Intelsat and SES, and their partners Eutelsat and Telesat in the C-Band Alliance (CBA), are pressing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to wrap up consideration of its plan “as soon as possible” and promise orders will quickly flow for new satellites over the UIS.
In a letter, lawyers for the CBA summarised a meeting between FCC officials and the CBA and stressed that the CBA has engaged with small and rural mobile operators and their trade associations to ensure that their needs are met.
The letter stated that the proposal to free up and release 200 MHz of C-band spectrum over the US had achieved widespread approval for a “market based approach” across “a broad spectrum of affected entities, including C-band satellite operators, wireless carriers, content distributors, broadcasters, equipment providers, and many others”. The letter detailed that Intelsat and SES also presented details regarding the 18-to-36-month clearing timeline and the satellite launch schedule to add capacity for continued FSS operations in the remaining upper 300 MHz of the C-band Downlink.
Intelsat and SES also told the FCC that they would immediately order up new satellites once the FCC reached a favourable decision.
“SES and Intelsat noted that their ability to meet this clearing target is based on several critical assumptions, including that new satellites must be built and launched in time to complete all of the necessary transitions. Both Intelsat and SES have made significant progress in defining the satellite design and have down-selected from multiple request-for-proposal respondents three potential manufacturers (all located in the US). And the sooner the CBA has visibility on an upcoming FCC order, the sooner it can commit very significant funding to the satellite manufacturers.”
“Representatives of Intelsat and SES separately presented confidential and competitively sensitive information (without the presence of the other company) demonstrating the intricate methods and tools each company will utilize to groom and repack existing customers out of the spectrum coordinated for mobile use. SES and Intelsat each explained their internal plans to make up to 180 MHz available for mobile use, including regrooming traffic, adding more satellites, and ensuring high-quality satellite reception through filters and mitigation techniques. They separately presented a snapshot of the current loading of cable arc and broadcast arc satellites and explained how that loading could be adjusted and the users repacked to clear the relevant number of transponders in an 18-36 month time period, while still maintaining the high quality of service to existing video distribution customers,” said the letter.