FCC Provides Guidance for C-Band Payment Clearinghouse

The FCC has taken the first official steps toward picking an independent entity to handle relocation payments for the clearing of C-Band spectrum for 5G wireless and it is not wasting any time in trying to move the process along. 

The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a request for proposal last week and has now provided selection criteria and application deadlines.  

As part of the FCC decision to clear 300 MHZ of the band--280 MHz for auction, 20 MHz for a guard band--the commission mandated the creation of a neutral relocation clearinghouse to collect disburse relocation payments, including those collected from new wireless operator licenses to pay the users moving off the spectrum to exit early. 

Related: FCC Proposes Added Bucks for MVPDs in C-Band Move 

Anybody who wants the job has three weeks to submit a business plan (June 29). The FCC expects the search committee to select the clearinghouse by July 31 and no later than Aug. 14. The auction is scheduled to begin by the end of the year. 

Related: FCC Seeks Comment on C-Band Exit Costs 

Applications may be shared with FCC staff and employees of the relevant stakeholder, as well as with the following trade groups: ACA Connects, Competitive Carriers Association, CTIA, the Wireless Association; National Association of Broadcasters, NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association.  

The C-Band is used by broadcasters and cable operators to receive network programming via satellite and send remote transmissions from events--primarily sports--back to the station/system.

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.