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FCC Simplifies Uplink Recordkeeping Requirement

Most satellite uplink licenses have special conditions attached. Many licenses include conditions 2810 and 5011, requiring the licensee to keep the "precise frequencies" they use on file with the FCC's International Bureau and update the information within seven days if they change the "precise frequencies". For example, even if an uplink license allows the licensee to transmit anywhere in the 5925-6425 MHz C-band, the conditions require the licensee inform the FCC of frequencies the uplink is actually using. Uplink operators will be relieved to learn the FCC eliminated these two conditions this week. These two conditions will not appear on any new, renewed, or modified uplink licenses. The FCC reserved the right, however, to request this information from licensees when warranted.

The FCC's Public Notice (DA 09-1019) said that, "By requiring this data, the Bureau hoped to facilitate the resolution of any radio frequency interference complaints that earth station licensees might bring before it. During the past decade, however, earth station licensees have brought only a handful of interference disputes to the Commission for resolution. Moreover, the Commission has been able to resolve the few cases before it without using the detailed frequency information."

The Public Notice added that the Bureau was also dropping the requirement for the uplink licensee to provide notification is a frequency change was made, calling it an "unnecessary burden."

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.