FCC Denies Request to Use Satellite Earth Station for Terrestrial Service

April 13, 2007
The FCC denied a request by TowerStream Corp. to modify its license for earth station E960068 located in Medley, Fla., to provide terrestrial broadband service in the 3650-3700 MHz band under its satellite earth station license. The FCC dismissed the application as improperly filed, noting that an earth station, by definition, is a station located on the Earth's surface that communicates with one or more space stations or other objects in space. "Thus," the FCC said, "TowerStream cannot transmit a terrestrial service under the scope of an earth station license."

TowerStream's earth station license authorizes it to provide fixed-satellite service by accessing Intelsat and Solidaridad satellite using the 5850-6425 MHz band (Earth to space) and 3625-4200 MHz (space-to-Earth) frequency bands. To provide terrestrial service, TowerStream must file an application for a terrestrial license through the FCC Wireless Bureau's Universal Licensing System.

The FCC also reminded TowerStream that Sec. 25.161(c) of its rules specifies "an earth station license shall be automatically terminated if the licensee removes or modifies the facility such that the station is not operational for more than 90 days, unless specific authority is requested."

As a result of this application, the FCC said TowerStream "must notify the commission [of] the earth station's operating status in the 3625-3650, 3650-3700, 3700-4200, 5850-5925, and 5925-6425 MHz bands. TowerStream should provide this information within 30 calendar days of the date of this letter. If it fails to do so, we will consider taking appropriate action with respect to the earth station, including terminating the license."

See the letter to Donald L. Herman, Jr. regarding call sign E960069 for details.

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