Cunningham Communications Petitions FCC for C-Band Reimbursement

(Image credit: AVComm)

WASHINGTON—As the C-band auction preps for its December start, Cunningham Communications is making its case to the FCC that it should be among the incumbent earth station operators forced to move from its place in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band that is eligible for reimbursement for transition costs.

Cunningham Communications is a small, independent broadband, cable and phone provider in rural Kansas, serving more than 11,000 subscribers with its services. Not included in the FCC’s list of eligible earth stations, Cunningham Communications has filed an Application for Review and Request for Waiver to be put on the list.

The company said that it submitted Form 312 to be registered as an earth station on May 13, 2018, including paying the filing fee, but  that the FCC has yet to either dismiss or return the filing. Cunningham Communications then submitted a comment in response to the preliminary list of earth stations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz, for which it was not included, but was once again omitted from the list when an updated one was released.

If this result holds, “a small cable operator in rural Kansas will likely be forced to spend over $200,000 to transition,” Cunningham’s petition reads. “No commission policy supports such an absurd result.”

The C-band auction will see the lower 280 MHz of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band cleared out of its current earth station and satellite operators to make room for wireless companies with the goal of supporting 5G development. The operators forced to relocate will head to the upper 200 MHz of the band.

To read Cunningham Communication’s full petition, visit the FCC’s ECFS site online.