Skip to main content

Bush Proposes Spectrum Fees for ATC and Auction of Domestic Satellite Licenses

According to RCR News, the $3.1 trillion budget President Bush sent to Congress this week proposes levying spectrum fees on mobile satellite service operators’ ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) networks.

These networks, similar to the repeaters used by digital satellite radio licensees XM Radio and Sirius, provide coverage in areas where satellite communication is difficult—urban areas and inside buildings. While cell phone carriers had to acquire their spectrum through auctions, at this time there are no spectrum license fees for ATC use of MSS spectrum.

The RCR News article said the Bush budget indicates these fees could raise $1.2 billion for the U.S. treasury through 2018.

The Bush budget also wants authority to auction domestic satellite licenses and assess spectrum license fees across the board. The FCC’s authority to use auctions to assign licenses expires in September 2011. The Bush Budget seeks permanent auction authority for the FCC.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.