Here Are C-Band Move Cost Estimates

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The FCC released the cost reimbursement estimates for C-band incumbents to move to the upper portion of the 3.7 GHz band so the agency can clear the lower portion to auction for wireless use. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau also released the optional lump sum payment amounts for which incumbent Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) earth station operators are eligible and revealed the process and deadline for electing to receive lump sum payments.

In the 3.7 GHz Report and Order, the Commission adopted rules to make 280 megahertz of mid-band spectrum available for flexible use (plus a 20 megahertz guard band) throughout the contiguous United States by transitioning existing services out of the lower portion of the band and into the upper 200 megahertz of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. Under the Commission’s plan, new 3.7 GHz Service licensees will reimburse the reasonable relocation costs of eligible incumbent FSS space station operators, earth station operators, and Fixed Service licensees to transition out of the band.

Incumbent FSS earth station operators may accept either: (1) reimbursement for their actual reasonable relocation costs to maintain satellite reception; or (2) a lump sum reimbursement “based on the average, estimated costs of relocating all of their incumbent earth stations” to the upper 200 megahertz of the C-band. 

The Commission engaged a third-party contractor, RKF Engineering Solutions, to help identify the costs that incumbents might incur, develop a cost category schedule, and calculate the lump sum payments. The FCC previously released an initial cost catalog. After seeking public input on that, the agency released its final catalog and lump sum payment amounts this week.

Lump sum payment election must be made by August 31. The agency reminds incumbent earth station owners they “must indicate whether each incumbent earth station for which they elect ‘the lump sum payment’ will be transitioned to the upper 200 megahertz in order to maintain C-band services or will discontinue C-band services.” Notify the FCC using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS): https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/.

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