Broadcasters and cablecos want the FCC to take the COVID-19 pandemic into consideration as the agency develops a cost catalog to reimburse them for moving from the lower to the upper portion of the C-band. The FCC intends to auction the spectrum their satellite and earth station operators occupy now for future wireless use.
Earlier this year, the Commission adopted rules
to make 280 MHz of mid-band spectrum available for flexible use, plus a
20 MHz guard band. New 3.7 GHz Service licensees will reimburse what
the FCC calls “reasonable” relocation costs of incumbent licensees.
Public comments are due to the Commission by May 12 [to docket 18-122]
on the draft reimbursement cost catalog.
Representatives of Charter, Cox, Comcast, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, The
Walt Disney Company and ESPN, as well as the NAB and NCTA – The Internet
and Television Association, recently discussed specifics with
representatives of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the
Office of Economics and Analytics and the International Bureau.
Licensees highlighted the importance of quickly establishing a lump sum
payment amount, according to a filing. They urged the FCC to consider
costs for professional services; hardware and software; and potential
cost impacts from supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.