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FCC unveils proposal for C-band reallocation

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Federal Communications Fee issued a draft proposal June 21 for giving the wi-fi entry to C-band spectrum industrial satellite tv for pc operators use to ship cable and broadcast community programming.

The FCC is scheduled to vote July 12 on a four-step plan that might culminate in opening up at the very least a few of the 500-megahertz swath of radio-frequency spectrum to next-generation 5G wi-fi networks hungry for bandwidth.

How a lot of the band, and consequently the magnitude of the affect on satellite tv for pc operators and their C-band prospects, continues to be to be decided.

The plan was outlined in a Discover of Proposed Rulemaking the FCC launched June 21.

Since October, greater than 200 organizations filed feedback to the FCC in anticipation of the rule-making.

The FCC proposal partially displays a plan put ahead by Intelsat, Intel and SES by calling for an industry-formed “Transition Facilitator” for the spectrum. That concept traces up with the satellite tv for pc industry-supported plan for a consortium of satellite tv for pc operators that negotiate phrases for transferring spectrum to cell operators.

The concept of a centralized facilitator garnered “report help,” in line with the FCC, although Eutelsat and Telesat have expressed reservations about who would maintain energy in a satellite tv for pc operator consortium. Telesat has stated it should battle its opponents’ C-band plan if Intelsat and SES management the consortium.

Intelsat and SES, which collectively management greater than 90 p.c of U.S. C-band spectrum, help yielding 100 megahertz of C-band, plus a so-called guard band of 40 to 60 MHz of unoccupied spectrum, to cell community operators and web service suppliers. Eutelsat and Telesat every management a single-digit share. Wi-fi and web suppliers would pay satellite tv for pc operators for misplaced enterprise alternatives and the price of migrating prospects to totally different frequencies.

The FCC can be contemplating auctioning the spectrum — a technique favored by cell community operator T-Cell.

The proposed Transition Facilitator is step one within the FCC’s plan; it could deal with negotiations with new entrants wanting to assert C-band spectrum. The fee posed a number of questions for and curiosity teams to debate, equivalent to whether or not the fee ought to have the appropriate to approve or reject the formation of a Transition Facilitator.

The FCC requested for enter on whether or not full protection of the decrease 48 states must be a requirement for consortium membership. The consortium would nonetheless incur prices re-configuring networks and relocating prospects, for satellite tv for pc operators with U.S. C-band protection that don’t be part of its ranks, in line with Intelsat and SES, although the FCC famous it isn’t clear how this course of would work.

The FCC’s second step requires a negotiation interval between the Transition Facilitator and entities requesting entry to C-band spectrum. On this stage the fee leaves open how a lot spectrum might transition from satellite tv for pc operators to terrestrial telecom firms.

T-Cell’s concern that the satellite tv for pc ’s C-band plan will “probably end in inefficient reallocation of spectrum,” led the FCC to ask whether or not the 100 megahertz Intelsat and SES agreed to supply up must be an “Preliminary Minimal Spectrum Benchmark.”

Intel, whereas allied with Intelsat and SES, stated the market-based method put ahead “might clear extra spectrum past the 100 megahertz” with out taking extra time to finish. Intelsat, SES and Intel imagine their market-based method would facilitate new use of the band in 36 months or much less and regulatory mandate would take a few years longer to implement.

The negotiation stage contains consideration of assorted public sale plans, together with satellite tv for pc operators relinquishing spectrum for public sale in alternate for a portion of the proceeds.

As soon as the fee has a C-band transition plan, its third step is to start accepting terrestrial license functions to make use of the spectrum. The FCC is requesting enter on many particulars of this course of equivalent to timing, what standards to require, and on find out how to finest defend satellite tv for pc providers that stay within the band.

The fourth and remaining step consists of granting new terrestrial licenses in C-band and transferring satellite tv for pc prospects out of the spectrum as wanted. Much like the opposite steps, the FCC requested for feedback on “one of the simplest ways to effectuate this course of.”

The FCC continues to be in search of information on how closely satellite tv for pc prospects use C-band since solely four,700 dishes are registered. On June 21, the FCC granted a 90-day extension for registering C-band dishes — on the behest of SES and Intelsat — and created choices for registering a number of dishes concurrently to decrease the price of the voluntary course of. The FCC is implementing a brief freeze on new registrations to get a snapshot of how the band is used.

As a motivation for unregistered C-band prospects to step up, the FCC proposed that solely dishes it is aware of about are ensured regulatory safety from sign interference.

The FCC additionally needs to gather extra information on registered dishes, equivalent to which satellites they’re pointed at and the way usually they’re in use. If current registrants don’t present the up to date info, the FCC proposes eradicating them from the database.

Intelsat supplied reward for the draft C-band plan, thanking FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and fee employees in a June 21 tweet for “contemplating a distinct method to this difficult problem.”

“The curiosity proven by the FCC encourages us to additional our work to help stakeholders, together with prospects, in embracing our proposal as essentially the most expedient answer,” Intelsat stated.

SES issued the same assertion June 25. “We’re happy with the positioning of our proposal within the draft C-band NPRM launched on June 21 by the FCC,” SES stated.

In October, Intelsat and Intel started the satellite tv for pc ’s push to discover a compromise on C-band, saying the regulatory stress within the U.S. to repurpose the band for 5G was significantly stronger than in different elements of the world. SES joined in February on the grounds that satellite tv for pc operators solely cede 100 megahertz of C-band. 

 

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