FCC Announces May 28, 2019 Deadline For C-Band Earth Station Licensees To Certify Accuracy Of License Parameters

The FCC has announced via Public Notice a May 28, 2019 deadline for all C-Band earth station licensees operating in the 3.7-4.2 GHz downlink band to certify the accuracy of their licensed parameters. Key receive parameters covered by this certification include the geographic coordinates and address of the facility, the site elevation, the emissions, the equipment in use, and the scope of the orbital arc covered, including azimuth and elevation characteristics. As the certification language does not expressly limit itself to these parameters, however, filers should ensure that transmit power and antenna gain information are also correct.

If you have a license or registration for a C-Band earth station and you filed new or updated information during the April 19 to October 31, 2018 window, which waived the FCC’s C-Band downlink application freeze, you are exempt from the certification requirement. It is expected that all information contained in the prior filings is complete and accurate. However, all earth station operators are required to update information in the International Bureau Filing System (“IBFS”) in the event of a change in contact information or any operational parameters.

The certification requires an authorized company representative to affirm individually and for the licensee that all information in each individual license or registration is “true, complete and correct to the best of his or her knowledge and belief.” A certification is required for each license that includes the C-Band downlink frequencies. The certification must be submitted online via the IBFS licensing system using the “Pleadings and Comments” link and identifying the submission as a “C-Band Certification.” The Commission has stated that it intends to afford future interference protection only to those earth stations for which the required certification has been timely filed.

All Temporary fixed/transportable earth station operators or applicants licensed to use the 3.7-4.2 GHz downlink (including those filed during the freeze waiver filing window) are subject to an additional requirement with the same May 28, 2019 due date. It should be noted that this requirement applies to satellite news gathering trucks that include receive capabilities. Such operators must report:

· The Earth station call sign (or IBFS file number for registrations filed between April 19 and October 31, 2018 that remain pending);

· The address where the equipment is typically stored;

· The geographic area within which the equipment is typically used;

· How often the equipment is used and the duration of such use;

· Number of transponders typically used in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band and extent of use on both the uplink and downlink; and

· The licensee/registrant and current point of contact information.

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Please contact one of our attorneys if you have questions about these requirements or if you would like assistance reviewing your C-Band licenses.