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C-Band (3.7-4.2 GHz) Reminders: Registrations Due by October 17, 2018; Comments on Proposed Rules Due by October 29, 2018

C-Band Registration Filing Window Closes October 17, 2018

Cable operators, Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs), radio and/or video broadcasters, video programmers, and other Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) operators with downlink earth stations in the 3.7-4.5 GHz C-Band are reminded that they have until Wednesday, October 17, 2018 to register or license their unregistered/unlicensed stations that were constructed as of April 19, 2018 with the FCC’s International Bureau. Operators with outdated registration/license information also have until the October 17 deadline to update their information. For this filing window, which was opened on April 19, 2018, the FCC has waived the requirement for a coordination report.*

SES Reimbursement Program. To encourage and incentivize all C-Band operators to file needed registration/license applications and provide the FCC with a thorough record of C-Band operations, satellite company SES has launched a fee reimbursement program to reimburse filers’ FCC’s registration fees up to $450 per earth station for all new registrations completed between July 25 and October 17, 2018.

C-Band Rulemaking Comments Due By October 29, 2018

In July 2018, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) raising a plethora of proposals and rules for transitioning 100 megahertz or more of the C-Band to terrestrial wireless broadband use for 5G and other mobile broadband uses like Internet of Things (IoT). Among other things, the FCC detailed a market-based transition mechanism that would allow a consortium of satellite companies to serve as a “Transition Facilitator” that would negotiate with any interested terrestrial operators and incumbent users to clear the negotiated-for spectrum while also protecting the operations of the incumbent earth stations. The Transition Facilitator proposal, which was based on an Intelsat-SES proposal, has emerged as the lead proposal, according to a statement by Commissioner Michael O’Rielly .

Intelsat and SES have now formalized a C-Band Alliance along with Eutelsat and Telesat to promote this proposal and ultimately serve in the Transition Facilitator role. The C-Band Alliance has indicated that it could commence negotiations with 5G providers within 18 to 36 months from an FCC C-Band reallocation order. Any reallocated C-Band spectrum in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band would be licensed under Part 27 of the FCC’s rules for 15-year terms, based on the FCC’s proposals. Comments on the NPRM are due by October 29, 2018, and reply comments by November 27, 2018.

*Stations that do not provide coordination reports are not afforded interference protection, and the FCC has indicated that it could require such reports in the future. However, the FCC also placed a freeze on new and modified C-Band applications, which, if made permanent, could obviate the need for coordination reports.

Copyright © 2020 Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 285


About this Author

Gregg Skall, Attorney Womble Carlyle, Telecommunications Attorney, FCC Regulatory Compliance Lawyer

Mr. Skall actively represents telecommunications companies in domestic and international telecommunications enterprises in their regulatory matters and business dealings. He represents real estate developers in the acquisition of competitive broadband local exchange (CLEC) telecommunications services for new residential and commercial developments. He also works with telecommunications equipment manufacturers to obtain FCC approvals and to assure regulatory compliance. He assists companies in need of appropriate spectrum support for emerging telecommunications...

John Garziglia, Womble Carlyle Law Firm, Radio and Television Attorney

John F. Garziglia is a Partner in the Washington, DC office of Womble Carlyle. In the 1980’s, John served at the Federal Communications Commission as an attorney in the FCC's AM Branch and as a trial attorney in the Hearing Branch of the FCC's Mass Media Bureau. John was formerly a broadcaster, working in the industry in St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and several smaller markets. John represents broadcasters large and small. He is a frequent speaker at both national and state broadcaster conventions.

John has represented radio and television broadcasters for almost thirty years, offering personalized assistance in all areas of communications and telecommunications law including transactional and contract negotiations for broadcast station mergers and acquisitions, governmental auctions of new frequencies, license renewals, new stations applications, facility changes, facility upgrades, licensing, and compliance with FCC rules, regulations and policies. John successfully represented numerous applicants in administrative hearing litigation before the FCC in acquiring new station authorizations

Of Counsel

Rebecca has a diverse communications law practice, guiding clients in media law, Internet, telecom, cable, broadcast and privacy/data protection matters.

She counsels communications industry clients in negotiating contracts and complex business transactions, as well as helping them resolve disputes and regulatory challenges. Her clients include cable operators, broadband service providers, video programmers, network operators, spectrum owners, radio broadcasters and telecommunications companies.

Rebecca has extensive experience in E-Rate (Universal Service...

Robert Silverman, Womble Dickinson Law Firm, Washington DC, Communication Law Attorney
Senior Counsel

Bob Silverman provides guidance to telecommunications carriers and technology companies seeking to navigate through complex regulatory, commercial and compliance structures established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other government agencies.  Bob’s wireless spectrum experience spans a variety of services—including 700 MHz, 2.5 GHz, AWS, Cellular, PCS and Citizens Broadband Radio Service—and runs the gamut from auctions and compliance reporting to assignments, lease agreements, and enforcement actions.  On behalf of various communications trade...