SBE Asks FCC to Extend C-Band Lump-Sum Compensation Filing Deadline

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The Society of Broadcast Engineers asked the FCC to give C-band incumbents more time to make their decisions about whether to file for lump-sum cost reimbursements.

The current deadline is August 31. SBE asked to extend that to September 30. An extra 30 days will not affect the repack, according to the organization. ACA Connects, a trade association representing small to medium cable operators, asked for more time also, Inside Towers reported.

C-Band earth station owners who registered their antennas, and are eligible for cost reimbursement for the C-band repack, had the option to submit actual costs for reimbursement or apply for a lump-sum reimbursement. The SBE said the time allotted is insufficient for broadcasters and broadcast engineers to satisfy the requirements. 

The Commission allocated 3.7-4.0 GHz as auctionable 5G spectrum, and plans to begin the bidding this December. C-band earth stations in the fixed satellite service (FSS) would be relegated to the 200 MHz at 4.0-4.2 GHz. That means they need to move to the upper portion of the band. Under the FCC plan, winning bidders will reimburse reasonable moving costs of incumbent FSS space station operators, incumbent FSS earth station operators, and incumbent fixed service licensees to move out of 3.7-4.0 GHz and into the 4.0-4.2 GHz segment.

The SBE points out the Commission released the C-band Report & Order March 3. But the process and reimbursement cost catalog was released July 30, almost four months later. A large number of broadcasters and broadcast engineers must evaluate, prepare and submit their election for lump sum payments, says the SBE. However the COVID-19 pandemic has kept many away from work. That’s why the SBE seeks the extension.

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