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Intelsat Warns FCC of Video Quality Concerns Post C-Band Transition

(Image credit: AVComm)

WASHINGTON—Intelsat has told the FCC that due to current procedures for the C-band transition, it will likely be unable to prevent interference issues post-transition.

This comes from a filing by the satellite provider on the FCC’s Report & Order detailing the procedure for clearing out the C-band spectrum for 5G wireless development.

Intelsat believes that the FCC should revise the out-of-band protection requirements laid out in the Report & Order, as the company thinks it will fail to protect earth stations from experiencing interference. Regardless, the company asks that the FCC make it clear that Intelsat will not be blamed for any loss in quality as long as it has taken all the necessary steps.

“While Intelsat will do everything within its control to provide the same or better service to its customers, it cannot be held responsible for any interference that earth stations may experience from new flexible use operations post-clearing,” the filing reads. “The commission must clarify this critical point on reconsideration.”

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Other areas addressed in Intelsat’s filing include operational issues that would arise from not allowing, on a protected basis, continued use of the full 500 MHz of the C-band and Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C)/Gateway sites; Intelsat says that this will jeopardize a space station operator’s ability to provide service continuity to customers or the ability to command satellites. In relation, Intelsat asked that the TT&C/Gateway site consolidation deadline be moved from Dec. 5, 2021, to 2023, calling an 18-month consolidation window “not achievable.”

Intelsat also brought up that the coronavirus pandemic could impact all deadlines of the C-band transition, with issues like difficulties assessing station sites, labor stoppages or vendor delays. 

“The commission should expressly allow for a waiver process if it becomes impossible for satellite operators to meet the deadlines adopted in the Report and Order that did not take into consideration the unexpected COVID-19 shutdowns and related challenges to a massive project like accelerated transition,” the filing reads.

The complete filing from Intelsat is available on the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System