Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Broadcasters Urge FCC to Factor in Pandemic Costs for C-Band Move

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. Continue Reading

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