NAB Opposes FCC Review of Lump Sum Payment Regime

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The National Association of Broadcasters has asked the FCC to reject ACA Connects' petition to review the commission's regime for paying earth station operators lump sums for exiting spectrum for the C-Band (3.7 to 4.2 GHz ) auction.

And it pulled no punches in its attack on ACAC.

NAB said ACAC represented "profitable cable companies" who were "once again seeking handouts from the Commission," adding: " ACA’s primary focus has been and continues to be devising ways to line its members’ pockets at the expense of other parties to the proceeding and the Commission’s goal of repurposing spectrum."

ACAC has taken issue with the FCC's exclusion of integrated receivers/decoders (IRDs), but NAB says the FCC appropriately concluded that "installation costs associated with IRDs would be considered part of the lump sum payment, but that equipment costs associated with the IRDs themselves would not be. None of the arguments ACA presents are convincing."  

Related: Cable Ops Say FCC Is Lowballing C-Band Payments

Including IRDs in cable costs rather than satellite transponder transition costs would help cable ops cover the cost of transitioning away from earth stations to fiber delivery of their programming, which ACAC has pointed out serves the FCC's purpose of clearing the satellite spectrum for 5G terrestrial wireless.

ACAC this week asked a federal appeals court to stay the Sept. 14 deadline for choosing the lump sum payment.

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.