FCC denies C-band objectors

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The FCC has firmly turned down objections from a few satellite operators who were not included in its 5G reallocation of C-band satellite frequencies.

The three, collectively known as the ‘Small satellite Operators’ and comprising ABS Global, Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales, Hispamar and Hispasat of Madrid, had filed their objections to the FCC’s auction and subsequent incentive payments awarded to Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat.

The FCC, in a unanimous final ruling, denied the Small Satellite Operators objections. However, two Commissioners (Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoff Starks) issued partial dissents to the final decision.

The FCC stated: “We dismiss the protest on procedural grounds because it does not comply with the requirements for a protest under the Commission’s rules.  In the alternative, because the protest fails to raise any new arguments and instead purports only to incorporate arguments made and addressed earlier in this proceeding [we also dismiss the protest].”

Commissioner Rosenworcel, in her comments, said: “The (FCC) clears the way for a court to consider the merits of the FCC’s decision-making in the underlying proceeding. … However, I continue to have reservations about the process that led the agency to this point and believe that we missed a golden opportunity to work with Congress to incentivize the repurposing of these airwaves in a manner that would yield a smoother long-term path for spectrum policy and support for much-needed infrastructure projects.”


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