The FCC opened a short window for satellite space station operators in the C-band (3.7-4.2 GHz) to update their transition plans to reflect the choice to receive a lump-sum payment and account for other changes. Plans to vacate the lower portion of the band for the upper portion were filed by August 14.
The FCC decided that successful wireless bidders for the vacated spectrum will reimburse “reasonable” costs to incumbent satellite and earth stations for the move and repack. Others may opt out of the formal relocation process and, in lieu of reimbursement, choose to receive a lump sum payment based on an amount to be announced by the FCC. Lump sum elections were due September 14.
Space station operators were required to include all associated earth stations in their final transition plans. But those plans were due a month before earth stations made their lump sum choices, so space station operators didn’t know which earth stations would choose the lump sum and assume responsibility for their own move.
Now that earth stations have made their lump-sum elections, the Commission expects that space station operators will need to remove some earth stations from their transition plans. That’s why the agency is opening a limited window to accept changes. Those must be filed no later than October 28, to GN Docket Nos. 18-122 and 20-173.