FCC to C-Band Satellites: File to Protect Existing Operations
The FCC has established deadlines for Fixed Satellite Service earth station licensees to certify the accuracy of all information on their current earth station license and provide the agency with additional details about existing operations. Earlier this year, the Commission sought comment on the feasibility of allowing commercial wireless services to use or share use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz spectrum band. As part of this effort, the FCC is asking earth station licensees to certify existing operations and provide additional technical information. The FCC hopes that its efforts will unveil lightly used portions of the 4 GHz band where the agency can introduce fixed and mobile terrestrial use.
The first step is for the Commission to get its arms around existing satellite operations in the band. As such, the FCC is asking C-Band users to provide the agency with the call sign(s); geographic location(s); licensee contact information; antenna gain; azimuth and elevation gain pattern; antenna azimuth relative to true north; antenna elevation angle; satellite(s) at which the earth station is pointed; number of transponders; how often each is used; and, antenna site elevation and height above ground. This information is required by October 17th.
Once the FCC has completely digested all this information, it may create an opportunity for fixed microwave links in the band, but it’s a bit too early to tell how expansive any additional use of the 4 GHz band may be. For now, the FCC is focused on protecting existing satellite earth station operations.