Monday, June 4, 2018

Battle Lines Drawn Over C-Band

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief
UPDATE More broadcasters have joined NPR in opposing the FCC’s plan to explore opening up C-band for broadband as the wireless and satellite industries are pushing to use more of the spectrum between 3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, meanwhile, intends to place an item about the issue on the agenda for the Commission’s July meeting, he told attendees at the recent WIA Connect(X). Comments on the issue due to the FCC (to docket 18-122) by May 31, and examined by Inside Towers show how battle lines are shaping up.

Because broadcasters are not required to register their satellite downlink earth stations with the agency, they believe the Commission doesn’t realize how much of the band is being used for this purpose. NAB, the SBE and other organizations have encouraged broadcasters to register their C-band receive-only earth stations by the FCC’s July 18 deadline. No protection will be afforded to those that do not register by July 18, according to the Commission. The hope is once the agency has a better handle on downlink frequency use, it will look elsewhere for additional spectrum to auction off for mobile wireless use, according to a broadcast engineering source. Continue Reading

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