NAB, NCTA Seek Help for Excluded C-Band Earth Stations

Cable operators and broadcasters are not entirely on the same page when it comes to compensation for moving expenses in the C-band, but they agree that the FCC should give some earth station operators a break, saying it is key to maintaining uninterrupted content delivery. 

Related: Cunningham Seeks Earth Station Reimbursement 

The FCC is clearing the lower 300 MHz of the 500 MHz C-Band satellite spectrum for auction to wireless carriers for terrestrial broadband. The incumbent users, including cable operators and broadcasters who use earth stations to recieve satellite-delivered programming, are being compensated for their move out of that spectrum to the upper 200 MHz of the band.  

In a meeting this week with FCC staffers, representatives from the National Association of Broadcasters and NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, argued that there are "ongoing challenges" with the list of earth stations the FCC's International Bureau said qualify for moving expenses. 

NAB and NCTA said the FCC should allow earth stations that made "good faith efforts," but but were excluded for failing to complete "certain procedural requirements" a chance to correct those errors and qualify for payments. 

They said that "chance" would not delay the December auction. 

The procedural failures, according to the association, included 1) earth station operators who "misunderstood" the requirement that they certify the accuracy of earth stations already properly registered before the C-band proceeding began, and 2) ones who did not understand they had to register "every individual antenna at a collocated site."

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.