TV, Radio Broadcasters: Now’s the Time to Register Your C-band Downlink Sites

Completing the FCC site registration form is the first step in protecting the C-band
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Broadcasters must protect their C-band satellite downlink sites from future interference and push back against plans that would completely rearrange the way the FCC allows C-band satellite channels to be received.

John Joslin

John Joslin

The cellular industry wants the FCC to reallocate C-band frequencies, which could take 100 MHz or more away from what is currently available for every C-band dish owner to use. The proposed frequency rearrangement could require every dish owner to replace every single C-band LNB, the amplifiers at the front of every dish. It could also require dish owners to purchase new TI (terrestrial interference) blocking filters to mate with every C-band LNB.

If the FCC authorizes cellular companies to take away part of what is now C-band for satellite reception, broadcasters will want to ensure that the cellular companies provide every registered C-band downlink with whatever new equipment is needed. That means paying for all new tapered interference filters and all new tapered C-band LNB amplifiers.

They also will want the FCC to ensure that any future cellular transmission does not interfere with the new tapered C-band satellite channels. This will be especially important when cell towers are located near a C-band satellite downlink site.

[Read: FCC Advances Goal Of Opening C-Band]

Broadcasters that do not register their sites now risk having to bear the full cost of any new equipment needed after any FCC rearrangement of C-band satellite channels. Registering now is the first step to preventing the loss of C-band frequencies.

The agency recently extended its filing deadline for existing earth stations to be registered until Oct. 17, 2018. (That’s an extension from the previous July deadline). Broadcasters that have not already done so must register their C-band downlinks with the FCC now. It is critical that all existing C-band dishes are registered with the FCC.

Satellite operator SES has announced it may pay for the FCC application fee when C-band antenna owners register their existing C-band dishes with the FCC before Oct. 17. This new SES offer could save C-band downlink owners thousands of dollars in FCC filing fees. 

SES has developed an easy-to-follow online method for filing with the FCC. Visit the SES website to start the process now. You can also contact them at a special email address set up for filers at fccregistration@ses.com to inquire about the reimbursement and registration programs or call them at 609-987-4300.

Act now to register and help the broadcast community influence FCC decisionmaking by demonstrating with the deluge of site registrations the widespread use of C-band downlinks.

When the maximum number of C-band antenna sites register with the FCC, the agency may be inclined to halt its reallocation of C-band satellite spectrum for use by wireless companies, or at least minimize it. More registered sites mean more difficulty and cost for the cellular companies wanting to take away part of the current C-band downlink spectrum.

Broadcasters must push back against the cellular companies. Make them consider the high cost of rearranging the C-band by insisting the FCC mandate they offer remedies to current C-band downlink sites.

Don’t wait. Register your C-band satellite downlink sites with the FCC today!

John Joslin is the president of DAWNco.