ACA Connects C-Band Proposal Gets Some Props From PISC

The Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) is lending some support to the proposal by ACA Connects and others to free up at least 370 MHz of C-band spectrum for fixed wireless while providing a pathway to migrating the program delivery, for which that spectrum is used, to fiber delivery.

Currently, the C-band satellite is used by cable operators and broadcasters to receive network programming and get remote video back to the studio.

In comments on the FCC's proposed freeing up of the C-band for 5G, and specifically ACA Connects' et al.'s plan for how to do that, the coalition said that plan "could be shaped to align with the FCC's legal authority and precedent."

The ACA Connects proposal would use an FCC auction to reassign spectrum, rather than a private auction, as proposed by the C-Band Alliance of satellite operators. The coalition says that is the right way to go.

"PISC strongly agrees with a central premise of the ACA Connects Proposal: The speediest, fairest and most straightforward option consistent with the Commission’s statutory authority is a traditional forward auction," the coalition told the FCC.

But the coalition takes strong issue with ACA's proposal that earth station users--cable and broadcast--get a cut of the proceeds if the FCC can auction more than 200 MHZ.

"That ACA Connects wants a windfall on top of a publicly-funded fiber network for its members is both beyond the pale and unlawful," it said.

PISC members include Open Technology Institute, Consumer Reports, Public Knowledge, Common Cause and the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.