Advanced Television

Teleport operator sues FCC over C-band

May 8, 2020

By Chris Forrester

PSSI Global Services, which operates a number of teleports and more than 60 Outside Broadcast satellite uplink trucks across the US, is suing the Federal Communications Commission over the FCC’s plans for C-band.

The lawsuit – strictly speaking a petition – was filed in a Washington DC Federal Court, and PSSI asks for a Judicial review of the FCC’s decision saying that if it goes ahead it will destroy the satellite video distribution system.

PSSI describes C-band as “the backbone of the satellite video distribution system.” But the company notes the Report and Order reduces that available spectrum by repurposing 60 per cent of the band for 5G.

The FCC authorisations for moveable trucks [transportables] and uplink vehicles “permit PSSI and other transportable operators to receive global satellite signals in the 3.7-4.2 GHz frequency range in the C-band, which are permanently paired on those authorizations with authority to transmit on the 5.925-6.425 GHz band,” states the company in its filing.

“Moreover, not all GSO satellites and transponders can be used by transportables for any given OU event at any given location. Transportable earth stations need to have satellite ‘line-of-sight’ access and transponder frequency clearance to connect with a particular satellite and transponder. Further, PSSI has also repeatedly demonstrated the harm that would ensue from the operation of the Flexible 5G licenses in the lower portion of the C-band at those OU locations, both in terms of damage from radiated power, as well as interference to operations of the transportables,” PSSI alleges in its lawsuit.

“The operational problems for OU are worse than simply an ‘arithmetic’ reduction of available frequency and transponder space. Because transportable earth stations – by definition – are authorized to be in diverse locations and have no fixed latitude and longitude restrictions in their licenses, they must clear and coordinate satellite line-of sight, transponder availability, frequencies, and power,” says PSSI in its action. “Without these factors, the viability of C-band transportable earth stations, and the reliable and insurable transport and reception services they provide for their user customers are in immediate peril.”

PSSI argues that there is not enough bandwidth to continue to provide transportable services. It disagrees with the FCC order which said in its ruling “incumbent C-band providers assurance that they will continue to be able to receive C-band services during and after the transition.”

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