FCC Opens Window for Updated C-Band Transition Plans

(Image credit: FCC)

The FCC has opened a window to allow satellite operators to amend their final C-Band relocation transition plans to account for earth station lump sum payments.

Broadcast and cable earth station operators and the satellite operators that service them with programming delivery are having to move out of the lower 300 MHz of the C-band so the FCC can auction tht spectrum for 5G. The earth station operators were given the option of turning in receipts and being compensated for moving their earth stations or taking a lump sum payment. 

Related: FCC Names C-Band Relocation Coordinator

The final satellite operator plans were due Aug. 14. While those plans ultimately need to reflect the earth stations that took the lump sums, satellite operators had to turn in their plans a month before the deadline for station operators to elect that lump sum.

"Because final Transition Plans were due a month before incumbent earth station operators made their lump sum elections, eligible space station operators did not know which earth station operators would elect the lump sum and assume responsibility for transitioning their own earth station," the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau said in explaining the amendment window that was opened Tuesday (Sept. 29). "[N]ow that incumbent earth station operators have made their lump-sum elections, we expect that eligible space station operators will need to modify their Transition Plans to remove the incumbent earth stations for which the space station operators are no longer responsible for transitioning as a result of the lump sum elections."

The amended plans are due Oct. 28.

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.