Eutelsat Hints at Re-Joining C-Band Alliance

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Paris-based Eutelsat recently told the FCC it might re-join the C-Band Alliance (CBA). The satellite firm suddenly quit the group earlier this month, Inside Towers reported. Attorneys for Eutelsat met with FCC senior officials on September 17, according to a filing.

The change occurred as the agency is wrestling with how much of the C-band spectrum to auction and re-purpose for wireless use, but not cause harmful interference to incumbent satellite program distribution for television and radio.

Eutelsat and the remaining companies in the CBA — now comprised of Intelsat, SES and Telesat — all have equal rights to the 500 megahertz block of C-band downlink spectrum the FCC is considering for 5G. The CBA put forth a plan to re-purpose 200 MHz of the spectrum and conduct a private auction for wireless licenses; it said that was the best and quickest route to free up the spectrum for wireless use. 

“Eutelsat expressed its willingness to reconsider actively participating in the CBA going forward if, among other things, the structure and management of the CBA could be altered to better represent the interests of all affected stakeholders,” the company told the Commission. Eutelsat representatives emphasized the company continues to support the CBA’s proposal of employing a secondary markets approach to rapidly clear a significant portion of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band for 5G wireless services, reported Advanced Television.

They also discussed Eutelsat’s views concerning the appropriate role of each stakeholder and the potential allocation of a portion of the reconfiguration proceeds to the federal government. Up for discussion too, was the treatment of eligible spectrum clearing costs.

September 24, 2019

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