FCC accelerates availability of C-band for 5G

Martyn

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Media Contact:
Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509
will.wiquist@fcc.gov

For Immediate Release

C-BAND SPECTRUM WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR
5G SERVICES ON AN ACCELERATED BASIS
Chairman Pai Welcomes Satellite Operators’ Decision to Choose Faster Clearing of Critical Mid-Band Spectrum
--
WASHINGTON, June 1, 2020—Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today announced that the repurposing of C-band spectrum for 5G services will move forward on an accelerated timeline. In a public notice released today, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau said it had secured commitments from all eligible satellite operators to meet an accelerated clearing timeline that will make way for faster 5G deployment in the 3.7 GHz band, also called the C-band.

“This is a big day for American leadership in 5G and for American consumers and businesses,” said Chairman Pai. “The acceptance of accelerated relocation by all eligible satellite operators vindicates the FCC’s approach for making C-band spectrum available for 5G more quickly. Our initiative will enable this critical mid-band spectrum to be used for new and innovative wireless services that will be delivered to American consumers years ahead of schedule. The FCC’s work on the C-band is an important part of its 5G FAST plan, a comprehensive strategy to promote American leadership in 5G. This is a national priority because it means millions of jobs, billions of dollars in investment, innovation on our shores, and stronger economic growth. I’m grateful to my fellow Commissioners, the agency’s excellent staff, and external stakeholders for helping us reach this major milestone.”

In February, the Commission majority adopted rules for the C-band that will free up 280 megahertz of spectrum for 5G. Specifically, the rules required existing satellite operators to repack their operations from the band’s entire 500 megahertz into the upper 200 megahertz, allocated the lower 280 megahertz for terrestrial flexible use, and provided for a 20-megahertz guard band in between. Moreover, the Commission provided five eligible space station operators serving the contiguous United States with the opportunity to clear the lower 300 megahertz of the band on an accelerated timeframe in exchange for accelerated relocation payments.

With all five eligible satellite operators—Eutelsat, Intelsat, SES, Star One, and Telesat—having elected accelerated relocation in filings with the FCC, today’s public notice announces that the 80% threshold for clearing commitments has been met and consequently, that the accelerated timeline for relocation has been triggered. Specifically, these companies must first clear 120 megahertz of spectrum in 46 Partial Economic Areas by December 5, 2021. In a second phase, they must clear the lower 120 megahertz in the remaining PEAs, plus an additional 180 megahertz nationwide, by December 5, 2023. If the companies fulfill these commitments, they will be eligible for up to $9.7 billion in accelerated relocation payments plus reasonable relocation costs, paid for by the new flexible use licensees. Had the satellite operators not chosen to accept accelerated relocation payments, the deadline for clearing the lower 300 megahertz of the band would have been December 5, 2025.

This Commission’s C-band auction is scheduled to begin on December 8, 2020. The Commission’s efforts in this band will meet its key goals of making a large portion of the C-band available for 5G use, generating significant revenue for the U.S. Treasury, and protecting and preserving the satellite services currently delivered using this band. This effort is an important component of Chairman Pai’s comprehensive strategy to Facilitate America's Superiority in 5G Technology (the 5G FAST plan).

###

Media Relations: (202) 418-0500 / ASL: (844) 432-2275 / TTY: (888) 835-5322 / Twitter: @FCC / www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).
 

NYDutch

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I'd show this article to my neighbor if I thought it would make any difference. He insists that 5G is using "all new channels that never existed before", and that's why it's so dangerous to our health... :rolleyes::what
 

johnnynobody

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Too bad that C-band is dying but on the other hand I'd like to see all of the services move to Ku. It's a lot easier to handle a 1.2 meter Ku dish than a 3.8 meter BUD.
 

Titanium

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Too bad that C-band is dying.
How does this indicate that C-band is dying? There is excess inventory on the majority of C-band satellites and many empty orbital slots. Higher efficiency transmissions provide greater throughput in reduced bandwidth. In what was considered the hey day of C-band, there was one video service per transponder. Now there are often dozens of video services per transponder, each with higher quality and resolutions. I certainly don't see this as a sign that C-band is dying... or that the sky is falling.
 

johnnynobody

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C-band may still be around but will enough of it be unencrypted to justify buying a new antenna should one have to be replaced?
 

Titanium

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The same predictions were made for the OTA repack. Is broadcast TV going away? No, even more channels have launched and continue to grow.

Doubt that the spectrum auction would incentivise FTA services to encrypt or a satellite distribution model to transition to fiber. Most downlinks will likely be a service call to reprogram or repoint. Likely the major change will be how multiple services are aggregated and uplinked.

Technologies change and so will the satellite hobby, but I simply don't get "the sky is falling" mentality...
 

KE4EST

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but I simply don't get "the sky is falling" mentality...
It's called Chicken Little Syndrome. Something changes and a person with it, automaticly starts thinking of all the negative possibilities. Once panic mode sets in their panic can spread, until someone stops and thinks things through logically; instead of letting their emotions run them.
 
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Radioguy41

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Yep, OTA is dying, Satellite Cable (Dish/DTV) is dying, C-band is dying, Ku is dying, and every person in the USA is going to switch to streaming because broadband is available nationwide. Pardon me if I don't hold my breath. 5G spans from 450Mhz to 6Ghz so let's wait and see just how the industry plans to get all these little slivers of spectrum to function seemlessly as a single technology. New 5G phones are going to have to have one heckuva processor on board to handle all the switching that's going to be necessary as you boogie down the Interstate from tower to tower each possibly operating on it's own sliver.

If you want to blow your mind follow this link and compare the current spectrum breakdown to the 5G spectrum breakdown.

https://www.arrow.com/en/research-a...echnology-use-and-how-does-this-compare-to-4g
 

johnnynobody

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Personally, I think it's all the more reason you should try to get your hands on a 12 footer. They'll change to methods that'll likely require larger dishes.
I ordered a 12 footer today. I was considering going to the 13.5 footer but I doubt the city would give me a permit. The peak of the dish has to be below 15 feet above ground. Kinda interesting on that requirement since my tribander is 50 feet above ground. Some neighbors don't like the tower. Also, my neighbors would just love seeing a dish that size in my backyard. Plus, it's a lot more money and I probably would have to put in a more elaborate pad. Just think of the wind loading too.....
 

FTA4PA

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Personally, I think it's all the more reason you should try to get your hands on a 12 footer. They'll change to methods that'll likely require larger dishes.
Definitely agree! Prices likely will keep increasing so if I could afford larger dishes I'd be grabbing them now. Maybe I'll get lucky and find some old ones nobody wants. :D
 

slackjaw3

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Feb 9, 2016
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C-band may still be around but will enough of it be unencrypted to justify buying a new antenna should one have to be replaced?
Makes sense and I (mostly) agree.
I was just about to buy a whole new 12' setup, but I am thinking twice now.

Correct me if I am wrong, but It seems as though there will only be a small sliver of C-band spectrum for satellites remaining after the auction (in north america) ?

Law of economics says that would seriously drive up the price of remaining spectrum, making FTA much less economical.
Also, I would guess any remaining spectrum after the auction would be quickly reserved by the networks since it's pretty integral to how they deliver content.

I am not sure they would need to encrypt as so few people have big dishes anymore :-(

so you'll probably still get some backhauls etc. but I would think the days of most FTA channels on C-band are numbered...

Has there been no official word from Intelsat or SES on what C-band TV would look like after the auction?
probably not a good sign.....
 
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johnnynobody

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Definitely agree! Prices likely will keep increasing so if I could afford larger dishes I'd be grabbing them now. Maybe I'll get lucky and find some old ones nobody wants. :D
Good luck with finding a used 12 footer or even a 10 footer locally that's in good condition.
 

johnnynobody

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Aug 2, 2009
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Makes sense and I (mostly) agree.
I was just about to buy a whole new 12' setup, but I am thinking twice now.

Correct me if I am wrong, but It seems as though there will only be a small sliver of C-band spectrum for satellites remaining after the auction (in north america) ?

Law of economics says that would seriously drive up the price of remaining spectrum, making FTA much less economical.
Also, I would guess any remaining spectrum after the auction would be quickly reserved by the networks since it's pretty integral to how they deliver content.

I am not sure they would need to encrypt as so few people have big dishes anymore :-(

so you'll probably still get some backhauls etc. but I would think the days of most FTA channels on C-band are numbered...

Has there been no official word from Intelsat or SES on what C-band TV would look like after the auction?
probably not a good sign.....
If you have a damaged dish that's covered by your homeowners insurance then you should definitely look into buying a new and maybe larger dish. My dish was covered by insurance and that's the reason I decided to get another new 12 footer to replace it. TEK 12 footers are about $2000 plus there are shipping and taxes on top of that. Too bad we don't have a better selection of consumer grade C-band dishes available that would keep prices low.
 
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Titanium

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If you are investing that much money in a new 12' or larger dish, I would give serious consideration to purchasing a dish considered by the industry to be of commercial quality. You will pay more, but it will be significantly higher quality design, build and performance. This is an example of getting the quality that is paid for.

Working with two customers who are struggling and frustrated with assembling the less expensive imported dishes, which were delivered within the past few months. Both dishes arrived with shipping damage and missing parts. The mounts continue to be constructed with what I consider as lightweight thin wall steel and sparingly tack welded. The support legs with predrilled mounting holes will not provide the correct focal length distance. The installers are having to either calculate and drill new mounting holes or fashion new support arms at the proper length. The hardware is rusting very quickly, so suggesting that they either paint all hardware with Rustoleum or replace with better quality.
 

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