FBA: Fiber Can be C-Band Substitute

There has been some back and forth in the FCC C-Band docket about whether receiving their network and remote video exclusively by fiber rather than satellite will one of the keys to freeing up C-Band spectrum for 5G.

The C-Band is used by broadcasters and cable operators to receive network programming and get local programming the field to the studio.

T-Mobile, for example, backs a move to fiber, while NCTA-The Internet & Television Association counters that "the record casts serious doubt upon the viability of [that] purported alternative as adequate substitutes for C-band spectrum."

Not surprisingly, the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) has no doubts that a national terrestrial video program network delivered by fiber is not only doable, but the best way to go, and suggests the FCC should force the issue with a C-Band repurposing.

“Over the past decade, video programmers have been transitioning from satellite to fiber delivery, almost exclusively in urban areas," said Lisa Youngers, president of the association. "But rural multichannel video program distributors (MVPDs) need access to the same future-proof, high-performance capabilities that only fiber networks can offer. The FCC’s C-Band proceeding provides an opportunity to expedite the transition to fiber delivery, and various providers have offered proposals that would make a state-of-the-art nationwide fiber delivery network real."

FBA told the FCC as much in a letter Friday saying the C-Band proceeding was a great opportunity to make that fiber network a reality.

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.