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ACA Connects to FCC: More Details Coming on Fiber C-Band Alternative

The American Cable Association is working overtime to get the FCC on board with its 5G Plus Plan to migrate C-Band network satellite transmissions to fiber.

That is according to a phone call between Aaron Goldberger, adviser to FCC chair Ajit Pai, and ACA Connect's SVP of government affairs Ross Lieberman. But ACA Connects is putting more than words behind its pitch.

Broadcast and cable operators receive network programming via that C-band satellite spectrum, as well as video from remote locations.

Lieberman told Goldberger that ACA Connects will be supplementing the initial proposal with more details about how a fiber network can be "designed, established, launched, maintained, and paid for, particularly the part of the network that connects programmers to data centers." He told Goldberger that network would be as reliable or more reliable than satellite deliver.

ACA Connects teamed up with Charter and the Competitive Carriers Association on the plan, which would free up at least 370 MHz by making use of fiber. The plan would also compensate cable operators and broadcasters for the relocation.

Related: FCC Seeks More Input on Compensating C-Band Incumbents

Broadcasters are not on the same page when it comes to fiber migration.

In an interview last week on C-SPAN, National Association of Broadcasters president Gordon Smith was asked whether fiber delivery can replace satellite delivery for that programming. He said everybody has had their cable cut by a backhoe at some point and that while fiber can be a redundancy, it is not a replacement.

Smith said NAB would oppose replacing the spectrum with fiber, or doing anything that would interfere with those satellite transmissions. 

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.