prevented some applicants from filing for license or registration.”

The FCC is considering whether or not it is feasible to allow mobile broadband to also use the band. Broadcasters have expressed wariness about interference that such sharing may cause. For example, Doug Hastings, Vice President of Moody Radio, recently sent a letter to House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) stating, “Our inability to disseminate audio using the channels that we have developed over many years could interrupt or, in some cases, completely eliminate our services to listeners.”

Key Members of Congress have asked Chairman Ajit Pai about this proceeding and how to heed the concerns of those that provide downlinks for broadcasters. Pai has stated ways the agency is seeking to help incumbents participate, and he believes the record that forms in the proceeding will help the FCC make an informed decision. Before the Senate Commerce Committee, Pai noted the FCC “can’t protect them if we don't know they’re there.”

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: October 19, 2018

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