FCC Rejects Second Petition to Stay C-Band Order

The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has denied the second petition to delay the C-band spectrum repack and auction mandated in the 3.7 GHz Report and Order.

A politically divided FCC voted last February on a final order creating the auction of C-band mid-band satellite spectrum for terrestrial wireless, as well as approving rules for that auction, which is slated to start in December. 

Related: FCC Identifies Eligible C-Band Earth Stations 

Satellite earth station operator PSSI Global Services sought a stay of the order June 17 after the FCC denied the first stay. 

On June 10, the FCC denied a petition to delay the start of the auction by the same handful of international satellite companies licensed to use the band that had sought a stay in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which was also denied

PSSI only uses the C-band on an occasional basis, alleging it would be harmed by the spectrum scarcity resulting from the repurposing of the lower band and from potential interference from wireless companies that will get the lower portion of the band in the ensuing auction. 

The bar for securing a stay is a high one, meeting four criteria: 1) likely to prevail on the merits, 2) irreparable harm absent a stay, 3) no harm to others if a stay is granted, and 4) a stay is in the public interest. 

The Wireless Bureau said there is no imminent and severe harm and as for the public interest, it said PSSI's argument that there is no need to repurpose the C-band spectrum at all becuase there is more than sufficient mid-band spectrum "[f]lies in the face of the Commission’s determination, based on an extensive record, that making C-band spectrum available to support 5G networks as quickly as possible is critical to its overall spectrum management strategy."

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.