The author is with law firm Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth, on whose blog this article originally appeared.
The Federal Communications Commission has just released a Public Notice that impacts operators of C-Band (3.7-4.2 GHz) earth station dishes to receive or transmit programming or data. Previously, the FCC reallocated the lower portion of that band for auction, with incumbents earth stations entitled to reimbursement for their expenses to move their operations to the upper part of the band. In order to be eligible for reimbursement, a C-Band earth station must meet certain qualifications:
(1) The earth station must have been operational as of April 18, 2018, and remained operational; and registered (receive-only) or licensed (transmit/receive) in the 3700–4200 MHz band.
(2) If unregistered or unlicensed before April 18, 2018, registration or license applications must have been filed by Nov. 7, 2018.
(3) If registered or licensed before April 18, 2018, the registrant or licensee must have:
- Certified the accuracy of the registration/license information in the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) by May 28, 2019; OR
- Filed a modification/update to the registration or license in IBFS during the April 19, 2018–Nov. 7, 2018 filing window; OR
- Filed a timely renewal application for the existing registration or license by May 28, 2019.
[Read: C-Band Plan Aims to Limit Broadcast Disruption]
FCC staff has analyzed its database and produced a list of the incumbent earth stations in the continental U.S. (lower 48 states) entitled to reimbursement. The list includes name, call sign, technical data, etc. The FCC has asked C-Band dish operators to review the list, and by July 16, send in any corrections to the data on the list, as well as corrections regarding the omission of earth stations that should be but are not on the list.
If you have a C-Band dish that you believe is registered or licensed in the continental U.S., check the list. If your dish is not listed, or if the data listed contains errors, check with your attorney right away.