Advanced Television

Draft C-band Bill introduced in US

June 28, 2019

By Chris Forrester

Congresswoman Doris Matsui has introduced her Draft Bill on C-band (the proposed WIN 5G Act) and is seen as being in line with general expectations that the FCC would adopt a modified version of the C-Band Alliance’s proposals.

Sami Kassab, satellite analyst at investment bank Exane/BNPP, said he is sceptical that this legislation will be passed as it currently stands. However, he believes it will act as a signal to inform the FCC where Congress wants the C-band proceedings to go.

Kassab suggested the CBA will now have to submit a transition facilitation plan which includes service protections for existing C-band users. He says that the CBA’s members are already advanced with their plan, but the Draft Bill says they should have 6 months to submit their plan to the FCC.

He added: “The [Draft] Bill wants the FCC to run a competitive auction and allocate proceeds to the CBA on a sliding scale depending on the spectrum cleared. Including a 5 per cent incentive fee for quick satellite procurement, the CBA would get 100 per cent of the proceeds if they clear 500 Mhz, 95 per cent at 400-500Mhz, 80 per cent at 300-400Mhz and 40 per cent for 200-300 Mhz (the current offer from the CBA). Proceed allocation would be based on a per geographic area (ie where you can free 400Mhz, you get 95 per cent; where you can only free up 200Mhz because of incumbent usage, you get 40 per cent).”

Kassab has looked again at the bank’s expectations as to how this Draft Bill – if adopted – would translate financially for the Alliance’s key members, and suggests that if members get 75 percent of the auction sums receives, and that extra satellite bandwidth (over the initial 200 MHz) be cleared in the period 2020-2025 and beyond to 2030 when another 100 MHz could be cleared, then SES could benefit by €9-€12 per share, Eutelsat by €1.9-2.6 per share and Intelsat by $43-57 per share.

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