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

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.