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FCC Proposes Added Bucks for MVPDs in C-Band Move

The FCC is proposing to adjust its relocation costs for the C-Band repack to reflect the additional costs MVPDs incur from needed technology upgrades. 

 Related: FCC Seeks Comment on C-Band Exit Costs 

The commission is seeking input on that and other aspects of the lump sum payments to earth station operators in the C-Band as the FCC relocates those users to the upper 200 MHz of the band to free up the lower 300 MHz for wireless broadband. 

Source: FCC

Source: FCC

The FCC is planning to auction 280 of that 300 MHZ (the other 20 is for a guard band) by the end of the year. 

Related: FCC's C-Band Auction still a 'Go' for December 

The FCC is allowing for lump sums to various earth station owners, rather than having to calculate actual costs. 

After issuing its initial Cost Catalog public notice it got plenty of comments, including estimates for lump sum payments for categories of equipment, methodologies for coming up with the payments, and the proposal for a separate category for MVPD earth stations and the additional costs to be factored in. 

Related: Pai Defends C-Band Incentive Payments to Hill 

Those added MVPD costs include integrated receiver/decoder (IRD) replacements. 

The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau says it has considered those comments, and in response updated the classes of earth stations to include the separate MVPD class, and has come up with proposed lump sums for earch class. Now it wants comment on those classes and payments as well as on the methodology for coming up with average estimated costs.  

Of the adjusted MVPD category, the bureau said: 

"We propose a modified list of earth station classes to more accurately reflect the types of earth stations currently operating in the contiguous United States and to account for the additional costs that MVPD earth station operators may incur during the transition. To determine the relevant lump sum amount, the threshold question is whether an earth station is used for MVPD or non-MVPD operations. Non-MVPD earth station operators would be eligible to receive the base amounts for the relevant class of earth station(s) they operate (e.g., receive only single-feed; receive only multi-feed, small multi-beam, etc.). MVPD earth station operators would be eligible to receive the relevant base amount, as well as the amount associated with any relevant technology upgrades."

John Eggerton
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.