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FCC Grants Extension for Satellite Ops' C-Band Filings

(Image credit: Getty Images)

WASHINGTON—The FCC had good news for satellite operators and bad news for cable operators on Friday, June 12, granting an extension for satellite operators to file their C-band transition plans while subsequently denying a request for an extension on submitting comments on the estimated lump sum payments by cable operators.

All eligible satellite space stations operating in the C-band were given an extra seven days to file their transition plans. The original deadline was for June 12, but will now be June 19. Eutelsat and Claro S.A. had originally requested the extension; the other satellite operators opposed it, but said if an extension was granted to those companies it should apply to all.

The FCC said that an extension for the satellite operators “serves the public interest and will not delay the transition process.”

Earlier this week, ACA Connects and NCTA—The Internet & Television Association filed a joint request to the commission asking for their own six-day extension for filing comments on the lump sum payments for current C-band operators, pushing the deadline from June 16 to June 22. They specifically cited the desire to be able to review the satellite C-band transition plans that were to be due on June 12. They also asked that the transition plans be made available immediately on the FCC website and the methodology for which the FCC reached its initial lump sum payment estimates.

However, the FCC has denied the joint request, saying that the cited reasons for an extension do not meet the standards for them to consider an extension. The commission says cable operators have the ability to make their lump sum elections after satellite operators’ transition plans have been made available. As to the other two arguments, the FCC says that all filed transition plans will be available through the ECFS as is their traditional practice and that the methodology for the lump sum estimates were laid out in the Lump Sum Public Notice and Preliminary Cost Catalog.

As a result, the lump sum payment comments will be due on June 16.