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FCC Taking C-Band Exit Costs Comments

(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—Are the FCC’s estimated costs for the C-band transition too high, too low or just right? The commission is seeking comment from those that will be impacted to find out.

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is asking for comments to be filed on the 3.7 GHz Preliminary Cost Category Schedule of Potential Expenses and Estimated Costs (Cost Catalog).

The FCC previously approved plans to make C-band spectrum (3.7-4.2 GHz band) available for 5G development. This will include 280 MHz of band available for public auction, while 20 MHz serve as a guard band for the upper 200 MHz, which will be where satellite operators relocate to.

The Cost Catalog is an estimate of the costs that it will cover for eligible satellite operators—Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) space station operators, incumbent FSS earth station operators and incumbent Fixed Service licensees—moving out of the 280 MHz spectrum.

Among the costs proposed to be covered are the expected cost to repack existing satellites for satellite operators; filtering/retuning/repointing costs for Earth stations; fixed service costs; and technology updates. The preliminary Cost Catalog is available for review online for specific price details.

These estimated costs do not include incentive payments that would be available for incumbents exiting the spectrum early.

Comments that the FCC is looking for include whether or not these estimated costs are reasonable, as well as whether or not it covers every situation that may occur during the transition. In addition, the FCC wants comments on lump sums that would be open to various Earth station owners, specifically on the appropriate amount and what class of Earth station should be eligible.

Interested parties must file comments through the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System by May 12.