Telemetry, Tracking and Command Earth Station Operators

Telemetry, Tracking and Command Earth Station Operators

FCC-20-22

Telemetry, Tracking and Command Earth Station Operators

OMB: 3060-1282

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Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

Before the
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz
Band

)
)
)
)

GN Docket No. 18-122

REPORT AND ORDER AND ORDER OF PROPOSED MODIFICATION
Adopted: February 28, 2020

Released: March 3, 2020

By the Commission: Chairman Pai and Commissioners O’Rielly and Carr issuing separate statements;
Commissioners Rosenworcel and Starks dissenting and issuing separate statements.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Heading

Paragraph #

I. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................. 1
II. BACKGROUND .................................................................................................................................... 5
A. Current Use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz Band and Adjacent Bands............................................................. 8
B. Procedural History ......................................................................................................................... 13
III. REPORT AND ORDER ...................................................................................................................... 20
A. Public Auction of 280 Megahertz of C-Band Spectrum for Flexible Use ..................................... 22
1. Allocation of the 3.7-4.2 GHz Band........................................................................................ 54
2. Competitive Bidding Rules ..................................................................................................... 59
3. Licensing and Operating Rules ............................................................................................... 71
B. The Transition of FSS Operations ............................................................................................... 110
1. Incumbent FSS Operations .................................................................................................... 113
2. Clearing the 3.7-4.0 GHz Band of FSS Operations............................................................... 124
3. Transition Schedule ............................................................................................................... 154
4. Relocation and Accelerated Relocation Payments ................................................................ 178
5. Relocation Payment Clearinghouse....................................................................................... 255
6. The Logistics of Relocation .................................................................................................. 284
7. Other FSS Transition Issues .................................................................................................. 318
C. Fixed Use in the C-Band .............................................................................................................. 321
1. Sunsetting Incumbent Point-to-Point Fixed Services ............................................................ 322
2. More Intensive Point-to-Multipoint Fixed Use ..................................................................... 329
D. Technical Rules for the 3.7-4.2 GHz Band .................................................................................. 332
1. Power Levels ......................................................................................................................... 335
2. Out-of-band Emissions .......................................................................................................... 343
3. Antenna Height Limits .......................................................................................................... 351
4. Service Area Boundary Limit................................................................................................ 354
5. International Boundary Requirements................................................................................... 356
6. Other Part 27 Rules ............................................................................................................... 357
7. Protection of Incumbent FSS Earth Stations ......................................................................... 359
8. Protection of TT&C Earth Stations ....................................................................................... 373
9. Coexistence with Aeronautical Radionavigation .................................................................. 380

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10. Coexistence with the Citizens Broadband Radio Service ..................................................... 396
IV. PROCEDURAL MATTERS .............................................................................................................. 398
V. ORDERING CLAUSES ..................................................................................................................... 406
APPENDIX A—Final Rules
APPENDIX B—Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
APPENDIX C—List of Commenters
APPENDIX D—Confidential Appendix
I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
The demand for wireless broadband services and for radio spectrum continues to grow
1
dramatically. At the same time that mobile traffic is surging in many sections of the United States,
however, there are some communities that still lack access to meaningful wireless broadband
connectivity. To enable the development of next generation wireless networks and to help close the
digital divide, the Commission has pursued a comprehensive strategy to Facilitate America’s Superiority
in 5G Technology (the 5G FAST Plan). 2 That plan embraces an all-of-the-above approach to spectrum
policy, emphasizing the need to free up spectrum in the low-, mid-, and high-frequency bands for
commercial, flexible use and unlicensed use so that entrepreneurs and engineers can put this resource to
its highest and best use.
2.
The Commission has been consistently executing that plan. The broadcast incentive
auction in 2017 made 70 megahertz of licensed spectrum in the 600 MHz band—a band ideal for
providing coverage in rural areas and inside buildings—available for commercial wireless operations. 3
The 28 GHz auction in 2018 and the 24 GHz auction in 2019 together made 1,550 megahertz of highband spectrum—ideal for low-latency, high-capacity operations—available for commercial use. 4 The
ongoing spectrum frontiers incentive auction is offering 3,400 megahertz of high-band spectrum in the
upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands—that’s more spectrum for next-generation services than used
by all terrestrial mobile providers for their 4G LTE operations combined. 5 Earlier in February, the
1

Ericsson predicts that total mobile traffic is expected to increase by a factor of five over the next six years,
reaching 131 exabytes per month by the end of 2024. Ericsson further predicts that, in 2024, traffic generated by
smartphones is projected to be 95% of total mobile data traffic and 5G networks will carry a quarter of all global
mobile data traffic. See Ericsson, Mobility Report (2019), https://www.ericsson.com/49d1d9/assets/local/mobilityreport/documents/2019/ericsson-mobility-report-june-2019.pdf. Cisco estimates that, by 2022, 22% of global
internet traffic will come from mobile networks, up from 12% in 2017. See Cisco Systems Inc., Cisco Visual
Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2017-2022 White Paper (2019),
https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/white-paper-c11738429.html.
2

See The FCC’s 5G FAST Plan, https://www.fcc.gov/5G (last visited Feb. 27, 2020).

3

Incentive Auction Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice, AU Docket No. 14-252, Public Notice, 32
FCC Rcd 2786, 2793, para. 15 (2017). The broadcast incentive auction repurposed 84 megahertz of spectrum—70
megahertz for licensed use and another 14 megahertz for wireless microphones and unlicensed use. See Federal
Communications Commission, Broadcast Incentive Auction and Post-Auction Transition (May 9, 2017),
https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/fcc-initiatives/incentive-auctions.
4

Auction of 24 GHz Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service Licenses Closes, AU Docket No. 18-85, Public Notice,
34 FCC Rcd 4294 (2019); Auction of 28 GHz Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service Licenses for Next-Generation
Wireless Services Closes, AU Docket No. 18-85, Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd 75 (2019).
5

The Spectrum Frontiers proceeding made available high-band spectrum in the 24 GHz, 28 GHz, Upper 37 GHz, 39
GHz, and 47 GHz bands. Use of Spectrum Bands Above 24 GHz for Mobile Radio Services, GN Docket No. 14177, Second Report and Order, Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Order on Reconsideration, and
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 32 FCC Rcd 10988, 10994-11006, paras. 15-59 (2017) (2017 Spectrum Frontiers
Order and FNPRM); Use of Spectrum Bands Above 24 GHz For Mobile Radio Services, GN Docket No. 14-177,
Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 31 FCC Rcd 8014, 8023-62, paras. 19-124 (2016)
(2016 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM).

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FCC 20-22

Commission opened a Tribal Priority Window so that Tribal Nations in rural America have early access
to 2.5 GHz spectrum—with an auction of any remaining spectrum to be scheduled after the window
closes. 6 And in June, the Commission will hold the Citizens Broadband Radio Service auction,
auctioning Priority Access Licenses for 70 megahertz out of the 150 megahertz of 3.5 GHz mid-band
spectrum that the Commission authorized for commercial use. 7
3.
The fifth generation of wireless technology (5G) will improve speed and reduce latency
of wireless communications networks. In particular, 5G will enable services that revolutionize healthcare,
transportation, agriculture, education, and many other facets of our economy and society. For example,
5G will support advanced services such as real-time, high-quality video for telemedicine and the growth
of the Internet of Things. American leadership in 5G is important because 5G networks will power a
digital economy of applications and services that themselves will transform our economy, boost economic
growth, and improve our quality of life. Due to the promising future of next generation 5G services, U.S.
leadership in 5G is a priority of the Commission. One important part of advancing U.S. leadership in next
generation 5G networks is making additional mid-band spectrum available for 5G services. Mid-band
spectrum is essential for 5G buildout due to its desirable coverage, capacity, and propagation
characteristics. Our comprehensive mid-band spectrum strategy includes our efforts to free up spectrum
in the 2.5 GHz band, 3.1-3.55 GHz band, the 3.5 GHz band, and the C-band for commercial wireless use.
The C-band will be critical mid-band spectrum for 5G services.
4.
Today, we expand on these efforts to close the digital divide and promote U.S. leadership
in the next generation of wireless services, including 5G wireless and other advanced spectrum-based
services, by reforming the use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, also known as the C-Band. By repacking existing
satellite operations into the upper 200 megahertz of the band (and reserving a 20 megahertz guard band),
we make a significant amount of spectrum—280 megahertz or more than half of the band—available for
flexible use throughout the contiguous United States, and we do so in a manner that ensures the
continuous and uninterrupted delivery of services currently offered in the band. We will hold a public
auction to ensure that the public recovers a substantial portion of the value of this resource. And we
schedule that auction for later this year, with a robust transition schedule to ensure that a significant
amount of spectrum is made available quickly for upcoming 5G deployments. This action is the next
critical step in advancing American leadership in 5G and implementing our comprehensive 5G FAST
Plan.
II.

BACKGROUND

5.
Mid-band spectrum is well-suited for next generation wireless broadband services given
the combination of favorable propagation characteristics (as compared to high bands) and the opportunity
for additional channel re-use (as compared to low bands). With the ever-increasing demand for more data
on mobile networks, wireless network operators increasingly have focused on adding data capacity. One
technique for adding capacity is to use smaller cell sizes—i.e., have each base station provide coverage
over a smaller area. Using mid-band frequencies can be advantageous for deploying a higher density of
base stations. The decreased propagation distances at these frequencies reduce the interference between
base stations using the same frequency, thereby allowing base stations to be more densely packed and
increasing the overall system capacity. Mid-band spectrum thus presents wireless providers with the
opportunity to deploy base stations using smaller cells to achieve higher spectrum reuse than the lower
6

See Transforming the 2.5 GHz Band, WT Docket No. 18-120, Report and Order, 34 FCC Rcd 5446 (2019);
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Announces Procedures for 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window, WT
Docket No. 18-120, DA 20-18 (WTB 2020) (2.5 GHz Band Order).

7

Promoting Investment in the 3550-3700 MHz Band, GN Docket No. 17-258, Report and Order, 33 FCC Rcd.
10598 (2018) (2018 3.5 GHz Band Report and Order); Auction of Priority Access Licenses for the 3550-3650 MHz
Band, Comment Sought on Competitive Bidding Procedures for Auction 105, Bidding in Auction 105 Scheduled to
Begin June 25, 2020, AU Docket No. 19-244, Public Notice, 34 FCC 9215 (Sept. 27, 2019).

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FCC 20-22

frequency bands while still providing indoor coverage. 8 In addition, mid-band spectrum offers more
favorable propagation characteristics relative to higher bands for fixed wireless broadband services in less
densely populated areas. Given these characteristics, we expect mid-band spectrum to play a prime role
in next-generation wireless services, including 5G.
6.
For these same reasons, mid-band spectrum was a key focus of Congress in the Making
Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless Act
(MOBILE NOW Act), 9 when it considered how to address the pressing need for more spectrum for
wireless broadband. 10 Specifically, section 605(b) of the MOBILE NOW Act requires the Commission to
evaluate “the feasibility of allowing commercial wireless services, licensed or unlicensed, to use or share
use of the frequencies between 3700 megahertz and 4200 megahertz.”11 The MOBILE NOW Act also
requires that, no later than December 31, 2022, the Secretary of Commerce and the Commission “identify
a total of at least 255 megahertz of Federal and non-Federal spectrum for mobile and fixed wireless
broadband use.” 12 In making 255 megahertz available, the MOBILE NOW Act provides that 100
megahertz below 8 GHz shall be identified for unlicensed use,13 100 megahertz below 6 GHz shall be
identified for use on an exclusive, flexible-use, licensed basis for commercial mobile use, 14 and 55
megahertz below 8 GHz shall be identified for licensed, unlicensed, or a combination of uses. 15
7.
The United States is not alone in recognizing the potential of mid-band spectrum for 5G.
International governing bodies and several other countries likewise are reviewing the suitability of a
number of frequency bands for next generation 5G wireless services, including the 3.7-4.2 GHz bands. 16
For example, the Radio Spectrum Policy Group of the European Commission issued a mandate to the
European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) that the 3.4-3.8 GHz
band be the first primary band for 5G, 17 and CEPT currently is developing a report that will provide

8

According to the Broadband Access Coalition, the 3.7-4.2 GHz band could provide non-line-of-sight capabilities
within a reasonable radius. Petition of Broadband Access Coalition, CG RM Docket No. 11791, at 17 (filed June
21, 2017), https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/1062353270786/17062202-1.pdf.
9

MOBILE NOW Act, Pub. L. No. 115-141, Division P, Title VI, § 601 et seq. (2018). The MOBILE NOW Act
became law on March 23, 2018.
10

See, e.g., S. Rep. 115-4 at 1 (2017) (purpose of the MOBILE NOW Act is to help secure continued U.S. mobile
and fixed broadband leadership by ensuring additional licensed and unlicensed spectrum are made available for
wireless broadband use).
11

MOBILE NOW Act, § 605(b). Consistent with the section 605(b) requirement, the Commission will submit a
report of its findings to the Secretary of Commerce and the appropriate committees of Congress.
12

Id. § 603(a)(1).

13

Id. § 603(a)(2)(A).

14

Id. § 603(a)(2)(B).

15

Id. § 603(a)(2)(C).

16

Joe Barrett, President, Global mobile Suppliers Association (“GSA”), 5G Spectrum Bands (Feb. 22, 2017),
https://gsacom.com/5g-spectrum-bands/.
17

European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, Radio
Spectrum Policy Group, Strategic Spectrum Roadmap Towards 5G for Europe: RSPG Second Opinion on 5G
Networks at 2 (2018), https://circabc.europa.eu/sd/a/fe1a3338-b751-43e3-9ed8-a5632f051d1f/RSPG18-005final2nd_opinion_on_5G.pdf. The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations, CEPT All
About Our Organisation, at 2 (2018), https://www.cept.org/files/1047/CEPT%20Leaflet_October%202018.pdf
(“[CEPT] is an organization where policy makers and regulators from 48 countries across Europe collaborate to
harmonise telecommunication, radio spectrum, and postal regulations to improve efficiency and co-ordination for
the benefit of European society.”).

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FCC 20-22

recommendations for updating the European regulatory framework for this band. 18 A number of
European governments are taking actions to make parts of the band available for 5G. Germany intends to
make the 3.4-3.8 GHz band available by the end of 2021. 19 In December 2019, France announced the
procedures for awarding licenses in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band, which it allocated as a “core” 5G band,
consistent with the European Commission’s guidance. 20 And the Austrian government held its first
auction of 5G licenses in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band in the spring of 2019. 21 There is also significant interest
in parts of the band in Asia and in Australia. For example, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and
Communications in Japan awarded licenses in the 3.6-4.1 GHz band for 5G in 2019. 22 In August 2019,
Australia initiated an initial investigation of possible arrangements for fixed and mobile broadband use in
the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. 23 And in November 2018, the United Arab Emirates issued licenses in the 3.3-3.8
GHz band for the establishment of 5G networks. 24
A.

Current Use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz Band and Adjacent Bands

8.
The 3.7-4.2 GHz band currently is allocated in the United States exclusively for nonFederal use on a primary basis for Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) and Fixed Service. 25 For FSS, the 3.7-4.2
GHz band (space-to-Earth or downlink) is paired with the 5.925-6.425 GHz band (Earth-to-space or
uplink), and collectively these bands are known as the “conventional C-band.” 26 Domestically, space
station operators use the 3.7-4.2 GHz band to provide downlink signals of various bandwidths to licensed
transmit-receive, registered receive-only, and unregistered receive-only earth stations throughout the
United States. FSS operators use this band to deliver programming to television and radio broadcasters
throughout the country and to provide telephone and data services to consumers. The 3.7-4.2 GHz band

18

Report A from CEPT to the European Commission responds to the mandate to develop harmonized technical
conditions for spectrum use in support of the introduction of next generation (5G) terrestrial systems in the European
Union and to review the harmonized technical conditions applicable to the 3.4-3.8 GHz (‘3.6 GHz’) frequency band.
See European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations, CEPT Report 67 (2018) (CEPT Draft
Report 67), https://www.ecodocdb.dk/download/561367fd-1ac6/CEPT%20Report%2067.pdf.

19
German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), Key Elements for the Rollout of Digital Infrastructures
and Identification of Demand for Nationwide Assignments in the 2 GHz and 3.6 GHz Bands, at 14 (2017) (2017
German Federal Network Agency Rollout Plan),
https://www.bundesnetzagentur.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/EN/Areas/Telecommunications/Companies/TelecomRe
gulation/FrequencyManagement/ElectronicCommunicationsServices/201070704_KeyElementsDemandIdentificatio
n.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=1.
20

Press Release, Arcep, 5G 3.4-3.8 GHz Band Frequency Awards Procedure: Arcep Invites all Players Wanting to
Participate to Submit a Bid Package (Dec. 31, 2019) (Arcep 3.4-3.8 GHz Awards Procedures),
https://en.arcep.fr/fileadmin/cru-1578591734/user_upload/62-19_English_version.pdf.
21
Press Release, Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR), 5G Frequency
Award 3.4-3.8 GHz – Outcome of Auction, (Mar. 7, 2019) (RTR 3.4-3.8 GHz Auction Results),
https://www.rtr.at/en/pr/PI07032019TK.
22
Press Release, Japan Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Approval of a Plan of Specific Base
Station for Introduction of 5th Generation Mobile Communication Systems (Apr. 10, 2019) (Japan 3.6-4.1 GHz
License Awards), https://www.soumu.go.jp/menu_news/s-news/01kiban14_02000378.html.
23

Australian Communications and Media Authority, Planning of the 3700-4200 MHz Band – Discussion Paper
(Aug. 13, 2019) (Australian 2019 Planning for 3700-4200 MHz), https://www.acma.gov.au/consultations/201909/planning-3700-4200-mhz-band-consultation-272019.
24

Comms Update, TRA Confirms UAE 5G Spectrum Allocations (Nov. 19, 2018) (UAE 5G Spectrum Allocations
2018 Update), https://www.commsupdate.com/articles/2018/11/19/tra-confirms-uae-5g-spectrum-allocations/.
25

47 CFR § 2.106, United States Table of Frequency Allocations, non-Federal Table for the band 3.7-4.2 GHz.

26

See 47 CFR § 25.103 (Definitions).

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is also used for reception of telemetry signals transmitted from satellites to earth stations, typically near
the edges of the band, i.e., at 3.7 GHz or 4.2 GHz.
9.
Satellites operating in the C-band typically have 24 transponders, each with a bandwidth
of 36 megahertz. Thus, the 24 transponders on a satellite use 864 megahertz of spectrum, or 364
megahertz more than the 500 megahertz available. This is the result of spectrum reuse—adjacent
transponders overlap, and self-interference is avoided by using opposite polarizations. Under existing
rules, space station operators in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band are authorized to use all 500 megahertz exclusively
at any orbital slot, but non-exclusively in terms of geographic coverage. Therefore, multiple FSS
incumbents using satellites deployed at different locations in the geostationary orbit can transmit within
overlapping geographic boundaries. Space stations that serve or transmit signals into the U.S. market
may also be providing service to other countries.
10.
For the Fixed Service in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, 20 megahertz paired channels are
assigned for point-to-point common carrier or private operational fixed microwave links. 27 There are
fewer than 100 fixed service licensees operating in the band. 28
11.
Last year, in response to a Bureau-level public notice, space station operators and earth
station owners filed certifications and information regarding their 3.7-4.2 GHz usage. 29 Intelsat License
LCC (Intelsat), SES Americom, Inc. (SES), Eutelsat S.A. (Eutelsat) and Telesat Canada, ABS Global
(ABS), Hispamar S.A. (Hispasat), and Star One S.A. (Star One) provided specific information on the
existing C-band downlink capacity and contracted use for 66 satellites authorized to provide service in the
3.7-4.2 GHz band to the United States. 30 In March 2019, the most recent month of data collected, the
combined FSS downlink capacity and usage of those 66 satellites was, respectively, 59,427 megahertz
and 33,138 megahertz in total with 19,961 megahertz of usage providing service to the United States (i.e.,
33.59% of the total capacity of the 66 satellites). 31 Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat, Telesat Canada, and Star One
have publicly disclosed the provision of service to registered earth stations in the United States in the 3.74.2 GHz band.

27

47 CFR § 101.147(h). 4.190 GHz may also be assigned for unpaired use. Id. § 101.147(h), n.1.

28
Currently, there are 89 licensees with active Fixed Service licenses in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band in our Universal
Licensing System.
29

See Deadline for Submission of Information on Earth Station and Satellite Use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz Band, GN
Docket No. 18-122, Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd 2287 (IB/WTB/OET 2019) (May 2019 Information Collection).
Filers included those owning temporary fixed or transportable earth stations. Some filers sought confidential
treatment for information, pursuant to 47 CFR § 0.459. On August 26, 2019, the Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau issued a Protective Order that set forth procedures to limit access to proprietary or confidential information
and more strictly limit access to particularly competitively sensitive information submitted in those filings. See
Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band, GN Docket No. 18-122, Protective Order, 34 FCC Rcd 7700
(WTB 2019) (Protective Order).
30

Hispamar S.A. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hispasat and is responsible for operating Hispasat satellites in
Brazil. While the relevant space station is licensed under “Hispamar,” the majority of filings in this docket use the
name “Hispasat” and we therefore use that name for all references herein to avoid confusion. Empresa Argentina de
Soluciones Satelitales S.A. (Empresa), which is authorized to operate one satellite in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band under a
grant of market access to serve the United States, is the only space station operator in this band that did not provide
data in response to the May 2019 Information Collection.
31

Five of those 66 satellites cannot provide coverage to any part of the contiguous United States, even according to
their own coverage maps, and a number of other satellites cannot provide service to the United States because they
are collocated with other satellites and would cause interference. Usage data submitted to the Commission includes
service to Hawaii, Alaska, and all the territories and possessions, i.e., areas outside of the contiguous United States.
Seventeen of those 66 satellites operate pursuant to market-access grants.

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12.
The spectrum band immediately below the 3.7-4.2 GHz band is already authorized for
commercial wireless operations. In 2015, the Commission established the Citizens Broadband Radio
Service in the 3.55-3.7 GHz band for shared use between commercial wireless operations and incumbent
operations—including military radar systems, non-federal FSS earth stations, and, for a limited time,
grandfathered wireless broadband licensees in the 3.65-3.7 GHz band. 32 Under the Commission’s rules,
existing terrestrial wireless operations in the 3.65-3.7 GHz band are grandfathered for up to five years or
until the end of their license term, whichever is longer. 33 The Citizens Broadband Radio Service is
available for flexible wireless use and will support next generation wireless services, including 5G.
Spectrum at or below the 3.7 GHz band is also used for reception of telemetry signals transmitted by
satellites. 34 The band just above the 3.7-4.2 GHz band—4.2-4.4 GHz—is allocated for aeronautical
radionavigation using radio altimeters in the United States. 35 In 2015, the World Radio Conference added
a global co-primary allocation for wireless avionics intra-communications systems. 36 Radio altimeters are
critical aeronautical safety-of-life systems primarily used at altitudes under 2500 feet and must operate
without harmful interference. Wireless Avionics Intra-Communications systems provide communications
over short distances between points on a single aircraft and are not intended to provide air-to-ground
communications or communications between two or more aircraft.
B.

Procedural History

13.
Mid-Band Notice of Inquiry.—In the NOI, the Commission began an evaluation of
whether spectrum between 3.7 GHz and 24 GHz could be made available for flexible wireless use. 37 The
NOI sought comment in particular on three mid-range bands that stakeholders had identified for expanded
flexible use (3.7-4.2 GHz, 5.925- 6.425 GHz, and 6.425-7.125 GHz), and it asked commenters to identify
other mid-range frequencies that may be suitable for expanded flexible use. 38 The Commission asked
questions specific to the challenges and opportunities presented by each band. For example, the
Commission asked commenters to identify options for more intensive fixed and mobile use in the 3.7-4.2
GHz band, including whether the band is desirable or suitable for mobile use, whether the existing Fixed
Service rules should be modified to support more flexible and intensive fixed use, such as point-tomultipoint services. 39
32

Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the 3550-3650 MHz Band, GN
Docket No. 12-354, Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 30 FCC Rcd 3959
(2015) (2015 3.5 GHz Band Report and Order).
33

2015 3.5 GHz Band Report and Order, 30 FCC Rcd at 4075-80, paras. 400-12.

34
See, e.g., Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to the 3650-3700 MHz Government Transfer Band;
The 4.9 GHz Band Transferred from Federal Government Use, ET Docket No. 98-237, WT Docket No. 00-32, First
Report and Order and Second Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 15 FCC Rcd 20488 (2000).
35
47 CFR § 2.106, notes 5.438 and US261 (indicating that “[u]se of the band 4200-4400 MHz by the aeronautical
radionavigation service is reserved exclusively for radio altimeters installed on board aircraft and for the associated
transponders on the ground,” note 5.438, and indicating “use of the band 4200-4400 MHz by the aeronautical
radionavigation service is reserved exclusively for airborne radio altimeters,” note US261).
36
47 CFR § 2.106, at note 4 (citing ITU Radio Regulations No. 5.436 (indicating that use of the frequency band 4
200-4 400 MHz by stations in the aeronautical mobile (R) service is reserved exclusively for wireless avionics intracommunication systems that operate in accordance with recognized international aeronautical standards)).
37

Expanding Flexible Use in Mid-Band Spectrum Between 3.7 and 24 GHz, GN Docket No. 17-183, Notice of
Inquiry, 32 FCC Rcd 6373, 6373-74, para. 1 (2017) (NOI).
38

NOI, 32 FCC Rcd at 6374, para. 2. The Commission noted that, consistent with established coordination
practices, any viable proposals for flexible use in spectrum allocated for both federal and non-federal use would
need to be carefully evaluated by both the Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA), taking into consideration the resources necessary to study such bands. Id. at 6385, para. 37.
39

NOI, 32 FCC Rcd at 6379-80, paras. 16-20.

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14.
Freeze and Filing Window Public Notices.—In April 2018, the Wireless
Telecommunications, International, and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureaus announced a
temporary freeze on the filing of new or modified applications for earth station licenses, receive-only
earth station registrations, and fixed microwave licenses in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, in order to preserve the
current landscape of authorized operations in the band pending the Commission’s consideration of the
issues raised in response to the NOI. 40 In June 2018, the International Bureau established a window
ending October 17, 2018 (later extended to October 31, 2018), for filing applications to license or register
existing earth stations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz frequency band as a limited exception to the earth station
application freeze. 41 Further, the International Bureau announced a temporary freeze on the filing of
certain space station applications, effective June 21, 2018. 42
15.
Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.—In July 2018, the Commission adopted an
Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this proceeding. 43 To enable the Commission to make an
informed decision about the proposals discussed in the NPRM, the Order required certain parties to file
information about their operations—including information on the scope of current FSS use of the band—
and it noted that several of the potential transition methods outlined in the NPRM might require additional
earth station or space station information. 44
16.
In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment generally on the future of incumbent use
of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band and specifically on how to define the classes of incumbents, including earth
stations, space stations, and point-to-point FS. 45 The Commission sought comment on revising its part 25
rules to limit eligibility to file applications for earth station licenses or registrations to incumbent earth
stations, proposed to update International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) to remove 3.7-4.2 GHz band earth
station licenses or registrations for which the licensee or registrant did not file the certifications required
in the Order (to the extent they were licensed or registered before April 19, 2018), and sought comment
on how to maintain the accuracy of IBFS data. 46 Regarding space stations, the Commission proposed to
revise its rules to bar new applications for space station licenses and new petitions for market access
concerning space-to-Earth operations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. 47 Given the limited number of point-to40

Temporary Freeze on Applications for New or Modified Fixed Satellite Service Earth Stations and Fixed
Microwave Stations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz Band, GN Docket No. 17-183, Public Notice, 33 FCC Rcd 3841
(IB/PSHSB/WTB 2018) (Freeze and 90-Day Earth Station Filing Window Public Notice).
41

International Bureau Announces 90-Day Extension of Filing Window, to October 17, 2018, to File Applications
for Earth Stations Currently Operating in 3.7-4.2 GHz Band, GN Docket No. 17-183, Public Notice, 33 FCC Rcd
6115 (IB 2018); International Bureau Announces Two-Week Extension of Filing Window for Earth Stations
Currently Operating in 3.7-4.2 GHz Band, GN Docket No. 18-122, Public Notice, 33 FCC Rcd 10054 (IB 2018)
(collectively, the Earth Station Filing Window Public Notices); see also International Bureau Reminds Earth Station
Operators in 3.7-4.2 GHz Band that Application Filing Window Closes October 17, 2018, GN Docket No. 18-122,
Public Notice, 33 FCC Rcd 8591 (IB 2018). Because of technical issues with the International Bureau Filing
System portal around the filing deadline that significantly limited applicants’ ability to file, the International Bureau
has accepted as timely filed any application filed by November 7, 2018.
42

International Bureau Announces Temporary Filing Freeze on New Fixed-Satellite Service Space Station
Applications in the 3.7-4.2 GHz Band, GN Docket No. 17-183, Public Notice, 33 FCC Rcd 6119 (IB 2018) (Space
Station PN).
43

See Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band, Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, GN Docket
No. 18-122, 33 FCC Rcd 6915 (2018). We herein may refer to the entire item as the Order and NPRM, or, to each
individually as the Order and the NPRM.
44

Order, 33 FCC Rcd at 6923-25, paras. 16-25.

45

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6926-27, paras. 27-29.

46

Id. at 6927-29, paras. 30-37.

47

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6931, para. 46.

8

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

point Fixed Service licensees in the band, the Commission proposed to sunset point-to-point Fixed
Service use in the band, and it sought comment on whether existing fixed links should be grandfathered or
transitioned out of the band over some time period, after which all licenses would either be cancelled or
modified to operate on a secondary, non-interference basis. 48
17.
The Commission also sought comment on the current and future economic value of FSS
in the band, on approaches for expanding flexible and more intensive fixed use of the band without
causing harmful interference to incumbent operations, and on proposals to clear all or part of the band for
flexible use. 49 More specifically, the Commission sought comment on a variety of approaches for
expanding flexible use in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, including market-based, auction-based, hybrid, and other
approaches to repurpose some or all of the band. 50 The Commission also sought comment on the
appropriate band plan, as well as the licensing, operating, and technical rules for any new flexible use
licenses in the band. 51 In response to the NPRM, comments and reply comments were due on October 29,
2018 and December 11, 2018, respectively. 52
18.
May Public Notice.—On May 3, 2019, the International and Wireless
Telecommunications Bureaus issued a public notice (May 3 Public Notice) seeking comment on positions
taken by the C-Band Alliance, the Small Satellite Operators, and T-Mobile. 53 The May 3 Public Notice
sought comment on the enforceable interference protection rights, if any, granted to space station
operators against co-primary terrestrial operations and whether those rights depend on the extent to which
incumbent earth stations receive their transmissions within the United States.54 The May 3 Public Notice
also sought comment on the enforceable interference protection rights granted to licensed or registered
receive-only earth station operators against co-primary terrestrial operations and whether registered
receive-only earth station operators are eligible as “licensee[s]” under Section 309(j)(8)(G), to voluntarily
relinquish their rights to protection from harmful interference in the reverse phase of an incentive
auction. 55 The May 3 Public Notice also asked whether the Commission had authority to offer payments
to such earth stations to induce them to modify or relocate their facilities.56 The May 3 Public Notice also
sought comment on the limits, if any, that section 316 of the Act places on the proposals raised by the
48

Id. at 6932, paras. 47-48.

49

Id. at 33 FCC Rcd at 6935-36, paras. 57-59.

50

Id. at 6935-51, paras. 58-115.

51

Id. at 6934, para. 53, 6959-76, paras. 133-188.

52
The Commission also incorporated filings from the NOI (GN Docket No. 17-183) and related petitions for
rulemaking (RM-11791, RM-11778) into this proceeding. Appendix F lists those parties that participated in this
proceeding.
53
International Bureau and Wireless Telecommunication Bureau Seek Focused Additional Comment in 3.7-4.2 GHz
Band Proceeding, GN Docket No. 18-122, Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd 2904 (IB/WTB 2019) (May 3 Public Notice).
The C-Band Alliance argued that C-band space station operators with no U.S. customers and no U.S. revenues
should not be compensated in the C-band transition process, while the Small Satellite Operators said all space
station operators should be fairly compensated for the loss of spectrum that they are authorized to use. T-Mobile
suggested that earth stations, whether licensed or registered, should be compensated for harm caused by new
flexible-use terrestrial operations. See Letter from Michele C. Farquhar, Counsel to the C-Band Alliance, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at Attach. C. p.10 (filed Nov. 19, 2018); Letter from
Scott Blake Harris, Counsel to the Small Satellite Operators, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No.
18-122, at 1 (filed Apr. 17, 2019); Letter from Russell H. Fox, Counsel to T-Mobile USA, Inc., to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 8 (filed Apr. 11, 2019).
54

May 3 Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd at 2904.

55

Id. at 2907.

56

Id.

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Commission in the NPRM or by the commenters in this docket and on obligations, if any, that section 316
of the Act places on the Commission vis-à-vis licensed or registered receive-only earth station
operators. 57
19.
July Public Notice.—On July 19, 2019, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau,
International Bureau, Office of Engineering and Technology, and Office of Economics and Analytics
issued a public notice (July 19 Public Notice) seeking comment on filings by: (1) ACA Connects –
America’s Communications Association, the Competitive Carriers Association, Charter Communications,
Inc. (ACA Connects Coalition); (2) AT&T; and (3) the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association,
Google, and Microsoft (WISPA plan). 58 The ACA Connects Coalition proposal urged the Commission to
conduct a public auction for new terrestrial licenses and transition video programming services using the
C-band to fiber networks. 59 AT&T asserted that the C-Band Alliance’s proposed technical criteria for
new operations in the band would constrain 5G deployment, 60 and it submitted its own technical criteria
for operations in the C-band, particularly with respect to co-existence with incumbent Fixed Satellite
Service earth stations. 61 WISPA argued that fixed wireless point-to-multipoint services can have cochannel coexistence with Fixed Satellite Service in the C-band, 62 and it proposed that an exclusion zone
of about 10 kilometers would be sufficient to protect most FSS earth stations from harmful interference
caused by co-channel point-to-multipoint systems.63 In particular, the July 19 Public Notice sought
comment on ways to increase the efficient shared use of the C-band through the submitted plans, the
viability of ACA Connects Coalition’s plan to move all video programming to fiber, and the viability of
fiber generally. 64
57

Id. at 2904, 2907.

58

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, International Bureau, Office of Engineering and Technology, and Office of
Economics and Analytics Seek Focused Additional Comment in 3.7-4.2 GHZ Band Proceeding, GN Docket No. 18122, Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd 6208 (WTB/IB/OET/OEA 2019) (July 19 Public Notice).
59

See Letter from Ross Lieberman, Counsel to ACA Connects, Alexi Maltas, Counsel to CCA, and Elizabeth
Andrion, Counsel to Charter, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed July 2, 2019)
(ACA Connects Coalition Proposal); Letter from Pantelis Michalopoulos, Counsel for ACA Connects, to Marlene
H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed July 9, 2019), (ACA Connects Coalition July 9, 2019 Ex
Parte), Attach. (Cartesian Study). ACA contended that moving video programming to fiber would free up 370
megahertz of spectrum in the C-band, which could be used for terrestrial licenses. ACA Connects Coalition
Proposal at 4-6; Cartesian Study at 2, 12. After video programs were moved to fiber the Commission would repack
the remaining earth station users into the upper 130 megahertz of the C-band. See ACA Connects Coalition
Proposal; Cartesian Study.
60

Letter from Henry G. Hultquist, Vice President, Federal Regulatory, AT&T Services, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed May 23, 2019), at 11 (citing Letter from Jennifer D. Hindin, Counsel
for the C-Band Alliance, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Oct. 9, 2018))
(AT&T May 23, 2019 Ex Parte).
61

See AT&T May 23, 2019 Ex Parte. See also Letter from Raquel Noriega, Director, Federal Regulatory, AT&T
Services, Inc., to Marlene Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed June 6, 2019) (AT&T June 6, 2019
Ex Parte). In effect, AT&T offered new and more lenient technical criteria for new operations in the C-band.
AT&T May 23, 2019 Ex Parte at 5.
62

Letter from Claude Aiken, President & CEO, Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, Andrew Clegg,
Spectrum Engineering Lead, Google LLC, and Michael Dunn, Technology Policy Strategist, Microsoft Corp. to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed July 15, 2019), Attach. (Reed Study).
63

Reed Study at 2.

64

See July 19 Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd at 6210-13. Comments and reply comments received in response to the
NPRM are cited as “[Filer Name] Comments” or “[Filer Name] Reply.” We also received comments and reply
comments in response to the May 3 Public Notice and July 19 Public Notice, which are cited as “[Filer Name] May
3 PN Comments/Reply” and “[Filer Name] July 19 PN Comments/Reply,” respectively. Filings made outside of
(continued….)

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Federal Communications Commission
III.

FCC 20-22

REPORT AND ORDER

20.
We believe C-band spectrum for terrestrial wireless uses will play a significant role in
bringing next-generation services like 5G to the American public and assuring American leadership in the
5G ecosystem. We take action to make this valuable spectrum resource available for new terrestrial
wireless uses as quickly as possible, while also preserving the continued operation of existing FSS
services during and after the transition. The record in this proceeding makes clear that licensing midband spectrum for flexible use will lead to substantial economic gains, with some economists estimating
billions of dollars in increases on spending, new jobs, and America’s economy. 65 At the same time, we
also recognize the significant benefit to consumers provided by incumbent FSS services throughout the
United States. 66 Because we find that incumbent space station operators will be able to maintain the same
services in the upper 200 megahertz as they are currently providing across the full 500 megahertz of Cband spectrum, the rules we adopt in this Report and Order will benefit the American public by
simultaneously preserving existing FSS services and making way for the provision of next-generation
wireless services throughout the contiguous United States.
21.
In this Report and Order, we conclude that a public auction of the lower 280 megahertz
of the C-band will best carry out our goals, and we add a mobile allocation to the 3.7-4.0 GHz band so
that next-generation services like 5G can use the band. Relying on the Emerging Technologies
framework, we adopt a process to relocate FSS operations into the upper 200 megahertz of the band,
while fully reimbursing existing operators for the costs of this relocation and offering accelerated
relocation payments to encourage a speedy transition. We also adopt service and technical rules for
overlay licensees in the 280 megahertz of spectrum designated for transition to flexible use.
A.

Public Auction of 280 Megahertz of C-Band Spectrum for Flexible Use

22.
After review of the extensive record in this proceeding, we adopt a traditional
Commission-administered public auction of overlay licenses in the 280 megahertz of C-band spectrum
made available for flexible use. We adopt this approach because it will rapidly and effectively repurpose
this band for new wireless terrestrial uses, rely on established mechanisms for putting this valuable
spectrum to its highest valued use pursuant to statutory criteria designed to promote competition and other
important public interest goals, and provide reasonable accommodations to eligible space station
operators and incumbent earth stations. The advantages of the public auction include making a significant
amount of 3.7-4.2 GHz band spectrum available quickly for flexible-use licenses and adopting a transition
period that aligns stakeholders’ incentives, particularly those of incumbent FSS operators, so as to achieve
an expeditious transition, while ensuring effective accommodation of relocated incumbent users.
(Continued from previous page)
these comment windows are cited as ex partes; unless otherwise noted, ex partes were filed in 2019. Appendix [F]
provides a list of parties that made filings in this proceeding is.
65
See, e.g., Letter from Gregory M. Romano, Vice President, Federal Regulatory and Legal Affairs, Verizon, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, at 1 (filed Oct. 9, 2019) (“One recent report concluded that licensing 400
megahertz of new mid-band spectrum would lead to more than $154 billion on infrastructure spending, 1.3 million
new jobs, and $274 billion added to America’s GDP.”) (citing David Sosa and Greg Rafert, The Economic Impacts
of Reallocating Mid-Band Spectrum to 5G in the United States, Analysis Group, at 1 (Feb. 2019),
https://www.analysisgroup.com/globalassets/uploadedfiles/content/news_and_events/news/sosa-raferteconomicimpacts-of-reallocating-mid-band-spectrum-to-5g-1.pdf); C-Band Alliance Reply, Attach., Jeffrey
Eisenach Declaration at 15, para. 29 (filed Dec. 7, 2018) (emphasis in original) (Eisenach Declaration) (citing
Thomas W. Hazlett and Roberto E. Muñoz, “A Welfare Analysis of Spectrum Allocation Policies,” RAND Journal
of Economics 40;3 (2009) 424-454); Intel Corp., Intelsat License LLC and SES Americom, Inc. Comments, Appx.
A, Coleman Bazelon, Maximizing the Value of the C-Band: Comments on the FCC’s NPRM to Transition C-Band
Spectrum to Terrestrial Uses, Brattle Group, at 27(filed Oct. 29, 2018) (Brattle Group Report).
66

See Trinity Broadcasting May 16, 2019 Ex Parte at 5, Attach. at 9 (the current enterprise value for 500 megahertz
of C-band spectrum for satellite use equals around $1.99 billion).

11

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FCC 20-22

23.
In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on a variety of market-based
mechanisms for expanding flexible use in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, including a private sale approach,
auction mechanisms, and other hybrid approaches that combined elements of various mechanisms. 67 For
the private sale approach, the NPRM sought comment on a process whereby the satellite industry
voluntarily would negotiate with any interested terrestrial operators for the sale of the space station
operators’ rights in the band and then would clear the negotiated-for spectrum and make it available for
flexible use while ensuring uninterrupted incumbent earth station operations through a variety of potential
means. 68 With respect to more traditional, Commission-led transition mechanisms, the NPRM sought
comment on various auction approaches, such as an overlay, incentive, and capacity auctions, including
transition mechanisms used in prior proceedings. 69 The May 3 Public Notice sought additional comment
on the Commission’s authority under the Act as well as approaches raised by the C-Band Alliance and TMobile. 70 And the July 19 Public Notice sought additional comment on a public auction approach
advocated by ACA Connects (the ACA Plan), among other issues. 71 Under each of these approaches, the
Commission sought comment on how to ensure that incumbent C-band users are effectively transitioned
out of the spectrum made available for flexible-use and on whether to provide reimbursement to
incumbent space station operators for the costs of transitioning their services.
24.
We adopt a traditional Commission-administered public auction of overlay licenses to
make the C-band spectrum available expeditiously for next-generation terrestrial wireless use. With
overlay licenses, the licensees obtain the rights to geographic area licenses “overlaid” on top of the
incumbent licensees, meaning that they may operate anywhere within its geographic area, subject to
protecting the operations of incumbent licensees. 72 The Commission has offered two basic forms of
overlay licenses: one that grandfathers legacy incumbents and allows their voluntary relocation, and
another that makes relocation of incumbents to comparable facilities mandatory. 73 We adopt the latter
approach—assigning overlay licenses via public auction with rules for clearing the band for flexible use
and holding incumbents harmless—for several reasons.
25.
First, we find that a public auction of flexible-use licenses—conditioned upon relocation
of incumbent operations—will best ensure fairness and competition in the allocation of these new
flexible-use licenses. The Commission has a long and successful history conducting public auctions of
spectrum and has well-established oversight processes designed to promote transparency and ensure that
valuable public spectrum resources are put to their highest and best use, while also promoting other public
interest goals articulated in Section 309(j) of the Act. In more recent years, public auctions of new
flexible-use rights have played a pivotal role in transitioning existing bands and making spectrum
available for new uses. 74 Importantly, the Commission carefully designs each auction to include
67

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6935-51, paras. 58-115.

68

Id. at 6939-46, paras. 72-97.

69

Id. at 6946-50, paras. 100-110.

70

See generally May 3 Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd 2904.

71

See generally July 19 Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd 6208.

72

See 2.5 GHz Band Order at 5473, para. 77 (2019). As we set forth in greater detail below, under the requirements
we adopt in this Report and Order, overlay licensees in the C-band may not operate in a geographic area until the
incumbents have been cleared from that area and any adjacent areas that may experience interference.
73

See, e.g., 2.5 GHz Band Order at 5473, para. 77 (2019); Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz
Band, Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 14969, 15706-07 (2004).
74
See, e.g., Use of Spectrum Bands Above 24 GHz For Mobile Radio Services, GN Docket No. 14-177, Fourth
Report and Order, 33 FCC Rcd 12168 (2018) (new band plans for the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands
and incentive auction mechanism for issuing new licenses) (2018 Spectrum Frontiers Order); 2017 Spectrum
Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 32 FCC Rcd 10988 (24 GHz band); 2016 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 31
FCC Rcd 8014 (assigning new mobile license rights in the 28 GHz band, which were auctioned in Auction 102);
(continued….)

12

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FCC 20-22

transparent procedures that promote fair-market pricing and robust participation from a diverse group of
bidders. 75 Commission control and oversight of the auction of new flexible-use licenses in the 3.7-3.98
GHz band will ensure that a wide range of interested parties have fair and equal access to new spectrum
rights that will be vital to the introduction of next-generation wireless services.
26.
Second, a public auction will maintain the Commission’s ability to ensure that incumbent
space station operators and earth station owners are able to provide and receive the services and content
that they currently provide and receive both during and after mandatory relocation. The safeguards we
adopt in conjunction with a public auction ensure that the clearing process is both equitable and
transparent and that it provides customers of these incumbent C-band providers assurance that they will
continue to be able to receive C-band services during and after the transition. In addition to licensing and
technical rules designed to promote harmony between existing C-band services and new flexible uses in
the band, we adopt rules for the transition process to ensure that all relevant stakeholders have access to
information regarding the necessary steps, costs, respective obligations of each party, and overall timeline
for transitioning existing C-band services to the upper 200 megahertz of the band. The Commission’s
experience in overseeing other complicated, multi-stakeholder transitions of diverse incumbents
demonstrates the need for Commission rules and oversight of the transition process to mitigate disputes
among stakeholders, expedite the clearing process, and ensure all affected parties receive what they are
entitled to in a timely manner.
27.
Third, we find that our authority to hold such an auction is firmly established. Section
309 governs the Commission’s process for granting licenses under Title III, and it expressly grants the
Commission authority to hold an auction where mutually exclusive applications are accepted for initial
spectrum licenses. 76 The Commission has used an auction of overlay licenses on a number of occasions
to repurpose spectrum for a new service, by requiring incoming licensees to clear the band (typically by
funding the relocation of incumbent licensees) in order to fully deploy the new service in a manner that
meets the goals and requirements that the Commission had established under section 303 for providing
that service. 77 Since 1992, the Commission has also adopted a series of rules to enable new licensees to
enter into voluntary or mandatory negotiations with incumbent operators to clear a spectrum band after
which, failing an agreement, the new entrant could involuntarily clear incumbent operations by
expressing its intent to commence operations in that band and paying for all reasonable relocation costs. 78
(Continued from previous page)
Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, GN Docket No.
12-268, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 6567 (2014) (Broadcast Incentive Auction R&O).
75
See CCA Reply at 8-9 (citing FCC, Incentive Auction by the Numbers, (Apr. 13, 2017),
https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-announces-results-worlds-first-broadcast-incentive-auction-0, and arguing that
the policies the Commission adopted in the Broadcast Incentive Auction resulted in the second-largest auction in
FCC history, with members of the Competitive Carriers Association representing a substantial majority of the
winning bidders).
76

47 U.S.C. § 309(j).

77

See, e.g., Amendment of Part 2 of the Commissions’ Rules to Allocate Spectrum below 3 GHz for Mobile and
Fixed Services to Support the Introduction of New Advanced Wireless Services, including Third Generation Wireless
Systems, ET Docket No. 00-258, Ninth Report and Order, 21 FCC Rcd 4473 (2006) (3 GHz R&O); Amendment of
Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules to Provide for the Use of the 220-222 MHz Band by the Private Land Mobile
Radio Service, PR Docket No. 89-552, Third Report and Order and Fifth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 12 FCC
Rcd 10943 (1997); Revision of Part 22 and Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules to Facilitate Future Development of
Paging Systems, WT Docket No. 96-18, Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 12
FCC Rcd 2732 (1997); Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules to Facilitate Future Development of SMR
Systems in the 800 MHz Frequency Band, PR Docket No. 93-144, First Report and Order; Eighth Report and Order;
Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 11 FCC Rcd 1463 (1995).
78

See, e.g., Redevelopment of Spectrum to Encourage Innovation in the Use of New Telecommunications
Technologies, ET Docket No. 92-9, First Report and Order and Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 7 FCC Rcd
(continued….)

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Courts repeatedly have approved the Commission’s use of this authority as a means of introducing new
services and ensuring that displaced incumbents are placed in positions comparable to those that they had
occupied prior to displacement. 79 In light of this well-established precedent and the Commission’s
repeated success in conducting such auctions in a manner that promotes the public interest, convenience,
and necessity, we find that we have ample legal authority to employ an auction of overlay licenses as a
means of introducing new flexible uses in the C-band.
28.
Fourth, we find that holding a public auction will ensure this spectrum gets put to its
highest, best use quickly. 80 In formulating the transition process and rules adopted in this Report and
Order, stakeholders have repeatedly emphasized the need to make C-band spectrum available for flexible
use as quickly as possible, with the goal of conducting an auction of overlay licenses in the 3.7-3.98 GHz
band by the end of 2020. 81 Indeed, by considering the Auction Procedures Comment Public Notice
concurrently with this Report and Order, we immediately initiate the necessary Commission processes to
prepare for an auction. Notably, while satisfying the administrative procedures and requirements
associated with a Commission-administered auction, the timelines we adopt in this Report and Order
result in spectrum being made available for flexible use at least as quickly as any of the other transition
mechanisms proposed in this proceeding. 82
29.
Our decision to hold a public auction has overwhelming support in the record. A range
of commenters with diverse interests support Commission-led auction approaches—including those
involving spectrum clearing and geographic clearing—and they emphasize the importance, regardless of
the chosen transition approach, that the Commission maintain oversight throughout the transition
process. 83 CCA argues that a public auction “will ensure an impartial and transparent process so that all
(Continued from previous page)
6886 (1992) (Emerging Technologies Order), clarified by Third Report and Order, 8 FCC Rcd 6589 (1993),
modified on reconsideration, Memorandum Report and Order, 9 FCC Rcd 1943 (1994); see also 3 GHz R&O, 21
FCC Rcd at 4478, para. 8 & n.24.
79

The D.C. Circuit has upheld the Commission’s authority to require new entrants to relocate incumbent systems to
comparable facilities. See, e.g., Teledesic LLC v. FCC, 275 F.3d 75, 84-87 (D.C. Cir. 2001); see also Ass’n of
Public Safety Communications Officials-Int’l, Inc. v. FCC, 76 F.3d 395, 400 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (upholding
elimination of an exemption for public safety incumbents from a relocation regime in which new licensees would
pay all costs associated with relocating incumbents to comparable facilities).

80

Courts will treat the Commission’s predictive judgments regarding the best way to enable new uses of spectrum to
“particularly deferential review.” NTCH, Inc. v. FCC, -- F.3d –, 2020 WL 855465 *7 (D.C. Circ. 2020).
81

See, e.g., Letter from William H. Johnson, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Regulatory
Affairs, Verizon, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Nov. 26, 2019) (Verizon
Nov. 26, 2019 Ex Parte); Letter from Michael P. Goggin, Assistant Vice President, Senior Legal Counsel, AT&T, to
Marlene H. Dortch, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Nov. 26, 2019) (AT&T Nov. 26, 2019 Ex Parte); Letter
from Steve B. Sharkey, Vice President, Government Affairs, T-Mobile, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122 (filed Dec. 18, 2019) (T-Mobile Dec. 18, 2019 Ex Parte); Letter from Grant B. Spellmeyer, Vice
President, Federal Affairs & Public Policy, U.S. Cellular, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No.
18-122, Attach. at 2 (filed Dec. 18, 2019) (U.S. Cellular Dec. 18, 2019 Ex Parte); Letter from Pantelis
Michalopoulos, Counsel to ACA Connects, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed
Dec. 26, 2019) (ACA Connects Dec. 26, 2019 Ex Parte); Letter from Michael Calabrese, New America’s Open
Technology Institute, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 3 (filed Dec. 9, 2019).
82

We discuss the respective timelines of the major alternative proposals, as compared to our adopted approach,
below.
83
See, e.g., Letter from Colleen King, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Charter, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Dec. 27, 2019); Letter from Kathryn A. Zachem, Comcast, to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 4 (filed Nov. 19, 2019) (Comcast Nov. 19, 2019 Ex Parte);
Letter from Rick Kaplan, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs, NAB, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Nov. 19, 2019); CCA Comments at 7-8; Dynamic
Spectrum Alliance Comments at 6; Letter from Nicole Tupman, Assistant General Counsel, Midcontinent
(continued….)

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FCC 20-22

potential bidders can have a fair opportunity to acquire the spectrum they need.” 84 Comcast urges the
Commission “to rely on its licensing and technical expertise and adopt a legally sound, time-tested system
of competitive bidding that balances the interests of the many stakeholders involved through a
transparent, public process.” 85 Verizon states that “[t]he Commission has broad authority, plus decades of
expertise gained through its Emerging Technologies policies, to adopt a tailored clearing framework that
will accelerate 5G’s benefits and deliver massive gains for American consumers and the U.S. economy.” 86
Several commenters support a traditional forward auction, using a standard clock auction format such as
that used in Auction 102 for the 24 GHz band. 87 Many commenters that support a public auction of
flexible-use licenses in a portion of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band emphasize that the approach must also include a
condition on the licenses requiring new flexible-use licensees to reimburse incumbent C-band users for
their relocation costs. 88 Indeed, even certain parties that originally advocated for alternate transition
mechanisms in this proceeding have come to support a public auction of overlay licenses as an effective
approach to repurposing C-band spectrum for flexible use. 89
30.
Next, we designate 280 megahertz of C-band spectrum (3.7-3.98 GHz) throughout the
contiguous United States to be cleared for auction plus another 20 megahertz (3.98-4.0 GHz) to be cleared
to serve as a guard band. Given the high demand for mid-band spectrum, the Commission in the NPRM
(Continued from previous page)
Communications, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Feb. 25, 2019)
(Midcontinent Feb. 25, 2019 Ex Parte); Letter from Hank Hultquist, AT&T, et al., to Marlene H. Dortch, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122, Attach. at 1 (Oct. 29, 2019) (AT&T et al. Oct. 29, 2019 Ex Parte) (industry agreement from
AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, C-Band Alliance, Pine Belt Wireless, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon supporting and
proposing principals for a Commission-led auction); Letter from Alexi Maltas, CCA, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Oct. 18, 2019) (CCA Oct. 18, 2019 Ex Parte); PISC Comments at 2232; Letter from Representative Tony Cárdenas and Representative Adam Kinzinger, to Ajit Pai, Chairman, FCC,
GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Jan. 17, 2019) (Representatives Cárdenas and Kinzinger Jan. 17, 2019 Ex Parte); U.S.
Cellular Comments at 8-11; Letter from Steve Sharkey, Vice President, Government Affairs, Technology and
Engineering Policy, T-Mobile USA, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1-3
(filed Jan 30, 2019) (T-Mobile Jan. 30, 2019 Ex Parte); NCTA Comments at 31-32 (supporting an auction of
overlay licenses requiring new licensees to negotiate with all satellite providers, capacity and transponder lessees,
and earth station operators in the geographic areas in which they have licenses regarding the amount of the band to
clear and compensation to make those parties whole).
84

Letter from Alexi Maltas, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, CCA, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1 (filed Dec. 19, 2019) (CCA Dec. 19, 2019 Ex Parte).
85

Comcast Nov. 19, 2019 Ex Parte at 4.

86

Letter from William H. Johnson, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Regulatory Affairs,
Verizon, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1 (filed Jan. 24, 2019)
87

See, e.g., Verizon Nov. 26, 2019 Ex Parte at 1; AT&T et al. Oct. 29, 2019 Ex Parte, Attach. at 1 (industry
agreement from AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, C-Band Alliance, Pine Belt Wireless, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon
supporting an auction similar to the 24 GHz auction); T-Mobile Dec. 18, 2019 Ex Parte at 4; Letter from Paul
Litchfield to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Dec. 13, 2019) (Paul Litchfield Dec.
13, 2019 Ex Parte); CCA Dec. 19, 2019 Ex Parte at 1; U.S. Cellular Dec. 18, 2019 Ex Parte, Attach. at 2.
88

See, e.g., Letter from Carlos M. Nalda, Eutelsat, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122
(filed Dec. 19, 2019) (Eutelsat Dec. 19, 2019 Ex Parte); Letter from Scott Blake Harris, Counsel to Small Satellite
Operators, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Jan. 3, 2020); Letter from Pantelis
Michalopoulos, Counsel to ACA Connects, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed
Dec. 11, 2019) (ACA Connects Dec. 11, 2019 Ex Parte); Paul Litchfield Dec. 13, 2019 Ex Parte; Letter from
Michael Calabrese, Open Technology Institute, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed
Dec. 13, 2019) (supporting reimbursement of relocation costs, but arguing against additional payments above
relocation costs); CCA Dec. 19, 2019 Ex Parte; T-Mobile Dec. 18, 2019 Ex Parte at 5-10.
89

See, e.g., Eutelsat Dec. 19, 2019 Ex Parte; T-Mobile Dec. 18, 2019 Ex Parte.

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sought comment on whether to set a “socially efficient amount of [C-band] spectrum” for repurposing in
order to ensure this valuable spectrum is put to its highest and best use. 90 The C-Band Alliance initially
supported clearing 200 megahertz, with commenters such as Boeing and QVC/HSN supporting this
amount. 91 Subsequently, the C-Band Alliance proposed clearing 280 megahertz plus a 20 megahertz
guard band. 92 Other commenters express a variety of views on this issue: Ericsson and CTIA ask us to
set an “aggressive benchmark in the hundreds of megahertz;” 93 Paul Litchfield, Qualcomm, U.S. Cellular,
and T-Mobile argue that all 500 megahertz should be made available for flexible use; 94 CCA argues that
we should aim to clear at least 320 megahertz of spectrum; 95 and some broadcasters and cable operators
argue that we must limit the cleared spectrum to 100 megahertz to protect the viability of C-band
programming delivery. 96
31.
We find that clearing the lower 280 megahertz (plus a 20 megahertz guard band) of the
C-band strikes the appropriate balance between making available as much spectrum as possible for
terrestrial use in a short timeframe and ensuring sufficient spectrum remains to support and protect
incumbent uses. 97 In particular, we find that making 280 megahertz available for flexible use is
sufficiently large to spur necessary investment in equipment and network deployment resources for nextgeneration wireless services in this band. 98 Numerous commenters support clearing 280 megahertz or
more to support terrestrial 5G use. 99

90

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6941-42, para. 81.

91

See C-Band Alliance Comments at 25; Boeing Reply at 3; QVC/HSN Comments at 2; Broadband Access
Coalition Comments at 33. As the Commission noted in the NPRM, in responding to the NOI the satellite industry
initially suggested it could clear 100 megahertz. See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 2921-22, para. 14; see also Letter from
Henry Gola, Counsel to Intelsat, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 17-183, Attach. at 1 (filed
Feb. 14, 2018).
92

See Letter from Bill Tolpegin, Chief Executive Officer, C-Band Alliance, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC,
GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Oct. 28, 2019) (C-Band Alliance Oct. 28, 2019 Ex Parte); Letter from Bill Tolpegin,
Chief Executive Officer, C-Band Alliance, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed
Nov. 8, 2019) (C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process).
93

Ericsson Reply at 4; CTIA Comments at 10.

94

See Paul Litchfield Reply at 5-17; Qualcomm Comments at 6, 7; U.S. Cellular Comments at 4; T-Mobile
Comments at 2-7.
95

CCA Reply at 6-7.

96

See, e.g., Am. Cable Ass’n Reply at 3-4; Letter from Matthew S. DelNero, Counsel for the Content Companies, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, Attach. at 1 (filed June 7, 2019) (advocating that “no
more than 200 MHz (inclusive of guard band spectrum) should be repurposed).
97

See, e.g., C-Band Alliance Comments at 25; C-Band Alliance Reply at 14-17; CCA Reply at 6-7.

98

See, e.g., C-Band Alliance Comments at 1, 33; Ericsson Reply at 4; CTIA Comments at 10.

99

See, e.g., AT&T et al. Oct. 29, 2019 Ex Parte, Attach. at 1 (industry agreement from AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular,
C-Band Alliance, Pine Belt Wireless, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon supporting at least 280 megahertz for flexible use);
Comcast Nov. 19, 2019 Ex Parte at 4; Letter from Carlos M. Nalda, Counsel, Eutelsat, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2 (filed Nov. 7, 2019) (Eutelsat Nov. 7, 2019 Ex Parte); Letter from
Scott Blake Harris, Counsel to Small Satellite Operators, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18122, at 1 (filed Oct. 10, 2019); Letter from Grant B. Spellmeyer, U.S. Cellular, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1 (filed Sept. 25, 2019) (at least 300 megahertz); Letter from Steve B. Sharkey, TMobile USA, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (Oct. 24, 2019) (at least 300
megahertz); CCA Oct. 18, 2019 Ex Parte at 2 (at least 300 megahertz or more); CCA Reply at 6-7 (same); Paul
Litchfield Reply at 5-17 (full 500 megahertz should be auctioned); Qualcomm Comments at 2-3 (all 500 megahertz
should be made available for flexible use); QVC/HSN Comments at 2 (200 megahertz).

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32.
Our approach will permit all incumbents to maintain comparable service for existing
customers and to obtain future customers in the upper part of the band, while making more efficient use
of the band as a whole. C-band space station operators that currently are serving U.S. customers are in a
unique position to quickly clear a significant portion of this band spectrally by transitioning their services
to the upper portion of the band. 100 Through a process of “satellite grooming,” each satellite company can
use their internal fleet management resources to determine the most efficient way to migrate customers to
the upper portion of the band, including in some instances by migrating customers to transponders on a
different space station operator’s fleet. 101 The C-Band Alliance and Eutelsat submitted several technical
demonstrations and detailed transition plans describing how they could accommodate incumbent users
and avoid disruption to existing C-band services. 102 As ABS, Hispasat, and Star One acknowledge,
because of compression and filtering technologies, incumbent space station operators will be able to
deliver the equivalent quality of service and even expand that service in the remaining 200 megahertz of
C-band spectrum. 103 In short, the record adequately demonstrates the satellite industry’s ability to clear
280 megahertz for public auction, along with a 20 megahertz guard band, while also ensuring that its
customers and incumbent earth station operators are adequately transitioned and able to continue
operations without interruption. 104 Furthermore, the rules that we adopt in this Report and Order will
100

See, e.g., Letter from Karen R. Johnson, Owner, LinkUp Communications, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2 (filed Jan. 29, 2020) (LinkUp “enthusiastically endorses the [C-Band Alliance’s]
expertise and urges the Commission to lean on the experience to successfully transition the C-band.”).
101

See, e.g., Letter from Jennifer D. Hindin, Counsel for the C-Band Alliance, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, Attach. at 4 (filed Apr. 9, 2019) (C-Band Alliance Apr. 9, 2019 Ex Parte).

102

See, e.g., C-Band Alliance Oct. 28, 2019 Ex Parte; C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process;
C-Band Alliance Apr. 9, 2019 Ex Parte (Transition Plan); Letter from Henry Gola, Counsel to the C-Band Alliance,
to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, Attach. Customer Commitment Letter (filed Apr. 3,
2019); Letter from Jennifer Hindin, Counsel to the C-Band Alliance, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC (filed
Mar. 4, 2019) (C-Band Alliance Mar. 4, 2019 Ex Parte) (Technical Statement); Letter from Jennifer Hindin,
Counsel to C-Band Alliance, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Feb. 7, 2019);
Letter from Joseph A. Godles, Counsel to Telesat Canada, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No.
18-122 (filed April 11, 2019); Letter from Bruce A. Olcott, Counsel to Eutelsat, S.A., to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Apr. 9, 2019) (collectively, Grooming Plans). Currently, Intelsat,
SES, Telesat Canada, and Eutelsat collectively are authorized to operate 62 satellites in this band to serve the
contiguous United States. The Grooming Plans indicate that they will transition to serving the contiguous United
States using 24 satellites (10, 7, 3, and 4 respectively) with SES also operating an in-orbit spare. Five of those
satellites would be new. Transition Plan at 6.
103

See, e.g., Letter from Scott Blake Harris, Counsel to Small Satellite Operators, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Sept. 13, 2019) (Small Satellite Operators Sept. 13, 2019 Ex Parte) (“300
megahertz of C-band spectrum could be made available for 5G within 18 to 36 months through the use of nonproprietary, readily available compression technology”); see also C-Band Alliance Revised Transition
Implementation Process at 4 (“a variety of upgrades, including video compression, modulation/coding, and HD to
SD down‐conversion at downlink locations, will be used” to effectuate the clearing of 300 megahertz).
104

By ensuring the continuous and uninterrupted delivery of fixed satellite services currently offered in the band in
the United States, our decision today avoids the “unnecessary disruption to existing licensed C-band satellite
operations” of concern to the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization. International
Telecommunications Satellite Organization Reply Comments at 3. In addition, our decisions do not affect in any
way the Common Heritage ITU frequency assignments, which continue to be as valid as they were before this
Commission Report and Order. The use of these frequency assignments in any country is subject to its national
regulations and the effect of our current actions have fully taken into account the possible effects on currently
authorized operators and other users of the services being provided. See generally International
Telecommunications Satellite Organization Reply Comments; Letter from Patrick Masambu, Director General,
International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, to Ajit Pai, Chairman, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed
Feb. 26, 2020).

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ensure that incumbent operations are adequately accommodated and can continue to make use of existing
satellite services, while incurring no significant transition costs. We therefore find that an auction of the
lower 280 megahertz of C-band spectrum across the contiguous United States will best advance the
Commission’s goal of ensuring the United States’ leadership in 5G deployment and service offerings
without compromising the continued operation of existing C-band services. 105
33.
Our decision to hold a public auction of overlay licenses to operate in the 3.7-3.98 GHz
band is the result of careful review of the extensive record in this proceeding, which included transition
mechanism proposals submitted by a variety interested parties across stakeholder groups. We briefly
summarize below the record on the three primary alternative approaches proposed by the C-Band
Alliance, T-Mobile, and ACA Connects Coalition, respectively, and address the legal and public interest
issues that informed our decision to reject those alternative approaches in favor of the transition
mechanism adopted in this Report and Order.
34.
C-Band Alliance.—Following the Commission’s adoption of the NPRM, Intelsat, SES,
Eutelsat, and Telesat Canada announced the creation of a consortium called the C-Band Alliance, which
advocated for a private sale approach that they would lead.106 On September 3, 2019, Eutelsat announced
its withdrawal from the C-Band Alliance, stating that it was “not in alignment with other [C-Band
Alliance] members on certain issues,” but that it continued to support the overall C-Band Alliance
proposal for a private sale approach. 107 Since then, the C-Band Alliance has twice adjusted upward the
amount of spectrum that it proposes to clear if it (or its members) are given the opportunity to implement
a private sale approach. It also has filled in details on how it would implement a market-based transition,
and it responded to certain arguments in the record. 108
35.
In its most recent filings in support of a private sale approach, the C-Band Alliance
proposes to transition customers into the upper portion of the band and clear existing spectrum usage on
enough satellite transponders to make 280 megahertz of spectrum available for 5G use in the contiguous
United States, plus a 20 megahertz guard band, within 36 months of its private auction. 109 It proposes to
meet the following a two-step clearing process. First, the C-Band Alliance proposes to clear 100
megahertz (plus a 20 megahertz guard band) in 46 of the top 50 Partial Economic Areas (PEAs) within 18
months of Commission action in this proceeding. 110 The C-Band Alliance claims it could achieve this
105

See, e.g., Boeing Reply at 1; C-Band Alliance Comments at 25; CCA Reply at 6-7; Ericsson Reply at 4.

106

See Letter from Jennifer D. Hindin, Counsel, Intelsat, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18122, Attach. B. (filed Oct. 9, 2018).
107
See Letter from Bruce A. Olcott, Counsel, Eutelsat, to Ajit Pai, Chairman, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed
Sep. 3, 2019). Filings from the C-Band Alliance after that date therefore represent the positions only of Intelsat,
SES, and Telesat Canada. To the extent Eutelsat, after its withdrawal from the consortium, has filed in support of a
given C-Band Alliance position, we cite the relevant filings.
108
See, e.g., C-Band Alliance Oct. 28, 2019 Ex Parte; C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process;
C-Band Alliance Mar. 4, 2019 Ex Parte; C-Band Alliance Apr. 9, 2019 Ex Parte; Letter from Bill Tolpegin, Chief
Executive Officer, C-Band Alliance, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed May 21,
2019) (C-Band Alliance May 21, 2019 Ex Parte).
109
See C-Band Alliance Oct. 28, 2019 Ex Parte; C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 1;
C-Band Alliance Comments at 25; C-Band Alliance May 21, 2019 Ex Parte at 1-2; C-Band Alliance Apr. 9, 2019
Ex Parte, Attach. at 3, 9. In describing its plan, the C-Band Alliance uses the phrase “continental” United States.
See, e.g., C-Band Alliance Comments at 2. The “continental” United States, however, is the area of the United
States of America that is located in the continent of North America and would therefore include Alaska. Because
the C-Band Alliance’s proposal is limited to the lower-48 states and explicitly excludes Alaska, we understand the
C-Band Alliance actually intends to refer to the contiguous United States, and all references herein to the
“contiguous United States” are intended to refer to the contiguous lower-48 states.
110

See C-Band Alliance Oct. 28, 2019 Ex Parte; C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 5.
The initial spectrum cleared would be in the portion of the band beginning at 3.7 GHz. C-Band Alliance Apr. 9,
(continued….)

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deadline without the need to launch new satellites. To achieve this, the C-Band Alliance proposes to
provide passband filters to all earth stations that potentially may be affected by wireless terrestrial
operations anywhere within the PEA, including earth stations that are outside of, but near enough to, the
PEA to experience harmful interference. 111 Second, the C-Band Alliance would clear the remaining PEAs
for the first 120 megahertz (3.7-3.82 GHz), as well as an additional 180 megahertz (3.82-4.0 GHz)
throughout the contiguous United States within 36 months of its private auction, thereby clearing a total
of 280 megahertz for flexible use (3.7-3.98 GHz), plus a 20 megahertz guard band (3.98-4.0 GHz). 112
The C-Band Alliance revised its proposal to reduce the number of protected Telemetry, Tracking, and
Command sites to an unspecified four and to locate them outside of metropolitan areas. 113 By way of
example, it noted that SES was considering retaining Telemetry, Tracking, and Command sites in
Brewster, Washington and Hawley, Pennsylvania. 114
36.
In its initial proposal, the C-Band Alliance contended that a private sale approach offered
the most reliable means of rapidly repurposing C-band spectrum for new flexible uses while also ensuring
uninterrupted incumbent FSS operations. 115 Many commenters support a private sale approach as an
effective means of leveraging the expertise of space station operators and the incentives of secondary
markets to facilitate a rapid repurposing of the C-band. 116 Other commenters, such as CCA, Dynamic
Spectrum Alliance, and NCTA, oppose the C-Band Alliance’s approach in favor of a public auction or
other transition mechanisms. 117 NCTA and Midcontinent Communications argue that a private sale of
spectrum rights would not include procedural protections comparable to the protections provided by a
(Continued from previous page)
2019 Ex Parte, Attach. at 9. This tranche excludes the Baltimore-Washington, Atlanta, and Denver PEAs (PEAs 5,
11 and 20) due to the need to protect Telemetry, Tracking, and Command (TT&C) sites and the Honolulu PEA
(PEA 42) because continued service will be provided in Hawaii across the 3700-4200 MHz band. See C-Band
Alliance May 21, 2019 Ex Parte, Attach. at 3.
111
C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 5; C-Band Alliance Apr. 9, 2019 Ex Parte,
Attach. at 9-10.
112

See C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 6; C-Band Alliance Apr. 9, 2019 Ex Parte,
Attach. at 9-10. A transition in the contiguous United States would exclude the Honolulu, Anchorage, Kodiak,
Fairbanks, and Juneau PEAs (numbers 42, 212, 264, 298 and 360). See C-Band Alliance May 21, 2019 Ex Parte,
Attach. at 3. We note that, by virtue of its proposal to limit the transition to the continental United States, C-Band
Alliance’s proposal also would exclude Puerto Rico (412), Guam-Northern Mariana Islands (413), U.S. Virgin
Islands (414), American Samoa (415), and Gulf of Mexico (416). The C-Band Alliance originally proposed to
protect 14 Telemetry, Tracking, and Command sites. See C-Band Alliance Comments, Technical Annex at 3.
113

C-Band Alliance Transition Implementation Process at 10; C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 30.

114

C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at n.80. Although AT&T has expressed concern that one of the
protected sites would be in New Jersey, the C-Band Alliance seems to have already eliminated this site from its
proposed TT&C locations. See C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 18.
115

C-Band Alliance Comments at 8; C-Band Alliance Reply at 3.

116

See CB2.0 Comments at 4-5; Digital Networks Reply at 3-4; Extreme Reach Comments at 4-5; Information
Technology & Innovation Foundation Comments at 1-4; Luken Communications Reply at 4; Motorola Comments at
2; Olympusat Comments at 3; PSSI Global Comments at 11-12; Robert Bosch and Supporting Parties Reply at 2-3;
Speedcast Communications at 9-10; TIA Comments at 4-7; World Teleport Association Comments at 1.
117

CCA Comments at 7-8 (arguing an auction mechanism could be appropriately structured to better maximize midband spectrum and provide the most pro-competitive approach to freeing up the band); Dynamic Spectrum Alliance
Comments at 6; Midcontinent Feb. 25, 2019 Ex Parte; PISC Comments at 22-32; Representatives Cárdenas and
Kinzinger Jan. 17, 2019 Ex Parte; U.S. Cellular Comments at 8-11. The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance and T-Mobile
argue that a market-based approach led by space station operators is impermissible because it gives the incumbent
operators that hold licenses only for FSS operations, the right to sell flexible-use spectrum rights that they do not
possess. See Dynamic Spectrum Alliance Reply at 23; T-Mobile Jan. 30, 2019 Ex Parte at 1-3 (arguing the
Commission has never granted expanded spectrum rights to an entity solely so that they can be immediately sold).

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Commission-led auction. They contend that such protections are designed to foster competition and
ensure that spectrum is managed in a way that promotes the “public convenience, interest, and necessity,”
as required by the Act. 118 Still other commenters are open to a private sale approach, but argue for more
information or certain changes to the C-Band Alliance’s proposal. 119
37.
We decline to adopt the C-Band Alliance proposal for a private sale approach led by
incumbent C-band space station operators. We find that, relative to the C-Band Alliance proposal, the use
of a public auction will provide a greater benefit to potential bidders, ensure Commission oversight and
protect the interests of displaced incumbent C-band users, promote a rapid transition, and be more firmly
grounded in established legal authority. First, the C-Band Alliance proposal would place the licensee
selection process for an entire band of newly configured spectrum into private hands by vesting private
entities with the exclusive ability to allocate new terrestrial rights to valuable C-band spectrum through
privately negotiated sales that would not be subject to any of the procedural protections or public interest
requirements that Commission-led auctions are designed to promote. Such an approach lacks the
transparency and procompetitive features of a public auction and would provide bidders with less
certainty about fair and equal access to new flexible-use licenses. In contrast to a private sale conducted
by private entities whose primary incentive would be to maximize profits, a Commission-led auction will
be driven by broader public interests, including robust participation by a diverse group of bidders,
competitive pricing, and transparent allocation of this valuable public resource.
38.
Second, Commission oversight of the public auction and issuance of flexible-use licenses
conditioned upon relocation of incumbent operations will more effectively ensure that all incumbent Cband users are made whole upon completion of the transition. The C-Band Alliance’s proposal would
give certain incumbent space station operators substantial discretion to decide whether and to what extent
all affected C-band users should be accommodated in the transition and compensated for their relocation
costs. 120 This responsibility is directly at odds with space station operators’ fiduciary duties to their
shareholders to maximize the retained profits from the private sale. In contrast, Commission oversight of
a public auction and the transition process will be specifically designed to ensure that incumbent C-band
118

NCTA Comments at 28 (citing 47 U.S.C. § 303); Midcontinent Feb. 25, 2019 Ex Parte at 1-2; see also CCA
Comments at 7-8; CCA Reply at 8-9; Letter from Barry J. Ohlson, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Cox, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2-3 (filed Mar. 5, 2019); Dynamic Spectrum
Alliance Reply at 16-22; NCTA Reply at 17-18; Representatives Cárdenas and Kinzinger Jan. 17, 2019 Ex Parte at
2; T-Mobile Reply at 26-28; U.S. Cellular Comments at 8-10. Comcast and PISC argue that a private sale approach
contravenes section 309(j) of the Act because it fails to produce money for the U.S. Treasury and instead will result
in a windfall to a small group of private entities that a Commission-led auction is designed to avoid. See Comcast
Reply at 9; PISC Comments at 22-29; PISC Reply at 25-28; see also Dynamic Spectrum Alliance Reply at 17, 2122; T-Mobile Comments at 12; T-Mobile Reply at 25-26.
119

See Small Satellite Operators Comments at 8-12 (arguing small satellite operators also must be eligible to
participate in the transition facilitator mechanism); AT&T Reply at 4-9 (arguing that Commission oversight is
necessary to fair and efficient transition); CTIA Comments at 9-10 (Commission should require more than 180
megahertz be repurposed); Letter from Stephen Diaz Gavin, Counsel to PSSI Global, L.L.C., to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Feb. 22, 2019) (arguing no more than 100 megahertz should be
repurposed for flexible use); QVC/HSN Comments at 2 (arguing that incumbents should be given no less than 60
months to complete transition); QVC/HSN Reply at 4 (arguing that incumbents need further guarantees regarding
protections); R Street Institute Comments at 9-12 (arguing for a clearing target of 300 megahertz); TIA Comments at
4-7 (the Commission should consider additional approaches to make more spectrum available, e.g., through
transition to non-C-band solutions); U.S. Electrodynamics Reply at 3-5 (commercial, technical, and operational
details regarding the C-Band Alliance Market-Based Mitigation Plan need to be revealed and clearly communicated
to stake-holders before any decision can be made).
120

See, e.g., Small Satellite Operators May 3 PN Comments at 10-19 (arguing that a grant of authority to the C-Band
Alliance to decide the relocation and reimbursement rights of C-band stakeholders that it does not represent would
be arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful).

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users are able to maintain their existing services and are reimbursed for all reasonable costs associated
with the transition.
39.
Third, we believe that our public auction of overlay licenses will make spectrum
available for flexible-use just as fast as a private sale approach. 121 Indeed, we plan to hold the public
auction this year—just as the C-Band Alliance had proposed for its private sale—and we incorporate
aspects of their proposed transition process and deadlines into this Report and Order. We disagree with
the C-Band Alliance argument that any Commission-led auction mechanism would fail to overcome the
holdout problem due to non-exclusive incumbent rights in the band and would require significant
Commission intervention that would delay the auction approach relative to a market-based approach. 122
Despite its initial claim that its private sale proposal would solve the holdout problem by incentivizing
incumbent space station operators to cooperate in the transition and collectively sell their shared spectrum
rights to new flexible-use licensees, only three incumbent C-band space station operators are members of
the C-Band Alliance and have fully supported the C-Band Alliance’s proposal. 123 Unless the Commission
were to adopt rules granting the C-Band Alliance exclusive authority to lead the transition and compelling
non-member space station operators to cooperate with the C-Band Alliance’s approach, there would be a
potential, and indeed likely, holdout problem that could undermine the success of such a transition. We
believe such exclusive authority would raise significant competitive concerns in the absence of unanimity
among incumbent space station operators. In other words, due to the existing licensing regime in this
band, the potential holdout problem needs to be addressed regardless of whether the Commission adopts a
public auction or private sale approach. The rules we adopt in this Report and Order are specifically
designed to reduce the risk of potential holdouts by aligning the incentives of all relevant C-band space
station operators with the Commission’s goals of rapid introduction of C-band spectrum into the
marketplace, and we find that our public auction approach will provide for rapid clearing upon final
action in this proceeding.
40.
Finally, we find that a public auction is more consistent with the Commission’s longstanding legal authority to manage spectrum in the public interest than a private sale conducted by
incumbent space station operators. In contrast to the Commission’s well-established authority to conduct
auctions of overlay licenses conditioned upon the relocation of incumbent users, the C-Band Alliance
proposal would require an unprecedented grant of authority to private entities to negotiate with new
entrants for the conveyance of spectrum-use rights that FSS licensees do not currently have. 124 While the
Commission has previously modified the existing licenses of incumbents to assign new license rights
121

See, e.g., CCA Reply at 9 (“There is no real evidence that a private sale process could make spectrum available
for terrestrial services any more quickly than a public or hybrid auction, and any purported speed benefits must be
balanced against procedural fairness and inclusive participation. An FCC-led auction-based mechanism or hybrid
approach appear more likely to efficiently achieve these goals. The Commission should be skeptical of any
proposals that do not clearly demonstrate how they would attain similar public interest benefits. The FCC also
should proceed with caution when exploring any private sale approach that could degrade Commission authority to
manage spectrum for the public benefit.” (citing T-Mobile Comments at 2-3; U.S. Cellular Comments at 4; Google
Comments at 10)).
122

C-Band Alliance Comments at 6, 55-56 (citing Brattle Group Paper at 32-40); C-Band Alliance Reply at 29-33.

123

In fact, the record in this proceeding clearly indicates that the C-Band Alliance and non-member space station
operators are not in alignment on a variety of issues that are crucial to the success of the private sale approach. See,
e.g., Eutelsat Withdrawal Letter.
124

Two approaches for conveyance of new flexible-use rights were proposed in the record: (1) FSS licensees would
negotiate the relinquishment of their interference rights with prospective new flexible-use licensees, and such
agreements would be a pre-condition of the new entrant’s eligibility to apply for a flexible-use license; or (2) the
Commission would assign flexible-use rights to incumbent FSS licensees that would then sell those flexible-use
rights on the secondary market. In either approach, the result is the same—incumbent FSS licensees would be the
sole conveyors of newly-created flexible-use rights in this band.

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without creating a mechanism to allow for the filing of mutually exclusive applications, such
modifications were adopted in order to authorize the incumbent licensees to provide new or additional
services. 125 Under the C-Band Alliance proposal, the Commission would be granting incumbent space
station operators new flexible-use rights solely for the purpose of allowing the incumbents to sell those
rights on the secondary market, without actually requiring them to meet any buildout requirements or
initiate terrestrial service. Indeed, given the full band, full arc nature of FSS licenses, incumbent space
station operators could not provide terrestrial mobile services without causing interference to existing Cband satellite services. 126
41.
T-Mobile Proposal.—T-Mobile proposes an incentive auction consisting of three steps:
(1) a forward auction in which terrestrial operators would bid to establish a purchase price for the 3.7-4.2
GHz band in every PEA; (2) that purchase price would be offered to space station operators and earth
station registrants; and (3) the purchase price in a PEA would be awarded to whichever group is willing to
clear the band for the least amount of money. 127 Under this proposal, up to 500 megahertz of 3.7-4.2 GHz
band spectrum would be made available for flexible use in geographic areas where either: (1) the space
station operators agree to clear by repacking existing transponder use or (2) the earth station owners agree
to clear by transitioning to alternative delivery mechanisms such as fiber. 128 In more recent filings,
however, T-Mobile has modified its position to support a more traditional forward auction of flexible-use
licenses, arguing that it is a more straight-forward approach and that the Commission and potential
bidders already have extensive experience with such an auction format. 129
42.
U.S. Cellular supports T-Mobile’s alternative method of conducting an incentive
auction. 130 Several commenters oppose T-Mobile’s proposal, including the Small Satellite Operators, the
C-Band Alliance, iHeart Communications, Intel/Intelsat/SES, Meredith Corp., and NCTA. 131 Opponents

125
See, e.g., Amendment of Part 27 of the Commission's Rules to Govern the Operation of Wireless Communications
Services in the 2.3 GHz Band, WT Docket No. 07-293, Report and Order and Second Report and Order, 25 FCC
Rcd 11710, 11711, para. 1 (2010); Flexibility for Delivery of Communications by Mobile Satellite Service Providers
in the 2 GHz Band, the L-Band, and the 1.6/2.4 GHz Bands et al., IB Docket No. 01-185 et al., Report and Order
and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 18 FCC Rcd 1962, 2068-69, paras. 220-21 (2003); Service Rules for Advanced
Wireless Services in the 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz Bands, Report and Order and Order of Proposed
Modification, 27 FCC Rcd 16102, 16164, para. 162 (2012) (AWS-4 Service Rules R&O) (appeal pending).
126

The DC Circuit noted in a recent decision that it affords “the greatest deference” to the Commission when it acts
to foster “innovative methods of exploiting the spectrum” in its function as a “policymaker.” NTCH, Inc. v. FCC, -F.3d –, 2020 WL 855465 at *6 (D.C. Circ. 2020).
127

Letter from Steve Sharkey, Vice President, Government Affairs, Technology and Engineering Policy, T-Mobile
USA, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Feb. 15, 2019) (T-Mobile Feb. 15,
2019 Ex Parte).
128
T-Mobile Feb. 15, 2019 Ex Parte at 1-2; Letter from Steve B. Sharkey, Vice President, Government Affairs,
Technology and Engineering Policy, T-Mobile USA, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No.
18-122 (filed June 21, 2019) (T-Mobile June 21, 2019 Ex Parte), at 2-3, Attachment: Estimating Cost of Fiber
Replacement for C-Band Sites (Roberson Study).
129

T-Mobile Dec. 18, 2019 Ex Parte at 4.

130

U.S. Cellular Comments at 6.

131

See Small Satellite Operators May 3 PN Comments at 19-30; Small Satellite Operators May 3 PN Reply at 1722; Letter from Scott Blake Harris, Counsel to the Small Satellite Operators, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC,
GN Docket No. 18-122, at 10 (filed Mar. 25, 2019) (Small Satellite Operators Mar. 25, 2019 Ex Parte); Letter from
Henry Gola, Counsel to the C-Band Alliance, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed
Mar. 7, 2019) (C-Band Alliance Mar. 7, 2019 Ex Parte); iHeart Communications Reply at 9-10; Intel/Intelsat/SES
Brattle Paper at 33-34; Intel/Intelsat/SES Brattle Paper at 33-34; Meredith Corp. Reply at 1-4; NCTA Comments at
10-14.

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argue that the Commission lacks the legal authority to conduct such an incentive auction. 132 They further
argue that an incentive auction would be too costly and complex, 133 requires too much Commission
intervention, 134 and harms incumbents through inferior service and inconsistent clearing across
markets. 135
43.
We decline to adopt T-Mobile’s proposal. First, Verizon and WISPA correctly point out
that T-Mobile’s proposal exceeds our incentive auction authority. Section 309(j)(8)(G) restricts our use
of incentive auctions so that only “licensees” may voluntarily relinquish licensed “spectrum usage rights”
in exchange for accelerated relocation payments.136 Unlike the incumbent space station operators, earth
station registrants are not licensees. 137 The Communications Act defines the term “license” narrowly as
“that instrument of authorization required by [the Act] or the rules and regulations of the Commission
made pursuant to [the Act], for the use or operation of apparatus for transmission of energy, or
communications, or signals by radio, by whatever name the instrument may be designated by the
Commission.” 138 Since 1979 the Commission has found that licensing receive-only earth stations was not
required by the Communications Act because, by definition, such earth stations do not transmit energy,
communications, or signals by radio, and since 1991 receive-only earth stations have not been eligible to
apply for a Commission license. 139 While some receive-only earth stations in the C-band are licensed to
132
Small Satellite Operators May 3 PN Comments at 22-30; Small Satellite Operators May 3 PN Reply at 17-22;
Small Satellite Operators Mar. 25, 2019 Ex Parte at 10; C-Band Alliance Mar. 7, 2019 Ex Parte at 2-4.
133

C-Band Alliance Mar. 7, 2019 Ex Parte at 6; Intel/Intelsat/SES Brattle Paper at 34; NCTA Comments at 10-11.

134

Intel/Intelsat/SES Brattle Paper at 34.

135

C-Band Alliance Mar. 7, 2019 Ex Parte at 5-6; Meredith Corp. Reply at 1-4; NCTA Comments at 12-14.

136

47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(8)(G)(ii)(I).

137

See, e.g., Verizon May 3 PN Comments at 2, 8-10; Dynamic Spectrum Alliance May 3 PN Comments at 12-14;
OTI May 3 PN Comments at 17-21; WISPA May 3 PN Comments at 4-13; Verizon May 3 PN Reply at 3-4; WISPA
May 3 PN Reply at 4; C-Band Alliance May 3 PN Reply at 11-14.
138
47 U.S.C. § 153(49) (emphasis added). Title III governs the use of “channels of radio transmission” under
licenses granted by the Commission and provides that “no person shall use or operate any apparatus for the
transmission of energy or communications or signals by radio . . . except under and in accordance with this Act and
with a license in that behalf granted under the provisions of this Act.” 47 U.S.C. § 301. In an ex parte letter TMobile notes that the Act defines “transmission of energy by radio” as including “both such transmission and all
instrumentalities, facilities, and services incidental to such transmission,” and argues that because receive-only earth
stations can be considered incidental to space station operators’ transmissions, such receive-only earth stations
should be considered licensees. Letter from Russell H. Fox, Counsel to T-Mobile, to Marlene Dortch, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122 at 2 (filed Mar. 19, 2019), citing 47 U.S.C. § 153(57). T-Mobile also cites to a 2007 decision in
which the Commission determined that television receivers should be considered “apparatus” that are “incidental” to
the transmission of television broadcasts. T-Mobile Letter at 2, citing Second Periodic Review of Rules and Policies
Affecting the Conversion to DTV, MB Docket No. 03-15, Second Report and Order, 22 FCC Rcd 8776, 8784-85,
paras. 16-17 (2007). While that 2007 decision found that pursuant to the Commission’s ancillary authority
television sets could be regulated by the Commission and manufacturers required to adopt certain point of sale
consumer disclosures, it made no determination that receiver owners were licensees. T-Mobile argues, in the
alternative, that even if receiving facilities are not considered “incidental” to radio transmissions, their registrations
authorize the operation or use of an apparatus for “communications.” T-Mobile Letter at 2. Because Commissionissued registrations do not permit receive-only earth stations to transmit any form of communications, this argument
also fails.
139

Regulation of Domestic Receive-only satellite earth stations, CC Docket No. 78-374, First Report and Order, 74
F.C.C.2d. 205, 2017, para. 31. In 1991 the Commission eliminated the availability of even a voluntary license for
receive-only earth stations, creating instead the current voluntary registration regime. Amendment of Part 25 of the
Commission’s Rules and Regulations to Reduce Alien Carrier Interference Between Fixed-Satellites at Reduced
Orbital Spacings and to Revise Application Processing Procedures for Satellite Communications Services, CC
Docket No. 86-496, 6 FCC Rcd 2806, 2806-07, para. 4 (1991). 47 CFR § 25.131(b) (providing that receive only
(continued….)

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transmit in another band (i.e. licensed transmit-receive earth stations), that license to transmit does not
provide the earth station operator with the right to transmit in the C-band, where they hold no “licensed
spectrum usage rights.” 140 Because receive-only earth stations are (and must be) unlicensed and have no
“transmission” authority, earth station registrants may not participate in the supply-side of an incentive
auction. 141
44.
Second, because FSS licensees in the C-band share the same non-exclusive rights to
transmit nationwide, across the full 500 megahertz, their license rights are not substitutes such that they
could compete against one another in a reverse auction to forfeit those rights; all incumbent space station
operators would need to clear their existing services from a portion of the band in order to make that
spectrum available for flexible use. As the Small Satellite Operators note, “T-Mobile’s proposal would
require licensees with non-competing, and indeed, complementary, use rights to bid for the right to supply
a given market;” this would result in a “supply-side mismatch [that] would dismantle the price discovery
mechanisms of a traditional reverse auction.” 142 Section 309(j)(8)(G) specifically requires that, in order
for the Commission to hold an incentive auction, “at least two competing licensees participate in the
reverse auction.” 143 Because incumbent C-band space station operators are not competing licensees that
could bid against one another in a reverse auction, T-Mobile’s proposal would be an unlawful exercise of
the Commission’s incentive auction authority.
45.
Third, the incentive auction described in T-Mobile’s proposal would result in a
patchwork of spectrum and geographic areas being made available for flexible use, rather than a uniform
block of spectrum being cleared throughout the contiguous United States. T-Mobile’s proposal would
allow incumbent earth station owners to agree to clear geographically, for example by switching existing
C-band services to fiber. This would likely result in a disproportionate amount of C-band spectrum being
made available in urban areas, where the demand for C-band spectrum is higher and the costs of
transitioning to alternative transition mechanisms is lower than in rural areas. 144 We therefore find that TMobile’s proposal would undermine the Commission’s stated goals for this proceeding to close the digital
(Continued from previous page)
earth stations “may be registered with the Commission to protect them from interference from terrestrial microwave
stations in bands shared co-equally with the Fixed Service”). In contrast, transmit-and-receive earth stations in the
C-band must be licensed for the transmission portion of their operations. 47 CFR § 25.115(a)(1) (providing that
Commission authorization is required for authority to operate a transmitting earth station).
140

While, for example, the Commission regulates mobile handsets owned by subscribers of mobile services, which
do transmit as well as receive, the Commission requires no license for them but considers them “included in the
authorization held by the licensee providing service to them.” 47 CFR § 1.903(c).
141

In the broadcast incentive auction, the Commission concluded that while the Communications Act does not
define “spectrum usage rights,” “only a station license confers on the holder the right to ‘use’ the station to transmit
signals,” and that “spectrum usage rights” means “the right of a broadcaster to use spectrum pursuant to a station’s
license.” Broadcast Incentive Auction R&O, 29 FCC Rcd at 6718-19, para. 356 & n.1055 (emphasis added)
(quoting the Act’s definition of “license”). In that case, the Commission was distinguishing between broadcast
licensees with spectrum usage rights and holders of mere construction permits, who lacked such rights. Accord,
Request for Declaratory Ruling by Meredith Corp., MB Docket No. 14-150, Declaratory Ruling, 30 FCC Rcd 6078,
6100, para. 49 (MB 2015) (subsequent history omitted) (virtual channel assignments “have no bearing on a station’s
spectrum usage rights on its RF channel”).
142

Small Satellite Operators Mar. 25, 2019 Ex Parte at 10 (emphasis in original).

143

47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(8)(G)(ii)(II) (emphasis added).

144

C-Band Alliance Reply at 35; Comcast Comments at 18 (transitioning earth stations to fiber would be expensive
and time consuming “particularly in rural and remote areas with little or no fiber today, and would likely be
prohibitively expensive in many areas”); Content Companies Reply at 4 (“current fiber deployments are not
extensive enough to replace nationwide C-band usage (especially but not exclusively in rural areas)”); Satellite
Industry Association Reply at ii (“[f]iber networks are limited to the largest cities and cannot economically be
extended to serve less populated areas”).

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divide and promote the introduction of next-generation wireless services in all communities, both rural
and urban, throughout the contiguous United States.
46.
Because our public auction of overlay licenses provides a Commission-led auction
mechanism to make 280 megahertz available for flexible use throughout the contiguous United States and
compensate incumbent C-band users for their relocation costs, we find that it captures all the benefits of
T-Mobile’s proposal while avoiding the legal and practical complications of an incentive auction in this
band. Indeed, T-Mobile now agrees that a traditional forward auction of overlay licenses will be a more
straight-forward approach to implement than the incentive auction it originally proposed. 145
47.
ACA Connects Coalition Proposal.—ACA Connects, the Competitive Carriers
Association, and Charter (collectively, ACA Connects Coalition), jointly sketched out a proposal to
repurpose 370 megahertz (or more) of C-band spectrum for 5G use. 146 Their proposal has three key
elements: (1) a Commission-driven auction that would award new terrestrial licenses and assign
obligations for transition costs, 147 (2) a plan to transition multichannel video programming distributor
(MVPD) earth station operators to fiber, 148 and (3) a plan for space station operators to repack remaining
earth station users to the upper portion of the band. 149
48.
NTCA generally supports the proposal, particularly its focus on transitioning the MVPD
industry to fiber and its reliance on a Commission-driven auction to award new terrestrial licenses.150
Other commenters oppose the ACA Connects Coalition proposal and argue that it underestimates the
complexity and costs required to transition from C-band satellite to fiber delivery, 151 incorrectly assumes
that satellites covering the continental United States are fungible, 152 incorrectly asserts that its transition
would not require new satellites within 36 months of Commission action, 153 and minimizes the difficulty
of making fiber as reliable as C-band spectrum. 154

145

T-Mobile Dec. 18, 2019 Ex Parte at 4.

146

ACA Connects Coalition Proposal; ACA Connects Coalition July 9, 2019 Ex Parte, Attach. Cartesian Study.

147

ACA Connects Coalition Proposal at 4-6; Cartesian Study at 2, 12.

148

See Cartesian Study at 3 (estimating that the transition to fiber could be accomplished within 18 months in urban
areas, within three years in the majority of remaining areas, and within five years for a few hard-to-reach areas). See
also Letter from Pantelis Michalopoulos, Counsel for ACA Connects, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122 (filed July 15, 2019) (ACA Connects July 15, 2019 Ex Parte) (discussing temporary technical
conditions that will need to be placed on licenses to avoid interference from 5G base stations and mobile handsets
operating in areas cleared within 18 months to C-band earth stations in adjacent areas cleared in later stages).
149

ACA Connects Coalition Proposal at 4; Cartesian Study at 6, 10. See generally AT&T May 23, 2019 Ex Parte at
13 (unlike a cable head-end or satellite collection facility receiving linear content for hundreds of channels, earth
stations supporting radio stations, one or two religious channels, and occasional use, transportable operations
typically only need to use a limited number of transponders); AT&T June 6, 2019 Ex Parte, Attach. at 7 (proposing
exploration of efficiencies gained from repacking low transponder-need applications to upper edge of the FSS band).
150

See NTCA July 19 PN Comments at 2, 4.

151

See C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 5; Learfield IMG College July 19 PN Comments at 1-2; LinkUp
Communications July 19 PN Comments at 1; Riverfront Broadcasting July 19 PN Comments at 1; Small Satellite
Operators July 19 PN Reply at 3; ABC Television Affiliates Association et al. July 19 PN Reply at 6; AETN July 19
PN Reply at 1; Encompass July 19 PN Reply at 1; see also WTVY-TV July 19 PN Comments at 1.
152

See, e.g., C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 7; Learfield IMG College July 19 PN Comments at 3;
LinkUp Communications July 19 PN Comments at 3; Riverfront Broadcasting July 19 PN Comments at 3; WTVYTV July 19 PN Comments at 3.
153

See, e.g., C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 8-9 (noting, for example, the fact that satellites are nearing
end-of-life, the need for additional capacity due to near-100% use post repacking, the need for dual-illumination,
and the already heavy use of C-Band capacity); Learfield IMG College July 19 PN Comments at 3; LinkUp
(continued….)

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49.
We decline to adopt the ACA Connects Coalition proposal to transition MVPD earth
stations to fiber and repack remaining earth station users into the upper portion of the band. First, while
the ACA Connects Coalition proposes a public auction to award new terrestrial flexible-use licenses and
assign obligations for transition costs, it does not provide potential bidders with the same certainty as the
public auction of overlay licenses we adopt here. Importantly, the ACA Connects Coalition suggests that
programmers, MVPDs, and C-band service providers would negotiate contracts and develop plans for the
transition “in the period between an FCC decision and the completion of an auction.” 155 However, such
private contract negotiations would involve decisions—such as how much spectrum will be made
available, in which geographic areas, and on what timeline—that would be crucial for potential bidders to
understand in advance of the auction. It is unclear from the ACA Connects Coalition proposal when these
decisions would be made and how that information would be conveyed to potential bidders such that they
could make informed decisions about the spectrum band and geographic areas they would compete for at
auction. We find that our public auction of overlay licenses will provide bidders with more certainty by
designating a uniform block of 280 megahertz that will be made available for flexible use throughout the
contiguous United States.
50.
Second, we find that our approach will more effectively ensure that all incumbent C-band
users are adequately transitioned and able to continue receiving C-band services after the introduction of
new terrestrial wireless operations in the 3.7 GHz Service. We agree with those commenters who point
out that the ACA Connects Coalition proposal lacks important implementation details, such as how to
manage the transition of a wide variety of stakeholders, including the design, testing, construction, and
integration of nationwide fiber networks and the necessary provisions for maintaining fiber operations in
the future. 156 Broadcasters and programmers express concern that space station operators are unlikely to
remain in business to provide service to a fraction of their customer base once MVPDs are transitioned to
fiber, and earth station owners emphasize the difficulty of making fiber as reliable as existing C-band
delivery. 157 In contrast to the ACA Connects Coalition proposal, the approach we adopt here ensures that
incumbent earth station owners will be effectively transitioned and will be able to receive the same Cband services after the transition as they do today.
51.
Third, we find that the ACA Connects Coalition proposal is likely to underestimate the
complexities and costs of transitioning from C-band satellite spectrum to fiber and would be unlikely to
facilitate more rapid and extensive deployment of terrestrial wireless services than the approach we adopt
in this Report and Order. 158 The ACA Connects Coalition proposes that clearing would be conducted on
(Continued from previous page)
Communications July 19 PN Comments at 3; Riverfront Broadcasting July 19 PN Comments at 3; WTVY-TV July
19 PN Comments at 3; see also SpaceConnection July 19 PN Reply at 2-3.
154

See, e.g., Globecast July 19 PN Comments at 4; Learfield IMG College July 19 PN Comments at 2; LinkUp
Communications July 19 PN Comments at 2; North American Broadcasters Association July 19 PN Comments at 3;
Riverfront Broadcasting July 19 PN Comments at 2; WTVY-TV July 19 PN Comments at 2; NAB July 19 PN
Reply at 3,4; ABC Television Affiliates Association et al. July 19 PN Reply at 5; AETN July 19 PN Reply at 1-2.
155

Letter from Brian Hurley, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, ACA Connects, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, Attach. 15 (filed Sep. 25, 2019) (ACA Connects Coalition 5G Plus Plan).
156

See, e.g., CBS et al. July 19 PN Comments at 2-3; C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 5; Riverfront
Broadcasting July 19 PN Comments at 1; LinkUp Communications July 19 PN Comments at 1; WTVY-TV July 19
PN Comments at 1; Learfield IMG July 19 PN Comments at 1; Raytheon July 19 PN Reply at 7-8; QVC/HSN July
19 PN Comments at 3; NAB July 19 PN Comments at 5-8; Alaska Telecom July 19 PN Comments at 2-4.
157

See, e.g., NAB July 19 PN Comments at 2-3; Globecast July 19 PN Comments at 3-4; Riverfront Broadcasting
July 19 PN Comments at 2-3; LinkUp Communications July 19 PN Comments at 2-3; WTVY-TV July 19 PN
Comments at 2-3; Learfield IMG College July 19 PN Comments at 2-3; QVC/HSN July 19 PN Comments at 8.
158

Several commenters have argued throughout this proceeding that a complete transition of C-band services to fiber
would require construction of vast fiber infrastructure and would be cost-prohibitive. See, e.g., American Cable
Association Mar. 25 Ex Parte at 4; Charter Comments at 5; Globecast Jan. 15, 2019 Ex Parte at 1; Altice Comments
(continued….)

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a market-by-market basis, which would have “some urban markets” available for flexible-use in
approximately 30 months, the “majority of remaining markets” in three years, and the last, “hard-to-build
areas” in five years. 159 We share the concerns of many commenters who doubt that the ACA Connects
Coalition proposal could be completed by those timelines. 160 Content Companies argue that “even in
urban areas this transition would more likely take at least five years in a best case scenario, and more than
a decade for the transition to occur nationwide,” and agree with the C-Band Alliance that the design phase
alone could take more than two years. 161 This is particularly true of rural areas, where fiber is much less
readily available and would require extensive investment in order to replace existing C-band services. 162
We find that our approach minimizes the costs, complexities, and risks of delay inherent in the ACA
Connects Coalition proposal and is therefore more likely to clear a substantial amount of C-band
spectrum in a faster timeframe via a more efficient mechanism.
52.
Fourth, we find that the approach we adopt in this Report and Order is more consistent
with the Commission’s legal authority to manage spectrum and conduct auctions in the public interest
than the ACA Connects Coalition proposal. The ACA Connects Coalition suggests that the Commission
could implement its approach with either a traditional forward auction or an incentive auction, but that in
either case, auction proceeds would be used to reimburse incumbents’ relocation costs. Section 309(j) of
the Act requires that all proceeds from the use of a competitive bidding system must be deposited in the
U.S. Treasury. 163 The ACA Connects Coalition proposal that the Commission retain a portion of the
revenues from a traditional forward auction to cover the C-band incumbents’ relocation costs would
therefore violate the provisions of Section 309(j). There is an exception to this rule where the
Commission exercises its incentive auction authority to incentivize incumbent licensees to relinquish their
spectrum usage rights in exchange for a share of the auctions proceeds.164 However, because space
station operators have non-exclusive rights the full C-band nationwide, an incentive auction in this band
would fail to satisfy the Section 309(j)(8)(G) requirement that at least two competing licensees must
participate in the reverse auction. 165 We therefore find that the ACA Connects Coalition proposal would
be an unlawful exercise of the Commission’s incentive auction authority.
53.
Moreover, we find that the ACA Connects Coalition proposal brings with it a bevy of
challenges. Does the Commission have authority not just to modify but to eliminate the interference
protection rights of an entire class of earth station registrants entirely? If so, under what statutory
provision and what are the limits of such authority? Given that, to continue to serve their customers,
space station operators cannot stop transmitting video programming until every registered earth station
has transitioned to fiber, does that mean no wireless operator can deploy until every earth station is
(Continued from previous page)
at 2-3; CBS et al. July 19 PN Comments at 5-13; C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 14-16; Riverfront
Broadcasting July 19 PN Comments at 2-3; LinkUp Communications July 19 PN Comments at 2-3; WTVY-TV July
19 PN Comments at 2-3; Learfield IMG College July 19 PN Comments at 2-3.
159

ACA Connects Coalition 5G Plus Plan at 36.

160

See, e.g., QVC/HSN July 19 PN Comments at 5-8; PSSI Global July 19 PN Comments at 7; CBS et al. July 19
PN Comments at 2-3, 9-10; NTCA July 19 PN Comments at 3; Small Satellite Operators July 19 PN Comments at
3-4; Globecast July 19 PN Comments at 5; Verizon July 19 PN Comments at 15.
161

CBS et al. July 19 PN Comments at 9; see also C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 20.

162

See, e.g., NTCA July 19 PN Comments at 2; Alaska Telecom July 19 PN Comments at 3; C-Band Alliance July
19 PN Comments at 9, 11.
163

47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(8)(A). There are a few exceptions to this rule regarding retention of revenues to cover
Commission costs and for deposits to the Spectrum Relocation Fund or the Digital Television Transition and Public
Safety Trust Fund, but none of those exceptions apply here. See id. § 309(j)(8)(B), (D), (E), and (F).
164

Id. § 309(j)(8)(G).

165

47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(8)(G)(ii)(II).

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connected to fiber? Would such a transition give wireless providers the certainty they need to bid in an
auction? These are just a few of the challenges apparent from the face of the plan—challenges that we
cannot answer given the lack of details in the record.
1.

Allocation of the 3.7-4.2 GHz Band

54.
We adopt rules to add a primary non-Federal mobile, except aeronautical mobile,
allocation to the 3.7-4.0 GHz band nationwide. In the United States, that band currently has exclusive
non-Federal allocations for FSS and Fixed Service. 166 In addition, the International Table of Frequency
Allocations also has a mobile allocation worldwide in the band, with the limitation that in the Americas,
Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, the mobile allocation excludes aeronautical mobile. 167
55.
As the Commission noted in the NPRM, Section 303(y) provides the Commission with
authority to provide for flexibility of use if: “(1) such use is consistent with international agreements to
which the United States is a party; and (2) the Commission finds, after notice and opportunity for public
comment, that (A) such an allocation would be in the public interest; (B) such use would not deter
investment in communications services and systems, or technology development; and (C) such use would
not result in harmful interference among users.” 168 Adopting a primary non-Federal mobile, except
aeronautical mobile, allocation to the 3.7-4.0 GHz band and revising the FSS allocation within the
contiguous United States will foster more efficient and intensive use of mid-band spectrum to facilitate
and incentivize investment in next generation wireless services.169 Mid-band spectrum is important for
next generation wireless broadband service due to its favorable propagation and capacity
characteristics. 170 Allocating the 3.7-4.0 GHz band nationwide for mobile services also meets the
Commission’s mandate under the MOBILE NOW Act to identify spectrum for mobile and fixed wireless
broadband use. 171 In addition, adopting this allocation will harmonize the Commission’s allocations for
the 3.7-4.0 GHz band with international allocations. 172 We agree with Qualcomm and United States
Cellular Corporation that adding a primary mobile service allocation will provide the ability to make as
much mid-band spectrum available as possible, which will help to ensure the nation’s success in
deploying the next generation of wireless services. 173 Finally, because we adopt rules designating 3.98166

47 CFR § 2.106, Table of Frequency Allocations.

167

Id. Globally, the International Telecommunications Union divides the world into three regions. Region 1, which
includes Europe, Africa and northern Asia, has a secondary mobile allocation in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. Region 2
(the Americas) and Region 3 (Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand), have a primary mobile allocation in the
band. Id.; see also 47 CFR § 2.104.
168

See 47 U.S.C. § 303(y); NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6962, para. 143. While some commenters argued that the
Commission should limit the amount of C-band spectrum allocated for flexible use, no commenters opposed
changes to the allocation outright.

169

Id. at 6923, para. 18.

170

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6917, para. 3.

171

MOBILE NOW Act, § 605(b); NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6934, para. 53.

172

47 U.S.C. § 303(y)(1). See, e.g., CEPT Draft Report 67 at 3 (responding to the European Commission mandate
that the 3.4-3.8 GHz band be the first primary band for 5G); 2017 German Federal Network Agency Rollout Plan at
14 (Germany’s plan to make 3.4-3.8 GHz band available for 5G use by the end of 2021); Arcep 3.4-3.8 GHz
Awards Procedures (French procedures, to commence in 2020, for issuing 5G licenses in 3.4-3.8 GHz band); RTR
3.4-3.8 GHz Auction Results (Austrian telecommunications regulatory authority awarded mobile licenses in the 3.43.8 GHz band in March 2019); Japan 3.6-4.1 GHz License Awards (in April 2019, Japanese regulatory body
awarded mobile licenses in the 3.6-4.1 GHz band); Australian 2019 Planning for 3700-4200 MHz (in August 2019,
the Australian government initiated an investigation of possible introduction of fixed and mobile broadband use in
the 3.7-4.2 GHz band); UAE 5G Spectrum Allocations 2018 Update (in November 2018, the UAE awarded mobile
5G licenses in the 3.3-3.8 GHz band).
173

Qualcomm Comments at 1-2; U.S. Cellular Comments at 4.

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FCC 20-22

4.0 GHz as a guard band and requiring FSS and Fixed Service licensees to transition their services to the
upper portion of the band and to other bands, respectively, the introduction of mobile use will not result in
harmful interference among users of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band.
56.
We also remove the FSS allocation within the contiguous United States in the 3.7-4.0
GHz band. To allow for flexible use of the 3.7-3.98 GHz band within the contiguous United States and
for fixed use outside of the contiguous United States, we leave in place the existing Fixed Service
allocation to the 3.7-4.2 GHz band while sunsetting the existing licenses for point-to-point operations
within the contiguous United States. Authorizations for FSS and Fixed Service operations outside of the
contiguous United States may continue to operate in the entire 3.7-4.2 GHz band. Commenters argue,
and we agree, that the Commission should exclude locations outside of the contiguous United States from
the public auction and relocation. 174 Locations outside of the contiguous United States have a greater
need for C-band services, particularly for the provision of services necessary for the protection of life and
property—including telehealth, E911, and education services. Alaska-based operators support excluding
Alaska from any reallocation and repurposing to terrestrial use because C-band service is often the only
option available to reach remote villages to provide basic telephone service, E911, and broadband service
used to support applications such as telehealth and distance learning. 175 Hawaii Pacific Teleport shares
similar concerns about its provision of vital public safety services to remote locations in the Pacific, and it
asks the Commission to ensure that sufficient C-band spectrum remains available for FSS use in the
Pacific. 176 And incumbent space station operators have explicitly excluded Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S.
territories from being repurposed for terrestrial wireless use. 177 As a result, we believe it is appropriate to
retain the FSS allocation across the 3.7-4.2 GHz band outside the contiguous United States.
57.
We also modify footnote NG457A which describes the status of earth stations on vessels
in 3.7-4.2 GHz to be consistent with our new band plan. NG457A will now provide that incumbent
licensees may continue to provide service to earth stations on vessels on an unprotected basis vis-à-vis
both fixed service operations and the new mobile services. In addition, NG457A will now limit the band
where ESVs may be coordinated for up to 180 days to 4.0-4.2 GHz rather than 3.7-4.2 GHz as in the
existing footnote because FSS will no longer have primary status below 4 GHz. These changes are
necessary because of the addition of mobile services and the deletion of FSS in the 3.7-4.0 GHz band.
While these changes to NG457A were not specifically proposed in the NRPM, they logically follow from
the allocation changes that were proposed because earth stations on vessels are an application of the FSS
and we proposed to remove FSS from some or all of the band in the NPRM.
58.
Our plan will ensure that content that FSS now delivers to incumbent earth stations will
continue uninterrupted as an essential element of the transition mechanism. Although we allocate the
174

North American Broadcasters Association Reply at 4; Alaska Telecom Assoc. Reply at 3; Alaska Telecom
Association July 19 PN Comments at 1-4; Alaska Comm. Comments at 17-22; Alaska Comm. Reply at 1-5; Letter
from Richard R. Cameron, Counsel, Alaska Comm., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122,
at 1 (filed June 21, 2019) (Alaska Comm. June 21, 2019 Ex Parte); Alaska Comm. July 19 PN Comments at 3-8;
Letter from Jennifer D. Hindin, Wiley Rein LLP, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122,
Attach. at 1 (filed Oct. 17, 2018) (C-Band Alliance Oct. 17, 2018 Ex Parte); CCA Reply at 4-5; Letter from Jason E.
Rademacher, Counsel, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122, at 5 (filed Dec. 19, 2019).
175

See Alaska Communications Internet Comments at 1-5; Alaska Telecommunications Association Comments at 23; GCI Comments at 18-19 (supporting a transition of at least five years for rural areas to the extent any spectrum is
cleared); Letter from Jessica DeSimone Gyllstrom, Counsel to GCI Communications Corp., to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Dec. 4, 2019) (GCI Dec. 4, 2019 Ex Parte).
176

Letter from Leeana Smith-Ryland, Chief Executive Officer, Hawaii Pacific Teleport, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Nov. 4, 2019) (Hawaii Pacific Teleport Nov. 4, 2019 Ex Parte); see
also RigNet Satcom, Inc. Reply.
177

C-Band Alliance Comments at 22, n.50.

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FCC 20-22

3.98-4.0 GHz band to mobile services, except aeronautical, for flexible use, we decline at this time to
establish service rules for that band. Instead, it will function as a guard band to protect earth station
registrants from harmful interference both during and after the transition. We also decline to add a mobile
allocation to the 4.0-4.2 GHz band reserved for primary FSS use at this time, as doing so could undermine
investment in content distribution. 178 Figures 1 and 2 below demonstrate the post-transition allocation
and uses of the band in the contiguous United States and in the rest of the United States, respectively. 179
Figure 1: Post-Transition 3.7-4.2 GHz Band Allocations in the Contiguous United States

Figure 2: Post-Transition 3.7-4.2 GHz Band Allocations Outside the Contiguous United States

2.

Competitive Bidding Rules

59.
The Communications Act requires that we resolve any mutually exclusive applications
for new flexible-use licenses in this band through a system of competitive bidding. 180 In the NPRM, the
Commission sought comment on our proposal to conduct any auction for licenses in this band in
conformity with the general competitive bidding rules set forth in part 1, subpart Q, of the Commission’s
rules. 181 The Commission specifically proposed to employ part 1 rules governing competitive bidding
design, application and certification procedures, reporting requirements, the prohibition on certain
communications regarding the auction, and designated entity preferences and unjust enrichment. These
competitive bidding rules provide a framework for the auction process. More detailed, auction-specific
procedures will be addressed in the separate pre-auction process. 182
60.
T-Mobile, the only commenter to directly address which competitive bidding rules to
adopt in response to the NPRM, supports the use of part 1 competitive bidding procedures. 183
178

NAB Comments at 8.

179

The contiguous United States consists of the contiguous states and the District of Columbia (PEAs 1-41, 43-211,
213-263, 265-297, 299-359, and 361-411). In this context, the rest of the United States consists of Honolulu,
Anchorage, Kodiak, Fairbanks, Juneau, Puerto Rico, Guam-Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands,
American Samoa, and the Gulf of Mexico (PEAs numbers 42, 212, 264, 298, 360, 412-416).
180

47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(1).

181

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6969-70, para. 163.

182

We separately consider today a Public Notice seeking comment on procedures for an auction of new licenses in
this band, thereby beginning the separate pre-auction process.
183

See T-Mobile Comments at 31.

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FCC 20-22

Subsequently, several parties in ex parte filings endorsed auction principles and procedures that the
Commission has followed based on these rules. 184
61.
Given the record and our experience in successfully conducting auctions pursuant to the
part 1 rules, we adopt our proposal to employ those rules when developing the auction for new licenses in
this band. Should the Commission subsequently modify its general competitive bidding rules, the
modifications would apply as well.
62.
We note that section 647 of the Open-market Reorganization for the Betterment of
International Telecommunications Act (ORBIT Act) prohibits the Commission from assigning by
competitive bidding either orbital locations or spectrum used for the provision of international or global
satellite communications services. 185 In the NPRM, the Commission tentatively concluded that the
ORBIT Act prohibition would not apply here, since any auctioned spectrum would be used for a new
domestic terrestrial service, and the auction mechanisms would not be used to assign by competitive
bidding orbital locations or spectrum used for the provision of international or global satellite
communications services. 186 Although the C-Band Alliance contends that transitioning the band based on
competitive bidding for flexible-use licenses “could be subject to potential legal challenges under section
647,” 187 the American Cable Association counters that the ORBIT Act does not bar auctions of licenses
for non-satellite use of the spectrum, such as terrestrial flexible use, and that the Commission’s proposed
reallocation of a portion of the band for flexible use prior to assigning new terrestrial licenses would
avoid application of section 647 in the first place. 188
63.
We affirm our tentative conclusion. Based on the record before us and consistent with
precedent on this issue, we find that section 647 of the ORBIT Act does not prohibit the Commission
from assigning terrestrial licenses in this band through a system of competitive bidding. 189
a.

Designated Entity Provisions

64.
In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on a proposal for bidding credits to be
offered to designated entities when conducting an auction of new licenses in this band. 190 In authorizing
the Commission to use competitive bidding, Congress mandated that the Commission “ensure that small
businesses, rural telephone companies, and businesses owned by members of minority groups and women
are given the opportunity to participate in the provision of spectrum-based services.” 191 Based on the
184

See AT&T et al. Oct. 29, 2019 Ex Parte, Attach. at 1 (industry agreement from AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, CBand Alliance, Pine Belt Wireless, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon; relying on past Commission auctions as a model and
specifically prohibiting joint bidding agreements and calling for Commission enforcement of the rule prohibiting
certain communications).

185

Open-market Reorganization for the Betterment of International Telecommunications Act, Pub. L. No. 106-80, §
647, 114 Stat. 48 (2000) (ORBIT Act); see also 47 U.S.C. § 765(f) (Satellite auctions); see also NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd
at 6949-50, para. 109.
186

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6949-50, para. 109.

187

C-Band Alliance Comments at 38.

188

American Cable Association Reply at 15-16.

189

See Northpoint Technology, Ltd. v. FCC, 414 F.3d 61, 73 (D.C. Cir. 2005) (affirming the Commission’s decision
to assign by competitive bidding new terrestrial licenses in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band on a shared basis with existing
direct broadcast satellite services, finding that the Commission reasonably interpreted the language of section 647
not to prohibit assignment by competitive bidding of “spectrum that is to be used for provision of domestic, nonsatellite-based communications services”).

190

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6969-70, para. 163.

191

47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(4)(D). In addition, Section 309(j)(3)(B) of the Act provides that, in establishing eligibility
criteria and bidding methodologies, the Commission shall seek to promote several objectives, including “economic
opportunity and competition . . . by avoiding excessive concentration of licenses and by disseminating licenses
(continued….)

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FCC 20-22

Commission’s prior experience with the use of bidding credits in spectrum auctions, we find that using
bidding credits is an effective tool to achieve the statutory objective of promoting participation of
designated entities in the provision of spectrum-based service. 192
65.
Small Businesses.—One way the Commission fulfills this mandate is through the award
of bidding credits to small businesses. In the Competitive Bidding Second Memorandum Opinion and
Order, the Commission stated that it would define eligibility requirements for small businesses on a
service-specific basis, taking into account the capital requirements and other characteristics of each
particular service in establishing the appropriate threshold. 193 Further, in the Part 1 Third Report and
Order and the more recent Competitive Bidding Update Report and Order, the Commission, while
standardizing many auction rules, determined that it would continue a service-by-service approach to
defining small businesses. 194 In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on whether to adopt
bidding credits for the two larger designated entity business sizes provided in the part 1 rules. 195
66.
In adopting competitive bidding rules for other spectrum bands that will be used as part
of 5G services, the Commission included provisions for designated entities to promote opportunities for
small businesses, rural telephone companies, and businesses owned by members of minority groups and
women to participate in the provision of spectrum-based services. 196 For example, the Commission
adopted two small business definitions for the auction of licenses in the Upper Microwave Flexible Use
Service (39 GHz band). 197 These two small business definitions are the highest two of three thresholds in
the Commission’s standardized schedule of bidding credits. 198
67.
We adopt our proposal to apply the two small business definitions with higher gross
revenues thresholds to auctions of overlay licenses in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. 199 Accordingly, an entity
(Continued from previous page)
among a wide variety of applicants, including small businesses, rural telephone companies, and businesses owned
by members of minority groups and women.” Id. § 309(j)(3)(B).
192
In the Competitive Bidding Update Report and Order, the Commission adopted a process for establishing a
reasonable monetary limit or cap on the amount of bidding credits that an eligible small business or rural service
provider may be awarded in any particular auction. Updating Part 1 Competitive Bidding Rules, WT Docket No.
14-170, Report and Order, 30 FCC Rcd 7493, 7539-44, paras. 110-21 (2015) (Competitive Bidding Update Report
and Order). The Commission established the parameters to implement a bidding credit cap for future auctions on an
auction-by-auction basis. Id. Consistent with the Commission's longstanding approach, the Public Notice seeking
comment on auction procedures solicits public input on the appropriate amount of the bidding credit caps.
193

Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act—Competitive Bidding, PP Docket No. 93-253,
Second Memorandum Opinion and Order, 9 FCC Rcd 7245, 7269, para. 145 (1994); see also 47 CFR
§ 1.2110(c)(1).
194

Competitive Bidding Update Report and Order, 30 FCC Rcd at 7521, para. 65; Amendment of Part 1 of the
Commission’s Rules – Competitive Bidding Procedures, WT Docket No. 97-82, Third Report and Order, 13 FCC
Rcd 374, 388, para. 18 (1997); 47 CFR § 1.2110(c)(1).
195

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6969-6970, para. 163 (citing the 600 MHz service as an example for bidding credits for
flexible-use licenses).
196
See 2016 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 31 FCC Rcd at 8100-01, paras. 249-50 (defining a small
business qualifying for a 15% bidding credit as one with no more than $55 million in average annual gross revenues
for the preceding three years and a very small businesses qualifying for a 25% bidding credit as one with no more
than $20 million in average annual gross revenues for the preceding three years); see also 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(4)(D).
197
See Amendment of the Commission’s Rules Regarding the 37.0-38.6 GHz and 38.6-40.0 GHz Bands, ET Docket
No. 95-183, Report and Order and Second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 12 FCC Rcd 18600, 18662, para. 150
(1997); 47 CFR § 30.302(b).
198

See 47 CFR § 1.2110(f)(2)(i).

199

Following adoption of the NPRM, the Commission sought consultation on July 23, 2018, regarding these
proposed size standards with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), as required by the Small Business Act,
(continued….)

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FCC 20-22

with average annual gross revenues for the relevant preceding period not exceeding $55 million will
qualify as a “small business,” while an entity with average annual gross revenues for the relevant
preceding period not exceeding $20 million will qualify as a “very small business.” Since their adoption
in 2015, we have used these gross revenue thresholds in auctions for licenses likely to be used to provide
5G services in a variety of bands. 200 The results in these auctions indicate that these gross revenue
thresholds have provided an opportunity for bidders claiming eligibility as small businesses to win
licenses to provide spectrum-based services at auction. 201 These thresholds do not appear to be overly
inclusive as a substantial number of qualified bidders in these auctions do not come within the
thresholds. 202 This helps preclude designated entity benefits from flowing to entities for which such
credits are not necessary.

(Continued from previous page)
15 U.S.C. § 632(a)(2)(c), and 13 C.F.R. §§ 121.901-903. The standardized schedule of bidding credits provided in
section 1.2110(f)(2)(i) defines small businesses based on average gross revenues for the preceding three years. The
SBA indicated that the proposed size standards appeared reasonable and that it had no specific comments. See
Letter from Khem R. Sharma, Chief, Office of Size Standards, U.S. Small Business Administration, to Gary D.
Michaels, Deputy Chief, Auctions and Spectrum Access Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, FCC
(Aug. 27, 2018). Subsequently, in December 2018, Congress revised the standard set out in the Small Business Act
for categorizing a business concern as a “small business concern,” by providing as a general matter that a Federal
agency cannot propose to categorize a business concern as a “small business concern” for Small Business Act
purposes unless the size of the concern is based on its annual average gross receipts “over a period of not less than 5
years.” 15 U.S.C. § 632(a)(2)(C)(ii)(II), as amended by Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018, Pub. L.
115-324 (Dec. 17, 2018). In December 2019, the SBA adopted new rules implementing the requirements of the
Small Business Runway Extension Act and modifying its method for calculating average annual receipts used to
prescribe size standards for small businesses from a 3-year to a 5-year average period. Small Business
Administration, Small Business Size Standards: Calculation of Annual Average Receipts, 84 Fed. Reg. 66561 (Dec.
5, 2019). To implement the proposal in the NPRM consistent with this statutory requirement and with SBA’s new
rules, average annual gross revenues for purposes of small business bidding credits in this band will be based on the
preceding five years.
200

See Incentive Auction of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service Licenses in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47
GHz Bands for Next-Generation Wireless Services, AU Docket No. 19-59, Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd 2656, 266061, paras. 12-14 (2019) (Auction 103 Comment Public Notice); Auctions of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Licenses
for Next-Generation Wireless Services, AU Docket No. 18-85, Public Notice, 33 FCC Rcd 4103, 4113-14, para. 30
(2018) (Auctions 101 and 102 Comment Public Notice); Competitive Bidding Update Report and Order, 30 FCC
Rcd at 7523, para. 72 (noting the thresholds adopted in that Order would be used in the auction of 600 MHz licenses
that was part of the broadcast incentive auction).
201

See 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(4)(D) (bidding preferences for small businesses used to create opportunities to participate
in the provision of spectrum-based services). See also Auction of 24 GHz Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service
Licenses Closes, AU Docket No. 18-85, Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd 4294, Attach. A (WTB/OEA 2019) (six of 29
winning bidders claimed eligibility for small business bidding credits); Winning Bidders Announced for Auction of
28 GHz Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service Licenses (Auction 101), AU Docket No. 18-85, Public Notice, 34
FCC Rcd 4279, Attach. A (WTB/OEA 2019) (six of 33 winning bidders claimed eligibility for small business
bidding credits); Incentive Auction Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice, AU Docket No. 14-252,
Public Notice, 32 FCC Rcd 2786, Attach. B (IATF/MB/WTB 2017) (15 of 50 winning bidders for 600 MHz
licenses claimed eligibility for small business bidding credits).
202

See Incentive Auction of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service Licenses in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47
GHz Bands for Next-Generation Wireless Services, AU Docket No. 19-59, Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd 9626, Attach.
A (WTB/OEA 2019) (20% of qualified bidders claimed eligibility for a small business bidding credit); Auction of 24
GHz Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service Licenses for Next Generation Wireless Services, AU Docket No. 1885, Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd 933, Attach. A (WTB/OEA 2019) (just under 20% of qualified bidders claimed
eligibility for a small business credit); Auction of 28 GHz Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service Licenses for Next
Generation Wireless Services, AU Docket No. 18-85, Public Notice, 33 FCC Rcd 10968, Attach. A (WTB/OEA
2018) (20% of qualified bidders claimed eligibility for a small business bidding credit).

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FCC 20-22

68.
We also adopt our proposal to provide qualifying “small businesses” with a bidding
credit of 15% and qualifying “very small businesses” with a bidding credit of 25%, consistent with the
standardized schedule in Part 1 of our rules. 203 This proposal was modeled on the small business size
standards and associated bidding credits that the Commission adopted for a range of other services. 204 We
believe that this two-tiered approach has been successful in the past, and we will employ it once again.
We believe that use of the small business tiers and associated bidding credits set forth in the part 1
bidding credit schedule will provide consistency and predictability for small businesses. No commenter
provides any alternative or reason why the bidding credit thresholds or small business definitions that we
adopt would not work in this service.
69.
Rural Service Providers.—In the NPRM, the Commission also sought comment on a
proposal to offer a bidding credit for rural service providers. 205 The rural service provider bidding credit
awards a 15% bidding credit to those that service predominantly rural areas and that have fewer than
250,000 combined wireless, wireline, broadband and cable subscribers. 206 As a general matter, the
Commission “has made closing the digital divide between Americans with, and without, access to modern
broadband networks its top priority . . . [and is] committed to ensuring that all Americans, including those
in rural areas, Tribal lands, and disaster-affected areas, have the benefits of a high-speed broadband
connection.” 207 In this proceeding, a variety of organizations and associations that in turn represent the
providers that serve the most rural and sparsely populated areas of the country have come together to
stress that “rules [for bringing this spectrum to market] should balance the competing needs of interested
parties and offer meaningful opportunities for providers of all kinds and sizes to offer spectrum-based
services to rural consumers.” 208
70.
We find that a targeted bidding credit will better enable entities already providing rural
service to compete for spectrum licenses at auction and in doing so, will increase the availability of 5G
service in rural areas. Accordingly, we will apply the rural service provider bidding credit to auctioning
new licenses in this band.
3.

Licensing and Operating Rules

71.
Building on the Commission’s previous experience introducing mobile service in bands
shared with fixed terrestrial and FSS users, we adopt rules to license new mobile operations under our
Part 27 rules, with modifications to tailor certain rules to the specific characteristics of C-band
spectrum. 209 We adopt licensing and operating rules that afford licensees the flexibility to align licenses
203

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6969-70, para. 163. See also 47 C.F.R. § 1.2110(f)(2)(i)(B), (C).

204

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6969-70, para. 163. See, e.g., Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 1.7
GHz and 2.1 GHz Bands, WT Docket No. 02-353, Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 25162, 25220, para. 149 (2003)
(AWS-1 Service Rules R&O); AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16185, para. 217 (adopting the AWS-1
size standards and associated bidding credits for small businesses for any AWS-4 licenses awarded through
competitive bidding).
205

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6969-70, para. 163.

206

Competitive Bidding Update Report and Order, 30 FCC Rcd at 7530, para. 88.

207

Inquiry Concerning Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications Capability to All Americans in a Reasonable
and Timely Fashion, GN Docket No. 18-238, 2019 Broadband Deployment Report, 34 FCC Rcd 3857, 3858, para. 1
(2019).
208

Letter from NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association et al., to The Honorable Roger Wicker, The Honorable
Frank Pallone, Jr., and The Honorable Ajit Pai, Chairman, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1 (filed Mar. 25, 2019).
209

See, e.g., Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the 1695-1710 MHz,
1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz Bands, GN Docket No. 13-185, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 4610, 465051, para. 108, 4652, para.112 (2014) (licensing AWS-3 spectrum under part 27 and providing AWS-3 licenses with
the flexibility to provide any fixed or mobile service that is consistent with the allocations for the spectrum); 2015
(continued….)

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in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band with licenses in other spectrum bands governed by part 27 of the Commission’s
rules and other flexible-use services. 210 Specifically, finding no opposition in the record, we adopt rules
requiring 3.7 GHz Service licensees in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band to comply with licensing and operating
rules that are applicable to all part 27 services, including flexible use, 211 regulatory status, 212 foreign
ownership reporting, 213 compliance with construction requirements, 214 renewal criteria, 215 permanent
discontinuance of operations, 216 partitioning and disaggregation, 217 and spectrum leasing. 218 In addition,
we adopt service-specific rules for the 3.7-3.98 GHz band, including eligibility, mobile spectrum holdings
policies, license term, performance requirements, renewal term construction obligations, and other
licensing and operating rules to be included in part 27. 219
a.

Band Plan

72.
Block Size.—We will designate the lower 280 megahertz of C-band spectrum in 100
megahertz increments as the A and B Blocks and in an 80-megahertz increment as C Block. We will
issue licenses in the A, B, and C Blocks in 20 megahertz “sub-blocks.” 220 Specifically, the A Block (3.73.8 GHz), B Block: (3.8-3.9 GHz), and C Block (3.9-3.98 GHz) will be licensed according to the
following channel plan:

(Continued from previous page)
3.5 GHz Band Report and Order, 30 FCC Rcd at 3972, para. 34 (adding primary fixed and mobile, except
aeronautical mobile, allocations to the 3.55-3.65 GHz band in the non-federal table).
210

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6962, para. 143.

211

See 47 U.S.C. § 303(y); 47 CFR §§ 1.2106, 27.2, 27.3.

212

47 CFR § 27.10.

213

47 U.S.C. § 310; 47 CFR § 27.12.

214

Id. § 27.14(k).

215
Id. § 1.949. We note the Commission amended several of the rules applicable to part 27 services. See
Amendment of Parts 1, 22, 24, 27, 74, 80, 90, 95, and 101 To Establish Uniform License Renewal, Discontinuance
of Operation, and Geographic Partitioning and Spectrum Disaggregation Rules and Policies for Certain Wireless
Services, WT Docket No. 10-112, Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 32 FCC
Rcd 8874 (2017) (Wireless Radio Services Renewal Reform 2nd R&O and FNPRM).
216

47 CFR § 1.953.

217

Id. § 1.950.

218

47 CFR §§ 1.9001 et seq.

219

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6962, para. 144.

220

For example, the A Block will cover 100 megahertz from 3.7-3.8 GHz, with five 20-megahertz sub-blocks: 3.73.72 GHz (A1), 3.72-3.74 GHz (A2), 3.74-3.76 GHz (A3), 3.76-3.78 GHz (A4), and 3.78-3.8 GHz (A5). The C
Block will cover 100 megahertz from 3.9-4.0 GHz, but only the first four 20-megahertz sub-blocks will be licensed
for flexible use, with the final 20-megahertz sub-block from 3.98-4.0 GHz being reserved as a guard band.

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73.
In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on whether 20 megahertz blocks would
be appropriate for the wireless technologies that are likely to be deployed in this band. 221 The
Commission sought comment on the appropriate block size that would accommodate a wide range of
terrestrial wireless services, while also providing sufficient bandwidth to support 5G services. 222
Commenters support relatively smaller sized sub-blocks with the potential to aggregate to larger sizes of
60 to 160 megahertz. 223
74.
We find that 100 megahertz blocks, with 20 megahertz sub-blocks, will provide sufficient
flexibility for interested bidders to tailor their decisions based on the anticipated clearing costs and
accelerated relocation payment obligations associated with a particular amount of spectrum or geographic
license area. For carrier frequencies below 6 GHz, 3GPP has specified thirteen possible channel
bandwidths for 5G deployments as follows: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100
megahertz. 224 To facilitate operation of 100 megahertz bandwidth 5G channels, we implement and define
the uniform block size of 100 megahertz that would run across the entire band from 3.7-4.0 GHz. By
allowing new flexible-use licensees to acquire full 100-megahertz blocks, we will ensure that C-band
spectrum is licensed in sufficiently wide bandwidths to enable 5G deployments. 225 The inclusion of 20
megahertz sub-blocks provides sufficient flexibility for manufacturers and licensees to tailor application
of the band to suit future needs, especially when considering that LTE can be made to coexist within or
adjacent to 5G operations. A number of commenters support a Commission auction of this spectrum in
20 megahertz blocks. 226 Because we find that 20 megahertz sub-blocks provide sufficient flexibility, we
find it unnecessary to divide the blocks even smaller into 10 megahertz sub-blocks, as some commenters
have proposed. 227
75.
Spectrum Block Configuration.—We adopt rules to license the A, B, and C 20 megahertz
sub-blocks of C-band spectrum in an unpaired spectrum block configuration because there is wide support
221

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6960, para. 135.

222

Id.

223

AT&T Reply at 20; Broadband Access Coalition Comments at 23; Ericsson Comments at 18; Motorola
Comments 5; Nokia Comments at 10-11; Qualcomm Comments at 5; T-Mobile Comments at 23-24; U.S. Cellular
Comments at 14.
224

3GPP TS 38.104 v16.1.0 (2019-09) (Release 16), NR; Base Station (BS) Radio Transmission and Reception, at
31 (5.3.2 Transmission bandwidth configuration),
https://portal.3gpp.org/desktopmodules/Specifications/SpecificationDetails.aspx?specificationId=3202 (last visited
Feb. 4, 2020). See also 3GPP, Release 16 (updated Oct. 2, 2019), International Telecommunication Union, ITU
towards “IMT for 2020 and beyond,” https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/study-groups/rsg5/rwp5d/imt2020/Pages/default.aspx (last visited Feb. 4, 2020).
225

See Verizon Comments at 18; Letter from Jared M. Carlson, Vice President, Government Affairs and Public
Policy, Ericsson, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No 18-122, at 1 (filed Feb. 12, 2020) (stating
that 100 megahertz channels are essential to deliver a high-performance experience).
226

CCA Dec. 19, 2019 Ex Parte at 2; Letter from Colleen King, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Charter
Communications, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2 (filed Dec. 19, 2019);
Verizon Feb. 6, 2019 Ex Parte at 1.
227
See, e.g., Letter from Michael P. Goggin, Assistant Vice President, Senior Legal Counsel, AT&T, to Marlene H.
Dortch, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 6 n.14 (filed Jan. 30, 2020) (AT&T Jan. 30, 2020 Ex Parte) (suggesting
that to provide flexibility to aggregate contiguous channels efficiently, C-band spectrum should be auctioned by
PEA in 10 megahertz blocks); Letter from Grant B. Spellmeyer, Vice President, Federal Affairs & Public Policy,
U.S. Cellular, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2 (filed Feb. 5, 2020) (U.S. Cellular
Feb. 5, 2020 Ex Parte) (stating that adoption of 10 megahertz blocks would provide even greater flexibility of
wireless service consistent with the channel bandwidths in 3GPP release 15); Letter from Steve B. Sharkey, Vice
President, Government Affairs, T-Mobile, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1 (filed
Feb. 5, 2020) (T-Mobile Feb. 5, 2020 Ex Parte).

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in the record for this approach, and it will enhance the flexible and efficient use of the band for nextgeneration services and other advance spectrum-based services. 228 In contrast to a paired channel
configuration that assumes frequency division duplex operations, an unpaired spectrum configuration is
technology neutral, i.e., enables time division duplex operations, which has become increasingly
prevalent in deployments of digital broadband networks. 229 As Verizon points out, time division duplex
technology “enables smart-antenna adaptive-beam technologies for highly directive antenna gain, and
allows users to maximize flexibility to manage uplink and downlink traffic ratios.” 230 In light of these
considerations, we conclude that an unpaired spectrum block configuration will provide licensees the
flexibility necessary to increase the capacity of their networks and make the most efficient use of C-band
spectrum.
76.
Use of Geographic Licensing.—Consistent with our approach in several other bands used
to provide fixed and mobile services, we find that it is in the public interest to license the A, B, and C
Blocks in 20 megahertz sub-blocks on an exclusive, geographic area basis. Geographic area licensing
provides flexibility to licensees, promotes efficient spectrum use, and helps facilitate rapid assignment of
licenses, using competitive bidding when necessary. 231 There is wide support in the record for licensing
C-band flexible-use spectrum on an exclusive, geographic basis, 232 and we find that such an approach will
give certainty to licensees and provide the efficiencies of scale and scope that drive innovation,
investment, and rapid deployment of next generation services. 233
77.
Geographic License Area.—We adopt PEAs as the geographic license area for new 3.7
GHz Service licenses and divide those licenses into 20 megahertz sub-blocks within the A, B, and C
Blocks; we find that this license-area size best optimizes and balances our statutory and regulatory
objectives in licensing spectrum. In determining the appropriate geographic license area size, the
Commission must consider several factors, including: (1) facilitating access to spectrum by both small
and large providers; (2) providing for the efficient use of spectrum; (3) encouraging deployment of
wireless broadband services to consumers, including those in rural areas and Tribal lands; and (4)
promoting investment in and rapid deployment of new technologies and services. 234 In the NPRM, the
Commission sought comment on using PEAs, as well as on licensing on a county, nationwide, or other
basis. 235
78.
Qualcomm, T-Mobile, the C-Band Alliance, and Nokia support the use of PEAs, and
observe that the size of a PEA is consistent with nationwide and wide-area deployments of 5G services. 236
228
AT&T Reply at 20; Broadband Access Coalition Comments at 23 (stating that the existing microwave channel
plan assumes frequency division duplex operations based on analog radios); Ericsson Comments at 17-18;
Qualcomm Comments at 8; US Cellular Comments at 14; CTIA Comments at 21; T-Mobile Comments at 24;
Verizon Comments at 18; Motorola Comments at 5.
229

See, e.g., Broadband Access Coalition Comments at 23; CTIA Comments at 21; Verizon Comments at 18.

230

Id.

231

See 47 CFR § 27.6.

232
See, e.g., AT&T Comments at 18-19; AT&T Reply at 20; Charter Reply at 10-11; CCA Reply at 9-10; CTIA
Comments at 20; Motorola Comments at 5; Qualcomm Comments at 4; T-Mobile Comments at 25; U.S. Cellular
Comments at 12; Verizon Comments at 18-19; NTCA July 19 PN Comments at 5. While some commenters support
a reallocation of C-band spectrum that would allow for shared use between incumbent FSS operations and new
flexible-use operations, no commenters support non-exclusive, shared operations between flexible-use licensees in
the same geographic area.
233

See CTIA Comments at 20-21; Verizon Comments at 18-19; T-Mobile Comments at 25.

234

See, e.g., AWS-1 Service Rules R&O, 18 FCC Rcd at 25174, para. 31; see also 47 U.S.C. § 309(j).

235

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6961, para. 139.

236

Qualcomm Comments at 5 (also supports EAs); T-Mobile Comments at 25-26; Nokia Comments at 10.

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FCC 20-22

AT&T and Verizon support the use of Economic Area (EA) license sizes; they argue that an EA provides
the geographic scale to maximize investment in wide-area deployments of 5G and other advanced
wireless services. 237 U.S. Cellular supports licensing on a Cellular Market Area (CMA) basis in order to
preserve opportunities for small and regional carriers to compete with the dominant nationwide carriers
and to ensure the deployment of rural networks in this spectrum. 238 Motorola argues that license areas
should be no larger than counties. 239
79.
We find that licensing on a PEA basis strikes the appropriate balance between being
sufficiently large to facilitate wide-area deployments of 5G, while also being sufficiently small to ensure
that small and regional carriers are able to compete for new flexible-use licenses. PEAs offer a
compromise between EAs, on the one hand, and CMAs or counties, on the other hand, because they are
smaller than EAs and serve to separate rural from urban markets to a greater degree than EAs do (given
that EAs often include both rural and urban markets), yet PEAs are also subdivisions that “nest” within
EAs and can easily be aggregated to larger areas such as EAs, Major Economic Areas, and Regional
Economic Areas. 240 As a result, licensing new flexible-use licenses on a PEA basis in the contiguous
United States will encourage entry by providers that contemplate offering wireless broadband service on a
localized basis, yet at the same time will not preclude carriers that plan to provide service on a much
larger geographic scale. 241 PEAs therefore will encourage auction participation by a diverse group of
buyers and will generate competition between large, regional, and small carriers across various
geographic areas, while also minimizing the difficult coordination and border issues that might arise from
smaller license areas. We agree with commenters that recommend excluding areas outside of the
contiguous United States from the transition and will not issue licenses in those PEAs. 242
80.
In summary, for Blocks A, B, and C, we will issue flexible-use licenses on a PEA basis
for 20 megahertz sub-blocks in the contiguous states and the District of Columbia (PEAs 1-41, 43-211,
213-263, 265-297, 299-359, and 361-411). 243 We will not issue flexible-use licenses for Honolulu,
Anchorage, Kodiak, Fairbanks, Juneau, Puerto Rico, Guam-Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin
Islands, American Samoa, and the Gulf of Mexico (PEAs numbers 42, 212, 264, 298, 360, 412-416).
b.

Application Requirements & Eligibility

81.
Licensees in the A, B, and C blocks must comply with the Commission’s general
application requirements. 244 Further, we adopt an open eligibility standard for licenses in the A, B, and C
237

AT&T Reply at 20; Verizon Comments at 19.

238

U.S. Cellular Comments at 12.

239

Motorola Comments at 5. See also WISPA Feb. 14, 2020 Ex Parte at 1-3 (recommends setting aside up to four
of the 14 blocks for competitive bidding at the county level).
240

See 47 CFR § 27.6(a) (“Both MEAs and REAGs are based on the U.S. Department of Commerce's EAs. See 60
FR 13114 (March 10, 1995)”).

241

See Broadcast Incentive Auction R&O, 29 FCC Rcd at 6595-6600, paras. 69-75.

242

See, e.g., SIA Reply at 8 (stating that ships at sea and offshore energy platforms rely on C-band satellite services
“to connect exploration and drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico otherwise support energy sector participants using
small C-band remote user terminals” (quoting Speedcast Comments at 2 and citing Global Eagle Entertainment
Comments at 1 and ITC Global Comments at 2 (several entities rely on C-band FSS to serve cruise liners and
yachts, which require reliable and high capacity connectivity services)). See also RigNet Reply at 5 (C-band
spectrum provides important communications services for off-shore energy and commercial maritime applications).
243

See 47 CFR § 27.6; Amendment of the Commission’s Rules to Establish Part 27, the Wireless Communications
Service, GN Docket No. 96-228, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 10785, 10816, para. 59 (1997).

244

See 47 CFR §§ 1.901-1.959. To grant a license application, the Commission must determine that the public
convenience, interest, or necessity will be served thereby under section 307 of the Communications Act. See 47
U.S.C. § 307; see also id. §§ 309(a), 310(a), (b).

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Blocks. 245 The Commission has determined that eligibility restrictions on licenses may be imposed only
when open eligibility would pose a significant likelihood of substantial harm to competition in specific
markets and when an eligibility restriction would be effective in eliminating that harm. 246 AT&T, TMobile, and Verizon support an open eligibility standard. 247 Verizon states that “there is no basis to
consider any eligibility restrictions” for C-band spectrum, arguing that open eligibility “maximizes the
number of applicants for the spectrum, promotes competition that helps ensure the spectrum is put to its
highest valued use, and encourages the development of different products and services.” 248
82.
We agree that the record in this proceeding does not demonstrate a compelling need for
regulatory intervention to exclude potential participants. We find that adopting an open eligibility
standard appropriately relies on market forces and will encourage efforts to develop new technologies,
products, and services, while helping to ensure efficient use of this spectrum. 249 Generally applicable
qualifications that may apply under our rules, including those relating to citizenship and character, apply
to any and all licenses issued for flexible use of this spectrum, and any person who has been, for reasons
of national security, barred by any agency of the Federal Government from bidding on a contract,
participating in an auction, or receiving a grant is ineligible. 250
c.

Mobile Spectrum Holdings

83.
We do not impose a pre-auction bright-line limit on acquisitions of the 3.7-3.98 GHz
band. Instead, we will incorporate into the spectrum screen the 280 megahertz of spectrum that we make
available in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. We will also perform case-by-case review of the long-form license
applications filed as a result of the auction.
84.
In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on whether and how to address mobile
spectrum holdings issues to meet our statutory requirements and ensure competitive access in the 3.7-4.2
GHz band, including whether to include the 3.7-4.2 GHz band in the spectrum screen for secondary
market transactions. 251 The Commission proposed not to adopt a pre-auction bright-line limit on a party’s
ability to acquire spectrum in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band in a public auction. 252 The Commission also asked
whether to apply a post-auction case-by-case review of holdings when applications for initial licenses are
filed and whether to limit the amount of spectrum one party can acquire through a market-based
mechanism. 253

245

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6963, para. 145, note 256 (citing AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16193,
paras. 241-42; Service Rules for the 746-764 and 776-794 MHz Bands et al., WT Docket No. 06-150 et al., 22 FCC
Rcd 15289, 15381, 15383-84, paras. 253, 256 (2007) (700 MHz Second Report and Order); Allocations and Service
Rules for the 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz and 92-95 GHz Bands, Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 23318, 23346-47, para.
70 (2003)).
246

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6963, n.256 (citing AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16193, paras. 241-42;
700 MHz Second Report and Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 15381, 15383-84, paras. 253, 256; Allocations and Service
Rules for the 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz and 92-95 GHz Bands, Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 23318, 23346-47, para.
70 (2003)).
247

AT&T Comments at 19; T-Mobile Comments at 26; Verizon Comments at 20.

248

Id. at 20.

249

See 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(3).

250

Cf. 47 CFR § 27.12(b) (citing 47 U.S.C. § 1404(c)).

251

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6963-64, paras. 147-48.

252

Id. at 6963-64, para. 147.

253

Id. at 6964, para. 148.

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85.
Similar to the Commission’s approach in the 2017 Spectrum Frontiers Order and
FNPRM 254 and the 2018 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 255 we find that, “[g]enerally, bright-line,
pre-auction limits may restrict unnecessarily the ability of entities to participate in and acquire spectrum
in an auction, and we are not inclined to adopt such limits on auction participation absent a clear
indication that they are necessary to address a specific competitive concern.” 256
86.
We agree with AT&T and Verizon that an in-band spectrum aggregation limit is
unnecessary for this band. 257 Commenters requesting an in-band limit raise only general concerns
regarding the need to prevent a few dominant carriers from obtaining an excessive concentration of this
spectrum and to ensure smaller carriers have a fair opportunity to obtain the spectrum. 258 But limiting the
amount of 3.7-3.98 GHz band spectrum that one party can acquire, as these commenters request, 259 could
unnecessarily restrict providers’ ability to participate in the auction and acquire spectrum in this band. 260
This ultimately could “constrain providers in their paths towards 5G deployment,” limit providers’
“incentives to invest” in the band, and “delay the realization of related economic benefits.” 261 Further, “a
variety of spectral paths to 5G deployment in the United States” exist, 262 including the additional
254

2017 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 32 FCC Rcd at 11009-10, paras. 70, 73.

255

2018 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 5589, para. 32.

256

2017 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 32 FCC Rcd at 11010-11, para. 73.

257

See Verizon Comments at 20; AT&T Comments at 17; Letter from Gregory M. Romano, Federal Regulatory and
Legal Affairs, Verizon, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 6-7 (filed Feb. 17, 2020)
(Verizon Feb. 17, 2020 Ex Parte). Verizon opposes ex ante limits on the amount of spectrum a party can acquire
through the secondary market or through an auction. See Verizon Comments at 20 and n.62.
258

See, e.g., U.S. Cellular Comments at 19-20 (asking the Commission to impose an one-third limit on the ability of
any party to acquire the 3.7-4.2 GHz spectrum); CCA Reply at 11 (asking the Commission to adopt a screen that
incorporates C-Band spectrum, such as a one-third aggregation limit that any provider can obtain at auction); Letter
from Alexi Maltas, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Competitive Carriers Association, to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC at 2 (filed Dec. 20, 2018) (asking the Commission to explore policies to curb anticompetitive aggregation practices); NTCA July 19 PN Comments at 5, 7 (supporting a spectrum aggregation cap);
ACA Connects Coalition Proposal at 8 (asking the Commission to impose restrictions to limit how much spectrum
any one provider can acquire at auction); T-Mobile Dec. 18, 2019 Ex Parte at 2-4 (asking the Commission to adopt
a spectrum aggregation limit “because it will likely be able to provide a particularly robust mid-band wireless
broadband service.”); Letter from Nicole Tupman, Assistant General Counsel, Midcontinent Communications, to
Marlene H Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, et al., at 1 (filed Dec. 9, 2019).
259

See, e.g., U.S. Cellular Comments at 19-20; CCA Reply at 11; T-Mobile Feb. 5, 2020 Ex Parte at 2-3
(recommending a spectrum aggregation limit for the initial tranche of one-third of the spectrum that will be made
available in that tranche and an overall spectrum aggregation limit of one-third of the total amount of spectrum that
will be made available in the C-band auction); Letter from Michael Calabrese, OTI, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No, 18-122, at 17-18 (filed Feb. 4, 2020 (OTI Feb. 4, 2020 Ex Parte) (same); Letter
from Jill Canfield, VP, Legal, NTCA; Alexi Maltas, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, CCA; Angie
Kronenberg, Chief Advocate and General Counsel, INCOMPAS; Louis Pereartz, Vice President of Policy, WISPA;
and Vann Bentley, Policy Counsel, CCIA, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No 18-122, at 1-2
(filed Feb 18, 2020) (recommending a requirement that no single entity can acquire more than one-third of the
spectrum in a geographic area); Letter from Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Public Knowledge, to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No 18-122, et al., at 1 (filed Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte) (recommending spectrum
cap); Letter from Steve B. Sharkey, Vice President, T-Mobile, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket
No. 18-122, at 2-3 (filed Feb. 21, 2020) (same).
260

See 2018 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 5589-90, para. 33; see also Verizon Feb. 17,
2020 Ex Parte at 2 (“Arbitrary spectrum aggregation limits undermine innovation and investment by preventing
operators from acquiring the spectrum needed to serve the marketplace”).
261

See 2018 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 5589-90, para. 33.

262

Id. at 5589, para. 32.

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opportunities for access to spectrum through our recent actions to remove restrictions on the 2.5 GHz
band, 263 to make the 3.5 GHz band available for priority access licenses, 264 and to make millimeter-wave
spectrum available through auction. 265 Because our “balancing of objectives” has “shift[ed] towards
facilitating rapid 5G deployment in the United States,” and because commenters have not pointed to “a
clear indication” that in-band limits “are necessary to address a specific competitive concern,” we find it
unnecessary to impose an in-band limit on the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. Instead, we find that a case-by-case
review of acquisitions of 3.7-3.98 GHz band spectrum will allow the Commission to review spectrum
aggregation on market competition without unnecessarily restricting entities from acquiring spectrum to
deploy 5G services. 266
87.
We will include the A, B, and C Blocks of the 3.7-3.98 GHz band in the screen for
secondary market transactions because the spectrum will become “suitable and available in the near term
for the provision of mobile telephony/broadband services.” 267 The relevant product market for the screen
incorporates both mobile voice and data services, including services provided over advanced broadband
wireless networks—particularly emerging, next generation wireless services.268 We adopt flexible-use
rules here to enable terrestrial mobile use for 5G deployment. 269 Accordingly, it is appropriate to
incorporate this band into the screen for mobile telephony/broadband services. 270

263

2.5 GHz Band Order, 34 FCC Rcd 5446.

264

See, e.g., 2018 3.5 GHz Band Report and Order, 33 FCC Rcd at 10599, para. 2.

265

See generally 2016 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 31 FCC Rcd 8014.

266
See Verizon Reply at 12 (supporting case-by-case review to address spectrum aggregation by entities); see also
AT&T July 19 PN Comments at 12 (same); Verizon Feb. 17, 2020 Ex Parte at 3 (“To the extent aggregation
concerns arise in the context of a particular acquisition, the Commission can address them through its well-tested
and flexible case-by-case review process”).
267
See, e.g., Applications of AT&T Inc., Leap Wireless International, Inc., Cricket License Co., LLC and Leap
LicenseCo, Inc. For Consent To Transfer Control and Assign Licenses and Authorizations, WT Docket. 13-193,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 2735, 2749-51, paras. 32, 34 (WTB 2014) (AT&T-Leap Order);
Applications of SoftBank Corp., Starburst II, Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp, and Clearwire Corp., IB Docket. No. 12-343,
28 FCC Rcd 9642, 9657, para. 39 (2013) (SoftBank-Sprint Order); Policies Regarding Mobile Spectrum Holdings
Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum through Incentive Auctions, WT Docket No.
12-269, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 6169, 6171-87, paras. 70, 76-125 (2014) (Mobile Spectrum Holdings
Report and Order). Whether spectrum is “suitable,” for purposes of the spectrum screen, “is determined by whether
the spectrum is capable of supporting mobile service given its physical properties and the state of equipment
technology, whether the spectrum is licensed with a mobile allocation and corresponding service rules, and whether
the spectrum is committed to another use that effectively precludes its use for mobile telephony/broadband
services.” Applications of AT&T Inc. and Centennial Communications Corp. For Consent to Transfer Control of
Licenses, Authorizations, and Spectrum Leasing Arrangements, WT Docket. No. 08-246, Memorandum Opinion
and Order, 24 FCC Rcd 13915, 13935, para. 43 (2009) (AT&T-Centennial Order); Mobile Spectrum Holdings
Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 6169, para. 71. Spectrum is “available” if it is “fairly certain that it will meet the
criteria for suitable spectrum in the near term.” AT&T-Centennial Order, 24 FCC Rcd at 13935, para. 43; Mobile
Spectrum Holdings Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 6169, para. 71.
268

See Mobile Spectrum Holdings Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 6224, para. 234 (defining product market for
“mobile telephony/broadband services”) (citing Sprint-Clearwire Order, 23 FCC Rcd at 17586-87, paras. 38-40).
269

Likewise, the record indicates that providers seek to reallocate this spectrum for 5G fixed and mobile services.
See, e.g., AT&T Comments at 3-6 (noting importance of reallocation for 5G terrestrial mobile services); Verizon
Comments at 17 (urging flexible-use licensing for fixed and mobile services).
270

See, e.g., U.S. Cellular Comments at 20 (supporting adding the 3.7-4.2 GHz band in the spectrum screen for
secondary market transactions); AT&T July 19 PN Comments at 12 (supporting adding the 3.7-4.2 GHz band in the
spectrum screen for case-by-case review of acquisitions in the band). Although Verizon had asked to exclude the
band from the screen “given the lack of clarity regarding whether use of the C-band would fit the services identified
(continued….)

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88.
We will add the 280 megahertz to the spectrum screen once the auction closes. While
winners of the auction must clear incumbents from the band following the auction, we find it is “fairly
certain” that the auctioned spectrum “will meet the criteria for suitable spectrum in the near term” once
the auction closes, given our transition plan. 271 This is consistent with our approach for the 600 MHz
band (where the Commission found that the spectrum was available following the Broadcast Incentive
Auction, even though incumbents had to be moved) and the 700 MHz band (where the Commission found
that the spectrum was available a year and a half before the spectrum would be cleared by incumbents). 272
89.
Finally, we will perform case-by-case review of the long form applications of the 3.73.98 GHz spectrum following the auction. We will use the same case-by-case review as we do for
secondary market transactions, updated to account for the additional 3.7-3.98 GHz spectrum. As the
Commission has explained, case-by-case review “permits bidders to participate fully” in acquiring the
spectrum, “while still allowing the Commission to assess the impact on competition from the assignment
of initial . . . licenses, and to take appropriate action to preserve or protect competition only where
necessary.” 273 As we have done in other bands we made available for flexible use, we will apply the
standard articulated in the 2008 Union Telephone Order. 274 This review will create sufficient bidder
certainty for the auction, consistent with section 309(j)(3)(E). 275
d.

License Term

90.
We find that a 15-year license term will provide sufficient time to encourage investment
in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band given the clearing, relocation, and repacking that must occur prior to mobile
operations. In the NPRM, the Commission proposed a 15-year license term for this very reason, 276
suggesting that 15 years would afford licensees sufficient time to achieve significant buildout obligations
post-transition. 277 Many commenters agree that a longer term is warranted where time-consuming

(Continued from previous page)
for screen purposes,” Verizon now supports including the band in the screen. See Verizon Feb. 17, 2020 Ex Parte
(citing Verizon Comments at 20-21).
271

See Mobile Spectrum Holdings Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 6169, para. 71.

272

See id. at 6172, para 81 (adding 600 MHz to the screen) (citing 700 MHz Second Report and Order, 22 FCC Rcd
at 20314, para. 31 (adding 700 MHz to the screen)).
273
2018 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 5591, para. 35 (adopting case-by-case review for
millimeter-wave spectrum bands). For example, similar to the Commission’s approach in the 2018 Spectrum
Frontiers Order and FNPRM, the Commission may allow a license applicant following the private agreement or
auction of overlay licenses stage “to exceed the threshold if it finds that this would not foreclose other competitors
from acquiring similar” spectrum. Id. Further, “in the event that a divestiture is required before issuing any new
licenses,” an applicant “would have greater flexibility to choose which spectrum to divest among its existing”
spectrum holdings already in the screen, “in a manner that nevertheless would address competitive concerns.” Id.
274

Union Tel. Co. Cellco P’ship d/b/a Verizon Wireless, Applications for 700 MHz Band Licenses, Auction No. 73,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 23 FCC Rcd 16787, 16791-92, 16796, paras. 9, 18 (2008) (Union Telephone
Order); see, e.g., 2018 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 5591, para. 36. As the Commission
explained in the 2018 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, “such a case-by-case review provides parties with a
clear and familiar standard that the Commission and Bureau have used, and continue to use, in reviewing proposed
secondary market transactions currently.” Id.
275

Id.

276

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6964, para. 149. The Communications Act does not specify a term limit for wireless
radio services licenses. The only statutory limit on license terms is eight years for licenses in the broadcast
services. See 47 U.S.C. § 307(c)(1); see also 47 CFR § 73.1020(a).
277

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6964, para. 149.

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activities are needed to ready the spectrum for mobile use, 278 and several argue that 15 years will promote
the provision of innovative services and applications. 279
91.
We agree and conclude that a 15-year license term for the A, B, and C Blocks best serves
the public interest by providing the time needed for significant investment that ultimately will usher in
valuable services to consumers.
e.

Performance Requirements; Renewal

92.
The Commission recognizes the critical role that performance requirements play in
ensuring that licensed spectrum does not lie fallow. The performance requirements we adopt for the 3.73.98 GHz band take into account the unique characteristics of this band, but also will ensure that licensees
begin providing service to consumers in a timely manner by relying on specific quantifiable benchmarks.
To support a variety of different use cases in this spectrum, we adopt below specific metrics for
mobile/point-to-multipoint, fixed, and IoT services in the A, B, and C Blocks, consistent with our
proposal in the NPRM. 280
93.
Mobile or Point-to-Multipoint Performance Requirements.—We conclude that licensees
in the A, B, and C Blocks offering mobile or point-to-multipoint services must provide reliable signal
coverage and offer service to at least 45% of the population in each of their license areas within eight
years of the license issue date (first performance benchmark), and to at least 80% of the population in
each of their license areas within 12 years from the license issue date (second performance benchmark).
These population benchmarks are slightly more aggressive than those for other flexible-use services under
part 27. 281 Given the critical role of mid-band spectrum in today’s spectral environment, we find that this
approach is warranted. 282
94.
Commenters generally support performance requirements to prevent warehousing of this
valuable spectrum, 283 but some object that these benchmarks are more stringent than for other part 27
services in lower frequency bands that have better propagation characteristics, e.g., BRS, H Block, AWS3, AWS-4, 600 MHz, and 700 MHz Upper C Band, that have better propagation characteristics than the
3.7-3.98 GHz band. 284 U.S. Cellular argues for interim and final construction benchmarks of 35% and
60% population coverage, respectively, for licenses relying on mobile or point-to-multipoint service
based on the existing requirements for these other bands but “tailored to account for the inferior

278

See, e.g., AT&T Reply at 21; Nokia Comments at 8.

279

AT&T Comments at 19; AT&T Reply at 21; CTIA Comments at 21; Nokia Comments at 11; Verizon Comments
at 21; U.S. Cellular Comments at 15-16; Qualcomm Comments at 8; see also T-Mobile Comments at 26 (supporting
10-year license terms); Charter Reply at 10-11 (supporting 10-year license terms).
280

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6964-65, para. 151. We note that, as holders of flexible use licenses, the new licensees in
the 3.7-3.98 GHz band will be authorized to provide any services for which the band is allocated. See 47 C.F.R. §
27.2(a). Accordingly, it is possible that some of these licensees might opt to use their licensed spectrum to operate a
service for which the performance requirements we are establishing here do not readily fit (e.g., to operate a private
land mobile radio service). We will address such cases on an ad hoc basis, however, pursuant to our waiver
processes, as we anticipate that the predominant use of spectrum in this band will be for the type of services for
which we have tailored these performance requirements.
281

The AWS-4 and H Block rules require coverage of 40% of the population within four years and 70% and 75%,
respectively, within seven and ten years, respectively. See 47 CFR § 27.14(q), (r). Because spectrum availability
was not immediate in many areas, the AWS-3 and 600 MHz rules allow six and 12 years to cover 40% and 75%,
respectively. See Id. § 27.14(s), (t).
282

See Comcast Reply at 19; Verizon Comments at 21; U.S. Cellular Comments at 16-17; CTIA Comments at 22.

283

See, e.g., U.S. Cellular Reply at 38.

284

CTIA Comments at 22; Verizon Comments at 21-22; U.S. Cellular Comments at 17.

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propagation characteristics of the 3.7-3.98 GHz band.” 285 T-Mobile supports a 40% population-based
performance benchmark at the four-year mark, and a 75% benchmark at the end of a 10-year license term,
arguing that this would be consistent with benchmarks “adopted in the H Block, AWS-3, AWS-4, and
millimeter wave bands.” 286 AT&T and CTIA also support an interim performance requirement of at least
40% of the population in each license area and a final performance requirement of at least 75% of the
population in each license area. 287 AT&T argues that because spectrum availability will not be immediate
in many areas, it would be appropriate to delay the interim benchmark, applying that benchmark in year
eight instead of year six. 288
95.
In the NPRM, we proposed that the deadline for the first performance benchmark would
be six years from the license issue date. However, consistent with the rules we adopt for the transition of
existing space station and earth station operations to the upper 200 megahertz of the band, new flexibleuse licensees may not commence operations until the necessary clearing has been completed and the
flexible-use licensee has complied with all obligations to provide reimbursement for relocation costs and
any additional accelerated relocation payments have been made. We anticipate that flexible-use licensees
will begin deploying their systems and constructing their networks while incumbents are still transitioning
out of the 3.7-3.98 GHz band so that flexible-use licensees are able to commence operations soon after
incumbent clearing is complete. 289 Nevertheless, given the potential length of that transition, we find that
a six-year initial benchmark may not be reasonable. We therefore find it appropriate to adjust our
proposed deadline for the first performance benchmark to eight years from the license issue date, in order
to provide licensees additional time to deploy once the license area has been cleared of FSS use. 290
96.
We believe that 12 years will provide sufficient time for A, B, and C Block licensees,
relying on mobile or point-to-multipoint service in accordance with our part 27 rules, to meet the
proposed coverage requirements. Given the expected desirability of mid-band spectrum for the provision
of innovative 5G services that promote American competitiveness, the performance benchmarks we adopt
today are not unduly burdensome because we expect that the market will drive deployment beyond these
Commission’s benchmarks. We anticipate that after satisfying the 12-year second performance
benchmark, a licensee will continue to provide reliable signal coverage, or point-to-point links, as
applicable, and offer service at or above that level for the remaining three years in the 15-year license
term prior to renewal. 291 We, therefore, decline to set the second performance benchmark at the end of

285
U.S. Cellular Reply at 38; U.S. Cellular Comments at 18-19 (U.S. Cellular notes that overly stringent
performance requirements have a disproportionate negative impact on licensees seeking to serve rural areas because
it costs more and takes more time to build out a network that satisfies a population-based coverage requirement in
areas with low population densities).
286

T-Mobile Comments at 27-28 (footnotes omitted).

287

CTIA Comments at 23; AT&T Reply at 21.

288

Id.

289

Verizon requests that overlay licensees be permitted to use the spectrum at any time during the transition, on a
non-interfering basis. See Verizon Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 2-3. Given the importance of maintaining continued
service and the complexities of clearing incumbents in the band, we clarify that—absent the consent of the affected
incumbent earth stations—overlay licensees may not operate within a given PEA until the relevant spectrum has
been cleared of incumbents in that PEA and of affected incumbents in adjacent PEAs. A validated Certification of
Accelerated Relocation (or the lapse of the Relocation Deadline) will trigger an overlay licensee’s ability to operate
in a particular PEA without first receiving the consent of affected incumbent earth stations.
290

See AT&T Reply at 21 (arguing that because spectrum availability will not be immediate in many areas, it would
be appropriate to delay the interim benchmark).
291
See Wireless Radio Services Renewal Reform 2nd R&O and FNPRM, 32 FCC Rcd at 8886-89, paras. 27-34
(adopting continuity of service and other renewal showing requirements for Wireless Radio Services licensees).

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the license term, as some commenters proposed. 292 Establishing benchmarks before the end of the license
term will ensure continuity of service over the license term, which is essential to our evaluation under the
Commission’s renewal standards. T-Mobile argues that licensees should only be required to submit
coverage maps twice during the license term as part of licensees’ interim and final build-out reports. We
note, however, that our Wireless Radio Services Renewal requirements include safe harbor certifications,
in lieu of a detailed renewal showing, for qualified licensees. 293
97.
Alternate IoT Performance Requirements.—The Commission recognized in the NPRM
that 3.7-3.98 GHz licenses have flexibility to provide services potentially less suited to a population
coverage metric. 294 Therefore, the Commission sought comment on an alternative performance
benchmark metric for licensees providing IoT-type fixed and mobile services. 295 Based on the record
evidence, 296 we will provide licensees in the A, B, and C Blocks the flexibility to demonstrate that they
offer geographic area coverage of 35% of the license area at the first (eight-year) performance
benchmark, and geographic area coverage of 65% of the license area at the second (12-year) performance
benchmark. We find that the aforementioned levels of geographic coverage maintain reasonable parity
between the requirements in these IoT-focused metrics and the requirements for mobile providers relying
on population-based coverage metrics. 297 This framework is intended to provide enough certainty to
licensees to encourage investment and deployment in these bands as soon as possible, while retaining
enough flexibility to accommodate both traditional services and innovative services or deployment
patterns. 298
98.
A performance metric based on geographic area coverage (or presence) will allow for
networks that provide meaningful service but deploy along lines other than residential population. This
definition separates “traditional” point-to-point links from the sensor and device connections that likely
will be part of new IoT networks in these bands and applies to a network of fixed sensors or smart devices
operating at low power over short distances. 299 Although we adopt an additional metric in order to
facilitate the deployment of IoT and other innovative services, there is no requirement that a licensee
build a particular type of network or provide a particular type of service in order to use whatever metric it
selects to demonstrate that it met its performance requirement. 300
292

See, e.g., T-Mobile Comments at 27; Verizon Comments at 21-22; AT&T Comments at 19.

293

See, e.g., 47 CFR § 1.949(e)(2) (safe harbor for geographic licenses—commercial service).

294

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6965-66, para. 154.

295

Id.

296

T-Mobile Comments at 28-29; Verizon Comments at 22 (arguing the Commission should adopt an alternative
geographic coverage requirement that may be more suitable for some Internet of Things or low-power services that
are not designed to cover residential populations).
297
In most license areas, the residential population is unevenly distributed. In those areas, building a network
covering 65% of the geographic area would require more intensive deployment than one covering 65% of the
population, suggesting that a lower percent coverage requirement for geographic area could be appropriate.
298

See generally 2018 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 5580, paras. 8-9.

299

See 2017 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 32 FCC Rcd at 11008, para. 66; see also Verizon Comments at
22 (noting that the Commission adopted this same approach for the UMFUS bands, finding that alternative
geographic coverage requirements provide licensees with flexibility that will encourage them to offer innovative
services while achieving the objective that spectrum is put to use). See generally 47 CFR § 101.143(a) (traditional
point-to-point links between 1850-7125 MHz must meet minimum path length of 17 km or the EIRP must be
reduced).
300

47 CFR part 30; 2017 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 32 FCC Rcd at 11008, para. 66 (modifying part 30
rules to adopt a specific definition of “fixed point-to-point link,” which includes the use of point-to-point stations as
already defined in part 30 based on power level).

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99.
Fixed Point-to-Point under Flexible Use.—Recognizing that our part 27 flexible-use
policies enable licensees to potentially offer a variety of different services in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band, the
Commission sought comment in the NPRM on performance metrics for licensees offering point-to-point
service in the band. 301 For licensees providing fixed, point-to-point links, the Commission generally has
evaluated buildout by comparing the number of links in operation to the population of the license area. 302
100.
Today, we adopt performance metrics using this framework, as proposed in the NPRM. 303
Specifically, we adopt a requirement that part 27 geographic area licensees providing Fixed Service in the
A, B, and C Blocks band must demonstrate within eight years of the license issue date (first performance
benchmark) that they have four links operating and providing service, either to customers or for internal
use, if the population within the license area is equal to or less than 268,000. If the population within the
license area is greater than 268,000, we require a licensee relying on point-to-point service to demonstrate
it has at least one link in operation and providing service, either to customers or for internal use, per every
67,000 persons within a license area. We require licensees relying on point-to-point service to
demonstrate within 12 years of the license issue date (final performance benchmark) that they have eight
links operating and providing service, either to customers or for internal use, if the population within the
license area is equal to or less than 268,000. If the population within the license area is greater than
268,000, we require a licensee relying on point-to-point service to demonstrate it is providing service and
has at least two links in operation per every 67,000 persons within a license area.
101.
These standards are generally similar to the standards the Commission established for
fixed point-to-point services in the 2.3 GHz band and several Spectrum Frontiers bands. 304 In the NPRM,
the Commission also asked whether to require point-to-point links to operate with a transmit power
greater than +43 dBm in order to be eligible to be counted under the point-to-point buildout standard.
The Commission observed that for the UMFUS bands, the 43 dBm minimum power requirement is
intended to separate traditional point-to-point links from the sensor and device connections anticipated to
be part of new Internet of Things networks in those bands. 305 We received no comment on this issue.
Based on the record before us, including the different propagation characteristics of the 3.7-3.98 GHz
band, we find that the Commission’s approach in the Spectrum Frontiers proceeding does not support
adoption of a similar rule for the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. Links in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band, however, must be
part of a network that is actually providing service, whether to unaffiliated customers or for private,
internal uses, and all links must be present and operational in accordance with our discontinuance and
renewal rules. As with the mobile performance milestone, the size of the population will be calculated
over the entire license area.
301

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6964-65, para. 151.

302

See, e.g., 47 CFR §§ 27.14 (o)(1)(i) (for BRS and EBS, constructing six permanent links per one million people
constitutes substantial service), (p)(2) (for 2.3 GHz WCS, “For point-to-point fixed systems, except those deployed
in the Gulf of Mexico license area, a licensee must construct and operate a minimum of 15 point-to-point links per
million persons (one link per 67,000 persons) in a license area by March 13, 2017, and 30 point-to-point links per
million persons (one link per 33,500 persons) in a licensed area by September 13, 2019”); 2016 Spectrum Frontiers
Order and FNPRM, 31 FCC Rcd at 8089, para. 208 (adopting the requirements for geographic area licensees relying
on fixed point-to-point service to meet performance requirements in the 28 GHz, 39 GHz, or 37 GHz band. See also
47 CFR § 30.104(a) (UMFUS licensees relying on point-to-point service must demonstrate that they have four links
operating and providing service if the population within the license area is equal to or less than 268,000. If the
population within the license area is greater than 268,000, a licensee relying on point-to-point service must
demonstrate it has at least one link in operation and is providing service for each 67,000 population within the
license area).
303

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6964-65, para. 151.

304

See 47 CFR § 27.14(p)(2).

305

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6965 -6966, para. 154 (citing 2017 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 32 FCC
Rcd at 11008, para. 66).

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102.
Penalty for Failure to Meet Performance Requirements.—Along with performance
benchmarks, we adopt meaningful and enforceable penalties for failing to ensure timely build-out.
Specifically, as proposed in the NPRM, we adopt a rule requiring that, in the event a licensee in the A, B,
or C Block fails to meet the first performance benchmark, the licensee’s second benchmark and license
term would be reduced by two years, thereby requiring it to meet the second performance benchmark two
years sooner (at 10 years into the license term) and reducing its license term to 13 years. 306 Consistent
with the approach in many other bands, we conclude that, if a licensee fails to meet the second
performance benchmark for a particular license area, its authorization for each license area in which it
fails to meet the performance requirement shall terminate automatically without Commission action. 307
103.
This approach will promote prompt buildout and appropriately penalize a licensee for not
meeting its performance obligations for a particular license area. 308 We decline to adopt a “use-or-lose”
regime, as suggested by some commenters, under which a licensee would lose only those areas within a
license area that are not developed. We find that such an approach, which has been adopted rarely for
other bands, likely would reduce incentives for licensees to build out to the less populated areas covered
by their license, and would be less effective in ensuring use of the spectrum.309 In addition, in the event a
licensee’s authority to operate terminates, the licensee’s spectrum rights would become available for
reassignment pursuant to the competitive bidding provisions of section 309(j) and any licensee who
forfeits its license for failure to meet its performance requirements would be precluded from regaining the
license. 310
104.
Compliance Procedures.—In addition to compliance procedures applicable to all part 27
licensees, including the filing of electronic coverage maps and supporting documentation, 311 we adopt a
rule requiring that such electronic coverage maps must accurately depict both the boundaries of each
licensed area and the coverage boundaries of the actual areas to which the licensee provides service.
Although the Commission sought comment on additional compliance procedures in the NPRM, only a
small number of commenters addressed this issue. 312 AT&T supports the Commission’s proposal
regarding the documentation of build-out requirements and renewal term performance. 313 T-Mobile
supports the proposed procedures so long as they accommodate small-cell or other deployments used to
enhance capacity rather than coverage. 314
105.
As proposed in the NPRM, the rule we are adopting requires measurements of
populations served on areas no larger than the Census Tract level so a licensee deploying small cells has

306

Id. at 6967, para. 157.

307
See, e.g., 2018 3.5 GHz Band Report and Order, 33 FCC Rcd at 10638, para 73; Service Rules for Advances
Wireless Services H Block—Implementing Section 6401 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of
2012 Related to the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz Bands, Report and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 9483, 9564, para.
212 (2013) (H Block Report and Order); Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Reminds Wireless Licensees of
Construction Obligations, Public Notice, 32 FCC Rcd 4802, 4802-03 (WTB 2017).
308

See H Block Report and Order, 28 FCC Rcd at 9564, para. 213.

309

A&T Comments at 20-21; T-Mobile Comments at 30; U.S. Cellular Comments at 19; Verizon Comments at 22.

310

Our decision comports with actions taken for other licenses, including AWS-1, AWS-3, AWS-4 and H Block.
See, e.g., 47 CFR § 27.14(a), (q)(6), (r)(4).
311

See id. §§ 1.946(d); 27.14(k).

312

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6967, para. 159; AT&T Comments at 19; AT&T Reply at 20-21; T-Mobile Comments at
30.
313

AT&T Comments at 19; AT&T Reply at 20-21.

314

See T-Mobile Comments at 30.

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FCC 20-22

the option to measure its coverage using a smaller acceptable identifier such as a Census Block.315 We
find that such procedures will confirm that the spectrum is being used consistent with the performance
requirements. If a licensee does not provide reliable signal coverage to an entire license area, the licensee
must provide a map that accurately depicts the boundaries of the area or areas within each license area not
being served. Each licensee also must file supporting documentation certifying the type of service it is
providing for each licensed area within its service territory and the type of technology used to provide
such service. Supporting documentation must include the assumptions used to create the coverage maps,
including the propagation model and the signal strength necessary to provide reliable service with the
licensee’s technology. We will adopt conforming amendments to part 27 to include these requirements.
We direct the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to specify the format of submissions, consistent with
these determinations.
106.
License Renewal.—As proposed in the NPRM, we will apply the general renewal
requirements applicable to all Wireless Radio Services licensees to 3.7-3.98 GHz band licensees in the A,
B, and C Blocks. 316 This approach will promote consistency across services. 317
107.
Renewal Term Construction Obligation.—In addition to, and independent of, these
general renewal provisions, we find that any additional renewal term construction obligations adopted in
the Wireless Radio Services Renewal Reform proceeding would apply to licenses in the A, B, and C
Blocks of the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. 318
108.
In the NPRM, the Commission noted that the Wireless Radio Services Renewal Reform
FNPRM sought comment on various renewal term construction obligations such as incremental increases
in the construction metric in each subsequent renewal term. 319 The Commission also noted that the
Wireless Radio Services Renewal Reform FNPRM proposed to apply any rules adopted in that proceeding
to all flexible geographic licenses. 320 Commenters generally support our adopting renewal term
construction obligations for the 3.7-3.98 GHz band in the context of the Wireless Radio Services Renewal
Reform proceeding, as our decision ensures consistency across services. 321 AT&T agrees, in particular,
that documentation of build-out requirements and renewal term performance requirements should be
consistent with the Wireless Radio Services Renewal Reform proceeding. 322
109.
We find that applying any additional renewal term construction obligations adopted in the
Wireless Radio Services Renewal Reform proceeding to licenses in the A, B, and C Blocks will encourage
robust deployment and maintain consistency across flexible geographic licensees.

315

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6979, Appx. A, Proposed Rules, 47 CFR § 27.14(u)(5).

316

See id. at 6967-68, para. 160 (citing 47 CFR § 1.949 (Application for renewal of authorization)) and Appx. A,
Proposed Rules, 47 CFR § 1.907 (proposing to add 3.7-4.2 GHz band to definition of “Covered Geographic
Licenses”). See also id. § 1.949(d) (renewal standard for covered geographic license).
317

The Commission, for example, applied the same principles in the 2016 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM,
concluding that UMFUS licensees would meet the renewal standard in their initial license terms if they met certain
performance benchmarks and were “using [their] facilities to provide service.” 2016 Spectrum Frontiers Order and
FNPRM, 31 FCC Rcd at 8088, para. 206. See also T-Mobile Comments at 31; AT&T Reply at 22.
318

See Wireless Radio Services Renewal Reform 2nd R&O and FNPRM, 32 FCC Rcd at 8911-18, paras. 100-23.

319
NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6967-68, para. 160, citing Wireless Radio Services Renewal Reform 2nd R&O and
FNPRM, 32 FCC Rcd at 8911-18, paras. 100-23.
320

Wireless Radio Services Renewal Reform 2nd R&O and FNPRM, 32 FCC Rcd at 8915, paras. 111-112.

321

T-Mobile Comments at 30-31; AT&T Reply at 21-22; Verizon Comments at 23; see also AT&T Comments at
19.
322

AT&T Reply at 21-22.

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Federal Communications Commission
B.

FCC 20-22

The Transition of FSS Operations

110.
For a successful public auction of overlay licenses in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band, bidders
need to know before an auction commences when they will get access to that currently occupied spectrum
as well as the costs they will incur as a condition of their overlay license. In this section, we address
precisely those questions while also setting forth a transition path that ensures that incumbent FSS users
will continue to receive the content they do today both during and after the transition.
111.
That transition of FSS operations relies on the Commission’s Emerging Technologies
framework, a framework the Commission has relied on since the early 1990s to facilitate the swift
transition of spectrum from one use to another. 323 In short, the framework allows for new licensees to
incentivize a swift transition while requiring those licensees to hold incumbents harmless during the
transition. Specifically, we require overlay licensees to pay for the reasonable relocation costs of
incumbent space station and incumbent earth station operators who are required to clear the lower 300
megahertz of the C-band spectrum in the contiguous United States.
112.
To effectuate that process, we take several steps. First, we define the class of incumbent
earth stations and incumbent space stations to make clear what FSS entities we expect to take part in the
transition (and what entities may be eligible for relocation payments). Second, we lay out our legal
authority to carry out the transition as well as the effect of that transition on future operations in the Cband. Third, we set a deadline for clearing the band by 2025 while offering incumbent space station
operators the option to accelerate that process to 2021 for the lower 120 megahertz and 2023 for the upper
180 megahertz. Fourth, we set forth the relocation payments we expect incumbent operators to receive
and how to apportion such payments among overlay licensees. Fifth, we establish a neutral, third-party
clearinghouse to manage collection and distribution of relocation payments. Sixth, we describe the
logistics of transitioning FSS operations out of the lower 300 megahertz of the C-band spectrum. Finally,
we address additional issues related to the FSS transition, including the maintenance of IBFS data and
revisions to the coordination policy for FSS and Fixed Services. We find that these rules will best
promote the rapid and effective transition of incumbent FSS operations out of the portion of C-band
spectrum to be made available for public auction.
1.

Incumbent FSS Operations

113.
In this section, we define the class of incumbent FSS space stations and earth stations that
must be accommodated during the transition and reimbursed for their relocation costs. We find that our
definition of incumbents effectively captures existing C-band FSS users that will need to be transitioned
and protected in order to ensure that they are able to continue providing and receiving their existing
services during and after the transition.
114.
Commenters generally agree that we should define incumbent FSS operations for these
324
purposes. CTIA asserts a stable regulatory environment and understanding of who is to be protected is
needed to promote investment in 5G services. 325 And Verizon argues that identifying stations to be
protected is a critical step to repurposing this band. 326
115.
Incumbent Space Station Operators.—We define “incumbent space station operators” to
include all C-band space station operators authorized to provide service to any part of the contiguous
United States pursuant to an FCC-issued license or grant of market access as of June 21, 2018—the date
of the International Bureau’s temporary freeze on certain new space station applications in the 3.7-4.2

323

See Emerging Technologies Order.

324

CCA Comments at 4; Microsoft Comments at 6; Motorola Comments at 3.

325

CITA Comments at 10-11.

326

Verizon Comments at 10.

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GHz band. 327 There are eight such operators: ABS, Empresa, Eutelsat, Hispasat, Intelsat, SES, Star One,
and Telesat.
116.
Incumbent Earth Stations.—We define “incumbent earth stations” to be protected from
interference from flexible-use licensees to include FSS earth stations that: (1) were operational as of April
19, 2018; (2) are licensed or registered (or had a pending application for license or registration) in the
IBFS database as of November 7, 2018; and (3) have timely certified, to the extent required by the Order
adopted in FCC 18-91 (as we clarify below to include certain renewal applications and license and
registration applications filed through November 7, 2018), the accuracy of information on file with the
Commission. 328
117.
This definition largely parallels the definition we proposed in the NPRM, 329 with a few
minor changes. For one, we affirm the finding of the International Bureau that registrants and licensees
that filed applications or modifications during the processing window, which effectively updated or
confirmed their earth station details, are exempt from the separate certification requirement. 330 For
another, we include all license and registration applications that were filed through November 7, 2018,
rather than the initial filing window deadline (October 17, 2018) or the extended filing deadline (October
31, 2018) due to outages in the IBFS filing system around that deadline. Under the approach we adopt,
the fact that an earth station has not filed an exhibit demonstrating coordination with terrestrial Fixed
Service stations will not disqualify it as an incumbent earth station. 331 For earth stations licensed or
registered before the processing window, we find that renewal applications, as well as certifications, filed
by the May 28, 2019 certification deadline, effectively updated or confirmed their earth station details. 332
And finally, we make clear that the definition does not include those whose authorization terminated by
law because the earth station was not operational for more than 90 days. 333
118.
Several commenters, including CCA, Microsoft, Motorola, and Verizon, support our
proposed definition of incumbent earth stations. 334 CCA argues that using this registration/certification
standard will help to identify database errors and duplicate registrations, which will provide a more

327
See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6931-32, para. 46 (noting International Bureau’s June 21, 2018, temporary freeze on
certain new space station applications in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, the Commission proposed to bar new applications
and petitions for market access concerning space-to-Earth operations but did not propose to bar applications for
extension, cancellation, replacement or modification of existing authorizations or to bar operators with existing
space station authorizations in the band as of June 21, 2018, from filing applications for additional space stations, if
authorization of such space stations would promote more efficient use of the band).
328

See Appx. A (adding a definition of incumbent earth stations to section 25.203 of the Commission’s rules, 47
CFR § 25.203).
329
See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6983-84, Appx. A (proposing to add a definition of incumbent earth stations to
section 25.203 of the Commission’s rules, 47 CFR § 25.203).
330

See Order at 6923-24, para. 19.

331

See Freeze and 90-Day Earth Station Filing Window Public Notice, 33 FCC Rcd at 3844-45. The International
Bureau waived the coordination requirement for the duration of the freeze for applications filed during the filing
window. See id. at 3844-45. We note that this public notice was published in the Federal Register. See 83 FR
21746 (May 10, 2018).
332

See Deadline for Submission of Information On Earth Station and Satellite Use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz Band, Public
Notice, 34 FCC Rcd 2287 (IB, WTB, OET 2019).
333

See 47 CFR § 25.161(c) (a station authorization shall be automatically terminated upon the removal or
modification of the facilities which renders the station not operational for more than 90 days, unless specific
authority is requested).

334

CCA Comments at 4; Microsoft Comments at 6; Motorola Comments at 3; Verizon Comments at 10.

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accurate understanding of actual use in the band and allow the Commission to determine the optimal
approach for introducing flexible use of the band. 335
119.
Some commenters assert our definition is too restrictive. For example, the C-Band
Alliance asserts that a substantial number of small rural radio and television stations and private networks
that rely on C-band programming failed to submit registration filings.336 Cumulus Media/Westwood One
claim that many earth stations may remain unregistered because the application fee and burdens of
registration were cost prohibitive for some providers. 337
120.
We disagree. Earth station operators have been provided ample opportunity to register
their earth stations with the Commission. In addition to waiving the coordination requirement during the
freeze filing window, the International Bureau took numerous other steps to ease the filing process,
including conducting tutorials and providing step-by-step filing instructions on the Commission’s website
to assist those unfamiliar with the International Bureau’s filing system. 338 Moreover, the filing deadline
was extended numerous times to accommodate filers. 339 Therefore, contrary to the arguments of some
commenters, we decide not to open another window for the registration of earth stations that existed as of
April 19, 2018.
121.
We also decline to adopt the C-Band Alliance’s suggestion that incumbent earth stations
should encompass all earth stations identified by the C-Band Alliance. 340 We find that there is a
significant public interest in providing a stable, comprehensive list of incumbent earth stations that meet
the criteria described above. The members of the C-Band Alliance and other space station operators may,
of course, treat unregistered earth stations like incumbent earth stations for their own commercial
purposes. But any such commercial decisions are outside the scope of this proceeding.
122.
We also adopt the proposal in the NPRM that the classes of earth stations entitled to
protection and transition are those registered as fixed 341 or temporary fixed (i.e., transportable) 342 earth
stations in IBFS. That proposal was supported by the record. 343 The Commission did not propose to
include other classes of earth stations registered in IBFS, such as earth stations on vessels 344 and other
335

CCA Comments at 4.

336

C-Band Alliance Comments at 23-24.

337

Cumulus Media/Westwood One Comments at 9-10.

338

The industry also took numerous steps to assist earth-station operators. See, e.g., C-Band Alliance, Registering
C-Band Receive-Only Earth Stations by October 17, 2018 FCC Deadline, https://c-bandalliance.com/wpcontent/uploads/2019/04/FCC-Registration-of-C-band-Rx-only-Earth-Stations.pdf (last visited Feb. 5, 2019); SES,
FCC Registration or Licensing of C-Band Antenna (Apr. 26, 2018), https://www.ses.com/fccregistration; National
Association of Broadcasters, Understanding the C-Band Proceeding,
https://www.nab.org/documents/resources/cband/default.asp (last visited Feb. 5, 2019).
339

See Freeze and 90-Day Earth Station Filing Window Public Notice, 33 FCC Rcd at 3841; Earth Station Filing
Window Public Notices; see also International Bureau Reminds Earth Station Operators in 3.7-4.2 GHz Band that
Application Filing Window Closes October 17, 2018, Public Notice, DA 18-919 (IB Sept. 7, 2018); International
Bureau Announces Two-Week Extension of Filing Window for Earth Stations Currently Operating in 3.7-4.2 GHz
Band, GN Docket No. 18-122, Public Notice, 33 FCC Rcd 8591 (IB 2018). As previously noted, because of
technical issues with the IBFS portal around the filing deadline that significantly limited applicants’ ability to file,
the International Bureau has accepted as timely filed any application filed by November 7, 2018.
340

C-Band Alliance Comments at 24.

341

47 CFR § 25.103 (Definitions) (defining a fixed earth station as an earth station intended to be used at a fixed
position and explaining that the position may be a specified fixed point or any fixed point within a specified area).
342

Id. § 25.277.

343

See, e.g., PSSI Global Comments at 2-5, 6-9, Exhibits 1, 2, and 5.

344

See 47 § CFR 25.228(h)(3) and (4).

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licensees operating under blanket earth stations, 345 and the record does not support the inclusion of any
additional classes of earth stations. We direct the International Bureau to complete the processing of
earth station license and registration applications filed during the limited freeze filing window.
123.
As the Commission proposed in the NPRM, any receive-only earth stations that failed to
meet the requirements to be incumbent earth stations will be removed from IBFS. In the NPRM, the
Commission proposed to update IBFS to terminate 3.7-4.2 GHz band earth stations licenses or
registrations for which the licensee or registrant had not timely filed the certification required by the July
2018 Order (to the extent it held or applied for a license or registration before April 19, 2018). 346 Several
commenters support such termination, as well as eliminating an obligation to protect those stations from
harmful interference. 347 For the same reasons that we limit incumbent earth stations to those that timely
filed the required certifications or submitted renewal applications by the certification deadline, we now
direct the International Bureau to terminate automatically the registrations of those uncertified receiveonly earth stations in IBFS, consistent with our treatment of surrendered licenses and registrations that no
longer authorize operations. We propose to modify the licenses of transmit-receive earth stations that
failed to submit a certification or submit a renewal application by the certification deadline to remove
their protection rights in 3.7-4.0 GHz and to allow them to continue to receive transmissions on an
unprotected basis in 4.0-4.2 GHz. These licensed transmit-receive earth stations will not be considered
eligible earth stations and will not be eligible to have their relocation expenses reimbursed, but can adjust
their reception so as to receive transmissions to the upper 200 megahertz at their own expense.
2.

Clearing the 3.7-4.0 GHz Band of FSS Operations

124.
We next adopt rules to limit FSS operations to the 4.0-4.2 GHz band in the contiguous
United States. To accomplish this goal and make the 3.7-4.0 GHz band available for terrestrial wireless
use, we use our authority under section 316 of the Communications Act to modify the existing FSS
licenses and market access authorizations held by space station operators in the band. 348 We find that
such modifications are consistent with our statutory authority, supported by judicial and Commission
precedent, and will serve the public interest. We also revise our rules to prohibit new applications for
space station licenses and new petitions for market access concerning space-to-Earth operations in the
3.7-4.0 GHz band in the contiguous United States.
125.
Clearing Space Station Operations.—Section 316 of the Communications Act vests the
Commission with broad authority to modify licenses “if in the judgment of the Commission such action
will promote the public interest, convenience, and necessity.” 349 We find that modifying the
authorizations of incumbent space station operators to clear use of the 3.7-4.0 GHz band (and confine
their operations in the contiguous United States to the 4.0-4.2 GHz band) is within the Commission’s
statutory authority, consistent with prior Commission practice, and will promote the public interest
convenience, and necessity. We accordingly propose to modify the authorizations of the incumbent space
station operations to carry out the clearing of this band.
126.
The Commission has long relied on section 316 to change or reduce the frequencies used
by a licensed service where it has found that doing so would serve the public interest. For example, in the
2002 MSS Order, the Commission relied on our section 316 authority to relocate the Motient Services,
345

Id. § 25.103 (Definitions) (defining a blanket license as a license for “multiple earth stations in the FSS or MSS
… that may be operated anywhere within a geographic area specified in the license….”).
346

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6922, para. 34.

347

See CTIA Comments at 12-13; Microsoft Comments at 6; Sherrod Munday Comments at 46; Starry Comments at
4; T-Mobile Comments at 19; Verizon Comments at 11.
348

See 47 U.S.C. § 316.

349
Id. See also California Metro Mobile Commc’ns, Inc. v. FCC, 365 F.3d 38, 45 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (“Section 316
grants the Commission broad power to modify licenses.”).

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Inc. (Motient) spectrum assignment from solely upper L-band frequencies to mostly lower, internationally
coordinated L-band frequencies and reduce it from 28 to 20 megahertz, to enable Motient to construct and
operate an economically viable MSS system without interfering with maritime distress and safety
communications. 350 In the DEMS Relocation Order, the Commission, pursuant to Section 316, modified
licenses to relocate the operations of certain Digital Electronic Message Service (DEMS) licensees from
the 18 GHz band to the 24 GHz band, in order to accommodate Department of Defense military
systems. 351 Similarly, in the 2004 800 MHz Order, the Commission relied on section 316 to relocate the
public safety and other land mobile communications systems operating in the 800 MHz band to new
spectral locations both within and outside the band (including the relocation of a large set of licenses then
held by Nextel Communications, Inc., to the 1.9 GHz band), in order to eliminate the interference to the
public safety and other high site, non-cellular systems caused by the inherently incompatible operations of
the band’s cellular-architecture multi-cell systems. 352 The Commission has also relied on its section 316
authority to “rearrang[e] licensees within a spectrum band.” 353 And as part of the recent Spectrum
Frontiers incentive auction, the Commission modified the authorizations of incumbent licensees by
altering their assigned frequencies and, in many cases, their geographic service areas, in a way that
ensured that the spectrum usage rights under the modified licenses were comparable to those under the
originally configured licenses. 354
127.
Notably, the Commission’s modification authority under section 316 does not require the
consent of licensees. 355 As the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has
stressed, “if modification of licenses were entirely dependent upon the wishes of existing licensees, a
large part of the regulatory power of the Commission would be nullified.” 356 Indeed, that court has
reiterated that Congress broadened the Commission’s discretion by adding section 316, which “provides
the FCC with the authority to modify licenses without the approval of their holders.” 357 Rather, the
Commission need only find, as we do here, that the modification “serves the public interest, convenience
and necessity.” 358 Further, the courts have consistently held that the Commission may exercise its license
350

Establishing Rules and Policies for the use of Spectrum for Mobile Satellite Services in the Upper and Lower Lband, IB Docket No. 96-132, Report and Order, 17 FCC Rcd 2704, 2704, 2712-13, paras. 1, 21 (2002) (2002 MSS
Order).
351

Amendment of the Commission's Rules to Relocate the Digital Electronic Message Service from the 18 GHz Band
to the 24 GHz band and to Allocate the 24 GHz Band for Fixed Service, ET Docket No. 97-99, Order, 12 FCC Rcd
3471 (1997).
352
Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 02-55, Report and Order, Fifth
Report and Order, Fourth Memorandum Opinion and Order, and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 14969, 14976, para. 8 (2004)
(800 MHz Order).
353
AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16178, para. 175 (proposing modification of incumbent 2 GHz MSS
authorization holders to add AWS-4 terrestrial spectrum rights pursuant to section 316).
354

2018 Spectrum Frontiers Order at 12174-75, paras. 15-18 (2018) (modifying the licenses of all existing licenses
in the 39 GHz band pursuant to the Commission’s section 316 authority, regardless of whether or not the incumbent
chose to participate in the Commission’s incentive auction of that spectrum).
355

See Rainbow Broadcasting v. FCC, 949 F.2d 405, 410 (D.C. Cir. 1991); Peoples Broadcasting Co. v. United
States, 209 F.2d 286, 288 (D.C. Cir. 1953); see also Letter from Steve Sharkey, Vice President, Government Affairs,
T-Mobile, to Marlene Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 7 (filed Jan. 24, 2020) (T-Mobile Jan. 24,
2020 Ex Parte).
356

Peoples Broadcasting Co. v. United States, 209 F.2d 286, 288 (D.C. Cir. 1953).

357

Rainbow Broadcasting v. FCC, 949 F.2d at 410.

358

California Metro Mobile Commc’ns, Inc. v. FCC, 365 F.3d at 45. As the D.C. Circuit has noted, the
Commission’s judgements on the public interest arising from a license modification “are entitled to substantial
judicial deference.” NTCH, Inc. v. FCC, -- F.3d –, 2020 WL 855465 at *7 (D.C. Circ. 2020).

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modification authority as part of a rulemaking proceeding, as we do here. 359
128.
The International and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus sought comment on the
scope of our section 316 authority to modify licenses in this proceeding in the May 3 Public Notice. 360
The record confirms that modifying the licenses of the incumbent space station operators falls within the
scope of our authority and would serve the public interest. 361 The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance points out
that “[g]rossly underutilized bands can be consolidated to clear spectrum for auction, and the frequency
assignments of incumbents shifted as necessary, without resorting to a private auction or an unnecessarily
generous windfall at public expense.” 362 OTI points out that “courts have repeatedly upheld the
Commission’s broad authority under section 316 to modify FSS space station licenses at any time
provided the agency makes a public interest finding and does not fundamentally change the license.” 363
OTI supports the Commission’s use of section 316 to modify FSS licenses, arguing “[t]he Commission
can therefore modify space station licenses to require [consolidation of spectrum into the upper portion of
the C-band] subject to certain conditions (e.g., cost reimbursement for ‘comparable facilities’).” 364 As
these commenters and others argue, modifying the authorizations of the incumbent space station operators
is in the public interest because it will enable the clearing of 280 megahertz for public auction while
preserving the content distribution system currently offered over the C-band spectrum by reserving for
incumbent space station operators the upper 200 megahertz of the band. 365
129.
One constraint, however, is that Congress limited the Commission’s authority to only
“modify” a license under section 316, which the courts have construed to mean we may not effect a
“fundamental change” to a license under this authority. 366 Although effectively revoking a license or
substantially disrupting a licensee’s ability to provide service may amount to a fundamental change,

359

See Celtronix Telemetry, Inc. v. FCC, 272 F.3d 585, 589 (D.C. Cir. 2001) (citing cases and noting that the
Commission retains the power “to alter the term[s] of existing licenses by rulemaking”).

360

May 3 Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd at 2906-07, 2909; see also NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6950, para. 111 (seeking
comment on various auction proposals and “other mechanisms for transitioning all or part of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band
for wireless broadband use”).
361

See AT&T May 3 PN Comments at 4; BYU Broadcasting May 3 PN Comments at 9; Google May 3 PN
Comments at 12-13; SIA May 3 PN Comments at 10-11; T-Mobile May 3 PN Comments at 6-8.
362

Dynamic Spectrum Alliance Comments at 5.

363

OTI May 3 PN Comments at 21.

364

Id. at 22; see also, ACA Connects Dec. 11, 2019 Ex Parte at 8-9.

365
Comcast Nov. 19, 2019 Ex Parte at 4 (“At the same time, by maintaining the current satellite allocation for 200
megahertz without qualification, and by ensuring that all necessary technical, transition-related, and cost-recovery
issues are addressed, the Commission would keep the country’s video distribution system on firm footing.”); TMobile Jan. 24, 2020 Ex Parte at 6 (“There can be no fundamental change if satellite companies can continue to
serve their customers using a reduced amount of spectrum. But by the CBA’s own admission, incumbents, ‘if fairly
and properly incentivized,’ satellite operations can be repacked into the upper 200 megahertz portion of the C-band
‘to enable the FCC to authorize terrestrial mobile operations without causing intolerable interference.’ The CBA’s
statement suggests that the heart of its concern is about receiving payment – not whether its members can operate as
they do today using a reduced amount of spectrum.”).
366

See, e.g., MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. AT&T, 512 U.S. 218, 228 (1994) (holding that statutory “authority
to ‘modify’ does not contemplate fundamental changes”); Cmty Television, Inc. v. FCC, 216 F.3d 1133, 1140–41
(D.C. Cir. 2000) (applying that reasoning to section 316 and suggesting that impairing the ability of a licensee to
provide the same services as those enabled by the original license might be considered a fundamental change), cert.
denied, 531 U.S. 1071 (2001).

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courts have repeatedly found that if a licensee can continue to provide substantially the same service, a
modification to that license is not a fundamental change. 367
130.
We find that the upper 200 megahertz of spectrum we are reserving for future FSS
operations is sufficient to continue the services that are provided today over the whole 500 megahertz of
the C-band. Indeed, all incumbent space station operators that responded to the space-station data
collection have agreed that the upper 200 megahertz portion of the band provides a sufficient amount of
spectrum to support their services. 368 Users of FSS services, including Viacom, Disney, CBS,
NBCUniversal, A&E Television Networks, Univision, Fox, and Discovery, in addition to the National
Association of Broadcasters, the ABC Television Affiliates Association, CBS Television Network
Affiliates Association, FBC Television Affiliates Association, and NBC Television Affiliates, agree that
200 megahertz is a sufficient amount of spectrum for space station operators to continue their services
uninterrupted. 369 And as T-Mobile explains, “the Commission has ample authority under Section 316 of
the Act to modify incumbents’ C-band authorizations because their ability to provide the services they do
today will be unaffected by a reduction in the amount of spectrum they can use pursuant to their modified
authorizations.” 370 Indeed, by adopting the clearing plan proposed by incumbent space station operators
themselves and that they themselves have claimed allows for the full range of C-band services to continue
in the contiguous United States, we are confident that incumbent space station operators can continue to
offer the services they do today after they clear their operations out of the 3.7-4.0 GHz band (and thus that
this license modification does not constitute a fundamental change).
131.
In sum, we find that a section 316 modification would serve the public interest, as it will
spur the investment in and deployment of next generation wireless services, while ensuring that
incumbent space station services will be able to maintain the same services as they are currently
providing. Consistent with prior practice, in these circumstances we will accord to grants of market
access the same protections in this regard that we accord to Commission licenses and grants of market
access. 371
367

See, e.g., id. at 1136, 1140-41 (D.C. Cir. 2000) (finding that the Commission’s actions will not effect a
“fundamental change” where affected licensees could “begin and end the transition period broadcasting television
programming to the public under very similar terms” and could “provide essentially the same services, with some
flexibility to provide ancillary services as well, under their licenses during the transition”).
368

See C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 1, 4 (proposing that 300 megahertz (inclusive
of a 20 megahertz guard band) of C-band spectrum be cleared for terrestrial 5G use); Eutelsat Dec. 19, 2019, Ex
Parte at 1 (“Eutelsat agrees that, with diligent effort from all interested parties, the auction could commence in 2020,
with transition milestones for the release of 100 MHz and 300 MHz of spectrum in mid-2021 and mid-2023,
respectively.”); Small Satellite Operators Sept. 13, 2019 Ex Parte (“300 megahertz of C-band spectrum could be
made available for 5G within 18 to 36 months through the use of non-proprietary, readily available compression
technology”); see Letter from Scott Blake Harris, Counsel to the Small Satellite Operators, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1 (filed Oct. 9, 2019) (Small Satellite Operators Oct. 9, 2019 Ex Parte)
(“We expressed support for repurposing 300 megahertz of C-band spectrum, suggesting it could be done quickly
through the use of compression technology . . . .”).
369

Letter from John Feore et al. Counsel to CBS Television Network Affiliates, FBC Television Affiliates
Association, ABC Television Affiliates Association, and NBC Television Affiliates, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1 (filed Nov. 22, 2019) ABC et al., Nov. 22, 2019 Ex Parte at 1 (citing
Letter from Rick Kaplan, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs, National
Association of Broadcasters, et al., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1 (NAB Nov.
19, 2019 Ex Parte)).
370

T-Mobile Jan. 24, 2020 Ex Parte at 2.

371

See SIA May 3 PN Comments at 13-14; Small Satellite Operators May 3 PN Comments at 7-9; see also Use of
Returned Spectrum in the 2 GHz Mobile Satellite Service Frequency Bands, IB Docket Nos. 05-220 and 05-221,
Order, 20 FCC Rcd 19696, 19697, n.3 (2005) (“[W]hile we are not taking action directly under Section 316 [in
modifying the spectrum reservations of two non-U.S. licensed satellite operators], since [the non-U.S. licensed
(continued….)

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132.
We note that, consistent with the scope of the public auction we adopt, the section 316
license modification that we adopt applies only to licenses and grants of market access held within the
contiguous United States; authorizations for FSS operations outside of the contiguous United States may
continue to operate in the entire 3.7-4.2 GHz band. Commenters argue, and we agree, that the
Commission should exclude locations outside of the contiguous United States from the license
modification. 372 Locations outside of the contiguous United States, many of which are remote, have a
greater need for a wide variety of C-band services, particularly for the provision of services necessary for
the protection of life and property—including telehealth, E911, and education services. Alaska-based
operators support excluding Alaska from any reallocation and repurposing to terrestrial use because Cband service is often the only option available to reach remote villages to provide basic telephone service,
E911, and broadband service used to support applications such as telehealth and distance learning. 373
Hawaii Pacific Teleport shares similar concerns about its provision of vital public safety services to
remote locations in the Pacific, and it asks the Commission to ensure that sufficient C-band spectrum
remains available for FSS use in the Pacific. 374 Indeed, the C-Band Alliance’s clearing proposal
explicitly excludes Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories from being repurposed for terrestrial wireless
use. 375
133.
We find that retaining C-band operation is important for the time being in areas outside
of the contiguous United States. As a result, we believe it is appropriate to exclude PEAs outside of the
contiguous United States from the proposed license modification, notably in the Honolulu, Anchorage,
Kodiak, Fairbanks, Juneau, Puerto Rico, Guam-Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, American
Samoa, and the Gulf of Mexico PEAs (PEA numbers 42, 212, 264, 298, 360, 412-416) and FSS
operations in those PEAs may continue to use the entire 3.7-4.2 GHz band.
134.
We also note that, due to the nature of space-to-earth transmissions and the practicalities
of space-to-earth communications, we do not modify the authorizations of incumbent space station
operators to prohibit transmissions in the 3.7-4.0 GHz band entirely. As NPR and other entities have
pointed out, transmissions from space station operators can reach many countries at the same time. 376 As
a result of this, many transmissions from space station operators sent to locations outside of the
contiguous United States and other countries may incidentally transmit to earth stations within the
contiguous United States. Since space-to Earth transmissions pose no risk of harmful interference to
terrestrial wireless operations, the Commission will allow such incidental transmissions without penalty,
if the transmissions are duly authorized by a foreign government or the Federal Communications
Commission. In other words, we allow those transmissions that incidentally occur within the contiguous
United States but are directed at earth stations outside that area. Beyond these incidental transmissions,
we will only permit space station operators to continue to operate in the contiguous United States in the
(Continued from previous page)
satellite operators] do not hold Commission licenses, we are applying the procedural framework of Section 316,
bearing in mind our [WTO] commitments to treat satellite operators licensed in [WTO member countries] . . . no
less favorably than we treat U.S.-licensed satellite operators.”).
372

North American Broadcasters Association Reply at 4; Alaska Telecom Assoc. Reply at 3; Alaska Telecom July
19 PN Comments at 1-4; Alaska Comm. Comments at 17-22; Alaska Comm. June 21, 2019 Ex Parte; Alaska
Comm. July 19 PN Comments at 3-8; C-Band Alliance Oct. 17, 2018 Ex Parte; CCA Reply at 4-5; Letter from
Jason E. Rademacher, Counsel, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC,
GN Docket No. 18-122, at 5 (filed Dec. 19, 2019).
373
See Alaska Communications Internet Comments at 1-5; Alaska Telecommunications Association Comments at 23; GCI Comments at 18-19 (supporting a transition of at least five years for rural areas to the extent any spectrum is
cleared); GCI Dec. 4, 2019 Ex Parte.
374

Hawaii Pacific Teleport Nov. 4, 2019 Ex Parte; see also RigNet Satcom, Inc. Reply.

375

C-Band Alliance Comments at 22, n.50.

376

NPR Oct. 3 Ex Parte at 7.

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3.7-4.0 GHz band on an unprotected basis after the sunset date for the purpose of transmitting service to
earth stations at four designated TT&C sites. 377
135.
The C-Band Alliance and the Small Satellite Operators have argued that eliminating their
right to operate and be protected from harmful interference over the lower 300 megahertz of the C-band
without their consent would constitute a fundamental change to their license. 378 The C-Band Alliance and
the Small Satellite Operators also argue that, even if their existing services could continue after the
transition, modifying their licensees would impermissibly alter their ability to expand their services to
additional customers. 379 We disagree. The D.C. Circuit has consistently upheld the Commission’s
authority to modify licenses where the affected licensee is able to continue providing substantially the
same service following the modification. 380 Thus, regardless of the amount of spectrum being repurposed
or the licensees’ ability to expand its operations after its license is modified, the primary consideration in
determining whether a 316 modification is valid is whether the licensee will be able to provide
substantially the same service after the modification as it was able to provide before. In the case of the CBand Alliance and Eutelsat, the record clearly demonstrates that C-Band Alliance members will—by their
own admission—be able to continue to provide service to their existing customers after the transition. 381
For the Small Satellite Operators, the record clearly demonstrates that their members provide little to no

377

See e.g., C-band Alliance Jan. 14, 2020 Ex Parte at 8-9 (seeking protected gateway use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band
at four TT&C locations); Letter from Brian D. Weimer, Counsel to SES, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122, Attach. at 11 (filed Feb. 20, 2020) (SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte); NAB Feb. 14, 2020 Ex Parte
at 5 (asking to permit space station operators to continue to transmit in the 3.7-4.0 GHz range on a secondary basis
to the four designated TT&C locations); Letter from Matthew S. Delnero, Counsel for The Walt Disney Company
and ESPN, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, FCC, Secretary, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2-3 (filed Feb. 21, 2020) (Disney
and ESPN Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte).
378

See C-Band Alliance May 3 PN Reply at 4-5 (arguing that eliminating interference protection in the lower 200
megahertz of the C-band would be “much too extensive to be considered a mere ‘modification’”); C-Band Alliance
Jan. 16, 2020 Legal Filing at 7 (arguing that eliminating interference protection in 300 megahertz of the band would
be much too extensive to be considered a “modification” for C-Band Alliance members); Small Satellite Operators
May 3 PN Comments at 3, 13 (stating that Commission-authorized space station operators have “enforceable rights
to protection from impermissible interference . . . anywhere that an earth station exists or would be located in the
future,” and that this right would be fundamentally and impermissibly changed by a section 316 modification that
“altogether eliminates the possibility of operating in the spectrum for which the satellite operator is licensed.”).
379

See Letter from Scott Blake Harris, Counsel to the Small Satellite Operators, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
FCC, GN Docket No. 18-22, at 1-9 (filed Feb. 18, 2020) (Small Satellite Operators Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte).
380
See Cmty Television Inc., 216 F.3d at 1136, 1140-41 (holding transitory additional channel for broadcasters was
not a “fundamental” change, given that “[b]roadcasters will begin and end the transition period broadcasting
television programming to the public under very similar terms”). See also Cellco P’ship v. FCC, 700 F.3d 534, 54344 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (rejecting the argument that imposing an obligation to offer data roaming agreements to other
mobile data providers on “commercially reasonable” grounds is a “fundamental change”).
381
See C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 1, 4 (proposing that 300 megahertz (inclusive
of a 20 megahertz guard band) of C-band spectrum be cleared for terrestrial 5G use); Eutelsat Dec. 19, 2019, Ex
Parte at 1 (“Eutelsat agrees that, with diligent effort from all interested parties, the auction could commence in 2020,
with transition milestones for the release of 100 MHz and 300 MHz of spectrum in mid-2021 and mid-2023,
respectively.”); Small Satellite Operators Sept. 13, 2019 Ex Parte (“300 megahertz of C-band spectrum could be
made available for 5G within 18 to 36 months through the use of non-proprietary, readily available compression
technology”); Small Satellite Operators Oct. 9, 2019 Ex Parte (“We expressed support for repurposing 300
megahertz of C-band spectrum, suggesting it could be done quickly through the use of compression
technology . . . .”).

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service in the contiguous United States today and, as such, the remaining 200 megahertz of spectrum
available after the transition period exceeds any reasonable estimate of their needs. 382
136.
First, the amount of spectrum repurposed under a 316 modification is not the controlling
factor in determining whether such a modification is valid. The C-Band Alliance and the Small Satellite
Operators in particular contend that removing a licensee’s rights to operate in 60% of the spectrum
covered by its license constitutes a fundamental change to the license on its face.383 They argue that a
reduction in the spectrum use rights afforded a licensee constitutes a fundamental change, regardless of
whether the licensee is actually using the spectrum at the time. 384 Both the C-Band Alliance and the
Small Satellite Operators point to a decision by the Supreme Court, MCI Telecommunications Corp. v.
FCC, which they assert supports their argument that the reduction of a certain percentage of a licensee’s
spectrum usage rights has been found to exceed the Commission’s “modification authority.” 385 However,
the Court in MCI was addressing a statutory interpretation question under Title II of the Act: whether
“the statutory phrase ‘modify any requirement’ gave it authority to eliminate rate-filing requirements, ‘the
essential characteristic of a rate regulated industry,’ for long-distance telephone carriers.” 386 It was not
examining the scope of the Commission’s ability to modify a license pursuant to its “broad authority to
manage spectrum” under Title III 387 including its specific authority under Section 316 to modify the terms
of licenses if—“in the judgment of the Commission”—such action “will promote the public interest,
convenience, and necessity.” 388 Ultimately, the Court concluded that rather than a legitimate exercise of
the Commission’s authority to make modifications in the tariffing requirement established by the Act,
“[w]hat we have here, in reality, is a fundamental revision of the statute, changing it from a scheme of
rate regulation in long-distance common-carrier communications to a scheme of rate regulation only
where effective competition does not exist. That may be a good idea, but it was not the idea Congress
enacted into law in 1934.” 389
137.
Rather than standing, as the C-Band Alliance and the Small Satellite Operators would
have it, for the proposition that a 60% change of anything, under any circumstances, cannot be regarded
as a modification, MCI represents the Court’s view that eliminating a requirement entirely is not a
“modification” of that requirement. In this context, we agree that eliminating an incumbent space station
operator’s right to transmit entirely would not be a modification—but that is not what we do here.
Instead, we find that where an incumbent will be fully reimbursed to upgrade its facilities so that it can
382

Likewise, there is no evidence that Empresa, the remaining satellite incumbent, provides any service to the
contiguous United States.
383
See Letter from Laura Phillips, Counsel for Intelsat, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18122, at 2-3 (filed Feb. 21, 2020) (Intelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte); Small Satellite Operators Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte
at 6-10; Small Satellite Operators Oct. 9, 2019 Ex Parte at 1-2 (“A revocation of 60% of a licensee’s spectrum in a
band would effect a fundamental change to the terms of the license to operate in that band.” (citing MCI, 512 U.S. at
228-29 (1994)); Letter from Bill Topelgin, Chief Executive Officer, C-Band Alliance, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 11 (filed Jan. 14, 2020) (C-Band Alliance Jan. 14, 2020 Ex Parte)
(same).
384

See Small Satellite Operators Oct. 9, 2019 Ex Parte at 2 (“Because the Commission may not make fundamental
changes to licenses, the way the rights are being used at a particular point in time is not relevant. Whether a licensee
is using its spectrum rights now or has invested to do so in the future (as long as its FCC authorization is in good
standing), its rights are no less changed if they are confiscated.”).

385

MCI, 512 U.S. at 228-29 (1994).

386

City of Arlington v. FCC, 569 U.S. 290, 304 (2013).

387

Cellco P’ship, 700 F.3d at 541-42 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (“expansive powers”), quoting NBC v. United States, 319
U.S. 190, 216 (1943); see also NTCH, Inc. v. FCC, --F.3d --, 2020 WL 855465 at *6 (D.C. Cir. 2020).
388

47 U.S.C. § 316(a)(1).

389

MCI, 512 U.S. at 231-32.

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provide the same level of service more efficiently using less spectrum, requiring the incumbent to do so
falls within the Commission’s Title III authority to modify a license. In other words, a 60% reduction in
spectrum available to an incumbent space station licensee—under the terms and conditions we have
specified herein that provide the continuation of service throughout and after a transition—would not
fundamentally change the overall nature of the rights and privileges originally granted under its license,
and that the action therefore falls within the modification authority that Congress intended to bestow upon
the Commission in granting this agency its broad section 316 authority.
138.
Indeed, since MCI, courts have examined various license modifications that the
Commission has ordered under its section 316 authority under the same basic standard we are applying
here—asking whether the modifications have worked a fundamental change in the nature of the license,
using as a touchstone whether the licensee can still provide the same basic service under the modified
license that it could prior to the modification. 390 This functional test does not apply an arbitrary numerical
limit on the amount of spectrum that must be preserved under a license. Thus, the C-Band Alliance and
Small Satellite Operators’ argument for applying such a test is contrary to both case law and Commission
precedent.
139.
Second, we reject C-Band Alliance and the Small Satellite Operators’ contention that,
since they will be foreclosed from transmitting to earth stations below 4.0 GHz, their licenses will be
fundamentally altered. 391 To the extent their argument rests on the potential foreclosure of the future
reception of their signals by registered earth stations in the 3.7-4.0 GHz band, we find that any harm is, at
best, speculative. The incumbent space station licensees will retain flexibility to expand their business
within the 4.0-4.2 GHz band after the transition. With the deployment of compression and other
technologies, this block is sufficient to at least serve the licensees’ existing customers—which is the
relevant standard governing the legality of a 316 modification—and may provide flexibility to obtain
additional customers. 392 We note that the failure of the Small Satellite Operators to demonstrate any
significant past, present, or future base of earth station customers makes it reasonable to assume that any
opportunities they might be losing as a result of the Commission’s actions are, on a practical level, de
minimis. 393 Moreover, the opportunities they will have to continue to serve existing customers and to
390

See, e.g., Cmty Television Inc., 216 F.3d at 1136, 1140-41; Cellco P’ship, 700 F.3d at 543-544 (distinguishing
MCI and finding no fundamental change where the Commission imposed a limited obligation to offer data-roaming
agreements to other mobile-data providers, where it found that such rule “require[d] nothing more than the offering
of ‘commercially reasonable’ roaming agreements”). See also California Metro Mobile Commc’ns, Inc., 365 F.3d at
46 (affirming Commission decision finding that “the modification would leave CMMC’s other frequencies intact
and that, to the extent it caused a ‘minor’ disruption in CMMC’s operations, it was ‘nonetheless in the public
interest, as required by [s]ection 316.’”).
391

Small Satellite Operators May 3 PN Reply at 13 (arguing that the Commission issuance of a satellite license
provides authorization for both current and future rights to transmit to an earth station and that right “would be
fundamentally changed by a Section 316 modification that altogether eliminates the possibility of operating in
spectrum for which the satellite operator is licensed—and such a modification would therefore be impermissible”);
C-Band Alliance May 3 PN Reply at 4-5 (arguing that eliminating interference protection for FSS operations in 40%
of the C-band constitutes a fundamental change); C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Reply (“Because such interference
would render meaningless the essential purpose of the licenses and market access authorizations held by the
members of the C-Band Alliance, the FCC’s authorization of that interference in any significant portion of the band
would constitute an unlawful fundamental change.”).
392

T-Mobile Jan. 24, 2020 Ex Parte at 6-7 (“The Commission has not required new licensees to ensure that
incumbents can expand the use of their current authorizations to pursue future opportunities”). Despite their
argument that compression technology cannot mitigate the loss of spectrum, the Small Satellite Operators still do not
make any claim of existing customers or services that they will be unable to serve after the transition, even absent
the existence of compression technology. Small Satellite Operators Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 7.
393

The Small Satellite Operators continue to claim that the unused C-band capacity on their existing satellites would
have been used to provide robust service to the contiguous United States but for the Commission’s action in this
(continued….)

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obtain new customers are sufficient to support our determination that the modification we make to their
authorizations does not constitute a fundamental change. The Small Satellite Operators have failed to
demonstrate their ability to lure existing customers away from their contracts with other providers or to
explain how they had planned to obtain new customers, including how they planned to compete against
the growing reliance on fiber delivery services as a high-quality substitute for satellite delivery. 394
140.
Third, space station incumbents will not incur any unreimbursed reasonable expenses as a
result of this license modification. Under the rules adopted here, the new C-band entrants would pay for
the cost of the reconfiguration of all incumbent earth stations, as well as reasonable relocation costs
associated with repacking FSS operations into the upper portion of the band. In sum, because the record
indicates that space station operators will continue to be able to serve their customers with essentially the
same services under very similar terms following the license modification we adopt today, and should not
suffer any interruption of service during the repacking process, we conclude that any reduction in
spectrum access rights here will not effect a “fundamental change” for these companies under section 316
precedent. 395
141.
The record in this proceeding, which sought comment on this question, 396 supports this
397
conclusion. For example, T-Mobile explains “[t]here can be no fundamental change if satellite
(Continued from previous page)
proceeding, citing specifically to significant investments ABS made in its ABS-3A satellite as part of a global
network strategy to provide C-band services in the contiguous United States. See Small Satellite Operators Feb. 18,
2019 Ex Parte at 8-9. Such a proposition is clearly belied by the facts. The ABS-3A satellite is positioned just
south of the Ivory Coast of northwest Africa, and both its global and western hemisphere C-band beams provide
only edge coverage to the east coast of the United States. See Satbeams Coverage Report,
https://www.satbeams.com/footprints?beam=8203 (last visited Feb. 23, 2020). The notion that ABS made
significant investments in launching this satellite with the specific intent of providing robust services in the United
States and that it must be compensated for the loss of those investments is contradicted both by its inaction in the
United States in the four-and-a-half years since it launched ABS-3A and the actual capabilities of ABS-3A to
provide service primarily outside the United States.
394
See Letter from Mark Racek, Ericsson, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 17-183 (filed Mar.
29, 2018) (citing a report by Northern Sky Research finding that C-Band transponder equivalent demand is expected
to decline by 26% between 2017 and 2026, resulting in a corresponding increase of available capacity on today’s
satellites) (Ericsson Mar. 29, 2018 Ex Parte); Letter from Gregory M. Romano, Verizon, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Oct. 21, 2019) (Verizon Oct. 21, 2019 Ex Parte) (same); CTIA
Comments at 17; Letter from Gregory M. Romano, Vice President, Federal Regulatory and Legal Affairs, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 3 (Verizon Oct. 9, 2019 Ex Parte) (“reliance on fiber
delivery for video services is growing,” and “content providers are increasingly using fiber to distribute content.”);
id. (“the transition away from satellite service for content delivery is already underway . . .”); see also ACA
Connects Coalition July 9, 2019 Ex Parte (explaining the importance of fiber deployment to the future of MVPD
services).
395
See Mobile Relay Assocs. v. FCC, 457 F.3d 1, 12 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (upholding the Commission’s decision not to
compensate a licensee for hypothetical customer loss it might suffer as a result of rebanding).
396

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6950, para. 111 (seeking comment on various auction proposals and “other
mechanisms for transitioning all or part of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band for wireless broadband use”); May 3 Public Notice,
34 FCC Rcd at 2904-2907.
397

AT&T May 19 PN Comments at 3-4 (arguing, in the context of a private auction, that “the Commission has
ample authority under Section 316 to modify the space station operators’ existing licenses to carve out portions of
the C-band”); Dynamic Spectrum Alliance May 3 PN Comments at 18 (observing that “[c]hanging or reducing the
frequencies used by a licensed service is a type of modification the Commission has ordered multiple times in the
past and reducing the range of C-band frequencies in which space stations are guaranteed interference protection
would not represent a ‘fundamental change’ in their rights, provided that satellite operators are able to continue
operating essentially the same service, as the D.C. Circuit has consistently held.”); NTCA May 3 PN Comments at 4
(“The Commission has clear statutory authority to reallocate the C-band for terrestrial use and then award the
resulting terrestrial licenses through a system of competitive bidding that satisfies the requirements of the
(continued….)

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companies can continue to serve their customers using a reduced amount of spectrum. But by the CBA’s
own admission, incumbents, ‘if fairly and properly incentivized,’ satellite operations can be repacked into
the upper 200 megahertz portion of the C-band ‘to enable the FCC to authorize terrestrial mobile
operations without causing intolerable interference.’ The CBA’s statement suggests that the heart of its
concern is about receiving payment – not whether its members can operate as they do today using a
reduced amount of spectrum. 398 Additionally, the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance argues that “[t]he
Commission has ample authority under Section 316 to modify FSS space station licenses in the band to
require that subject to certain conditions (e.g., cost reimbursement), after a reasonable transition period
their authorization to transmit to earth stations with interference protection will be limited to the upper
portion of the band. 399 And Charter agrees, stating “[t]o the extent the Commission must modify existing
satellite or earth station licenses to effectuate the repurposing of the C-band, it has clear authority to do so
under a statutorily-prescribed procedure.”
142.
We also reject the argument that, by modifying FSS space station licenses to remove their
authorization in the lower 300 megahertz, we will establish a “dangerous precedent about the FCC’s
ability to unilaterally devalue existing licenses.” 400 First, it is unlikely that our decision to modify
incumbent licenses in a manner that will allow them to continue to provide service to their customers and
reimburse them for all of the relocation costs associated with the transition will appreciably devalue other,
similarly situated non-exclusive licenses. According to SIA, the C-band satellite industry has been able to
realize a return on their investments in the band amounting to an estimated $340 million in revenue per
year. 401 Given that incumbent space station operators will be fully reimbursed for the transition, we find
that they will be able to continue to realize such returns after they transition to the upper 200 megahertz of
the band, and that the actions we take here will not have a chilling effect on potential licensees going
forward.
143.
Second, by their very nature, these incumbent space station licenses are fundamentally
distinct, and easily distinguishable, from the exclusive geographic terrestrial licenses that the Commission
issues through competitive bidding both in the rights conferred to the licensees and the method by which
they are issued. Incumbent space station licensees have non-exclusive access to the band and did not
obtain their current licenses through competitive bidding. Indeed, space station operators with grants of
market access did not even have to pay an application fee to receive their license and have not been
obligated to pay any regulatory fees as a condition of the authorization. 402 Thus, unlike terrestrial
(Continued from previous page)
Communications Act. The Commission has utilized this approach for decades to successfully repurpose a wide
array of spectrum bands.”); PISC May 3 PN Comments at 4-5 (“The speediest, fairest and most straightforward
option consistent with the Commission’s statutory authority is a traditional forward auction that consolidates FSS
incumbents into the upper portions of the band and requires auction winners to reimburse incumbents for any
eligible and reasonable costs.”).
398

T-Mobile Jan. 24, 2020 Ex Parte at 6.

399

Dynamic Spectrum Alliance May 3 PN Comments at 17.

400

Letter from Elizabeth Andrion, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Charter Communications, to Marlene
H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 5, n.13 (filed Feb. 22, 2019) (Charter Feb. 22, 2019 Ex
Parte). See C-Band Alliance Jan. 16 Ex Parte at 2; see also Small Satellite Operators Oct. 9, 2019 Ex Parte at 3 (“If
the FCC decides that Section 316 allows it to take away licensed spectrum, without any compensation, even after
significant amounts of network investment already have taken place, it will fundamentally change not just the terms
of the authorizations affected—but what it means to hold an FCC license.”).
401

SIA Comments at 21; see also Trinity Broadcasting May 16, 2019 Ex Parte at 5, Attach. at 9 (the current
enterprise value for 500 megahertz of C-band spectrum for satellite use equals around $1.99 billion).
402

The Commission has previously declined to assess regulatory fees on non-U.S. licensed space stations, observing
that the Act at the time only authorized the Commission to assess space station “licensees,” i.e., those licensed under
Title III—which does not include non-U.S.-licensed space stations. See Assessment and Collection of Regulatory
Fees for Fiscal Year 1999, Report and Order, 14 FCC Rcd 9868, 9883, para. 39 (1999) (FY 1999 Report and Order).
(continued….)

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licensees, incumbent space station operators have no expectation of exclusive access to a particular
spectrum band and incurred no appreciable costs for use of this valuable public resource beyond
investment in their own network. These clear differences are more than sufficient to distinguish
incumbent space station licenses from exclusive terrestrial licenses and should reassure terrestrial
licensees that their license rights will not be appreciably devalued by our actions in this order.
144.
What is more, satellite licensees in this band can effectively reuse spectrum at the same
terrestrial location without causing interference to overlapping transmissions. This effectively gives them
more capacity than the spectrum in their licenses would provide without these techniques, and this will
continue to be the case when they transition to the upper 200 megahertz of the band. 403 Space station
operators in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band are authorized to use the entire band exclusively at any orbital slot, but
non-exclusively in terms of geographic coverage. Satellites operating in the C-band typically have 24
transponders, each with a bandwidth of 36 megahertz. Thus, the 24 transponders on a given satellite
provide capacity that is equivalent to 864 megahertz of spectrum, or 364 megahertz more than the
500 megahertz currently available. This is the result of spectrum reuse—adjacent transponders overlap,
and self-interference is avoided by using opposite polarizations. Today, multiple FSS incumbents using
satellites deployed at different locations in the geostationary orbit can transmit within the same
geographic boundaries over different frequencies or polarizations. After the transition, space station
operators will still be able to use the same mechanisms to effectively achieve more capacity than the
spectrum in their licenses will provide. In addition, they will be able to take advantage of new
technologies to improve spectral efficiency (that will be implemented and funded by the transition), such
as improved data compression and modulation techniques to further improve their spectral efficiency.
145.
We likewise reject the argument that a section 316 modification of FSS space station
licenses to remove authorization in the lower 300 megahertz would constitute an unlawful “taking” under
the Takings Clause of the U.S. Constitution. 404 Commission licenses do not constitute a property right.
Section 301 of the Act states that Commission licenses “provide for the use of [radio] channels, but not
the ownership thereof, by persons for limited periods of time.” 405 Section 304 of the Act requires
licensees to waive “any claim to the use of any particular frequency or of the electromagnetic spectrum as
against the regulatory power of the United States because of the previous use of the same, whether by
license or otherwise.” 406 Courts have generally affirmed that spectrum rights are not property rights
subject to the Takings Clause. 407 The plain language of the Act makes clear that a spectrum license is just
(Continued from previous page)
In 2019, however, the Commission sought comment on whether assessing non-U.S. licensed space stations would
promote regulatory parity among space station operators. See Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for
Fiscal Year 2019, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 34 FCC Rcd 8189, 8212-14,
paras. 62-66 (2019).
403

The Small Satellite Operators misstate the Commission’s position as arguing that spectrum reuse means no loss
in spectrum rights will occur due to the transition. See Small Satellite Operators Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 7.
Consistent with the standard for determining whether a license modification constitutes a fundamental change, the
existence of spectrum reuse supports the conclusion that several mechanisms exist for space station operators to use
spectrum more efficiently and continue providing the same services on fewer frequencies after the transition.
404

See, e.g., C-Band Alliance Jan. 14 Ex Parte at 12; C-Band Alliance Comments at 21.

405

47 U.S.C. § 301 (emphasis added).

406

47 U.S.C. § 304; 47 CFR § 25.114(b) (requiring each application for a new or modified space station
authorization to contain the formal waiver required by section 304 of the Act); id. § 25.137(b) (requiring all requests
for U.S. market access for non-U.S.-licensed space stations to provide all the legal and technical information that
§ 25.114 would require in a license application for that space-station).
407

See, e.g., NextWave Pers. Commc’ns, Inc., 200 F.3d 43, 51 (2d Cir. 1999), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 924 (2000)
(citing 47 U.S.C. § 301 (the purpose of the Communications Act is to “to provide for the use of [radio] channels, but
not the ownership thereof”)); FCC v. Sanders Bros. Radio Station, 309 U.S. 470, 475 (1940) (“[N]o person is to
have anything in the nature of a property right as a result of the granting of a license [under 47 U.S.C. § 301]”);
(continued….)

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that—a license to use spectrum—not a deed of ownership. 408 The mere existence of section 316 authority
to modify licenses, including by removing authorization to operate on certain frequencies, makes clear
that a Commission license is not an absolute property right to which the Takings Clause might apply.
146.
Furthermore, even if FSS space station authorizations conferred cognizable property
rights, which they do not, the license modification we adopt in this Report and Order would not amount
to a taking. A regulatory taking occurs “where a regulation denies all economically beneficial or
productive use” of the property. 409 We agree with Eutelsat, who argues that, “because C-band satellites
will still have significant economic benefit for the duration of their authorizations despite the C-band
transition, the potential for a regulatory taking is significantly diminished.” 410 The U.S. Supreme Court
has explained that a taking is not readily found where “interference arises from some public program
adjusting the benefits and burdens of economic life to promote the common good.” 411 Here, by the space
station operators’ own admission, they will be able to continue to provide service to their existing
customers after the transition, and we adopt rules ensuring that incumbent FSS licensees are made whole
for any costs they incur as a result of the transition. 412 Our modification of incumbent FSS licenses
therefore does not amount to a taking under the U.S. Constitution.

(Continued from previous page)
Celtronix Telemetry, Inc. v. FCC, 272 F.3d 585, 589 (D.C. Cir. 2001) (noting that a license does not offer a vested
right and that “it is undisputed that the Commission always retained the power to alter the term of existing licenses
by rulemaking.”); Mobile Relay Assocs., 457 F.3d at 12 (“The Commission grants a licensee the right to ‘the use of’
the spectrum for a set period of time ‘but not the ownership thereof.’”). Cf. Alpine PCS, Inc. v. United States, 128
Fed. Cl. 303, 309 (2016) (recognizing that a spectrum license can confer certain property rights that are limited by
the terms, conditions and periods of the license but dismissing case on statute of limitations grounds), aff’d, 878
F.3d 1086, 1095-98 (Fed. Cir. 2018) (relying on different grounds to affirm lower court ruling that it lacked
jurisdiction over appellant’s regulatory takings claim, by holding that Communications Act displaced Tucker Act
jurisdiction, and that the case fell within the exclusive jurisdiction of the D.C. Circuit under 47 U.S.C. § 403(b)(5)).
We note that in affirming the lower court’s rejection of the appellant’s taking claim in Alpine PCS, the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Federal Circuit not only explained why jurisdiction for such a claim lay within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the D.C. Circuit, but it also made it clear that it (the Federal Circuit) was accepting the appellant’s
premise that the spectrum licenses are “property protected by the Takings Clause . . . for purposes of assessing the
jurisdictional issue” but “without deciding whether [such premise] is correct.” Alpine PCS, 878 F.3d at 1095.
408

The C-Band Alliance claims the Commission acknowledged that FSS operators have property rights in their
licensed spectrum, by pointing to a single use of the term “property rights” in the NPRM. See C-Band Alliance Jan.
16, 2020 Ex Parte (citing NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6936, para. 61). The C-Band Alliance is referring to the solitary
use of the term “property rights” in the NPRM, which appears in a paragraph that describes the “public goods
problem” that arises from FSS licensees’ non-exclusive, non-rivalrous use of the 500 megahertz of spectrum. The
proposition that, in a single illustrative paragraph of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission sought to
confer or recognize property rights attributable to FSS licenses—a legal right that has been carefully interpreted
through years of legal precedent—is absurd. See Letter from Carlos M. Nalda, Counsel, Eutelsat, to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, Attach. at 17 (Eutelsat Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte).
409

See Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 505 U.S. 1003, 1015 (1992); Agins v. City of Tiburon, 447 U.S.
255, 260-61 (1980) (balancing the property owner’s economic losses and lost reasonable investment-backed
expectations against the character of the government action).
410

Eutelsat Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 18.

411

Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, 438 U.S. 104, 124 (1978) (citing Pennsylvania Coal Co. v.
Mahon, 260 U.S. 393, 413 (1991) (“[g]overnment hardly could go on if to some extent values incident to property
could not be diminished without paying for every such change in the general law”)).
412

C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 1, 4; Eutelsat Dec. 19, 2019 Ex Parte at 1
(“Eutelsat agrees that, with diligent effort from all interested parties, the auction could commence in 2020, with
transition milestones for the release of 100 MHz and 300 MHz of spectrum in mid-2021 and mid-2023,
respectively.”); Small Satellite Operators Sept. 13, 2019 Ex Parte.

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147.
Clearing Earth Station Operations.—Finally, the Commission’s public interest analysis
for transitioning the 3.7-3.98 GHz band to flexible use and reserving the 3.98-4.0 GHz band as a guard
band extends to incumbent earth stations.413 We reiterate our finding above that earth station registrants
are not licensees. The Commission issues licenses pursuant to its authority under Title III of the Act,
which requires a license for “the transmission of energy, or communications or signals by radio.” 414 The
Commission has long concluded that, because receive-only earth stations do not transmit, they do not
require a license under section 301 of the Act. In adopting rules providing for earth station registrants to
receive interference protection through voluntary coordination, the Commission has done so under its
Title I ancillary authority to its “other regulatory responsibilities to maximize effective use of satellite
communications” over which the Commission has express Title III authority, including its section 301
licensing and conditioning authority and its section 303 authority to regulate radio transmissions in
various specified ways, and made clear that a receive-only earth station registration does not confer a
license. 415 While section 316 governs the Commission’s modification of licenses, the Commission is not
required by the Act to license receive-only earth stations and has found that it is not in the public interest
to do so. We have therefore relied on our ancillary authority to administer a registration regime for these
stations, which we have an ongoing responsibility to modify as appropriate to ensure that it remains
consistent with our regulation in the public interest of the licensed satellite stations. As an exercise of that
responsibility, we are thus modifying the earth station registrations to comport with the C-band
reconfiguration we are ordering herein, by limiting the frequencies on which these earth stations may
receive interference protection to the upper 200 megahertz of C-band spectrum. 416
148.
A relatively small number of earth stations that receive in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band are
licensed to transmit in another band (i.e., licensed transmit-receive earth stations). That license to
transmit does not provide the earth station operator with the right to transmit in the C-band, where they
hold no “licensed spectrum usage rights.” To the extent earth stations have licenses to transmit in another
band, we find that we have ample authority to propose to modify their authorizations to eliminate their
interference protection rights in the lower 300 megahertz of the band, once cleared of satellite operations
under our section 316 authority. 417 Like with the space station operators, this proposed modification does
not effect a fundamental change because earth stations will continue to receive the same level of service
(from satellite providers operating in the upper 200 megahertz of the band) and will remain able to
provide the same services to their own customers as before their registration or license modification.

413
Although the majority of C-band earth stations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band are receive-only registered earth stations,
there are C-band earth stations licensed to transmit in 5925-6425 MHz and receive in 3.7-4.2 GHz. See 47 CFR
§ 25.103 (definition of “Conventional C-band”).
414

47 U.S.C. § 301 (emphasis added).

415

Regulation of Domestic Receive-Only Satellite Earth Stations, 74 F.C.C.2d 205, 217, para. 32 (1979); see also
Amendment of Part 25 of the Commission’s Rules and Regulations to Reduce Alien Carrier Interference Between
Fixed–Satellites at Reduced Orbital Spacings and to Revise Application Processing Procedures For Satellite
Communications Services, Report and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 2806 (1991); Deregulation of Domestic Receive-Only
Satellite Earth Stations, Second Report and Order, 104 F.C.C.2d 348 (1986).

416

See, e.g., Dynamic Spectrum Alliance May 3 PN Comments at 11; ACA Connects Dec. 11 Ex Parte at 9.

417

47 U.S.C. § 316; see also Dynamic Spectrum Alliance May 3 PN Comments at 11; Google May 3 PN Comments
at 13; OTI May 3 PN Comments at 23-26. We agree with commenters and find—for the same basic reasons that
apply to our modification of the C-band space station operator licenses—that even if these earth stations are deemed
to hold Title III licenses, the Commission’s modification of such licenses is authorized under section 316 of the
Communications Act, as amended. While, for example, the Commission regulates mobile handsets owned by
subscribers of mobile services, which do transmit as well as receive, the Commission requires no license for them
but considers them “included in the authorization held by the licensee providing service to them.” 47 CFR
§ 1.903(c).

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149.
New Earth Stations.—On April 19, 2018, the staff released the Freeze and 90-Day Earth
Station Filing Window Public Notice, which froze applications for new or modified earth stations in the
3.7-4.2 GHz band to preserve the current landscape of authorized operations pending action as part of the
Commission’s ongoing inquiry into the possibility of permitting mobile broadband use and more
intensive fixed use of the band through this proceeding. 418 Given our decision to limit FSS operations in
the 3.7-4.0 GHz band in the contiguous United States but not elsewhere, we convert the freeze for new
FSS earth stations in the 3.7-4.0 GHz band in the contiguous United States into an elimination of the
application process for registrations and licenses for those operations, and we lift the freeze for new FSS
earth stations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band outside of the contiguous United States upon publication of the
Report and Order in the Federal Register. 419
150.
We revise the part 25 rules such that applications for 3.7-4.0 GHz band earth station
licenses or registrations in the contiguous United States will no longer be accepted. Several commenters
support permanently limiting eligibility to file applications for earth station licenses or registrations to
incumbent earth stations. 420 We find that limiting, as described, the registration of new earth stations in
spectrum being transitioned to primary terrestrial use will provide a stable spectral environment for more
intensive terrestrial use of 3.7-3.98 GHz and facilitate the rapid transition to terrestrial use.
151.
With respect to registered incumbent earth stations that are transitioned to the 4.0-4.2
GHz band, we will permit these earth stations to be renewed and/or modified to maintain their operations
in the 4.0-4.2 GHz band. We will not, however, accept applications for new earth stations in the 4.0-4.2
GHz portion of the band for the time being, during this transition period. 421
152.
New Space Station Operations.—Consistent with our decision to continue to permit
satellite operations in the upper 200 megahertz of the C-band, we modify the Commission’s proposal to
revise the rules to codify the International Bureau’s June 21, 2018 freeze.422 Specifically, we revise our
rules to prohibit new applications for space station licenses and new petitions for market access
concerning space-to-Earth operations in the 3.7-4.0 GHz band in the contiguous United States. Outside
the contiguous United States for the 3.7-4.2 GHz band and nationwide for the 4.0-4.2 GHz band, these
revisions do not apply. For the contiguous United States, allowing new satellite space station applicants
to claim access to the 4.0-4.2 GHz FSS band could complicate the transition process. Accordingly, we
418

See Freeze and 90-Day Earth Station Filing Window Public Notice at 1.

419

See GCI Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte. We emphasize that earth stations registered after the filing freeze is lifted will
not be considered incumbent earth stations and will not qualify for reimbursement of relocation costs. Further, any
new registered earth stations outside of the contiguous United States may not claim protection from harmful
interference from new flexible use licensees in the contiguous United States.
420

See, e.g., Verizon July 19 PN Reply at 6; T-Mobile October 2, 2019 Ex Parte at 9.

421

Some commenters have asked the Commission to allow stakeholders to negotiate a limited number of
registrations for operation in the 4.0-4.2 GHz band for transportable earth stations occasionally used at common
venues. See, e.g., Letter from Patrick McFadden, Associate General Counsel, NAB, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 4-5 (filed Feb. 21, 2020) (NAB Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte); Disney and
ESPN Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2. To maintain the status quo during the transition, we decline at this time to
authorize additional registrations for occasional use of transportable earth stations. That decision, however, does not
preclude the Commission from considering other methods of responding to temporary, targeted spectral needs on a
negotiated, non-interfering basis, such as through the use of Special Temporary Authority.
422

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6931-32, para. 46 (noting International Bureau’s June 21, 2018 temporary freeze on
certain new space station applications in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, the Commission proposed to revise the rules to
similarly bar new applications for space station licenses and new petitions for market access concerning space-toEarth operations; the proposal did not extend to barring applications for extension, cancellation, replacement, or
modification of existing authorizations or to bar operators with existing space station authorizations in the band as of
June 21, 2018, from filing applications for additional space stations, if authorization of such space stations would
promote more efficient use of the band); see also C-Band Alliance April 9, 2019 Ex Parte at 6.

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will continue the freeze on new applicants until the transition is completed, which will allow incumbent
space station operators the flexibility to launch additional satellites to achieve an efficient transition to the
upper portion of the band. 423 Once the transition is completed, the International Bureau is directed to
release a public notice announcing that the freeze is lifted. 424
153.
Several terrestrial wireless operators support limiting new space station operations as
proposed by the Commission. 425 Boeing opposes the proposal, and the C-Band Alliance argues that the
Commission should not arbitrarily limit the ability of the FSS ecosystem to grow and evolve in response
to customer demands by making the current freezes on applications for new C-band earth stations and
space stations permanent. 426 The C-Band Alliance argues that permitting FSS networks to fully use the
downlink spectrum that will remain available to them following clearing is the best way to promote
efficient use of that spectrum and accommodate the natural development of the businesses that depend on
the unique benefits of C-band satellite coverage and reliability. The C-Band Alliance anticipates that new
satellite capacity will be required to implement its plans to make spectrum available for terrestrial 5G
services, and this new satellite capacity will be essential to ensure that the C-Band Alliance members can
meet the ongoing requirements for C-band connectivity in a more limited amount of spectrum. 427 We find
our approach here strikes the appropriate balance between not allowing new space station applicants to
claim access to the band to complicate the transition process and providing incumbent space station
operators the flexibility to launch additional satellites to achieve an efficient transition to the upper
portion of the band. 428
3.

Transition Schedule

154.
Consistent with the Emerging Technologies framework, 429 we find a mix of carrots and
sticks best accommodates the need to clear FSS operations out of the lower 300 megahertz as quickly as
possible to facilitate new terrestrial, flexible-use operations and the need to preserve the content
distribution ecosystem now contained in the C-band. Given the disagreements in the record on how long
the transition will take, we find that a multi-stage transition that offers both positive incentives to
operators for clearing early as well as negative incentives for operators that fail to clear by the end of the
sunset period will best serve these goals.
155.
We establish a Relocation Deadline of December 5, 2025 to ensure that all FSS
operations are cleared in a timely manner, as well as two Accelerated Relocation Deadlines—a Phase I
deadline of December 5, 2021 and a Phase II deadline of December 5, 2023—for incumbent space station
operators that voluntarily relocate on an accelerated schedule (with additional obligations and incentives
for such operators). And we set forth the consequences for meeting or failing to meet these deadlines.

423

“Incumbent space station operators” are defined in section III.B.1 (Incumbent FSS Operations).

424

See 5 U.S.C. § 553(b)(B), (d)(3).

425

CTIA Comments at 16; Verizon Comments at 12.

426

Boeing Comments at 6-7; C-Band Alliance Comments at 54-55.

427

C-Band Alliance Comments at 54.

428

AT&T suggests that any new FSS facilities deployed in the 4.0-4.2 GHz band after the transition should be
secondary to deployed networks in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. Letter from Michael P. Goggin, Assistant Vice
President, Senior Legal Counsel, AT&T, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 5
(AT&T Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte). AT&T’s suggestion is inconsistent with the transition we outline in this Report
and Order, and accordingly we decline to adopt such a limitation on new FSS facilities after the freeze is lifted.
429

Redevelopment of Spectrum to Encourage Innovation in the Use of New Telecommunications Technologies, ET
Docket No. 92-9, First Report and Order and Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 7 FCC Rcd 6886 (1992)
(Emerging Technologies Order), clarified by Third Report and Order, 8 FCC Rcd 6589 (1993), modified on
reconsideration, Memorandum Report and Order, 9 FCC Rcd 1943 (1994).

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156.
In the NPRM, we sought comment on reasonable benchmarks for incumbent space station
operators to clear and make C-band spectrum available for flexible use to ensure a timely transition
process. 430 Recognizing that spectrum would likely be cleared incrementally over the course of the full
clearing process, we sought comment on appropriate periodic reporting requirements, as well as any
procedural safeguards or penalties that may be necessary if the transition facilitator is unable to clear the
spectrum within the designated clearing time period. 431
157.
The record is divided on how long it will take to clear the lower 300 megahertz for
terrestrial operations and relocate incumbent space station operators and incumbent earth stations to the
upper 200 megahertz. In the context of proposing a private sale, the C-Band Alliance states that it could
clear and repack enough satellite transponders to make 280 megahertz of spectrum available for 5G use in
the contiguous United States within 36 months of such a sale in a two-step process. First, within 18
months of Commission action in this proceeding, the C-Band Alliance would be able to clear 120
megahertz in 46 of the top 50 PEAs. 432 The C-Band Alliance claims it could achieve this benchmark
without the need to launch new satellites. To achieve this, the C-Band Alliance proposes to provide
passband filters to all earth stations that potentially may be affected by wireless terrestrial operations
anywhere within the PEA, including earth stations that are outside of, but near enough to, the PEA to
experience harmful interference.433 Second, within 36 months of its private sale, the C-Band Alliance
would be able to clear the remaining PEAs for the first 120 megahertz, as well as an additional 180
megahertz throughout the contiguous United States. 434 Space station operators that are not members of
the C-Band Alliance support a rapid transition of C-band spectrum and have put forth similar transition
timelines to those proposed by the C-Band Alliance. 435 Eutelsat supports the 18- and 36-month timelines
proposed by the C-Band Alliance, and states that, with diligent effort from all interested parties, an
auction could commence in 2020, with transition milestones for the release of 100 megahertz and 300
megahertz of spectrum for flexible use at the end of 2021 and 2023, respectively. 436 The Small Satellite
Operators agree that 300 megahertz of C-band spectrum could be made available for 5G within 18 to 36
months through the use of non-proprietary, readily available compression technology. 437 And other
commenters agree that the proposed 18-month and 36-month timelines are attainable if all stakeholders’
incentives are properly aligned. 438
430

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6945-46, paras. 93-97.

431

Id. at 6945-46, paras. 96-97.

432

See C-Band Alliance Oct. 28, 2019 Ex Parte; C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 5.
This tranche excludes the Baltimore-Washington, Atlanta, and Denver PEAs (PEAs 5, 11 and 20) due to the need to
protect Telemetry, Tracking, and Command (TT&C) sites and the Honolulu PEA (PEA 42) because continued
service will be provided in Hawaii across the 3700-4200 MHz band. See C-Band Alliance May 21 Ex Parte, Attach.
at 3.
433

C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 5; C-Band Alliance Apr. 9, 2019 Ex Parte,
Attach. at 9-10.
434

See C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 6; C-Band Alliance Apr. 9, 2019 Ex Parte,
Attach. at 9-10.

435

See, e.g., Eutelsat Nov. 7 Ex Parte at 1; Small Satellite Operators Sept. 13 Ex Parte at 1.

436

Eutelsat Dec. 19 Ex Parte at 1; Eutelsat Nov. 7 Ex Parte at 1.

437

Small Satellite Operators Sept. 13 Ex Parte at 1.

438

Letter from William H. Johnson, Senior Vice President, Federal Regulatory and Legal Affairs, Verizon, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Nov. 18, 2019); AT&T et al. Oct. 29, 2019 Ex
Parte at 2; Comcast Nov. 19 Ex Parte at 12-13 (a public auction “can proceed quickly enough to enable the
deployment of 5G services in the repurposed portion of the C-Band on a timeframe commensurate with [the C-Band
Alliance’s] projections”); Charter Feb. 22 Ex Parte at 2; Comcast Feb. 22 Ex Parte Attach. at 5; Verizon Dec. 19 Ex
Parte at 1; Verizon Nov. 26 Ex Parte at 1.

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158.
Some commenters express skepticism that a transition of FSS operations can be
accomplished under the timelines proposed by the C-Band Alliance. 439 ACA Connects and the
Broadband Access Coalition, for instance, argue that the timeframe advanced by the C-Band Alliance is
unrealistic. 440 ACA Connects argues that the “sheer complexity of the transition” entails “many
considerable risks of delay at each stage” that could cause it to take as long as five years. 441 Likewise,
GCI contends that, although some parts of the contiguous United States may be transitioned in a shorter
time, rural areas will need more time to relocate and should be given five years for the relocation
period. 442 Meanwhile, users of FSS services like broadcasters and NAB simply caution that the transition
will be “enorm[ous] and complex[].” 443
159.
Given that the members of the C-Band Alliance and Eutelsat manage most of the C-band
satellite traffic today and are the most knowledgeable parties about their operations in the C-band, we are
inclined to give the C-Band Alliance and Eutelsat the opportunity to make good on their claims that they
can relocate existing C-band operations into the upper 200 megahertz quickly and to provide incentives
for them to do so. We nonetheless recognize that the transition may take longer than the C-Band Alliance
and Eutelsat claimed was necessary as a technical matter. Given the reasoned skepticism of many in the
record and our own agreement with commenters that this transition will be an enormous and complex
task, we adopt a somewhat longer Relocation Deadline of five years to ensure the protection of incumbent
earth stations should the transition take longer than the C-Band Alliance has forecast. 444
160.
Specifically, we conclude that a Relocation Deadline of December 5, 2025 is in the
public interest. In particular, we find that the December 5, 2025 transition date strikes a fair and
appropriate balance between bringing C-band spectrum to market and ensuring space station operators,
earth station operators, and other stakeholders have the necessary time to complete this transition in a
careful, fair, and cost-effective manner. This date ensures this spectrum will be made available for
flexible use, while guaranteeing that vital television and radio services currently provided using the Cband will continue operating without interruption, both during and after the transition.
161.
FSS operations in the C-band are critical to the delivery of television and radio
programming, as well as many other services, for tens of millions of Americans, and it is in the public
interest to ensure that these services are not disrupted. Given this, it is in the public interest to avoid
sunsetting FSS operations before all services can be transitioned fully out of this part of the band. And
we find that, even with the uncertainties in the record, a transition period through December 5, 2025 will
be sufficient to ensure continued operations throughout the contiguous United States and the relocation of
stations to the upper 200 megahertz of the band.
162.
In setting the Relocation Deadline, we must also account for the costs to the American
public from delays in freeing up this important mid-band spectrum for terrestrial use, including for 5G.
The C-Band Alliance itself has claimed that “[e]ach year of [delaying the deployment of C-band spectrum
for flexible use] is value lost forever—here, about $50 billion or more per year in consumer surplus.” 445
439

See, e.g., Comcast Reply at 13-14; Paul Litchfield Reply at 46-52; NCTA Reply at 18; T-Mobile Reply at 22;
Broadband Access Coalition Comments at 34; GCI Comments at 19; CB2.0 Reply at 5.
440

Letter from Brian Hurley, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, ACA Connects, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1-2, Attach. at 4-5 (filed Nov. 15, 2019) (ACA Connects Nov. 15, 2019 Ex Parte);
Broadband Access Coalition Comments at 34.
441

ACA Connects Nov. 15 Ex Parte Attach. at 5.

442

GCI Comments at 19; see CB2.0 Reply at 5.

443

ABC et al., Nov. 22 Ex Parte at 1-2 (citing NAB Nov. 19 Ex Parte at 1).

444

See, e.g., Paul Litchfield Reply at 46-52; NCTA Reply at 18; T-Mobile Reply at 22; Broadband Access Coalition
Comments at 34; GCI Comments at 19; CB2.0 Reply at 5.
445

C-Band Alliance Jan. 14 Ex Parte at 1.

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Whatever the merits of that particular valuation, we agree that delaying the transition of this spectrum
longer than necessary will have significant negative effects for the American consumer and American
leadership in 5G. We thus find that because a 2025 deadline is sufficient to relocate existing FSS
operations, it is imperative we set the Relocation Deadline no later than 2025 so that we do not delay the
use of this valuable public resource any longer than necessary.
163.
We note that a five-year Relocation Deadline is wholly consistent with our precedent and
past spectrum transitions. The Commission has overseen several complex transitions in other bands,
involving thousands of authorized entities with diverse operational needs, customer bases, and technical
requirements. 446 Recent transition timelines have been as short as 39 months—such as in the Broadcast
Incentive Auction 447—or longer than fourteen years—as in the 800 MHz transition. 448
164.
In the 800 MHz Order, the Commission repacked portions of the 800 MHz band to
address a growing problem of harmful interference to 800 MHz public safety communication systems
caused by the inherent incompatibility of those systems with high-density commercial wireless systems
when situated in an increasingly congested, interleaved spectral environment. 449 The 800 MHz repack
has taken over fourteen years to complete, due to the need to ensure public safety transmissions are not
disrupted. In contrast, we expect the transition after the Broadcast Incentive Auction, which involves
repacking full power and Class A television broadcast facilities, will take only 39 months. The Broadcast
Incentive Auction, authorized by Congress, 450 sought to reallocate spectrum used by TV broadcasters in
order to provide new spectrum to be used for next generation wireless services. 451 TV broadcasters, who
previously used portions of spectrum above Channel 37, ranging from 614 MHz to 698 MHz, were
assigned to a channel ranging from Channel 2 to Channel 36, consisting of the VHF low band (between
Channel 2 and Channel 6), the VHF high band (between Channel 7 and 13), and the UHF band (between
Channel 14 and 36). 452 Additionally, some TV broadcasters operating in channels below Channel 37
were relocated to other channels below Channel 37.
165.
We see this transition as more analogous to the Broadcast Incentive Auction repacking
than it is to the 800 MHz transition. Here, unlike the 800 MHz transition, public safety services are not at
stake and—although incumbent operations will be protected throughout the transition—moving FSS
transmissions will not require the careful incremental adjustments required in the 800 MHz repack. 453 As

446

See, e.g., Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, GN
Docket No. 12-268, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 6567 (2014); 800 MHz Order, 19 FCC Rcd 14969.

447

Incentive Auction Task Force Media Bureau Report on the Status of the Post-Incentive Auction Transition &
Reimbursement Program et al., GN Docket No. 12-268, Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd 304, 304 (2019).
448

Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 02-55, Order and Sixth Further
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 19 FCC Rcd 108 at 12 (2019).
449

800 MHz Order, 19 FCC Rcd 14969.

450

See Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96, §§ 6402, 6403, 125 Stat. 156
(2012) (Spectrum Act).
451

Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, Docket No. 12268, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 31 FCC Rcd 888 at 3 (2012).
452

FCC, Wireless Microphones and the Post-Incentive Auction Transition, https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/fccinitiatives/broadcast-incentive-auction/wireless-microphones-and-post-incentive (last visited Feb. 2, 2020).
453
For example, the 800 MHz repack required the incremental movement of operations related to public safety.
Because public safety operations generally cannot be disrupted without causing unacceptable risk to the public, and
because the public safety licensees in that band had no alternative space where the transmissions could be
simultaneously operated, the public safety transmissions in the 800 MHz band had to be carefully and incrementally
moved to ensure there was no disruption to services vital to preserving life and property. Improving Spectrum
Efficiency Through Flexible Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Utilization for Economic Area-based 800 MHz
(continued….)

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a result, repacking FSS transmission will not need as much time as has been needed for the repack of the
800 MHz band. However, we also believe that the C-band transition may take longer than the Broadcast
Incentive Auction, as this transition will involve a variety of different and complex elements that may
require a longer transition timeline. For example, the transition here will likely require the design,
construction, launch, and deployment of additional new satellites. Additionally, that transition involved
only 987 TV licenses and not communications and coordination among and reimbursement to thousands
of satellite and earth station stakeholders.
166.
C-band space station operators do not have direct contractual relationships with many of
the earth stations that receive their service transmissions and, as such, it may take additional time and
effort to ascertain which FSS earth stations receive content from each incumbent space station operator
and to assign responsibility for clearing each earth station. 454 Regardless, the incumbent space station
operators are in the best position to expeditiously transition this band to flexible use service and we note
that they have already made significant progress in identifying earth stations and developing transition
plans. 455
167.
Despite having claimed it can complete the transition in three years, the C-Band Alliance
has recently suggested that Commission precedent could require a 10-year (or greater) deadline for
relocation under the Emerging Technologies precedent. 456 We disagree. We acknowledge that the
Commission can and has set a 10-year deadline before, for example, when it relied on the Emerging
Technologies framework to transition terrestrial fixed service licensees relocating from the 18.58-18.8
GHz and 18.8-19.3 GHz bands, to the 17.7-18.3 GHz band, in addition to allowing operations in the 18.318.58 GHz and 19.3-19.7 GHz bands on a co-primary basis. 457 But in doing so, the Commission
expressly found that, based on the circumstances before it, a sunset period of ten years for continued coprimary status of existing terrestrial fixed stations was “an appropriate compromise that will allow these
systems to continue to operate in these bands, while giving FSS interests the option to pay the cost of
relocating such systems if FSS interests want to deploy operations in those areas” before the 10-year
sunset. 458 But we agree with T-Mobile: Just because the Commission determined a ten-year transition
was appropriate under one set of facts “does not mean that a ten-year sunset period is appropriate or

(Continued from previous page)
Specialized Mobile Radio Licensees et al., WT Docket No. 12-64, et al., Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 6489
(2012).
454

AT&T Reply at 15; see also Letter from Pantelis Michalopoulos, Steptoe, Counsel for ACA Connects, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at n. 7 (filed Feb. 18, 2020) (ACA Connects Feb. 18,
2020 Ex Parte) (“ACA Connects members receive hundreds of satellite transmissions from dozens of programmers
who lease transponders from two or more satellite operators. Many of these members have two or more earth
station sites that each have as many as ten different satellite dishes.”)
455

C-Band Alliance Comments at 22 (space station operators are in the best position to transition their own
customers or associated earth stations); Verizon Comments at 5 (same); Letter from Carlos M. Nalda, Counsel,
Eutelsat S.A., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Nov. 21, 2019) (same).
456

C-Band Alliance Jan. 16, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. A at 7-8.

457

Redesignation of the 17.7-19.7 GHz Frequency Band, Blanket Licensing of Satellite Earth Stations in the 17.720.2 GHz and 27.5-30.0 GHz Frequency Bands, and the Allocation of Additional Spectrum in the 17.3-17.8 GHz
and 24.75-25.25 GHz Frequency Bands for Broadcast Satellite-Service Use, Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 13430,
13433, 13464, paras. 4, 70 (2002).
458

Id. at 13464-65, para. 71 (Commission stressed that “the significance of the ten-year period was limited to who
will pay for the relocation of existing fixed stations when it is found that they would, due to interference that they
would present, preclude the establishment of FSS stations.”).

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necessary for clearing the C-band.” 459 And the C-Band Alliance fails to acknowledge that involuntary
relocation procedures became available after only two years in the precedent it cites 460—so no incumbent
was “entitled” to a ten-year transition. 461
168.
Accelerated Relocation.—We also adopt two Accelerated Relocation Deadlines—a Phase
I deadline of December 5, 2021 and a Phase II deadline of December 5, 2023—for incumbent space
station operators that voluntarily relocate on an accelerated schedule (with additional obligations and
incentives for such operators). 462 The Commission will provide an opportunity for accelerated clearing by
space station operators by making them eligible for accelerated relocation payments, if those space station
operators are able to meet certain early clearance benchmarks for the band.463
169.
We also find that adopting rules to provide for Accelerated Relocation Deadlines, with
incentives for eligible space station operators that voluntarily relocate according to an accelerated
schedule, will promote the rapid introduction of a significant tranche of C-band spectrum by leveraging
the technical and operational knowledge of space station operators, aligning their incentives to achieve a
timely transition, and enabling that transition to begin as quickly as possible. It is undisputed in the
record that eligible C-band space station operators are in a unique position to quickly clear a significant
portion of this band spectrally by using satellite grooming to repack existing services into the upper
portion of the band. Thus, under this scenario, the clearing process would begin much sooner and
proceed at a more rapid pace in the years following release of this Report and Order than if we relied on
the December 5, 2025 sunset date as the sole means of incentivizing space station operators to make Cband spectrum available for flexible use.
170.
Specifically, eligible space station operators will have the option to clear according to the
following accelerated clearing timeline: (1) clearing 100 megahertz (3.7-3.8 GHz) by December 5, 2021,
and (2) clearing the remaining 180 megahertz (3.8-3.98 GHz) by December 5, 2023. 464 To satisfy the
459

T-Mobile Jan. 24, 2020 Ex Parte at 3; see also Letter from Gregory M. Romano, Vice President, Federal
Regulatory and Legal Affairs, Verizon, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, at 2 (filed Feb. 21, 2020) (Verizon
Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte) (noting Commission precedent for setting a sunset period of less than 10 years).
460

See, e.g., 47 CFR § 101.85(a) (before the sunset, FSS licensees may negotiate with incumbents to relocate their
operations and incumbents may not refuse to negotiate). If no agreement is reached after two years (three years for
public safety incumbents), the FSS licensee may initiate relocation procedures under which the incumbent is
required to relocate if the FSS licensee meets the conditions to invoke involuntary relocation. See 47 CFR
§ 101.85(b)(3) (citing 47 CFR § 101.91 (Involuntary relocation procedures)); see also 47 CFR § 101.95(a) (FSS
licensees are not required to pay relocation costs after the relocation rules sunset and may require an incumbent to
cease operations if it intends to operate within the interference range of the incumbent).
461

See, e.g., 47 CFR § 101.85(a) (before the sunset, FSS licensees may negotiate with incumbents to relocate their
operations and incumbents may not refuse to negotiate). If no agreement is reached after two years (three years for
public safety incumbents), the FSS licensee may initiate relocation procedures under which the incumbent is
required to relocate if the FSS licensee meets the conditions to invoke involuntary relocation. See 47 CFR §
101.85(b)(3) citing 47 CFR § 101.91 (Involuntary relocation procedures). See also 47 CFR § 101.95(a) (FSS
licensees are not required to pay relocation costs after the relocation rules sunset and may require an incumbent to
cease operations if it intends to operate within the interference range of the incumbent).
462

Intelsat Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 4-5 (arguing for December 2021 and 2023 accelerated relocation deadlines).

463

Eligible space station operators will have the option to clear according to the following accelerated clearing
timeline: (1) clearing 120 megahertz (3.7-3.82 GHz) by December 5, 2021, and (2) clearing the remaining 180
megahertz (3.82-4.0 GHz) by December 5, 2023.
464

These dates approximate the 18- and 36-month benchmarks in the record. The C-Band Alliance proposed that
the 18-month benchmark should run from the date of this Report and Order and that the 36-month benchmark
should run from the date of the auction of flexible-use licenses. In an effort to remove uncertainty about when the
benchmarks will take effect, we have elected to set concrete dates that mirror the proposed timelines but are
independent of other triggering events.

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early clearing benchmarks, space station operators would be required to clear an additional 20 megahertz
by the end of the clearing period to be used as a guard band to protect FSS users that will continue to
operate in the upper portion of the band. 465
171.
In order to satisfy the Phase I Accelerated Relocation Deadline, a space station operator
must repack any existing services and relocate associated incumbent earth stations throughout the
contiguous United States into the upper 380 megahertz of the C-band (3820-4200 MHz) and must also
provide passband filters to block signals from the 3700-3820 MHz band to associated incumbent earth
stations in 46 of the top 50 PEAs by December 5, 2021. 466 To satisfy the Phase II Accelerated Relocation
Deadline, a space station operator must repack any existing service and relocate associated incumbent
earth stations throughout the contiguous United States into the upper 200 megahertz of the C-band (4.04.2 GHz), and provide passband filters to block signals from the 3700-4000 MHz band to all associated
incumbent earth stations in the contiguous United States by December 5, 2023. In both instances, the
space station operator must not knowingly cause the incumbent earth stations that receive its transmission
to temporarily or permanently lose service during or after the transition and must take all steps necessary
to allow incumbent earth station operators to continue to receive substantially the same service during and
after the relocation that they were able to receive before the transition. 467
172.
As discussed below, a space station operator must coordinate with relevant earth station
operators to perform any necessary system modifications, repointing, or retuning to receive transmissions
that have been migrated to frequencies on new transponders or satellites, and must ensure that any
incumbent earth stations currently receiving in the bottom 300 megahertz are able to continue receiving
those services once they are transitioned to the upper portion of the band.
173.
Payments and Penalties Related to the Deadlines.—Incumbent space station and earth
station operators that clear their existing services from the lower 300 megahertz by the Relocation
Deadline shall be eligible for reimbursement of their reasonable costs to transition.
174.
In addition to reimbursement for their relocation costs, incumbent space station operators
that satisfy the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines shall be eligible to receive an Accelerated Relocation
Payment. A space station operator that elects to accept the Accelerated Relocation Payment for satisfying
the Phase I Accelerated Relocation Deadline must also commit to complete the transition of the full 300
megahertz by the Phase II clearing deadline. If a space station operator fails to satisfy either the Phase I
or Phase II deadline, it will not be eligible for the portion of the accelerated relocation payment
attributable to the deadline that it missed.
175.
Space station operators that fail to clear their existing services from the lower 300
megahertz by the final Relocation Deadline will not receive reimbursement for their reasonable relocation
costs or any additional Accelerated Relocation Payments, and will also be subject to penalties for their
failure to timely clear. Radio transmissions must be authorized by the FCC pursuant to Section 301, 468
and transmissions sent by space station operators after the Relocation Deadline established above would
be unauthorized and a violation of Section 301. Unauthorized transmissions by incumbent space station
operators in violation of Section 301 can result in the imposition of sanctions by the FCC on such
465

The relevant guard bands would be 3.8-3.82 GHz for the December 5, 2021 deadline, and 3.98-4.0 GHz for the
December 5, 2023 deadline.
466

PEAs 1-50, except Washington-Baltimore (5), Atlanta (11), Denver (20), and Honolulu (42). See C-Band
Alliance Oct. 28, 2019 Ex Parte; C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 5. AT&T has
asked to delay defining the Phase I PEAs until after we finally determine the TT&C locations. See AT&T Feb. 19,
2020 Ex Parte at 11. Because the PEAs have been chosen with the TT&C locations in mind, such delay is
unnecessary.
467

See ACA Connects Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte, Appx. A.

468

47 U.S.C. § 301

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operators, including forfeiture penalties. 469 Thus, after the Relocation Deadline, a space station operator
which continues to operate in the 3.7-4.0 GHz band with the willful purpose of transmitting to earth
stations within the contiguous United States, both registered and unregistered, would be “operat[ing]
without an instrument of authorization for the service” and potentially subject to forfeitures and other
sanctions. 470
176.
While we will review any potential violations on a case-by-case basis, unauthorized
satellite transmissions to earth stations could result in forfeitures based on each unauthorized satellite
operation, each unauthorized earth station operation, or each day of unauthorized operation of such
satellites and earth stations. There are approximately 20,000 registered earth stations in the contiguous
U.S., and some space station operators—some of whom transmit from multiple satellites—transmit to
thousands of earth stations in the contiguous U.S. A space station operator operating in violation of its
authorization could be assessed a separate violation on a daily basis for each earth station to which they
willfully transmit and for each satellite from which the unauthorized transmission is sent. Alternatively,
we may consider each discrete transmission between a satellite and earth station a violation, resulting in a
penalty for each of those unauthorized transmissions. Operation without an instrument of authorization
for the service carries a base forfeiture of $10,000 per violation. 471
177.
The Commission’s rules allow it to adjust forfeiture penalties upward according to a set
of criteria. 472 Specifically, in exercising our forfeiture authority, we must consider the “nature,
circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation and, with respect to the violator, the degree of
culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and such other matters as justice may require.” 473
In addition, the Commission has established forfeiture guidelines, under which we may adjust a forfeiture
upward for violations that are egregious, intentional, or repeated, or that cause substantial harm or
generate substantial economic gain for the violator. 474 Thus, we could potentially upwardly adjust the
forfeiture penalties for space station operators if we found that a space station operator’s misconduct
merited an increase in penalties.
4.

Relocation and Accelerated Relocation Payments

178.
Under the framework we adopt to facilitate a public auction of 280 megahertz of C-band
spectrum, new overlay licensees must pay their share of relocation and accelerated relocation payments to
reimburse incumbents for the reasonable costs of transitioning out of the lower 300 megahertz of the Cband in the contiguous United States. In this section, we explain our authority to require such payments,
explain what relocation costs are compensable, estimate the total relocation payments, establish the
accelerated relocation payments available to incumbent space stations that elect for an accelerated
transition and meet those deadlines, and explain what share of the costs each overlay licensee will bear.
179.
Authority to Require Payments.—We find that incumbent space station operators and
incumbent earth station operators that must transition existing services to the upper portion of the band
should be compensated for the costs of that transition. Because winning bidders will benefit from use of
the spectrum, the Commission will condition their licenses on making all necessary relocation and

469

47 U.S.C. § 503; 47 CFR § 1.80. The forfeiture penalties discussed here are separate from and in addition to any
other penalties discussed herein, including without limitation any requirement to repay relocation funding.
470

47 CFR § 1.80 Section I.

471

47 CFR § 1.80 Section I.

472

47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E); 47 CFR § 1.80 Section II.

473

47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).

474

Id.

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accelerated relocation payments before they are allowed to deploy in the spectrum made available for
flexible use. 475
180.
The Commission’s broad spectrum management and licensing authority under section
303 provides it with the ability to “[m]ake such rules and regulations and prescribe such restrictions and
conditions, not inconsistent with law, as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this [Act.]” 476
The Commission has repeatedly used this authority to impose conditions on new licensees, including
buildout conditions, public safety obligations, and obligations to facilitate the transition of incumbents out
of the spectrum at issue before commencing operations. 477
181.
The Commission’s authority to require new licensees to make relocation payments to
incumbents is well established. Starting in 1992, the Commission adopted a series of rules (known as the
Emerging Technologies framework) to enable new licensees to enter into voluntary or mandatory
negotiations with incumbent operators to clear a spectrum band after which, failing an agreement, the new
entrant could involuntarily clear incumbent operations by expressing its intent to commence operations in
that band and paying for all reasonable relocation costs. 478 For example, in 2000, the Commission,
recognizing that new licensees in a band might be unable to design their systems to avoid interference
from incumbent stations, adopted a relocation reimbursement process to “afford[] reasonable flexibility”
for those new licensees “to roll out their operations in a timely and economic manner.” 479 Similarly, in
2006, the Commission established procedures for the relocation of Broadband Radio Service and Fixed
Microwave Service operation and further adopted cost-sharing rules to identify the reimbursement
obligations for new entrants benefitting from the relocation of those incumbent services. 480
182.
Notably, the Commission has taken a flexible approach in applying the Emerging
Technologies framework, tailoring the particular obligations on incumbents and new licensees to suit the
circumstances. And so, for example, the Commission has imposed cost-sharing obligations on incoming
licensees to insure that relocation expenses would be borne by all new licensees that would benefit from
such clearing—even if one such licensee were to take lead in working with incumbents to facilitate

475

Indeed, new flexible-use licensees may not operate—without the consent of affected incumbent earth stations—
until the necessary clearing has been completed and the new licensee has complied with obligations to provide
reimbursement for relocation costs and any additional accelerated relocation payments.
476

47 U.S.C. § 303(r). See also 47 U.S.C. § 154(i) (authorizing Commission to “perform any and all acts, make
such rules and regulations, and issue such orders, not inconsistent with this chapter, as may be necessary in the
execution of its functions”).
477

Id. §§ 154(j), 301, 303(r), 309; see also Mobile Communications Corp. of America v. FCC, 77 F.3d 1399 (D.C.
Cir. 1996) (upholding the Commission’s authority under 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 309(a), to condition the grant of a
license on payment to the Commission).
478
See, e.g., Redevelopment of Spectrum to Encourage Innovation in the Use of New Telecommunications
Technologies, ET Docket No. 92-9, First Report and Order and Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 7 FCC Rcd
6886 (1992) (Emerging Technologies Order), clarified by Third Report and Order, 8 FCC Rcd 6589 (1993),
modified on reconsideration, Memorandum Report and Order, 9 FCC Rcd 1943 (1994).
479
Redesignation of the 17.7-19.7 GHz Frequency Band, IB Docket No. 98-172, Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd
13430, 13467, para. 76 (2000) (18 GHz Order).
480

Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission’s Rules to Allocate Spectrum Below 3 GHz for Mobile and Fixed
Services to Support the Introduction of New Advanced Wireless Services, ET Docket No. 00-258, Ninth Report and
Order, 21 FCC Rcd 4473, 4478, para. 8 & n.24 (2006) (3 GHz R&O).

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speedier clearing. 481 Indeed, in 2013, the Commission adopted a cost-sharing mechanism for winning
bidders to reimburse the entities that had previously cleared incumbents from the band. 482
183.
Courts have upheld the Commission’s use of this authority. In 1996, the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the Commission’s repeal of an exemption, which had previously
shielded public safety licensees from a relocation regime in which new licensees would pay all costs
associated with relocating incumbents to comparable facilities.483 The court found that the Commission
had “adequately articulated a reasoned analysis based on studies and comments submitted during the
rulemaking process” that justified its decision to require all incumbent licensees, including public safety
licensees, to mandatory relocation. 484 In the 2001 Teledesic case, the D.C. Circuit, in affirming the
Commission’s authority to adopt such relocation compensation mechanisms, noted that the Commission’s
“consistent policy has been to prevent new spectrum users from leaving displaced incumbents with a sum
of money too small to allow them to resume their operations at a new location.” 485 The court observed
that it previously had approved aspects of a similar relocation scheme, in a decision upholding the
elimination of an exemption for public safety incumbents from a relocation regime in which new
licensees would pay all costs associated with relocating incumbents to comparable facilities. 486
184.
That same authority also allows the Commission to require overlay licensees to make
accelerated relocation payments—payments designed to expedite a relocation of incumbents from a band.
We start again with the Emerging Technologies framework, in which the Commission expressly allowed
new licensees to make relocation payments separate and above relocation expenses “as an incentive to the
incumbent to locate quickly.” 487 For example, in reallocating certain bands for PCS operations in the
1990s, the Commission provided that incoming licensees could offer “premium payments or superior
facilities, as an incentive to the incumbent to relocate quickly.”488 Ten years later, the Commission
expressly authorized incentive payments to incumbent operators to expedite clearing. 489 In those
transitions, the Commission found that such acceleration agreements not only benefitted both entrants and
incumbents, but, more importantly, served the public interest by significantly expediting transitions to
flexible use.
185.
Given the significant public interest benefits of clearing terrestrial, mid-band spectrum
more quickly, which would bring next-generation services like 5G to the American public years earlier
and help assure American leadership in the 5G ecosystem, we find that requiring overlay licensees to
make accelerated relocations is in the public interest. We start by noting the significant benefits of
481

See, e.g., 3 GHz R&O, 21 FCC Rcd at 4513-14, para. 74 (requiring new licensees to reimburse incumbents for
voluntarily relocating from a band and providing that new licensees will be entitled to pro rata cost sharing from
other new licensees that also benefitted from the incumbents’ self-relocation).
482
Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services H Block—Implementing Section 6401 of the Middle Class Tax
Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 Related to the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz Bands, WT Docket No. 12357, Report and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 9483, 9548, para. 167 (2013) (H Block Report and Order).
483

Ass’n of Public Safety Communications Officials-Int’l, Inc. v. FCC, 76 F.3d 395, 397, 400 (D.C. Cir. 1996).

484

Id. at 400.

485

Teledesic LLC v. FCC, 275 F.3d 75, 84-86 (D.C. Cir. 2001).

486

Id. at 86.

487

See, e.g., Amendment of Part 90, 11 FCC Rcd 1463 at para. 77 (1995).

488
Amendment to the Commission’s Rules Regarding a Plan for Sharing the Costs of Microwave Relocation, WT
Docket No. 95-157, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 11 FCC Rcd 1923, 1927-28, para. 7 (1995) (citing Emerging
Technologies Third R&O, 8 FCC Rcd 6589 (1994)).
489
See 3 GHz R&O, 21 FCC Rcd 4473 (2006) (following PCS model and allowing premium payments to expedite
incumbent clearing).

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accelerating a transition of this spectrum. Studies in the record indicate that licensing mid-band spectrum
will lead to substantial economic gains. 490 Economist Jeffrey Eisenach points to “consumer welfare gains
from rapid allocation of C-band spectrum to mobile broadband carriers,” and he estimates that the
“annual increase in consumer surplus is approximately equal to the total amount paid by the
purchasers.” 491 Eisenach also notes that “for every year of delay” in making the C-band spectrum
available, “consumer welfare is reduced by $15 billion.” 492 Similarly, Coleman Bazelon estimates that
just one year of delay in transitioning the spectrum would reduce the value of repurposing the C-band by
between 7% and 11%. 493 Noting that the “economic value of spectrum is only a fraction of its total social
value, the Brattle Group notes that “every $1 billion in delay costs would create total social costs of $10
billion to $20 billion.” 494 These studies underscore the importance of incentivizing incumbents to clear
the band for 5G use as quickly as possible.
186.
Next, we find that simply allowing overlay licensees to negotiate with incumbent space
station operators and incumbent earth station operators for an expedited departure from the band likely
would prove ineffective in ensuring a speedy transition. 495 First, incumbent space station operators face
holdout problems. The complex nature of spectrum-sharing in the band (including the non-exclusive,
non-terrestrially-bound, full band, full arc transmission rights held by each incumbent space station
operator) poses one hurdle, since persuading a single operator to accelerate relocation may have no
impact on expedited clearing of the band because other operators have not relocated (for example, a
single incumbent earth station operator may have multiple earth stations clustered together, each pointing
at a different satellite owned by a different incumbent space station operator). Because of this regulatory
structure, each incumbent space station operator has strong incentives to holdout to extract a
disproportionate premium for its participation.496 Second, overlay licensees face free rider problems. If
one flexible-use licensee pays to clear a single PEA (let alone the contiguous United States), other
licensees could benefit significantly from the clearing without paying their fair share. Third, numerous
coordination problems exist. Transitioning the C-band satellite ecosystem to the upper part of the band
490

See, e.g., Letter from Gregory M. Romano, Vice President, Federal Regulatory and Legal Affairs, Verizon, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, at 1 (filed Oct. 9, 2019) (“One recent report concluded that licensing 400
megahertz of new mid-band spectrum would lead to more than $154 billion on infrastructure spending, 1.3 million
new jobs, and $274 billion added to America’s GDP.”) (citing David Sosa and Greg Rafert, The Economic Impacts
of Reallocating Mid-Band Spectrum to 5G in the United States, Analysis Group, at 1 (Feb. 2019),
https://www.analysisgroup.com/globalassets/uploadedfiles/content/news_and_events/news/sosa-rafert-economicimpacts-of-reallocating-mid-band-spectrum-to-5g-1.pdf).
491

C-Band Alliance Reply, Attach., Jeffrey Eisenach Decl. at 15, para. 29 (filed Dec. 7, 2018) (emphasis in original)
(Eisenach Decl.) (citing Thomas W. Hazlett and Roberto E. Muñoz, “A Welfare Analysis of Spectrum Allocation
Policies,” RAND Journal of Economics 40; 3 (2009) 424-454).

492

Eisenach Decl. at 16, para. 15.

493
Intel Corp., Intelsat License LLC and SES Americom, Inc. Comments, Appx. A, Coleman Bazelon, Maximizing
the Value of the C-Band: Comments on the FCC’s NPRM to Transition C-Band Spectrum to Terrestrial Uses,
Brattle Group, at 27 (filed Oct. 29, 2018) (Brattle Group Report).
494

Brattle Group Report at 27 & n.72.

495

Despite the Small Satellite Operators’ claim that the Communications Act does not empower the Commission to
require accelerated relocation payments, the well-established Emerging Technologies precedent and our broad Title
III authority, supported by the public interest factors associated with accelerated relocation described herein, provide
ample authority to adopt such a mechanism. See Small Satellite Operators Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 7.
496

See, e.g., 47 CFR § 101.73(b) (in evaluating claims that a party has not negotiated in good faith, the FCC will
consider, inter alia, whether the incumbent “has demanded a premium, the type of premium requested (e.g., whether
the premium is directly related to relocation, such as system-wide relocations and analog-to-digital conversions,
versus other types of premiums), and whether the value of the premium as compared to the cost of providing
comparable facilities is disproportionate (i.e., whether there is a lack of proportion or relation between the two)).

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will require communication and coordination with a large and diverse group of entities with different
interests, including multiple incumbent space station operators and thousands of incumbent earth stations.
Fourth, to meet the clearing deadlines set by the Commission and, in so doing, maximize the economic
and social benefits of providing spectrum for next generation wireless services, space station operators
will need to begin the clearing process immediately. To accomplish an early transition via negotiation,
however, the satellite licensees would need to know the identities of each of the overlay licensees in the
band and those will not be known until after the completion of the auction, sometime in 2021. Thus,
relying solely on individual negotiations between licensees to accomplish earlier transition would be
incompatible with the clearing deadlines established by the Commission.497
187.
Based on the unique circumstances of the band, we therefore find that it would best serve
the public interest, consistent with the Emerging Technologies framework, to condition new licenses on
making acceleration payments to satellite incumbents that voluntarily choose to clear the band on an
expedited schedule. Like relocation payments, we find that requiring such mandatory payments is both in
the public interest and within our Title III authority. 498
188.
We find our decision to require new terrestrial licensees to pay relocation costs is broadly
supported by the record. Commenters overwhelmingly urge us to require new licensees to reimburse
incumbents’ costs to clear the band for flexible use. 499 OTI argues that such an approach would provide
for a “speedy and straightforward reorganization of the band within [the Commission’s] existing legal
authority.” 500 The Public Interest Spectrum Coalition points out that there is “is strong precedent to
support license conditions that require winning bidders to share the costs of relocating FSS
incumbents.” 501 Charter argues that the Commission “has ample authority to ensure that this process
adequately compensates incumbent space station providers and earth station licensees in order to allow
for the efficient repurposing and repacking of the C-Band.” 502
497

We clarify, however, that nothing in this Report and Order is intended to preclude private negotiations among
parties (e.g., between overlay licensees and incumbent earth stations within a PEA) to accomplish earlier clearing
than the deadlines we establish in this Order. See, e.g., Verizon Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 4-6 (seeking clarification
that parties may negotiate privately to secure earlier clearing).

498

At the same time, we note that neither the reasoning nor the public interest determinations underlying other
elements of the transition framework established in this Report and Order turn on the availability of an acceleration
payment. While the acceleration payment should enable an earlier transition, the absence of an acceleration
payment would not undermine any conclusion in this order supporting a five-year transition. We thus make clear
that our decision to offer accelerated relocation payments (and all associated obligations) is severable from our other
decisions to modify the licenses and market-access grants here and require transition by the Relocation Deadline
(among other things).

499

See, e.g., OTI May 3 PN Comments at 15 (“In the past, when the Commission addressed similar opportunities to
consolidate or relocate incumbents in an underutilized band, it relied on a traditional auction (where needed) and
required winning bidders or other entrants to assume the cost of relocating incumbents whose licenses are modified
to ensure ‘comparable facilities’ on different frequencies.”); PISC July 19 PN Comments at 21; ACA Connects
Coalition July 19 PN Reply at 21 (“Since the earliest auctions, the Commission has required winning bidders of new
licenses in the affected bands to either negotiate a voluntary relocation of incumbent users or an involuntary
relocation, and to reimburse incumbents for their costs to relocate to another band.”); Charter Feb. 22, 2019 Ex
Parte at 5-6; Comcast May 3 PN Reply at 15 (“[T]he Commission has repeatedly relied on ancillary authority,
together with its Title III authority, to require winning bidders in spectrum auctions to support cost recovery for
incumbent services that have been disrupted.”); Letter from Kathryn A. Zachem and Francis M. Buono, Comcast, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 15 & n.50 (filed Nov. 19, 2019) (discussing the
Commission’s authority to impose reimbursement obligations).
500

OTI May 3 PN Comments at 15.

501

PISC July 19 PN Comments at 21.

502

Charter Feb. 22 Ex Parte at 5-6.

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189.
Commenters also agree that it is appropriate to require new terrestrial licensees to make
additional payments above relocation costs to incumbents that clear on accelerated timelines. Eutelsat
argues that accelerated relocation payments are appropriate “given the Commission’s desire for the
transition to unfold quickly and the associated need to incentivize the incumbent users rapidly to
overcome inevitable challenges that will emerge during the process.” 503 ACA Connects claims that
additional payments above relocation costs would be “a lawful and valuable tool in achieving the
transition in a prompt and timely manner.” 504 U.S. Cellular agrees that the Commission “should provide
financial incentives to C-Band license holders to induce participation in a rapid clearing process.” 505
Verizon supports payments in exchange for accelerated relocation, stating that “expedited clearing and
early 5G deployments in the C-band will unlock massive value, generate welfare, and advance the U.S.
economy, while furthering U.S. national security interests as well.” 506
190.
The vast majority of stakeholders that have submitted filings in the record on this issue
agree that the Commission has the authority to require the new flexible use licensees both to pay the
relocation costs of the incumbent space station operators and to make an accelerated relocation payment
when certain conditions are met. For example, Eutelsat argues that “[i]ncluding payments for FSS
incumbent relocation to comparable facilities . . . [is] fully consistent with these goals, the Emerging
Technologies framework, the Communications Act, and the public interest.” Additionally, T-Mobile
explains that the Commission has “ample legal authority to require relocation payments,” and the
Commission “may require auction winners to provide payments to incumbent licensees at the close of the
auction and as a condition to receiving their licenses.” 507 Charter points out that “[t]he Commission could
require winning bidders to compensate incumbents beyond their relocation costs pursuant to its Title III
authority.” 508 ACA notes that the Commission’s long practice of permitting voluntary relocation
payments was affirmed by the D.C. Circuit in Teledesic. 509 In the proceeding underlying that decision,
the Commission followed its Emerging Technologies precedent and adopted rules that allowed new
licensees to compel incumbents to relocate from the 18 GHz band and required such licensees to negotiate
with incumbents prior to requiring them to leave the band and to pay reasonable relocation expenses. 510
The SSOs similarly agree that the Commission’s exercise of its general Title III authority to condition
wireless licenses would include a mandatory acceleration payment and would constitute a reasonable

503

Eutelsat Dec. 19 Ex Parte at 3.

504

ACA Connects Dec. 26 Ex Parte at 4.

505

U.S. Cellular Dec. 18 Ex Parte at 3.

506

Verizon Jan. 24, 2020 Ex Parte at 7.

507

T-Mobile Jan. 29, 2020 Ex Parte at 1; T-Mobile Dec. 18 Ex Parte at 5-6.

508

Charter Feb. 22, 2019 Ex Parte 5-6. See also AT&T Nov. 26, 2019 Ex Parte at 2 (“The Commission may be able
to impose a requirement that winning bidders pay a portion of the transition costs as a condition of a license grant.”);
Comcast Nov. 19, 2019 Ex Parte (discussing various options for compensating space station operators for the
relinquishment of their spectrum usage rights, including payments from winning bidders); Verizon December 19,
2019 Ex Parte at 1 (urging the Commission to draw on long-standing Emerging Technologies principles “that
include winning bidder payments to incumbents to clear repurposed spectrum in an expedited manner”); Eutelsat
Dec. 19, 2019 Ex Parte at 2-3 (discussing compensation mechanisms for incumbent space station operators); ACA
Dec. 26, 2019 Ex Parte at 4 (citing Commission precedent for non-auction, non-cost related payments); SSO Jan 3,
2020 Ex Parte at 1-2 (discussing the Commission’s Title III authority to “lawfully provide fair compensation to the
satellite operators”).
509

ACA Dec. 11, 2019 Ex Parte at 5-6 (citing Teledesic, 275 F.3d at 86-87 (“[T]he Commission’s consistent policy
has been to prevent new spectrum users from leaving displaced incumbents with a sum of money too small to allow
them to resume their operations at a new location.”)); see also ACA Dec. 26, 2019 Ex Parte at 4.
510

Redesignation of 17.7-17.9 GHz Frequency Band, 15 FCC Rcd 13430, 13469-70, paras. 81-84 (2000).

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extension of the Commission’s Emerging Technologies precedent. 511 Still other reports focus on the
value of accelerating the clearing of this band. Coleman Bazelon estimates that a one year of delay in
transitioning the spectrum would reduce the economic value of repurposing this band by between 7% and
11%. Additionally, Bazelon highlights the importance of consumer surplus, or social value, associated
with accelerated clearing. He notes that “every $1 billion in delay costs would create total social costs of
$10 billion to $20 billion.” 512 Similarly, Dr. Eisenach, citing a study by Hazlett and Munoz, states that
the “annual increase in consumer surplus is approximately equal to the total amount paid by the
purchasers.” 513
191.
OTI argues the Communications Act prohibits us from requiring overlay licensees to
make accelerated relocation payments because section 309(j) of the Act requires that “all proceeds from
the use of a competitive bidding system under this subsection shall be deposited in the Treasury.” 514 We
disagree that this statutory provision would preclude such relocation payments. Under the rules we adopt,
all proceeds from the public auction will indeed be deposited in the Treasury in accordance with the
requirements of the Act. By contrast, accelerated relocation payments are not “proceeds” of the auction.
Instead, they will flow from the new licensees to the incumbents. This is precisely the arrangement that
courts have upheld in the Emerging Technologies framework, and precisely the framework that allows us
to require incumbents to make any relocation payments. We do not read OTI as arguing that all
relocation payments are prohibited—doing so would significantly hinder the Commission’s work to
manage spectrum in the public interest in a variety of bands and contexts (and would contradict the clear
line of judicial precedent that has affirmed the Commission’s authority to require such payments). And
we cannot see why the language of section 309(j) should treat one form of relocation payment as proceeds
but not another, so long as all are tied to facilitating the swift and efficient transition of incumbents out of
the band.
192.
Some parties argue that earth station operators should receive accelerated relocation
payments in exchange for expedited clearing as well.515 We find such arguments unavailing. Based on
the record, we anticipate that clearing any given incumbent earth station will be a relatively quick
process—and will take far less time than the deadlines we establish for the transition. Instead, it is the
fact that incumbent space station operators must account for the operational logistics of hundreds if not
thousands of incumbent earth stations that make the overall transition significantly longer than it would
511

Small Satellite Operators Jan. 3 Ex Parte at 2. But see Small Satellite Operators Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte (arguing
that Title III does not authorize the size of the accelerated relocation payment established by the Commission).
512

Brattle Group Report at 27 & n.72.

513

Eisenach Declaration at para. 29.

514

See, e.g., OTI Dec. 13, 2019 Ex Parte at 1-2. 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(8)(A). OTI argues that in adopting the Auction
Reform Act of 2002, Congress explicitly limited the Commission’s authority to adopt an auction featuring
mandatory “incentive payments” to incumbents. See OTI Feb. 4, 2020 Ex Parte at 8-9, citing Pub. L. 107-195
(2002). We disagree. Congress adopted the Auction Reform Act to serve as a limited withdrawal of the
Commission’s authority to conduct parts of two auctions for wireless services in the Upper 700 MHz band in
response to specific concerns regarding the Commission’s ability to hold a successful auction. Because a prior
Congress had set a deadline for the auction of certain spectrum but had given incumbents in the band a far-off and
potentially open-ended timeframe within which to vacate the spectrum, the Commission was forced to design
Auctions 31 and 44 to allow new licensees to compensate incumbents in exchange for voluntarily clearing the
bands. In these unique circumstances, the Auction Reform Act narrowly amended Section 309 to terminate the
Commission’s authority to conduct portions of those specific auctions as planned. Significantly, the amendments
the Auction Reform Act made to Section 309 did not bar the Commission from future consideration of voluntary
clearing mechanisms that included acceleration payments to incumbent operators.
515

See, e.g., Letter from Pantelis Michalopoulos, Counsel, ACA Connects, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC,
WC Docket No. 18-122, at 4 (filed Dec. 26, 2019) (noting that earth station operators should be encouraged to meet
milestones with incentives); Eutelsat Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 8.

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take to transition a single earth station. And indeed, we already require incumbent space station operators
that elect Accelerated Relocation to take upon themselves responsibility for transitioning all incumbent
earth station operators that receive their services—they must coordinate with incumbent earth station
registrants to perform any necessary system modifications, repointing, or retuning to receive
transmissions that have been migrated to the upper portion of the band. We thus find that incumbent
earth station operators can and will transition in a timely manner without the need for accelerated
relocation payments.
193.
Compensable Relocation Costs. We next set forth guidelines for compensable costs, i.e.,
those reasonable relocation costs for which incumbent space station operators and incumbent earth station
operators can seek reimbursement. Consistent with Commission precedent, compensable costs will
include all reasonable engineering, equipment, site and FCC fees, as well as any reasonable, additional
costs that the incumbent space station operators and incumbent earth station operators may incur as a
result of relocation. 516
194.
We expect incumbents to obtain the equipment that most closely replaces their existing
equipment or, as needed, provides the targeted technology upgrades necessary for clearing the lower 300
megahertz, and all relocation costs must be reasonable. 517 “Reasonable” relocation costs are those
necessitated by the relocation in order to ensure that incumbent space station operators continue to be able
to provide substantially the same or better service to incumbent earth station operators, and that
incumbent earth station operators continue to be able to provide substantially the same service to their
customers after the relocation compared to what they were able to provide before. 518 For example, parties
have indicated that upgrades such as video compression, modulation/coding, and HD to SD downconversion at downlink locations, may be necessary to accomplish efficient clearing—particularly in an

516

Emerging Technologies Order, 7 FCC Rcd at 6890, para. 24 (“The emerging technology service provider must
guarantee payment of all relocation costs. This includes all engineering, equipment, site and FCC fees, as well as
any reasonable, additional costs that the relocated fixed microwave licensee may incur as a result of operation in a
different fixed microwave band or migration to other media.”); Amendment of Section 2.106 of the Commission’s
Rules to Allocate Spectrum at 2 GHz for Use by the Mobile-Satellite Service, 15 FCC Rcd 12315, 12351, para. 108
(2000) (same); see also 18 GHz Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 13469, para. 82 n.165 (relocation costs included “all
engineering, equipment, site and FCC fees, and any legitimate and prudent transaction expenses incurred by the
terrestrial licensee that are directly attributable to an involuntary relocation (subject to a cap of 2% of the hard costs
involved)”). ACA Connects argues that station operators who failed to register during the registration window but
who will suffer financial hardship if they are unable to recover their relocation costs should be eligible to receive
relocation costs. See ACA Connects Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 6. We reiterate, however, that earth station operators
have been provided ample opportunity to register their earth stations with the Commission. In addition to waiving
the coordination requirement during the freeze filing window, the International Bureau took numerous other steps to
ease the filing process, including conducting tutorials and providing step-by-step filing instructions on the
Commission’s website to assist those unfamiliar with the International Bureau’s filing system, and extended the
filing window numerous times to accommodate filers.
517

See Verizon Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 7-8 (noting concern with requiring lowest-cost equipment because such
requirement could cause transition delays, diminish quality, or increase the Clearinghouse’s review burden (and
further raise costs)); Letter from Pantelis Michalopoulos, Steptoe, Counsel for ACA Connects, to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 3 (filed Feb. 24, 2020) (ACA Connects Feb. 24, 2020 Ex Parte)
(arguing that, only after incumbent earth stations receive equipment that allows them to provide substantially the
same service to their customers after relocation, judged by quality and reliability, should the Clearinghouse consider
the “lowest cost” factor). We of course encourage incumbents to choose the lowest-cost equipment where such
choice would not negatively impact safety, reliability, or timeliness of the transition.
518

See ACA Connects Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 2. We further clarify that comparability for video distribution
services requires that the video quality of the end-to-end, programmer-to-viewer chain is at least as good as it is
today. See AT&T Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 7.

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accelerated timeframe. 519 So long as the costs for which incumbents are seeking reimbursement are
reasonably necessary to complete the transition in a timely manner (and reasonable in cost), such
expenses would be compensable. Similarly, we expect that some incumbents will not be able to replace
older, legacy equipment with equipment that is exactly comparable in terms of functionality and cost
because of advances in technology and because manufacturers often cease supporting older equipment.520
Incumbents may receive the reasonable replacement cost for such newer equipment to the extent it is
needed to carry out the transition—and we intend to allow reimbursement for the cost of that equipment
and recognize that this equipment necessarily may include improved functionality beyond what is
necessary to clear the band. 521 In contrast, we do not anticipate allowing reimbursement for equipment
upgrades beyond what is necessary to clear the band. For example, if an incumbent builds additional
functionalities into replacement equipment that are not needed to facilitate the swift transition of the band,
it must reasonably allocate the incremental costs of such additional functionalities to itself and only seek
reimbursement for the costs reasonably allocated to the needed relocation.
195.
We recognize that incumbents may attempt to gold-plate their systems in a transition like
this. Let us be clear: Incumbents will not receive more reimbursement than necessary, and we require
that, to qualify for reimbursement, all relocation costs must be reasonable. This requirement should give
incumbents sufficient incentive to be prudent and efficient in their expenditures. 522 If a particular
expenditure is unreasonable, the incumbent will only receive compensation for the reasonable costs that
the incumbent would have incurred had it made a more prudent decision.
196.
Similarly, we will not reimburse incumbent licensees for the speculative value of any
business opportunities that they claim they would lose as a result of the transition. Both the C-Band
Alliance and the Small Satellite Operators have claimed that moving their operations to the upper 200
megahertz of the band would substantially impact or eliminate their ability to expand their businesses in
the band. 523 Since, however, the incumbent space station operators will be able not only to maintain their
current level of service after the transition, but to potentially serve new clients by employing point
technology and adopting other network efficiencies, we find that there will be no compensable loss of
business opportunity over and above their actual costs associated with the transition. Indeed, some
commenters have claimed that C-band FSS revenues are expected to decline in the future, as some users
of C-band services are moving to alternative services. 524 The Small Satellite Operators have provided no
519

See C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 3; Disney and ESPN Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte
at 1-2 (suggesting that HEVC compression will be necessary to provide the same quality video service over the
amount of transponder space available post-transition); NAB Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2-3 (explaining that HEVC
compression may be necessary for spectral efficiency); AT&T Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 3 (agreeing with NAB that
technology choices are not be a “one-size-fits-all” solution).
520

See Incentive Auction Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 6822, para. 624.

521

See Incentive Auction Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 6822, para. 624.

522

Cf. Connect America Fund, WC Docket No. 10-90, Report and Order, Third Order on Reconsideration, and
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 33 FCC Rcd 2990, 2995, para. 13 (2018) (“Our rules reflect the Commission’s
longstanding concern that carriers not receive more universal service support than necessary and that they have
sufficient incentive to be prudent and efficient in their expenditures, including operating as well as capital
expenses.”).

523

See C-Band Alliance Jan. 16, 2020 Ex Parte at 6 (“reducing the amount of spectrum available by 60% for CBand Alliance members will substantially impact—and perhaps eliminate entirely—any ability to use these licenses
to expand the services they currently provide”); Small Satellite Operators Jan. 28, 2020 Ex Parte at 4 (responding to
C-Band Alliance’s claims regarding “opportunity costs” by stating that any such costs will be borne by all space
station operators in the band and that they “are costs that satellite operators incur only because they will face greater
risk in expanding their C-band business, and will be much more limited in their ability to do business generally, with
only a fraction of the capacity presently available.”).
524

See Ericsson Mar. 29, 2019 Ex Parte; Verizon Oct. 21, 2019 Ex Parte; see also supra note 394.

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evidence to rebut these claims or to demonstrate how they plan to expand their businesses in a market that
is declining. 525 Compensating licensees for such speculative claims of future loss would be inconsistent
with established Commission precedent and would not serve the public interest. 526
197.
As in prior cases, the Commission will allow reimbursement of some “soft costs”—
“legitimate and prudent transaction expenses” incurred by incumbents “that are directly attributable” to
relocation. 527 We define soft costs as transactional expenses directly attributable to relocation, to include
engineering, consulting, and attorney fees, as well as costs of acquiring financing for clearing costs. This
is consistent with suggestions from some commenters that the Commission should allow recovery of soft
costs for relocation expenses. 528
198.
In some prior proceedings, the Commission has subjected “soft” costs to a cap of 2% of
the hard costs involved. 529 Without a limit, “soft cost” transaction expenses such as engineering and
attorney fees, could easily eclipse the “hard costs” of relocation, particularly for the thousands of
incumbent earth stations that must be filtered, retuned, or repointed. A limit on transaction expenses can
encourage transition efficiency, as many incumbent earth station operators own or manage multiple
incumbent earth stations and thus have the ability to identify and implement economies of scale. Rather
than a hard cap, we find it reasonable to establish a rebuttable presumption that soft costs should not
exceed 2% of the relocation hard costs. This way, an incumbent may demonstrate that any fees in excess
of 2% were reasonably and unavoidably incurred—and thus properly compensable. 530 Establishing a
525

Cf. Verizon Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2 (noting that the terms of its programming agreements with content
providers are typically for three to five years).
526
In determining compensable relocation costs, the Commission has consistently limited reimbursement to those
costs directly tied to relocation. See e.g., Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum
Through Incentive Auctions, GN Docket No. 12-268, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 6567, 6824-25, para. 630
(2012) (stating that the Spectrum Act prohibits reimbursement for “lost revenues” and declining to provide for
compensation such losses that a station or MVPD might claim, such as lost ad revenue while a station is off air
during a channel relocation); Amendment to the Commission’s Rules Regarding a Plan for Sharing the Costs of
Microwave Relocation, WT Docket No. 95-157, First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, 11 FCC Rcd. 8825, 8848, para. 43 (1996) (Microwave Relocation Cost Sharing Order) (setting a limit
on certain compensable soft costs associated with the relocation, finding that failing to adopt such restrictions
“would encourage incumbents to view the relocation process as a business opportunity”).
527

Microwave Relocation Cost Sharing Order, 11 FCC Rcd at 8848, para. 42; H-Block Report and Order, 15 FCC
Rcd at 13469, para. 82 & n.165; see also Incentive Auction Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 6822, para. 623
(allowing recovery for soft expenses, including legal and engineering services).
528

See, e.g., Letter from Pantelis Michalopoulos, Counsel to ACA Connects, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC,
GN Docket No. 18-122, at 5-6 (filed Dec. 11, 2019) (noting the Commission’s authority to allow reimbursement for
soft costs) (ACA Connects Dec. 11 Ex Parte); Letter from Jason E. Rademacher, Counsel, The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 8-9 (filed Nov. 19,
2019) (noting examples of soft costs that it could incur with the transition). We reject, however, the request by SES
that the soft costs incurred by the C-Band Alliance to develop its transition proposals, including the development of
filters and compression solutions, be deemed reimbursable. SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 9. Such costs,
incurred prior to the Commission’s adoption of this Report and Order providing for this transition, cannot be
deemed directly attributable to relocation.
529

18 GHz Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 13469, para. 82 & n.165 (capping transaction expenses to 2% of hard costs);
Microwave Relocation Cost Sharing Order, 11 FCC Rcd at 8848, para. 42 (same). But see Service Rules for the
746-764 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission’ Rules, WT Docket No. 99-168, Third Report and
Order, 16 FCC Rcd 2703, 2724, paras. 49-50 (2001) (declining to cap hard or soft relocation costs).
530

Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Supplemental Order and Order on
Reconsideration, 19 FCC Rcd 25120, 25151, para. 70 (2004) (800 MHz Rebanding Order on Reconsideration), aff’d
sub nom. Mobile Relay Assocs. v. FCC, 457 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (“[O]utside expertise may be required in the
negotiation of agreements and in analysis of ‘comparable facilities’ proposals. We can foresee that such outside
(continued….)

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rebuttable presumption is consistent with the Commission’s approach in the 800 MHz Rebanding
proceeding, in which the Commission used 2% of the hard costs as a “useful guideline for determining
when transactional costs are excessive or unreasonable and charge[d] the Transition Administrator to give
a particularly hard look at any request involving transactional costs that exceed two percent.” 531 As
discussed below, we will establish a Relocation Payment Clearinghouse that can serve “as a watchdog
over excess transactional costs.” 532 Parties seeking reimbursement for soft costs that exceed 2% shall
bear the burden of justifying these expenses. 533
199.
For incumbent space station operators, flexible-use licensees will be required to
reimburse eligible space station operators for their actual relocation costs, as long as they are not
unreasonable, associated with clearing the lower 300 megahertz of the band while ensuring continued
operations for their customers. First, we expect that procuring and launching new satellites may be
reasonably necessary to complete the transition. 534 These new satellites will support more intensive use of
the 4.0-4.2 GHz band after the transition. Second, incumbent space station operators will also need to
consolidate their TT&C sites—to a maximum of four facilities in the contiguous United States—and
reduce the number of gateway facilities. 535 The costs involved with this consolidation process may
include the installation of additional antennas at these facilities, procurement of new real estate, and
support for customer migration to the relocated facilities. 536 Third, we expect that incumbent space
station operators will need to install compression and modulation equipment at their terrestrial facilities to
make more efficient use of spectrum resources and ensure that they are able to provide a consistent level
of service after the transition. 537 All of these migration tasks must be coordinated with the earth station
transition process to ensure that earth stations are able to receive existing C-band services during and after
the transition.

(Continued from previous page)
costs could raise the transactional cost above 2% of the ‘hard costs.’”). See also ACA Connects Dec. 11 Ex Parte at
6 (noting that the Commission has declined to set a cap on soft caps in some instances).
531

800 MHz Rebanding Order on Reconsideration, 19 FCC Rcd at 25151, para. 70 ) (resolving a conflict between
the 800 MHz Rebanding Order, which required Nextel to absorb all reconfiguration costs, including transactional
costs, and the rule provision incorporated by reference that limited transaction costs to no more than 2% of the hard
costs involved).
532

Id. at 25151, para. 70.

533
Id. (confirming that parties must submit disputes involving cost allocations to the Transition Administrator for
resolution, and, if the Transition Administrator was unable to resolve the dispute, that the matter would be referred
to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for de novo review); cf. Incentive Auction Report and Order, 29 FCC
Rcd at 6822, para. 623 n.1747 (giving discretion to the Media Bureau to determine the reasonableness of legal and
other professional fees).
534
See C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 4; C-Band Alliance Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte,
Attach. A at 1 (asserting that as many as 10 new satellites may be needed to support the transition plan). We express
no opinion regarding the number of such new satellites that may be reasonably necessary to complete the transition.
535
Intelsat now requests reimbursement for construction of an additional TT&C site outside of the United States for
“disaster recovery.” See Intelsat Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 7. We find that this request is outside of the scope of the
legitimate compensable relocation costs described herein—indeed, we see no reason why Intelsat cannot colocate
any redundant disaster recovery operations at one of the TT&C sites that will remain inside the United States. In
any case, costs associated with constructing facilities outside of the United States will not be considered
compensable relocation costs.
536

See C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 7; C-Band Alliance Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte,
Attach. A at 1.
537
See C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 4-5; C-Band Alliance Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte,
Attach. A at 1.

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200.
We reiterate that compensable relocation costs are only those that are reasonable and
needed to transition existing operations in the contiguous United States out of the lower 300 megahertz of
the C-band. In order to meet this standard and qualify as eligible for relocation cost reimbursements, an
incumbent space station operator must have demonstrated, no later than February 1, 2020, that it has an
existing relationship to provide service via C-band satellite transmission to one or more incumbent earth
stations in the contiguous United States. These existing relationships could include, for example,
contractual obligations to provide C-band service to be received at a specific earth station location. And
these existing relationships need not be direct but could include indirect relationships through content
distributors or other entities, so long as the relationship requires the provision of C-band satellite services
to one or more specific incumbent earth stations in the contiguous United States. Based on the record,
only five incumbent space station operators have such operations: Eutelsat, Intelsat, SES, Star One, and
Telesat. We do not expect any other incumbent space station operators to need to incur any relocation
costs, and thus we do not expect them to be eligible for relocation payments. Nonetheless, such operators
may be compensated for reasonable relocation costs should they demonstrate that those costs were truly
required as a direct result of the transition of existing C-band services provided to one or more incumbent
earth stations in the contiguous United States.
201.
For incumbent earth station operators, we expect the transition will require two types of
system changes that may occur separately or simultaneously: earth station migration and earth station
filtering. First, earth station migration includes any necessary changes that will allow the earth stations to
receive C-band services on new frequencies or from new satellites once space station operators have
relocated their services into the upper portion of the band. For example, in instances where satellite
transmissions need to be moved to a new frequency or to a new satellite, earth stations currently receiving
those transmissions may need to be retuned or repointed in order to receive on the new frequencies or
from the new satellite. Such a transition requires a “dual illumination” period, during which the same
programming is simultaneously downlinked over the original frequency or satellite and over the new
frequency or satellite so that the receiving earth station can continue receiving transmissions from the
original frequency or satellite until it retunes or repoints the antenna to receive on the new frequency or
satellite. Earth station migration may also require the installation of new equipment or software at earth
station uplink and/or downlink locations for customers identified for technology upgrades necessary to
facilitate the repack, such as compression technology or modulation. 538 Second, passband filters must be
installed on all existing earth stations to block signals from adjacent channels and to prevent harmful
interference from new flexible-use operations. Earth station filtering can occur either simultaneously
with, or after, the earth station migration. All of these earth station migration actions must be coordinated
with satellite transponder clearing in order for earth stations to continue receiving existing C-band
services during and after the transition. As such, we expect relocation costs to include the cost to migrate
and filter earth stations, including costs to retune, repoint, and install new antennas and install filters and
compression software and hardware. 539 We clarify that incumbent earth station operators will include

538

See, e.g., C-Band Alliance Revised Transition Implementation Process at 4.

539
See, e.g., id. at 1. Consistent with our definition of “incumbent earth stations,” we clarify that, in order to qualify
for reimbursement, any antenna at an incumbent earth station must also have been operational and registered in
IBFS as of the relevant dates required by the Freeze and 90-Day Earth Station Filing Window Public Notice. See
SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 6. We disagree with ACA Connects that compensable earth station migration costs
should include the costs of transitioning to an alternative form of delivery, such as fiber, as long as it is not more
expensive that C-band delivery by “an order of magnitude.” See ACA Connects Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 6. We
have defined clearly the migration in this context as the costs of transitioning C-band services to the upper 200
megahertz of the band (e.g., reporting, retuning, and replacing antennas, and installing filters and compression
hardware).

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some gateway earth station operators who are likewise eligible for reasonable relocation costs, and we
recognize that their reasonable relocation costs may differ from those of non-gateway earth stations. 540
202.
Some commenters request that the Commission give incumbent earth station operators
flexibility to replace existing earth stations with fiber in their transition planning. 541 We agree that
providing incumbent earth station operators flexibility may allow them to make efficient decisions that
better accommodate their needs. But we also recognize that replacing existing C-band operations with
fiber or other terrestrial services may be, for some earth stations, more expensive by an order of
magnitude. As such, incumbent earth station operators will have a choice: They may either accept
reimbursement for the reasonable relocation costs by maintaining satellite reception or they may accept a
lump sum reimbursement for all of their incumbent earth stations based on the average, estimated costs of
relocating all of their incumbent earth stations. 542 Incumbent earth station owners that elect the lump sum
payment will not be eligible to submit estimated or actual reasonable relocation costs to the
Clearinghouse. 543 We require incumbent earth station operators (including any affiliates) to elect one of
these two options, which must apply to all of each earth station operator’s earth stations in the contiguous
United States in order to prevent any improper cost shifting. 544 And we require the decision to accept a
lump sum reimbursement to be irrevocable—by accepting the lump sum, the incumbent takes on the risk
that the lump sum will be insufficient to cover all its relocation costs—to ensure that incumbents have the
appropriate incentive to accept the lump sum only if doing so is truly the more efficient option. While
earth station operators that elect the lump sum payment will be responsible for performing any necessary
transition actions, earth station operators that elect the lump sum payment must complete relocation
consistent with the space station operator’s deadlines (Phase I and Phase II Accelerated Relocation
Deadlines to the extent applicable) for transition. 545

540

See, e.g., Letter from Ryan W. King, Vice President & Head of Legal, Americas, SpeedCast Communications,
Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2-3 (filed Feb. 19, 2020); Eutelsat Feb. 20,
2020 Ex Parte at 7-8.
541

See, e.g., ACA Connects Nov. 19, 2019 Ex Parte at 2 (“ACA Connects representatives urged the Commission to
ensure that, as part of any plan to repurpose a significant amount of C-Band spectrum for 5G use, MVPD earth
station operators are given the flexibility—and the funds—to elect fiber-based video solutions that best meet their
needs.”); Letter from Jason E. Rademacher and Christina H. Burrow, Counsel to The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1, 2-4 (filed Nov. 19, 2019)
(asking the Commission to give C-band users flexibility to choose their transmission method).
542

The option for an incumbent earth station owner’s decision to elect the lump sum payment and assume
responsibility for any necessary transition obligations is not intended to impact in any way the respective obligations
contained in private contracts between incumbent earth station owners and space station operators, programmers, or
other entities.
543

See ACA Connects Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte, Appx. A. In other words, if the average costs of relocating an
incumbent earth station is $5,000, an incumbent earth station operator with three stations could elect to receive
$15,000 or they may accept reimbursement for the reasonable actual relocation costs incurred to maintain satellite
reception. See NAB Feb. 14, 2020 Ex Parte at 6 (asking Commission to establish a flat rate reimbursement that
earth station operators can elect rather than tracking and submitting invoices); Letter from Danielle J. Piñeres, Vice
President and Associate General Counsel, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2 (NCTA Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte).
544

While lump sum elections must apply to all of each earth station operator’s earth stations, the earth station
operator may nevertheless pursue different transitions for various earth stations. Because of the need for consistency
and certainty in the transition process, we decline to adopt NCTA’s proposal to allow earth station operators to elect
the lump sum for some earth stations, but not for others. See NCTA Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2.
545

See CTIA Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 3 (asking Commission to clarify that earth station operators that elect to
transition to fiber rather than maintaining satellite reception must complete their transition by the relevant
accelerated relocation deadline).

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203.
We direct the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to announce the lump sum that will
be available per incumbent earth station as well as the process for electing lump sum payments. The
Bureau should identify lump sum amounts for various classes of earth stations—e.g., MVPDs, nonMVPDs, gateway sites—as appropriate. 546 Incumbent earth station owners must make the lump sum
payment election no later than 30 days after release of the announcement, and must indicate whether each
incumbent earth station for which it elects the lump sum payment will be transitioned to the upper 200
megahertz in order to maintain C-band services or will discontinue C-band services. 547
204.
We reiterate that compensable relocation costs are only those that are reasonable and
needed to transition existing operations in the contiguous United States out of the lower 300 megahertz of
the C-band. 548 Despite being situated in Alaska, outside of the contiguous United States, GCI argues that
it will nonetheless incur costs due to its contracts with both programmers and space station operators. 549
We stress that, should GCI or other parties seek cost reimbursement pursuant to the process outlined in
this Report and Order for relocation costs outside of the contiguous United States, they must demonstrate
that they were required to make the system modifications for which they seek reimbursement as a direct
result of the transition in the contiguous United States to make spectrum available for flexible use. 550
205.
Estimated Relocation Costs of the FSS Transition.—We find it appropriate to provide
potential bidders in our public auction with an estimate of the relocation costs that they may incur should
they become overlay licensees. We caution that our estimates are estimates only, and we make clear that
overlay licensees will be responsible for the entire allowed costs of relocation—even to the extent that
those costs exceed the estimated range of costs.
206.
The record contains estimates of the total clearing cost ranging from about $3 billion to
about $6 billion. The C-Band Alliance estimates that the total cost to clear 300 megahertz in the lower 48
contiguous United States is $2.8 billion, which it further divides into specific categories of costs,
including satellite procurement and launch; TT&C/Gateway sites and teleport ground equipment; earth
station filter installation and antenna seeding; specific customer equipment; and compression and

546

See ACA Connects Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 6 (asking the Commission to establish lump sum payments for
different classes of earth station operators); Letter from Randy Clark, Vice President of Federal Regulatory Affairs,
CenturyLink, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2 (filed Feb. 21, 2020) (same).

547

We stress that lump sum payments will only be calculated for the costs of transitioning to the upper 200
megahertz. Any costs over and above the lump sum (i.e., additional costs to transition to fiber) would be borne by
the electing incumbent earth station operator. Cf. ACA Connects Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 6 (asking the
Commission to include as reasonable costs of migration the cost of migrating to fiber, so long as fiber is not more
expensive than C-band migration “by an order of magnitude”). In light of the transition deadlines we establish in
this Report and Order, we decline to extend the time for making the lump sum election beyond 30 days, as
requested by CenturyLink. See CenturyLink Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2 (requesting 60 days to make lump sum
election).
548

Earth stations may apply to receive reimbursement costs to address their specific operational circumstances as
part of the transition process. See, e.g., Letter from Edward A. Yorkgitis, Jr., Counsel, Raytheon, to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Feb. 21, 2020) (arguing that reimbursement may be necessary
for earth stations currently operating only in the upper 200 megahertz of the band and stations they claim cannot
effectively be relocated to the upper 200 megahertz).
549

See Letter from Jessica DeSimone Gyllstrom, Counsel to GCI, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122 (filed Jan. 8, 2020); GCI Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 2. AT&T also notes that changes affecting a
broadcast signal made to accommodate the clearing in the contiguous United States may have implications for earth
stations receiving that signal outside of the contiguous United States, and such earth stations may need to be
repointed, repacked, replaced, or upgraded to accommodate such changes. AT&T Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 8.
550
For this reason, incumbent earth station owners may not elect a lump sum payment for earth stations outside of
the contiguous United States.

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modulation equipment. 551 With respect to new satellites, the C-Band Alliance claims that SES and
Intelsat need to procure and launch between eight to ten. 552 For each satellite, it estimates a cost of about
$160 million, including the spacecraft, launcher, and ground equipment for each, for a total of $1.6 billion
assuming 10 satellites. 553 SES estimates that capital costs of each satellite will be between $150 and $250
million. 554 With respect to TT&C sites, the C-Band Alliance argues that its members will consolidate into
four sites, requiring the purchase and installation of three to four dozen new large antennas and possible
procurement/lease of real estate. 555 It estimates that the cost of this consolidation will be $300 million.556
207.
The C-Band Alliance also estimates that about 100,000 filters will need to be installed on
earth stations in the contiguous United States to vacate 300 megahertz of spectrum. Additionally,
hundreds of new antennas will need to be installed at customers’ or MVPDs’ premises where service is
migrated from one satellite to another satellite for premises that do not currently point to that other
satellite. It estimates that the overall cost of filter manufacturing, installation, and customer antenna
seeding will be about $300 million. 557 The C-Band Alliance argues that some satellite customers will
require more specific equipment, such as highly integrated filters, to continue to operate in the upper 200
megahertz; it estimates the cost of these upgrades at about $100 million. 558 It estimates equipment costs
of about $500 million for compression and modulation technology. It also argues that its migration plan
decreases the total number of usable FSS transponders by 30, and that, as a result of the way many private
contracts are written, this could result in a net present value loss to the satellite industry of up to $500
million. 559 However, while equipment upgrades and other changes that are necessary to transition FSS
operations to the upper 200 megahertz are reimbursable, such “lost revenues” are not compensable costs,
since we find that space station operators will remain able to continue providing the same services they
provide today throughout and after the transition. 560
208.
Eutelsat estimates the maximum total cost of relocating all C-band space station operators
with contiguous United States coverage to comparable facilities transmitting on the upper 200 megahertz
to be $3.5 billion. 561 Eutelsat also estimates the direct costs of relocating protected earth station
551

See C-Band Alliance Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte at 1. In their total costs, the C-Band Alliance also included $500
million in lost revenue attributable to capacity compression. Id. at 2.

552

The C-Band Alliance states that it documented the need to procure and launch eight satellites and accelerate the
procurement of a ninth assuming a June 2020 auction. For a later 2020 auction, it claims that SES and Intelsat will
need to redesign their fleet plan and the required number of satellites will range from eight to ten. See C-Band
Alliance Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte at 1.
553

See C-Band Alliance Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 1.

554

See SES NOI Reply at 25.

555

See C-Band Alliance Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 1.

556

See id.

557

See id.

558

See id.

559

Id. See also SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 7.

560
Indeed, if we were to credit such possible losses, we would also have to discount them given the year-over-year
declines in industry C-band revenues as well as credit the new revenue opportunities that incumbent space station
operators might have after a new fleet of satellites designed to better handle next-generation content distribution.
Consistent with precedent, we decline to follow this speculative path and instead limit payments to concrete
compensable costs.
561

This estimate includes lost revenue opportunity calculated for each of eight potentially eligible space station
operators. See Eutelsat Jan. 30, 2020 Ex Parte. We do not credit “lost revenues” as a compensable cost, because we
find that space station operators will remain capable of providing the same services they provide today throughout
and after the transition. See also Eutelsat Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 9 (“Based on Eutelsat’s understanding
(continued….)

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operations to comparable facilities to be approximately $1 billion (as a maximum value). 562 For purposes
of this estimate, Eutelsat accepted the C-Band Alliance’s assertion that as many as 35,000 C-band
antennas may need to be included, with a cost of $30,000 per antenna. 563
209.
ACA Connects argues that the C-Band Alliance’s estimate of costs is insufficient and
fails to accurately take into account MVPD out-of-pocket expenses. It estimates the total transition costs
at closer to $6.1 billion, to account for MVPD headend upgrades, transcoded HEVC feeds to
MPEG2/MPEG4, and additional power consumption during dual illumination. 564 The Cartesian cost
study for the ACA Connects Coalition estimates that the transition to higher compression will cost
MVPDs alone at least $3 billion of out-of-pocket expenses. With respect to transcoder costs, ACA
Connects estimates that MVPDs will need 20 transcoders to cover current and future encoding needs, at a
cost of $10,000 per transcoder. 565 It also estimates that the cost for repacking transponders, filter
installation, and repointing earth station dishes will be about $2.16 billion. 566
210.
Based on the current record, we believe that reasonable estimated costs will include the
following ranges, subject to further reevaluation when we create and release the cost category schedule.
With respect to satellite procurement and launch costs, we believe that $1.28 billion to $2.5 billion is a
reasonable estimated range. This accounts for $160-$250 million in capital costs for each satellite, the
high and low ranges provided by the C-Band Alliance and SES, respectively, and the estimated range of
eight to ten additional satellites. With respect to earth station costs, we find that a range of $1 billion to
$2 billion is a reasonable estimate for repacking transponders, filter installing, re-pointing earth station
dishes, and antenna feeding. This would account for the lower-end estimates provided by the C-Band
Alliance and the upper-end estimates provided by ACA Connects. With respect to MVPD compression
hardware, we find $500-$520 million to be a reasonable estimated range. This is consistent with ACA
Connects’ estimate of about $10,000 per transcoder and its claim that about 20 transcoders will be needed
at each of 2,600 MVPD locations. It is also consistent with the C-Band Alliance’s estimate of $500

(Continued from previous page)
and publicly available data on the cost to manufacture and deliver new FSS satellites in orbit, the estimate of $3.5
billion in total satellite operator relocation costs (allocated among all eligible C-band satellite operators) would be
sufficient to acquire comparable facilities to replace stranded C-band capacity.”).
562

See Eutelsat Jan. 30, 2020 Ex Parte; see also Eutelsat Jan. 23, 2020 Ex Parte at 5 (“Eutelsat offered an estimate
of approximately $1 billion for earth station relocation costs, while acknowledging that the record in this proceeding
is not extensive on this point.”).
563

See Eutelsat Jan. 23, 2020 Ex Parte at 5.

564

ACA Connects Nov. 19, 2019 Ex Parte, Cartesian Study Attach. at 7.

565
See ACA Connects Jul. 15, 2019 Ex Parte, Cartesian Study Attach. at 27. In subsequent ex parte filings, ACA
Connects seems to argue that most headends do not have the space to have separate transcoders, and therefore, all of
the Integrated Receiver Decoders in the headends will need to be replaced with Integrated Receiver Decoders that
have built-in transcoders. See ACA Connects Nov. 19, 2019 Ex Parte, Cartesian Study Attach. at 7; ACA Connects
Feb. 24, 2020 Ex Parte at 5. However, ACA Connects’ July 2019 transition proposal stated that each headend
would need to have an average of 20 transcoders installed and made no mention of the space limitation issue.
Compare id. with ACA Connects July 15, 2019 Ex Parte, Cartesian Study Attachment. We further clarify that while
these estimates generally presume use of HEVC, they are not intended to require (or preclude) use of either the
HEVC or AVC compression standards. See NAB Feb. 14, 2020 Ex Parte at 3; Disney and ESPN Feb. 21, 2020 Ex
Parte at 1-2; AT&T Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 7. At this time, however, we decline to make a finding that
technology choices that space station operators include in their transition plans automatically will be deemed
presumptively reasonable. See NAB Feb. 14, 2020 Ex Parte at 3 (asking Commission to deem technology choices
in transition plans presumptively reasonable); AT&T Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 3 (agreeing with NAB).
566

See ACA Connects Jul. 15, 2019 Ex Parte, Cartesian Study Attach. at 12.

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million for compression costs. 567 This leads to a total clearing cost estimate ranging from about $3.3
billion to $5.2 billion.
211.
Accelerated Relocation Payments.—We next address the amount of accelerated
relocation payments that each eligible incumbent space station operator would receive if the Accelerated
Relocation Deadlines are met.
212.
We start by noting that predictions of the prices that will be paid for licenses to operate
on this spectrum vary widely both in the record and in publicly available reports. On the low side, the
Public Interest Spectrum Coalition estimates a range of $0.065 to $0.196 per MHz-pop 568 and the Brattle
Group suggests a range of $0.003 to $0.415 per MHz-pop from recent international C-band auctions. 569
On the high side, the C-Band Alliance recently submitted a report by NERA Economic Consulting that
estimates $0.50 to $0.90 per MHz-pop. 570 In the middle, Kerrisdale Capital Management analyzed Cband auction revenues in three other advanced industrial economies to estimate $0.50 per MHz-pop 571 and
the American Action Forum estimate a range topping out at $0.597 per MHz-pop based on an
econometric analysis of previous auctions. 572
213.
It is thus no surprise that the commenters have proposed a wide range of values for
accelerated relocation payments. On the low side, Eutelsat proposes making $2.75 billion available for
“premium” payments for accelerated relocation. 573 On the high side, the C-Band Alliance essentially
argues that incumbent space station operators should receive a 50-50 split of auction revenues, or a $21.5
to $38.5 billion accelerated relocation payment, on the theory that incumbent space station operators
should receive an equal part given the sale of their “asset.” 574 We note, however, that the C-Band
567

See C-Band Alliance Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 1 (“CBA estimates that the total cost to procure and
install compression and modulation equipment will be approximately $500 million.”).

568

Without reference to previous auctions, the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition estimates the entire 500 megahertz
of the C-Band is worth $10-30 billion. PISC Comments at 3, 22, 25, and 33.
569

Brattle Group Report at 12-14. The joint comments of Trinity Broadcast Network and LPN refer to a subset of
the auctions cited in the Brattle Group Report to settle on their high estimate of $0.40 per MHz-pop. Trinity
Broadcasting Network May 16, 2019 Ex Parte at 5, Addendum, Section B, at 10-11.
570

Letter from Bill Tolpegin, Chief Executive Officer, C-Band Alliance, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122, Attach. A, at 3-5 (filed Jan. 27, 2020) (C-Band Alliance Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte).
571

Kerrisdale Capital Management looks at auctions in the United Kingdom, Australia, and South Korea. Kerrisdale
Capital Management, Intelsat S.A. & SES S.A.: To the Moon, at 21, 24 (June 15, 2018),
https://www.kerrisdalecap.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Intelsat-and-SES.pdf (Kerrisdale Report). Northern
Sky Research refers to this Kerrisdale Report and decides on a range of $0.50 to $0.60 per MHz-pop for its analysis.
Gagan Agrawal, C-Band Spectrum Reallocation: Too Lucrative to Ignore? (October 18, 2018),
https://www.nsr.com/c-band-spectrum-reallocation-too-lucrative-to-ignore/.
572
A report by the American Action Forum estimated a range of $0.011-$0.597 per MHz-pop based on an
econometric analysis of previous auctions. Will Rinehart, American Action Forum, Insight, Analyzing Plans to
Reallocate C-Band for 5G Deployment (Oct. 7, 2019), https://www.americanactionforum.org/insight/analyzingplans-reallocate-c-band-5g-deployment/.
573

See Letter from Carlos M. Nalda, Counsel, Eutelsat, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18122, at 7 (filed Jan. 23, 2020).
574

C-Band Alliance Jan. 27, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. A at 2. The C-Band Alliance argues that, in exchange for
accelerated relocation, satellite operators should receive a payment equal to the total proceeds from an auction of
280 megahertz of C-band spectrum, which it estimates will generate between $43 and $77 billion. However, under
the C-Band Alliance’s approach, bidders would enter the auction with the knowledge that, for each dollar they bid
on the spectrum, they would also be required to pay a dollar in an accelerated relocation payment. Assuming
rational bidder behavior, this would reduce the amount that bidders are willing to spend in the auction by 50%,
which would result in estimated auction revenues (and estimated accelerated relocation payments) of between $21.5
and $38.5 billion.

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Alliance’s analysis is based on the assumption that the Commission otherwise set a relocation deadline
for FSS operations of 10 years.
214.
We note, as a preliminary matter, that the C-Band Alliance’s proposal seems to
misunderstand the purpose of accelerated relocation payments. Incumbent space station operators are not
“selling” their spectrum usage rights—instead they have the right to provide the services they currently
offer going forward. Indeed, they have no terrestrial spectrum usage rights to “sell.” Furthermore, the
transition we adopt, including relocation payments, will make them whole during and after that transition.
Our responsibility is to set an accelerated relocation payment that fairly incentivizes incumbent space
station operators to expedite the transition while increasing the value of the entire transition effort for the
American public.
215.
We start by examining the value to the American public of an accelerated transition.
Specifically, if all eligible space station operators are able to hit the Phase I Accelerated Relocation
Deadline, then terrestrial operations by overlay licensees can commence in the lower 100 megahertz of
the band in 46 PEAs (covering 58% of the population of the contiguous United States) by December 5,
2021 rather than December 5, 2023 (the Phase II deadline). And if all eligible space station operators are
able to hit the Phase II Accelerated Relocation Deadline, then terrestrial operations by overlay licensees
can commence throughout the contiguous United States by December 5, 2023 rather than by December 5,
2025 (the Relocation Deadline).
216.
One useful exercise to frame an appropriate accelerated relocation payment would be to
estimate the price that overlay licensees would willingly pay for an earlier transition, assuming that the
free-rider and holdout problems could be overcome. Making the spectrum available to a licensee earlier
increases the potential producer surplus earned by the licensee because it can begin to provide services to
consumers on that spectrum sooner, thereby granting a specific commercial benefit to a new overlay
licensee. So long as we set the accelerated relocation payment as a fraction of the bidder’s expected
incremental profits from deploying spectrum earlier, overlay licensees will themselves benefit even after
making the accelerated relocation payment. In other words, if we treat an estimated willingness to pay as
an upper bound, allowing for an accelerated relocation payment in the amount specified would make
overlay licensees no worse off and would likely make them better off for each year they received their
new licenses earlier.
217.
To establish a reasonable estimate of the price that overlay licensees would willingly pay
to accelerate relocation, we extrapolate the increase in expected profits from having access to the
spectrum and the ability to deploy earlier than the Relocation Deadline. To do this, we observe that the
difference between an amount of money received at date T2 and the same amount received at an earlier
date T1 is simply the accumulated interest that can be earned by investing the amount at date T1, and
holding it until date T2. 575 If S is the present value of an infinite stream of profits associated with
deploying a spectrum license, then the additional value, A, of accelerating the date when spectrum license
is available to T1, as opposed to T2, is the accumulated interest earned from the stream S between those
two periods. Mathematically, the additional value of accelerating an income stream, S, by m months,
where the industry annual weighted average cost of capital is r with interest compounded monthly is
given by: A = [(1+r/12)m – 1]S. 576
575

For example, the additional benefit of receiving $100 at the beginning of year 4 instead of year 5 if the interest
rate were, say, 3% compounded annually, is simply .03 x $100 = $3, and the total value of receiving that amount at
the start of year 4 is simply (1 + .03) x $100 = $103. Similarly, the total value of receiving $100 in year 3 instead of
year 5 would be (1 + .03)2 x $100 = $106.10, and the incremental value of receiving the $100 two years early would
be [(1 + .03)2 – 1] x $100 = $6.10.
576

As an example, if a portion of a profit stream that was worth say $15 was accelerated by 42 months, and the
weighted cost of capital was 7%, then the benefit from accelerating that payment is given by: A = [(1+.07/12)42 – 1]
x $15 = $4.15. For ease of calculation, we assume monthly compounding.

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218.
To apply these observations in this context, we use a weighted average cost of capital of
8.5%, consistent with our precedent. 577 We also use the index of PEA weights adopted by the
Commission in the 39 GHz reconfiguration proceeding that were based on the 600 MHz, 700 MHz, and
AWS-3 auctions to estimate that the 46 PEAs that are cleared by the Phase I Accelerated Relocation
Deadline account for 77% of the total value of the first 100 megahertz cleared. 578 Finally, we estimate the
present value of future profits that licensees expect to receive from their overlay licenses in 2025 (the
Relocation Deadline) to be $0.50 per MHz-pop. We find this to be a reasonable estimate given the wide
range of valuations in the record—which notably do not account for the spectrum potentially not
becoming available until the Relocation Deadline nor for the additional costs of clearing this spectrum in
the contiguous United States. 579 Applying the general formula to the facts at hand then yields an
estimated increase in economic profits for an accelerated relocation of approximately $10.52 billion.
219.
Given the record, we find that a $9.7 billion accelerated relocation payment is reasonable
and will serve the public interest. 580 We recognize that the Commission could find reasonable several of
the methods advocated in the record for calculating the total size of the accelerated relocation payment,
and in doing so, it would need to rely on estimates on several variables such as increased willingness to
pay for the spectrum, potential future industry profits for flexible use licensees, spectrum valuation, and
the costs of accelerated transitioning. Ultimately, we recognize that this determination is a line-drawing
exercise, in which we must attempt to establish an amount that is less than the incremental value to new
entrants of accelerating the clearing deadline but large enough to provide an effective incentive to
incumbent space station operators to complete such accelerated clearing. We find that a $9.7 billion
accelerated relocation payment strikes the appropriate balance between these considerations and the
amounts advocated in the record. Although some incumbent space station operators have argued for
significantly more, we find that $9.7 billion is reasonably close—but still falls below the total amount we
conservatively estimate that overlay licensees themselves would be willing to pay to clear this spectrum
577

Connect America Fund, High-Cost Universal Service Support, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 3964, 4011-12,
paras. 104-09 (2014). We note that the Commission there examined the appropriate cost of capital for fixed service
providers, large and small. Because we expect potential bidders to face a somewhat similar range of financial
circumstances (indeed, to sometimes be the exact carriers studied by the Commission), we find using the same
weighted average cost of capital to be reasonable for these purposes.
578

Notice of Updated 39 GHz Reconfiguration Procedures; Preparation for Incentive Auction of Upper Microwave
Flexible Use Service Licenses in the 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz Bands (Auction 103), Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd
2952, Appx. C (2019),
https://www.fcc.gov/file/15917/download/103appendix_c_index_of_pea_weights_for_39_ghz.xlsx. The numerator
is the total weighted MHz-pops in the top 50 PEAs excluding PEAs 5, 11, 20, and 42. The denominator is the total
weighted MHz-pops in all PEAs in the lower contiguous 48 states, which excludes Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico,
Guam, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Gulf of Mexico.
579

See Verizon Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 3 (noting that Verizon believes the valuation at $0.50 per MHz-pop is
reasonable for purposes of the accelerated clearing incentive framework).
580

Indeed, a third-party analysis of the $9.7 billion accelerated relocation payment confirms the value of this
payment to the public, finding that this amount “is expected to provide an additional $800 million in net proceeds to
the U.S. Treasury.” See Letter from Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director, Digital Liberty, and Federal Affairs
Manager, Americans for Tax Reform, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, Attachment
(filed Feb. 21, 2020) (attaching George S. Ford, Could Acceleration Payments Increase Funding for Broadband? A
Review of the FCC’s C-Band Plan, Perspectives, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy
Studies (Feb. 18, 2020) (Phoenix Center Perspectives Report)). The analysis notes that this additional revenue “is
not available absent the acceleration payments, since the additional value (of $10.52 billion) is a direct result of the
expedited clearing.” Phoenix Center Perspectives Report at 5. Accordingly, “[t]his billion-dollar bump is the result
of the Commission applying economic reasoning to limit the size of the acceleration payments to a level below the
revenue effect of the accelerated clearing. The Commission’s plan ensures a beneficial outcome for all parties
involved: the potential bidders are pleased, the incumbent satellite operators agreed, and the U.S. Treasury is
expected to obtain more revenue with than without these payments.” Id.

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early and less than the additional profits overlay licensees expect to earn as a result of the accelerated
clearing. This helps ensure that we do not impose an obligation on overlay licensees that we are not
convinced they would have assumed on their own in the typical Emerging Technologies scenario in which
voluntary accelerated relocation payments would be feasible.
220.
Commenters challenge our decision to establish a $9.7 billion payment for accelerated
relocation from two directions. Intelsat argues the amount is too low, 581 while the Small Satellite
Operators argue that the amount of the payment is too high. 582 We reject these arguments. Set against
one another, these competing arguments illustrate the complex policy considerations at issue and how our
chosen accelerated relocation payment balances these competing concerns.
221.
At the outset, each party questions how long relocation should take without any
accelerated relocation payments. The Small Satellite Operators assert the Commission should simply set
the relocation deadline at the accelerated relocation deadlines (notably not a problem for those operators
since they have almost no affected U.S. operations)—shrinking the time saved by acceleration to zero and
implying no need for accelerated relocation payments. 583 In contrast, Intelsat claims the relocation
deadline should be pushed back to 10 years—significantly expanding the time saved by acceleration and
implying more accelerated relocation payments may be needed.584 We have already explained at length
our reasoning for selecting the deadlines we do, but we reiterate that reasoning briefly: The Relocation
Deadline we choose reflects the balance between bringing C-band spectrum to market quickly (and thus
not setting an excessively long transition) and ensuring no disruption to the C-band content distribution
market that hundreds of millions of Americans currently rely on C-band services (and thus not setting a
too short mandatory transition). Hence we disagree with each party that we should adjust the acceleration
periods at issue in calculating accelerated relocation payments.
222.
Next, both parties challenge the decision to establish an upper bound at the overlay
licensees’ willingness to pay for the early clearing of spectrum. On the one hand, Intelsat argues that this
ceiling is too low—and that focusing only on the economic benefit to new licensees ignores potential
benefits to American consumers from the rapid deployment of 5G. 585 The Small Satellite Operators, on
the other hand, argue that this willingness-to-pay ceiling is too high. They argue that the upper bound
must be “proportionate to the cost of providing comparable facilities.” 586 We find that both parties
misunderstand the Emerging Technologies framework.
223.
To Intelsat’s point, we agree that we must take into account the tremendous public
benefits of authorizing terrestrial use of this mid-band spectrum—but that does not mean our ability to
impose obligations on overlay licensees is unbounded. Instead, we read our precedent as recognizing the
justification for accelerated relocation payments only to the extent that willing market actors (free from
holdout and free-rider problems) would pay for accelerated relocation. And in the end, no rational
licensee would pay more than the amount they stood to gain from earlier access to the spectrum—
regardless of whatever value was created for third parties. 587

581

Intelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 4-5.

582

Small Satellite Operators Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 13.

583

Id.

584

Intelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 4-5.

585

Id. at 4.

586

Small Satellite Operators Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 13 (quoting Teledesic, 275 F.3d at 82).

587

Intelsat also argues that, once an overlay licensee has specified precisely how much it would be willing to pay for
a license, it would prefer to structure its payments so that a greater share went toward accelerated relocation
payments to increase the likelihood that the spectrum would be cleared earlier. Intelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 5.
To the extent we can follow Intelsat’s argument, it appears to assume away the hard problem we face: how to
(continued….)

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224.
And to the Small Satellite Operators’ point, we do not read the language quoted as
limiting the Commission’s authority under the Emerging Technologies framework but instead just
recognizing how the Commission applied that framework in one particular context. In that case the
Commission had established guidelines for good-faith negotiations that limited incumbents’ ability to
demand “premium payments” that were not proportionate to the cost of providing comparable facilities. 588
But as the court recognized in Teledesic, the Commission added that limitation as a check against holdout
problems created by mandatory good-faith negotiations. 589 Here we choose a different approach to
address the problem of holdouts as well as the free-rider problem inherent to this transition. And by
estimating the willingness of overlay licensees to make accelerated relocation payments, we avoid the
need for a lengthy period of mandatory negotiations before mandatory relocation—which we estimate
will bring about significant benefits to the public of making this spectrum available for terrestrial use
much sooner.
225.
Both parties also challenge the determination that an acceleration payment total of $9.7
billion strikes the appropriate balance. Again, the Small Satellite Operators argue that it is too much,
while Intelsat argues that it is not enough. Small Satellite Operators assert that “a vastly reduced amount
would have been sure to result in a deal.” 590 In contrast, Intelsat argues that there is no analysis
demonstrating that $9.7 billion will be sufficient to encourage incumbent space station operators to clear
on an expedited schedule. 591 To that end, Intelsat challenges the conservativeness of the estimated value
of the spectrum being cleared, suggesting that the Commission should have chosen a higher estimate of
value on which to calculate an acceleration payment. 592
226.
To some extent both parties are correct: There is no precise science that allows us to
arrive at the “right” accelerated relocation payment total. But that is in large part because eligible space
station operators have had every incentive not to disclose precisely how high an accelerated relocation
payment must be for them to accept it. As these arguments make plain, the Commission’s determination
of an acceleration payment is a line-drawing exercise that balances a number of competing
considerations. The accelerated relocation payment of $9.7 billion is an $800 million reduction from the
estimated total willingness of flexible use licensees to pay $10.52 billion for earlier access to this
spectrum. Allocating the vast majority of the estimated total willingness to pay to satellite operators (1)
maximizes the possibility that such a payment will be sufficient to incent early clearing (2) while not
exceeding the estimated value of acceleration to new licensees, and (3) accounts, to some extent, for a
(Continued from previous page)
estimate how much an overlay licensee (and thus a bidder that has already won the relevant license at auction)
would pay to accelerate relocation. Indeed, any accelerated relocation payment should be, as its name suggests, for
the accelerated clearing of spectrum—not for the overall value of the underlying licenses.
588

See, e.g., Teledesic, 275 F.3d at 82; Amendment of Section 2.106 of the Commission’s Rules to Allocate Spectrum
at 2 GHz for Use by the Mobile-Satellite Service, Second Report and Order and Second Memorandum Opinion and
Order, 15 FCC Rcd 12315, 12344, para. 89 (2000) (“adopt[ing] the good faith guidelines of Section 101.73(b) to
negotiations for relocation of FS incumbents”); 18 GHz Order, 15 FCC Rcd. at 13503-04 (adopting same rules for
negotiations among fixed-satellite service licenses and fixed service licensees).
589

Teledesic, 275 F.3d at 88.

590

Small Satellite Operators Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 12.

591

Intelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 4-5.

592

Id. at 5. Intelsat also faults the Commission for not considering the increase in expected future profits that new
licensees could capture from providing early access to their new technology. Id. This argument seems to rest on a
misunderstanding of the Commission’s analysis. The Commission’s analysis calculates the increase in expected
profits by comparing the total difference of the income stream associated with deploying on an accelerated schedule
with that of deploying on the non-accelerated transition schedule. This analysis compares the present value of two
infinite streams of profits, and therefore accounts for any difference in future profits that would result from
acceleration.

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relatively conservative estimate of the value of the underlying spectrum. Of course, the Commission
might have chosen a number lower than $9.7 billion, to gamble that space station operators might accept a
lower price. But the smaller the payment the greater the risk that such a payment will be insufficient to
incent earlier clearing. In light of the enormous benefit that the rapid deployment of 5G will confer on
American consumers, and the costs of delaying such deployment for even one additional year, we have
chosen the figure that most minimizes that risk. While this exercise is necessarily imprecise, we believe
that $9.7 billion threads the needle through all of the considerations raised by the Small Satellite
Operators, Intelsat, others in the record, as well as our own predictive judgment on what is necessary
here.
227.
We also find it necessary to specify the specific accelerated relocation payments that will
be offered to each of the eligible space station operators so that each can make an intelligent decision
whether to elect to participate in the accelerated relocation process. To accelerate clearing, each space
station operator will need to engage in a complex and iterative process of coordinating between its
programmer customers and incumbent earth stations, allocating resources to effectuate changes in both
the space station and earth station segments of the FSS network, and orchestrating changes both in space
and on the ground in order to ensure continuous and uninterrupted delivery of content. As SES explains,
“the clearing process will involve a painstakingly choreographed set of precise steps, including procuring,
building, and launching new satellites, installing thousands of new antenna filters, and consolidating
[TT&C] and gateway sites.” 593 Given that these burdens will fall more heavily on some space station
operators than others, we find that the most appropriate basis on which to allocate accelerated relocation
payments among eligible space station operators is to estimate the relative contribution that each eligible
space station operator is likely to make towards accelerating the transition of the 3.7–3.98 GHz band to
flexible use and clearing the 3.98-4.0 GHz band, assuming all other operators accelerate their clearing.
To that end, we examine several pieces of evidence in the record.
228.
To start, we find the best evidence in the record is a confidential 2019 report prepared by
an independent accounting firm on behalf of the C-Band Alliance, which SES has submitted into the
record. Based on data provided by C-Band Alliance members, this report purports to calculate each
member of the C-Band Alliance’s contribution to clearing (based in part on qualifying 2017 revenue) for
the purpose of determining the share that each C-Band Alliance member would receive as a result of this
proceeding. 594 We can think of no better evidence of the C-Band Alliance members’ own understanding
of their relative contribution to clearing than their own market-based assessment of the relative value that
each member should derive from the process of freeing up this spectrum for flexible use. While many
variables might enter into any valuation of contribution to clearing—such as each operator’s relative
number of earth stations, transponder usage, revenue, coverage, or other factors—the C-Band Alliance
members were best situated to take all those variables into account in assigning allocations representing
each member’s valuation of its entitlement to a percentage of the proceeds from a private sale. We call
this the “the market-based agreement” factor (note we do not apply this factor to Star One, which was not
a party to this agreement).
229.
Despite Intelsat’s own agreement that “the most appropriate basis for the allocation of . . .
accelerated relocation payments among eligible space station operators, is the contribution each space
station operator makes toward clearing the spectrum,” 595 Intelsat objects to any reliance on this report and
its prior agreement with SES, Eutelsat, and Telesat on how to approach a swift transition of the C-band.
We find Intelsat’s objections to the 2019 report unpersuasive. For one, Intelsat objects that the
methodology of the report was premised largely on an assumption that SES and Intelsat had equal market
593

Letter from John Purvis, Chief Legal Officer, SES Americom, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122, at 2-3 (SES Feb. 20, 2020 Confidential Ex Parte).

594

See SES Feb. 20, 2020 Confidential Ex Parte, Attach. B.

595

Intelsat Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 1.

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share. 596 That may be true—but that does not explain why Intelsat agreed to such an assumption just last
year (nor what it has learned since then). Indeed, whatever the precise inputs underlying the confidential
2019 report, the ultimate findings were ratified by each member of the C-Band Alliance at the time—
including Intelsat. 597 For another, Intelsat points out that the confidential report was developed in the
context of a private sale proposal in which the C-Band Alliance would receive a single payment for both
clearing in an accelerated manner and relocation costs. But we fail to see the relevance of these
distinctions. For example, we separately account for relocation payments from accelerated relocation
payments in this Report and Order—but Intelsat provides no evidence, nor does any appear on the face of
the report, that the relative contributions of each operator depended on relative relocation costs (nor does
Intelsat explain why the separate treatment of such costs merits greater (or lesser) allocation of
accelerated relocation payments). As another example, we do not see why the negotiation of these
allocations in the context of a private sale approach would fail to capture the contributions of the various
signatories to another approach—like the public auction approach we adopt herein. 598 Indeed, we find the
fact that these numbers were negotiated between experienced space station operators in the context of a
concrete plan to clear the C-band for terrestrial use makes them more reliable, not less, as evidence of
relative contribution to clearing. 599 In short, despite Intelsat’s recent protestations, we find the report is
the single best proxy that we have for determining the relative contribution of each eligible space station
operator (at least those four that signed the agreement) to accelerating the process of repurposing this
spectrum.
230.
Next, we find that transponder usage provides another proxy for the relative contributions
of each space station operator to clearing. At a high level, the amount of transponder usage should
correspond to the amount of traffic that the operator needs to repack—and space station operators with
more traffic are likely to serve a greater number of earth stations with more content. And we have
reliable data for relative transponder usage: Satellite operators submitted confidential usage information
in response to the Commission’s May 2019 request for information on satellite use of the C-band. 600 FSS
space station licensees with C-band coverage of the United States or grants of market access were
required to submit the average percentage of each transponder’s capacity (megahertz) used and the
maximum percentage of capacity used for each day in March of 2019. From this data we can calculate
the average megahertz of transponder usage as well as the usage shares for each satellite operator. We
thus include transponder usage in our calculations because we believe that it is a reliable proxy of the
amount of traffic all eligible incumbent space station operators need to repack, as well as their relative
contribution to accelerated clearing.
231.
Third, we take into account each eligible space station operator’s coverage of the
contiguous United States with its C-band satellites. All operators with existing FSS space station licenses
596

Intelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 3.

597
SES Feb. 20, 2020 Confidential Ex Parte. We note also that the estimates in the confidential report submitted by
SES are generally consistent with other revenue estimates filed in the public record. See, e.g., Kerrisdale Report;
Gagan Agrawal, C-Band Spectrum Reallocation: Too Lucrative to Ignore? (October 18, 2018),
https://www.nsr.com/c-band-spectrum-reallocation-too-lucrative-to-ignore/.
598
Letter from John Purvis, Chief Legal Officer, SES, and Christopher DiFracesco, Vice President, General Counsel
& Secretary, Telesat, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1-2 (filed Feb. 24, 2020)
(SES-Telesat Feb. 25, 2020 Ex Parte) (the work to clear the spectrum and the operators’ relative contributions
remain unchanged since the C-Band Alliance arrived at the allocation agreement).
599
SES-Telesat Feb. 25, 2020 Ex Parte at 1 (“The Draft Report and Order lays out the same allocation rationale that
the CBA members considered when agreeing to allocations among themselves—their relative contributions to
clearing the spectrum.”).
600

May 2019 Information Collection. Although Intelsat recently filed its own estimates of its relative transponder
usage, Intelsat Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. B, we find the confidential data collected by the Commission from
all providers a more reliable source of relative transponder usage.

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or grants of United States market access in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band also have equal access to the 280
megahertz of spectrum designated to transition to flexible use and the 20-megahertz guard band and an
equal ability to serve customers in this band. Due to this shared licensing structure, all eligible space
station operators serving incumbent earth stations in the contiguous United States will need to play a role
in the transition and must cooperate to transition the spectrum successfully. This factor is, therefore, a
very rough proxy for the myriad tasks that all eligible space station operators must undertake to clear the
spectrum and for the fact that one of the eligible space station operators does not transmit to the full
contiguous United States. 601
232.
Finally, we note that there is no single correct weight to apply to each of these three
factors. We place the most significant weight on the market-based agreement factor because it reflects
the parties’ own valuation of each operator’s relative contribution to clearing. But in acknowledgment of
Intelsat’s reservations about using the 2019 report, the fact that the report does not consider one eligible
space station operator (Star One) because it wasn’t a member of the C-Band Alliance, and the fact that the
Commission does not have access to the underlying inputs evaluated by the independent auditor, we are
also assigning some weight to transponder usage and coverage separately. Among these two factors, we
find that transponder usage, which reflects actual usage of the band, greatly outstrips (by an order of
magnitude) the value of the third factor (coverage). 602 Thus, we specify the allocations as follows:
Acce le rate d Re location Payme nt by Ope rator
Payment
Phase I Payment Phase II Payment
Intelsat
$
4,865,366,000 $ 1,197,842,000 $
3,667,524,000
SES
$
3,968,133,000 $
976,945,000 $
2,991,188,000
Eutelsat
$
506,978,000 $
124,817,000 $
382,161,000
Telesat
$
344,400,000 $
84,790,000 $
259,610,000
Star One
$
15,124,000 $
3,723,000 $
11,401,000
Totals
$
9,700,001,000 $ 2,388,117,000 $
7,311,884,000

233.
The Clearinghouse will distribute the accelerated relocation payments to each eligible
space station operator according to the amounts provided in the table. We allocate roughly 25% of each
601
We note that, of the eligible space station operators, Intelsat, SES, Telesat, and Eutelsat all cover the entire
contiguous United States population at an Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power (EIRP) threshold of 37 dBW or
better. Star One, which says on its own website that the EIRP threshold of 37 dBW constitutes typical service, only
covers roughly the state of Florida at this power level. We also note that all the registered earth stations that it
serves (according to the available data in IBFS) are in the state of Florida, and Star One has made no claim or
showing in this proceeding that it serves incumbent earth stations outside of that area. See
www.starone.com.br/en/internas/satelite_c1; see also https://www.satbeams.com/satellites?norad=32293. The
Census Bureau estimates that there were 325,009,505 people in the continental United States as of July 1, 2018 and
21,299,325 people living in Florida. See U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the
United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018 (NST-EST2018-01), Table 1 (Dec.
2018), https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/popest/tables/2010-2018/state/totals/nst-est2018-01.xlsx. This
implies that Star One has a share of 1.6% of the sum C-band population coverage in the contiguous United States
(21,299,325/ (4 x 325,009,505 + 21,299,325) = 1.6%). The other four firms have an equal 24.6% share ((100% 1.6%) ÷ 4 = 24.6%).
602

We round all payments to the nearest thousand dollars and therefore the payment total does not sum exactly to
$9.7 billion. Because we rely on confidential information in calculating these allocations and find that disclosing the
relative weights placed on each factor could inadvertently disclose that confidential information to operators with
knowledge of their own information, we reserve our discussion of the precise numbers involved in our calculations
to a confidential appendix. And because Star One was not a signatory of the market-based agreement, we allocate
the weight that would otherwise apply to that factor to the second most important factor (transponder usage) for its
calculation and normalize all calculations to take this into account.

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operator’s accelerated relocation payment to the completion of Phase I and 75% to the completion of
Phase II. This split corresponds to the value of accelerated relocation that space station operators will
need to make at each respective deadline. To be specific, the value of Phase II accelerated relocation (visà-vis relocation by the Relocation Deadline) is accelerating relocation of all 280 megahertz of spectrum
across the contiguous United States by two years. Using the acceleration formula discussed above, this
represents 75.38% of the total value to bidders of accelerated relocation. The value of Phase I accelerated
relocation (vis-à-vis relocation by the Phase II Accelerated Relocation Deadline) is accelerating the
relocation of 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 46 Phase I PEAs by two additional years. This represents
24.62% of the total value of bidders of accelerated relocation. We note that allocating the Phase I and
Phase II payments this way maximizes the incentive for incumbent space station operators to complete
the full Phase II transition in a timely manner, ensuring that all Americans get early access to nextgeneration uses of the 3.7 GHz band. 603
234.
Taken together, we find that the three measures above should reflect—directly or by
proxy—a variety of inputs, including relative contribution shares to relocation, population coverage in the
contiguous United States, traffic, and number of earth stations served. These measures incorporate the
best data presently available to the Commission on which to estimate the contributions of each eligible
space station operator to the accelerated relocation process. Whatever the shortcomings of each
individual measure or dataset, we find that these three measures considered together provide a reasonable
approximation of the eligible space station operators’ respective contributions, and therefore a reasonable
basis on which to apportion accelerated relocation payments.
235.
We also find that several alternative methods advocated by space station operators for
allocating accelerated relocation payments are less reliable and objective than those we rely on. For
example, several parties suggest that we should rely upon C-band revenues in measuring relative
contributions, 604 with Intelsat claiming that “revenue earned with respect to the current use of C-band
spectrum in the contiguous 48 states provides a reasonable proxy for every one of the factors cited by the
FCC for value being created by accelerated clearing: the number of customers, the amount of encumbered
spectrum; the scope of incumbent earth stations served; content-distribution revenues; population of the
United States; and traffic.” 605 Although we agree that such revenues ordinarily would be closely
correlated with traffic and a good proxy for a variety of other factors relevant to an eligible space station
operator’s estimated contribution—the record is largely bereft of such data. Intelsat itself, for example,
has failed to file any reliable revenue or revenue share data. Instead, it estimates its own C-band revenues
based on average usage as well as its own assertion that it has higher average wholesale prices than its
competitors. 606 The only other source evident of Intelsat’s market share is a public report from Kerrisdale
Capital Management that estimates Intelsat to have a roughly equal share with SES—although that report
did not claim its estimates were particularly precise.607 In short, we fail to see the value in relying on
603

And it avoids some absurd results. Consider, for example, Intelsat’s proposal to tie all four years of accelerated
relocation payments for Phase I areas to the Phase I payment (increasing the split to 45%). See Letter from Michelle
V. Bryan, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer, Intelsat, to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2-3 (filed Feb. 19, 2020). And assume that an incumbent space
station operator missed the Phase I deadline. Such a split would imply that such a space station operator should
receive no accelerated relocation payments whatsoever from meeting the Phase II deadline for the Phase I spectrum
(even though they would still need to transition that spectrum to meet the Phase II deadline). And it would imply
that overlay licensees in Phase I areas would not have to make any accelerated relocation payments whatsoever
(unlike other overlay licensees)—even though they would still benefit from a two-year accelerated relocation (like
other overlay licensees).
604

See, e.g., C-Band Alliance Comments at 28.

605

Intelsat Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 2.

606

Id., Ex. B.

607

See Kerrisdale Report at 21, 24.

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these incomplete and not-particularly-reliable proxies for revenue shares, especially given that actual
revenue share itself is but a proxy for each operator’s relative contribution to accelerated relocation.608
236.
Or consider the C-Band Alliance’s suggestion to allocate based on the number of
incumbent earth station C-band feeds in the contiguous United States. 609 Whatever the merits of such an
approach (including the decision to count feeds, not incumbent earth stations), we find the record
evidence insufficiently reliable to incorporate this metric into our analysis. For example, in the span of a
single month, the C-Band Alliance went from claiming that collecting such information would require
“the Commission to develop a new, comprehensive dataset” 610 to its own estimate that its own members
should get 99% of accelerated relocation payments because they will be responsible for 99% of feeds. 611
Two weeks later, Intelsat offered its own estimate of its own share of such feeds (68%) based on its own
sampling as well an abbreviated explanation of its method. 612 And SES responded with its own estimate
of its share (48%) and Intelsat’s (50%). 613 And then SES doubled down in its argument for equal shares
by claiming it will be required to order approximately the same number of satellites, install the same
number of antennas, and decommission the same number of TT&C/gateway sites as Intelsat. 614 Rather
than pick and choose amongst this chaff of last-minute calculations that inevitably favor the filer, we find
little evidence that relying on these estimates would produce a more accurate estimate of each operator’s
relative contribution to clearing (and we cannot find that a significant delay as initially suggested by the
C-Band Alliance to create a new dataset would be in the public interest).
237.
We also reject Eutelsat’s proposal to allocate accelerated relocation payments not by
relative contributions to a successful accelerated transition but instead based on “stranded capacity,” i.e.,
the proportion of C-band satellite capacity that will be rendered unusable for protected FSS downlink
services during the remaining useful lifetime of each relevant satellite. 615 Eutelsat’s proposal represents a
significant departure from the Emerging Technologies precedent, fundamentally misinterprets the
Commission’s basis for the allocation of accelerated relocation payments among eligible space station
operators, and lacks any economic rationale.
238.
First, Eutelsat argues that allocation of accelerated relocation payments must be
“reasonably related to the cost of relocation” and that the Commission’s focus on the relative contribution
of each operator to a successful transition is inconsistent with the Emerging Technologies framework. 616
We disagree. Contrary to Eutelsat’s claim, the basis of our allocation method is designed specifically to
capture the relative contribution, in terms of both effort and cost, that each eligible space station operator
will make to meet the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines based on three objective factors related to each
608

Ironically enough, the confidential report filed by SES does contain estimated (and audited) revenue shares for
one space station operator, SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. B (confidential), and to its credit, Intelsat does
acknowledge as such, Intelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 3. But to the extent such information is valuable, we find it
better to incorporate it directly through the market-based agreement factor described above rather than by placing
this information on par with other unreliable information about revenue shares from elsewhere in the record.
609

Letter from Bill Tolpegin, Chief Executive Officer, C-Band Alliance, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122, at 13 (filed Jan. 16, 2020).

610

Id.

611

Letter from Bill Tolpegin, Chief Executive Officer, C-Band Alliance, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122 (filed Feb. 4, 2020).
612

Intelsat Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 2.

613

SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 5.

614

Id.

615

See Eutelsat Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 1-2; Eutelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2.

616

Eutelsat Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 2.

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space station operator’s relative contribution: a market-based agreement reflecting space station
operators’ assessment of their own relative contribution to clearing; transponder usage; and satellite
coverage in the contiguous United States. Each of these factors reflects both the effort that it will take to
accelerate relocation and the corresponding costs of each operator to accomplish such acceleration.
239.
Second, Eutelsat argues that stranded capacity is the better “proxy” for calculating
relocation costs and thus allocating accelerated relocation payments. 617 Again, we disagree. For one,
stranded capacity is not a proxy for actual relocation costs. Actual relocation costs are those needed to
relocate incumbents to comparable facilities that allow them to continue to provide existing services. 618
Stranded capacity lacks any consideration of the extent to which existing services are actually provided
over such capacity such that they would need to be relocated. 619 Indeed, Eutelsat fails to acknowledge the
substantial evidence in the record that the C-band satellite business suffers from significant and increasing
excess capacity and rapidly declining revenues 620 or that a space station operator with much stranded
capacity but little existing business could likely continue to provide all of its existing services within the
contiguous United States at relatively low cost (e.g., without the need for new satellites). In other words,
stranded capacity is not a good proxy for space station operator relocation costs. Nor is it a good proxy
for the relocation costs of incumbent earth stations (indeed, stranded capacity does not account for such
costs at all)—and Eutelsat simply asserts that such costs are not relevant. 621 But of course, such costs are
relevant to a successful relocation; and of course we have expressly designed accelerated relocation
payments to expedite the relocation of incumbent space stations and incumbent earth stations, to the
benefit of the overlay licensees that require both to be relocated so they can deploy new terrestrial
services in the band.
240.
Third, despite Eutelsat’s claim that its proposal is not a request to compensate satellite
operators for the “lost revenues” or opportunity costs resulting from the transition, allocating relocation
payments according to “lost C-band capacity,” without any consideration of whether such capacity
actually has existing services that will need to be relocated as a result of the transition, as Eutelsat
proposes, is precisely the type of opportunity cost calculation for which our Emerging Technologies
precedent expressly declines to provide compensation. 622 Rather than compensate space station operators
based on the burden they are likely to bear in accelerating the clearing process, Eutelsat’s proposal would
reward those space station operators with the least-intensive use of existing capacity based on an
617

Id.

618

Teledesic, 275 F.3d at 84-86 (the Commission’s “consistent policy has been to prevent new spectrum users from
leaving displaced incumbents with a sum of money too small to allow them to resume their operations at a new
location”) (emphasis added).
619

See Eutelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 1-2.

620

For example, Ericsson, citing data from Lyngsat, asserts that “only 37% of the C-band satellites have any
significant transponder usage (10 or more, i.e., 7 out of 19 satellites),” and that, “[i]n many cases, the transponders
are spread across the spectrum band, even though many of the blocks may be unused.” Citing findings of Northern
Sky Research, it notes that “[t]ransponder equivalent (TPE) demand is expected to decline by 26% of the 10-year
period from 2017 through 2016” and that “annual C-band satellite projected revenue for the North American market
is estimated to decline from $547M in 2017 to $358M in 2026.” Ericsson Mar. 29, 2018 Ex Parte at 2.
621

Eutelsat Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 4 (arguing that “acceleration payments to satellite operators [must be]
designed to facilitate expedited relocation of satellite operators – and not their earth station customers – to
comparable facilities”).
622

See id. at 4-5 and Annex B; see also Incentive Auction Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 6824-25, para. 630
(stating that the Spectrum Act prohibits reimbursement for “lost revenues” and declining to provide for
compensation such losses that a station or MVPD might claim, such as lost ad revenue while a station is off air
during a channel relocation); Microwave Relocation Cost Sharing Order, 11 FCC Rcd. at 8848, para. 43 (setting a
limit on certain compensable soft costs associated with the relocation, finding that failing to adopt such restrictions
“would encourage incumbents to view the relocation process as a business opportunity”).

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assumption of future use of such capacity that far exceeds reasonably foreseeable demand. We therefore
find that the formula for allocating accelerated relocation payments among eligible space station operators
adopted herein, which provides compensation based on the relative contributions of each eligible space
station operator to the accelerated relocation process, is far more grounded in Commission precedent and
the underlying rationale for providing accelerated relocation payments than the allocation method
proposed by Eutelsat.
241.
Finally, we find that our definition of eligible space station operators appropriately
encompasses the incumbent space station operators that will incur costs in order to transition existing U.S.
services to the upper portion of the band and are therefore entitled to receive compensation for relocation
costs and potential accelerated relocation payments. The Small Satellite Operators argue that any
transition of C-band spectrum must provide compensation, including “premium” payments above
relocation costs, to all space station operators that operate space stations that cover parts of the United
States using C-band spectrum. 623 However, the purpose of relocation costs and potential accelerated
relocation payments is to compensate authorized space station operators that provide C-band services to
existing U.S. customers using incumbent U.S. earth stations that will need to be transitioned to the upper
portion of the band or otherwise accommodated in order to avoid harmful interference from new flexibleuse operations. 624 We address the arguments of two of the Small Satellite Operators—Hispasat and
ABS—that do not satisfy our definition of eligibility for relocation costs. 625
242.
Hispasat.—Hispasat recently asked the Commission to make Hispasat eligible for
relocation costs and accelerated relocation payments by changing the definition of eligible space station
operators to remove the requirement that the incumbent space station operator must provide service to an
incumbent earth station. 626 We note that our definition of incumbent earth stations requires that earth
stations must have been registered (or licensed as a transmit-receive earth station) by the relevant
deadlines to qualify for relocation cost reimbursement. Hispasat states that it “does currently provide
service in the contiguous United States” to nine earth stations in the contiguous United States operated by
an evangelical church that did not register its earth stations with the Commission. 627
243.
We reject Hispasat’s request. First, we are somewhat skeptical of Hispasat’s apparently
recent discovery that it serves earth stations using C-band spectrum in the contiguous United States. In its
October 2018 comments in this proceeding, Hispasat made no mention of providing service to those or
any other earth stations—indeed, Hispasat there claimed its plans to provide C-band services to the
United States were placed on hold pending the outcome of the July 2018 NPRM. 628 The Small Satellite
Operators’ July 19 PN Reply explicitly states that all of the Hispasat satellite’s C-band capacity was
623

Letter from Scott Blake Harris, Counsel to Small Satellite Operators, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-22, at 3-4 (filed Nov. 21, 2019) (SSO Nov. 21 Ex Parte); Small Satellite Operators Reply at 6-18;
Small Satellite Operators May 3 PN Comments at 7-16; Small Satellite Operators May 3 PN Reply at 6-17; Small
Satellite Operators July 19 PN Reply at 6; Letter from Scott Blake Harris, Counsel to Small Satellite Operators, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, IB Docket No. 18-122 (filed Feb. 21, 2019) (SSO Feb. 21, 2019 Ex Parte).
624

Our definition of “incumbent earth stations” includes C-band earth stations that: (1) were operational as of April
19, 2018; (2) are licensed or registered (or had a pending application for license or registration) in the IBFS database
as of November 7, 2018; and (3) have timely certified, to the extent required by the Order adopted in FCC 18-91 the
accuracy of information on file with the Commission.
625

Empresa, which is authorized to operate one satellite in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band under a grant of market access to
serve the United States, did not make any filings in this proceeding or provide data in response to the May 2019
Information Collection.
626

Letter from Scott Blake Harris, Counsel to Small Satellite Operators, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122 (filed Feb. 21, 2020) (Small Satellite Operators Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte).
627

Small Satellite Operators Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 1.

628

Small Satellite Operators Comments at 5-6.

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contracted for non-United States services through the end of 2019. 629 The Small Satellite Operators’
January 28, 2020 Ex Parte states only that “some [Small Satellite Operator] satellites transmit in CONUS
in C-band today,” but does not make a single mention of U.S. services provided by Hispasat (Star One,
another member of that group, does provide such service). 630 And so we put little weight in Hispasat’s
recent claim to have generated “U.S. C-band revenue” in 2017 from services provided to the “at least
nine” earth station locations that it claims it still currently serves (a claim unsupported by any further
documentation). 631 And we decline to accept Hispasat’s revisions to history that its prior filings in this
proceeding demonstrate (rather than disclaim) that it has been providing satellite service in the contiguous
United States for some time. 632
244.
Second, although Hispasat makes much of its speculation that the owner of these nine
earth stations lacked the sophistication or knowledge to register by the relevant deadlines and qualify as
incumbent earth stations, we find that Hispasat has not even shown that these nine earth stations were
eligible to register. For one, Hispasat appears to be careful in its filings not to claim that it uses the Cband spectrum to provide service to all those earth stations. Indeed, we do not see how it could given that
publicly-available coverage data for the Amazonas-3 satellite C-band beam footprint indicate that it is not
capable of providing service to several of those earth station locations. 633 (In contrast, that same
satellite’s Ku-band North America beam does cover the entire contiguous United States.634) For another,
Hispasat does not provide any specific information regarding when the earth stations it claims to serve
began using C-band spectrum—they had to have been operational as of April 19, 2018, if they were going
to be eligible to be registered. 635 For yet another, Hispasat provides no explanation of unique
circumstances that might merit consideration of these stations—and we decline to adopt a different
standard for the earth stations Hispasat claims to serve than we do for any other existing C-band earth
stations that were not registered by the relevant deadlines. Indeed, Hispasat fails to address one of the
primary reasons the Commission froze new earth station authorizations and required existing earth
stations to register by a fixed deadline in the first place: to avoid gamesmanship and stop operators from
establishing new C-band operations or earth stations for the purpose of obtaining monies from the
transition to new terrestrial, flexible-use operations in the band. It appears that Hispasat’s entire premise
is that it, and it alone, should be able to engage in that type of last-minute gamesmanship. We do not
accept that premise.
245.
Third, we reject Hispasat’s request because even if we accepted it, Hispasat would not be
an eligible incumbent space station operator. Specifically, we limit relocation and accelerated relocation
payments to those space station operators that had demonstrated, as of February 1, 2020, that they would
incur any eligible costs as a result of the transition. Because Hispasat under its own proposal would not
629

Small Satellite Operators July 19 PN Reply at 10.

630

Small Satellite Operators Jan. 28, 2020 Ex Parte at 8.

631

See Letter from Scott Blake Harris, Counsel to Hispasat, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No.
18-122, at 1 and Attach. (filed Feb. 21, 2020).
632

Small Satellite Operators Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 1 (citing Letter from Cristina García de Miguel, OrbitSpectrum & Regulatory Affairs Manager, Hispamar Satélites S.A., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, IBFS File
No. SAT-PPL-20121018-00183 (filed May 28, 2019) (Hispasat May 2019 Information Collection Response); Small
Satellite Operators July 19 PN Reply at 6-12; Letter from Scott Blake Harris, Counsel to Small Satellite Operators,
to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 8 (filed Jan. 28, 2020) (Small Satellite Operators
Jan. 28, 2020 Ex Parte)). Although the contents of the Hispasat May 2019 Information Collection Response are
confidential, nothing in that confidential filing demonstrates provision of service to the contiguous United States.
633

See https://www.satbeams.com/footprints?beam=7690 (last visited Feb. 23, 2020).

634

Id.

635
Beginning April 19, 2018, the Commission placed a freeze on all FSS earth station registrations for earth stations
that were not operational as of that date.

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be able to recover any costs for transitioning incumbent earth stations (it makes clear that it is not asking
to obtain incumbent status for the nine earth stations it now claims to serve), the only eligible costs it
might have would be to transition transponder usage to the upper 200 megahertz. And Hispasat does not
provide any information regarding what, if any, steps it would need to take to transition these alleged Cband services to the upper 200 megahertz; indeed it does not explicitly claim that those services are
provided over frequencies in the lower 300 megahertz such that they would need to be transitioned at all.
246.
In short, because the purpose of relocation and accelerated relocation payments is to
compensate eligible space station operators for actually relocating their existing services to the upper 200
megahertz, Hispasat has failed to demonstrate that our definition of “eligible space station operators”
unduly excludes it from the class of incumbent space station operators entitled to relocation and
accelerated relocation payments.
247.
ABS.—ABS asks the Commission to make incumbent space station operators eligible for
reimbursement of space station facilities that “will not remain comparable after the transition.” 636
Specifically, to be eligible for such reimbursement, ABS proposes that an incumbent space station
operator must operate a non-replacement satellite that gained its FCC authorization to provide service to
any part of the contiguous United States within 12 months of the announcement of the freeze on C-band
earth station applications or, alternatively, within 18 months of the issuance of the NPRM in this
proceeding. 637 ABS argues that the NOI, freeze on new earth station applications, and the NPRM in this
proceeding “undermined ABS’s reasonable efforts to commercialize the newly licensed satellite—and
thus the Commission cannot know how much bandwidth ABS would have needed (but for the
Commission’s actions) to avoid an impairment of its C-band authorization.” As a result, ABS argues that
it should be compensated for the proportion of the costs of launching its ABS-3A satellite attributable to
eight transponders that will be effected by the transition.
248.
We reject ABS’s argument that uncertainty about the outcome of this proceeding resulted
in its failure to commercialize any of its ABS-3A capacity, as we find this argument both unconvincing
and irrelevant. The only ABS satellite capable of serving the United States has been operational since
2015. The ABS-3A satellite is positioned just south of the Ivory Coast of northwest Africa, and both its
global and western hemisphere C-band beams provide only edge coverage to portions of the Eastern
United States. 638 ABS did not seek market access in the United States until March 2017, and only after
the Commission released the NOI in this proceeding in August 2017 did ABS seek Commission
authorization to construct an earth station in Hudson, NY in February 2018. 639 Despite being granted
such authorization in March 2018, ABS failed to construct and commence operations on the Hudson, NY
earth station. 640 In sum, ABS’s satellite was operational for a year-and-a-half before it sought U.S. market
access, for two years prior to the NOI, and nearly three years prior to the freeze on new C-band earth
station registrations and the subsequent NPRM. The notion that ABS made significant investments in
launching this satellite with the specific intent of providing robust services in the United States and that it
must be compensated for the loss of those investments is contradicted both by its inaction in the United
States in the four-and-a-half years since it launched ABS-3A and the actual capabilities of ABS-3A to
provide service outside the United States. Indeed, the satellite’s global and western hemisphere C-band
636

Small Satellite Operators Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2.

637

Id.

638

See Satbeams Coverage Report, https://www.satbeams.com/footprints?beam=8203 (last visited Feb. 23, 2020).

639

See Small Satellite Operators Reply at 13; Small Satellite Operators May 3 PN Reply at 9; ABS Global,
Application for Earth Station Authorization, Call Sign E180019, IBFS File No. SES-LIC20180213-00118 (granted
Mar. 29, 2018).
640

See ABS Global Request for Extension of Time, Call Sign E180019, IBFS File No. SES-LIC20180213-00118
(filed Mar. 7, 2019) (seeking an extension of a March 29, 2019 deadline by which ABS was required to complete
construction and commence operations on the Hudson, NY earth station).

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beams target all or most of the South Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and South America
and the eastern hemisphere C-band beam covers all or most of Africa, Europe, the Mediterranean Sea,
and the Middle East. 641
249.
In any event, the requirement that new licensees reimburse incumbents for relocation
costs applies to reasonable actual costs incurred in clearing the spectrum. This obligation does not
include reimbursement of space station operators on an assumption of future use of currently unused
capacity that far exceeds reasonably foreseeable demand—the loss of capacity that has not been used, is
not used, and not likely to ever be used given the significant unused capacity that remains available to
ABS is not a cognizable expense. Thus, we reject ABS’s claim.
250.
Allocating Payment Obligations Among Overlay Licensees.—Finally, we explain the
financial responsibilities that each flexible-use licensee will incur to reimburse the space station operators.
We find it reasonable to base the share for each overlay licensee on the licensee’s pro rata share of gross
winning bids. 642 This approach is similar to the Commission’s approach in the H-Block proceeding,
where the Commission likewise used a pro rata cost-sharing mechanism based on gross winning bids. 643
Indeed, several commenters in this proceeding proposed the H-Block pro rata calculation as a model for
determining winning bidders’ shares here. 644
251.
Specifically, for space station transition and Relocation Payment Clearinghouse costs,
and in the event the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau selects a Relocation Coordinator, Relocation
Coordinator costs, the pro rata share of each flexible-use licensee will be the sum of the final clock phase
prices (P) for the set of all license blocks
that a bidder wins divided by the total final clock phase
prices for all N license blocks sold in the auction. To determine a licensee’s reimbursement obligation
(RO), that pro rata share would then be multiplied by the total eligible relocation costs (RC).
Mathematically, this is represented as:

252.
For incumbent earth stations and fixed service incumbent licensee transition costs, a
flexible-use licensee’s pro rata share will be determined on a PEA-specific basis, based on the final clock
phase prices for the license blocks it won in each PEA. To calculate the pro rata share for incumbent
earth station transition costs in a given PEA, the same formula above will be used except now I will be
the set of licenses a bidder won in the PEA, N will be the total blocks sold in the PEA and RC will be the
PEA-specific earth station and fixed service relocation costs.
253.
For the Phase I accelerated relocation payments, the pro rata share of each flexible use
licensee of the 3.7 to 3.8 MHz in the 46 PEAs that are cleared by December 5, 2021, will be the sum of
the final clock phase prices (P) that the licensee won divided by the total final clock phase prices for all M
license blocks sold in those 46 PEAs. To determine a licensee’s RO the pro rata share would then be
multiplied by the total accelerated relocation payment due for Phase I, A1. Mathematically, this is
641

See http://www.absatellite.com/satellite-fleet/abs-3a/ (last visited Feb. 23, 2020); accord
https://www.satbeams.com/footprints?beam=8203 (last visited Feb. 23, 2020).
642

We note that if, as proposed, we adopt an ascending clock auction format for Auction 107, each licensee’s share
would be based on its share of gross winning bids at the end of the clock phase of the auction. We further note that
certain payments, such as the Phase I accelerated relocation payments, would be apportioned only among those
purchasing overlay licenses in the Phase I spectrum blocks and areas.
643

H Block Report and Order, 28 FCC Rcd at 9548, para. 168.

644

See, e.g., OTI May 3 PN Comments at 15-17 (noting the Commission’s “long-established” practice of
apportioning “cost-sharing obligations” for the H-Block “on a pro rata basis against the relocation costs attributable
to the band”); PISC July 19 PN Comments at 23 (same).

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represented as:

254.
For Phase II accelerated relocation payments, the pro rata share of each flexible use
licensee will be the sum of the final clock phase prices (P) that the licensee won in the entire auction,
divided by the total final clock phase prices for all N license blocks sold in the auction. To determine a
licensee’s RO the pro rata share would then be multiplied by the total accelerated relocation payment due
for Phase II, A2. Mathematically, this is represented as:

5.

Relocation Payment Clearinghouse

255.
Next, we find that selecting a single, independent Relocation Payment Clearinghouse to
oversee the cost-related aspects of the transition in a fair, transparent manner will best serve the public
interest. The Commission’s experience in overseeing other complicated, multi-stakeholder transitions of
diverse incumbents demonstrates the need for an independent party to administer the cost-related aspects
of the transition in a fair, transparent manner, pursuant to Commission rules and oversight, to mitigate
financial disputes among stakeholders, and to collect and distribute payments in a timely manner.
256.
In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on a variety of approaches for expanding
flexible use of the band. The Commission noted that, under the private-sale approach, there was record
support for a centralized facilitator, and it sought comment on having the relevant space station operators
form a transition facilitator as a cooperative entity to coordinate negotiations, clearing, and repacking in
the band. 645 The Commission also asked about the role of the transition facilitator and the form of
supervisory authority the Commission should maintain over it. 646
257.
In the July 19 Public Notice, the Commission specifically sought comment on how the
Commission’s approaches during the AWS-3 and 800 MHz transitions might inform this proceeding. 647
The Commission asked whether it should designate a transition administrator or require the creation of a
clearinghouse to facilitate the sharing of the costs for mandatory relocation and repacking. 648
258.
We agree with those commenters who contend that, regardless of the approach selected to
transition some or all of the band to flexible use, the Commission should ensure that mechanisms exist to
guarantee a transparent transition process with appropriate Commission oversight. 649 The Commission
has adopted cost-sharing plans that included private clearinghouses to administer reimbursement

645

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6939-40, paras. 70, 74.

646

See id. at 6941, para. 78.

647
July 19 Public Notice, 34 FCC Rcd at 6211 (citing Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to
Commercial Operations in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz Bands, GN Docket No. 13185, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 4610 (2014) (AWS Ninth Report and Order); 800 MHz Order, 19 FCC Rcd
14969).
648

Id.

649

See OTI December 9, 2019 Ex Parte; NCTA Reply at 28; NAC Comments at 6; NAB Reply at 4-7; NPR
Comments at 12-13; QVC/HSN Comments at 5; Comcast Comments at 26; Comcast Reply at 12-13; Cox March 15,
2019 Ex Parte at 3; Global Eagle Comments at 9; Letter from Colby May, Communications Counsel, Trinity
Broadcasting Network, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 3 (filed May 16, 2019)
(Trinity Broadcasting Network May 16, 2019 Ex Parte); ACA Connects October 15 Ex Parte at 1, Attach. at 16.

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obligations among licensees, 650 and we find a similar approach to be in the public interest here. The
Clearinghouse must be a neutral, independent entity with no conflicts of interest (organizational or
personal) on the part of the organization or its officers, directors, employees, contractors, or significant
subcontractors. 651 The Clearinghouse must have no financial interests in incumbent space station
operators, incumbent earth station operators, content companies that distribute programming using this
band, wireless operators, or any entity that may seek to acquire flexible-use licenses, or to manufacture or
market equipment in this band. In addition, the officers, directors, employees, and/or contractors of the
Clearinghouse should also have no financial or organizational conflicts of interest. The Clearinghouse
must be able to demonstrate that it has the requisite expertise to perform the duties required, which will
include collecting and distributing relocation and accelerated relocation payments, auditing incoming and
outgoing invoices, mitigating cost disputes among parties, and generally acting as clearinghouse.
259.
Duties of the Clearinghouse.—We are cognizant of the need to establish measures to
prevent waste, fraud, and abuse with respect to reimbursement disbursements. We find that the record
and the Commission’s experience in managing other complicated transitions demonstrate that an
independent Clearinghouse will ensure that the transition is administered in a fair, transparent manner,
pursuant to narrowly-tailored Commission rules and subject to Commission oversight. 652
260.
First, the Clearinghouse will be responsible for collecting from all incumbent space
station operators and all incumbent earth station operators a showing of their relocation costs for the
transition as well as a demonstration of the reasonableness of those costs.653 In the event a party other
than an incumbent earth station operator performs relocation work to transition an earth station (such as
an incumbent space station operator or a network performing such work pursuant to an existing affiliation
agreement), that party may directly submit the showing of relocation costs and receive reimbursement,
provided the parties do not submit duplicate filings for the same earth station relocation work. 654 The
Clearinghouse will determine in the first instance whether costs submitted for reimbursement are
reasonable. Parties seeking reimbursement for actual costs must submit to the Clearinghouse a claim for
reimbursement, complete with sufficient documentation to justify the amount. The Clearinghouse shall
review reimbursement requests to determine whether they are reasonable and to ensure they comply with
the requirements adopted in this Report and Order. The Clearinghouse shall give parties the opportunity
to supplement any reimbursement claims that the Clearinghouse deems deficient.
261.
All incumbents seeking reimbursement for their actual costs shall provide justification for
those costs. Entities must document their actual expenses and the Clearinghouse, or a third-party on
650

See, e.g., 47 CFR § 27.1162.

651

“Organizational conflicts of interest” means that because of other activities or relationships with other entities,
the Clearinghouse, its contractors, or significant subcontractors are unable or potentially unable to render impartial
services, assistance or advice; the Clearinghouse’s objectivity in performing its function is or might be otherwise
impaired; or the Clearinghouse might gain an unfair competitive advantage. “Personal conflict of interest” means a
situation in which an employee, officer, or director of the Clearinghouse, the Clearinghouse’s contractors or
significant subcontractors has a financial interest, personal activity, or relationship that could impair that person’s
ability to act impartially and in the best interest of the transition when performing their assigned role, or is engaged
in self-dealing.
652

800 MHz Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 15075, para. 200.

653

When an incumbent space station operator takes responsibility for clearing an incumbent earth station, the
incumbent space station operator bears solely the responsibility of showing relocation costs and their
reasonableness.
654

See NAB Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 6 (seeking clarification that parties that perform relocation work for earth
stations may submit for reimbursement); Letter from Amanda Huetinck, Counsel, NPR, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, Attach. at 3 (filed Feb. 21, 2020) (NPR Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte) (same);
ACA Connects Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 3. We also clarify that nothing in this Report and Order is intended to
affect or change the terms of any private contractual arrangement governing responsibility for such work.

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behalf of the Clearinghouse, may conduct audits of entities that receive reimbursements. 655 Entities
receiving reimbursements must make available all relevant documentation upon request from the
Clearinghouse or its contractor.
262.
To determine the reasonableness of reimbursement requests, the Clearinghouse may
consider the submission and supporting documentation, and any relevant comparable reimbursement
submissions. The Clearinghouse may also submit to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for its
review and approval a cost category schedule. Reimbursement submissions that fall within the estimated
range of costs in the cost category schedule issued by the Bureau shall be presumed reasonable. If the
Clearinghouse determines that the amount sought for reimbursement is unreasonable, it shall notify the
party of the amount it deems eligible for reimbursement. We also direct the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau to make further determinations related to reimbursable costs, as necessary,
throughout the transition process.
263.
Second, the Clearinghouse will apportion costs among overlay licensees and distribute
payments to incumbent space stations, incumbent earth station operators, and appropriate surrogates of
those parties that incur compensable costs. 656 Following the public auction, the Clearinghouse shall
calculate the total estimated share of each flexible-use licensee, as well as the estimated costs for the first
six months of the transition following the auction. 657 The initial six-month estimate shall incorporate the
costs incurred prior to the auction as well as the six months following the auction. Flexible-use licensees
shall pay their share of the initial estimated relocation payments into a reimbursement fund, administered
by the Clearinghouse, shortly after the auction. The Clearinghouse shall draw from the reimbursement
fund to pay approved, invoiced claims.
264.
Going forward, the Clearinghouse shall calculate the overlay licensees’ share of
estimated costs for a six-month period and provide overlay licensees with the amounts they owe at least
30 days before each six-month deadline. Within 30 days of receiving the calculation of their initial share,
and then every six months until the transition is complete, overlay licensees shall pay their share of
estimated costs into the reimbursement fund. 658 The Clearinghouse shall draw from the reimbursement
fund to pay approved reimbursement claims. The Clearinghouse shall pay approved claims within 30
days of invoice submission to flexible-use licensees so long as funding is available. If the reimbursement
fund does not have sufficient funds to pay approved claims before a six-month replenishment, the
Clearinghouse shall provide flexible-use licensees with 30 days’ notice of the additional shares they must
contribute. Any interest arising from the reimbursement fund shall be used to defray the costs of the
transition for all overlay licensees on a pro rata basis. At the end of the transition, the Clearinghouse
shall return any unused amounts to overlay licensees according to their shares.

655

See Incentive Auction Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 6826, para. 636 (adopting a mechanism for the
Commission or a third-party to audit entities that received reimbursements for the repacking process).

656

Surrogates are third parties that are directly involved in transition activities and employed by, or under contract
to, incumbent space stations and incumbent earth station operators.
657

SES asks that we require potential bidders to contribute prior to auction, early clearing payments for relocation
based on a $/MHz-Pop basis. See SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 7. Because the requirement to make relocation
reimbursements is a condition of the licenses, however, we cannot apply such a requirement until those licenses
have been issued after the auction.
658

SES asks the Commission to require overlay licensees to secure a letter of credit based on their pro rata share of
relocation costs and accelerated relocation payments. See SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 8. We decline to
adopt such a requirement, which could impose an undue burden on overlay licensees and find that the approach we
adopt for a reimbursement fund will effectively ensure prompt and full payments of relocation costs. We likewise
reject SES’s request that costs incurred prior to initial reimbursement be reimbursable “at a rate defined by the
Clearinghouse.” Id., Attach. at 9. We find that our decision to make reasonable financing costs reimbursable
negates the need for such a provision.

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265.
As a condition of their licenses, flexible-use licensees shall be responsible collectively for
the accelerated relocation payments based on their pro rata share of the gross winning bids, similar to the
way a flexible-use licensee’s space station relocation and Clearinghouse costs are calculated. Where a
space station operator has elected to meet the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines, the accelerated
relocation payment pro rata calculation will be adjusted to reflect the winning bidders of the flexible-use
licenses benefitting from the portion of cleared spectrum. Under this scenario, only the flexible-use
licensees in the 46 PEAs of the lower 100 megahertz (A block) that are the subject of the Phase I
Accelerated Relocation Deadline would pay the Phase I accelerated relocation payment, and all overlay
licensees would pay the Phase II accelerated relocation payment.
266.
If an overlay license is relinquished to the Commission prior to all relocation cost
reimbursements and accelerated relocation payments being paid, the remaining payments will be
distributed among other similarly situated overlay licensees. If a new license is issued for the previously
relinquished rights prior to final payments becoming due, the new overlay licensee will be responsible for
the same pro rata share of relocation costs and accelerated relocation payments as the initial overlay
license. If an overlay licensee sells its rights on the secondary market, the new overlay licensee will be
obligated to fulfill all payment obligations associated with the license.
267.
Overlay licensees will, collectively, pay for the services of the Clearinghouse and staff.
The Clearinghouse shall include its own reasonable costs in the cost estimates it uses to collect payments
from overlay licensees. To ensure the Clearinghouse’s costs are reasonable, the Clearinghouse shall
provide to the Office of the Managing Director and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, by
March 1 of each year, an audited statement of funds expended to date, including salaries and expenses of
the Clearinghouse. 659 It shall also provide additional financial information as requested by the Office or
Bureau to satisfy the Commission’s oversight responsibilities and/or agency-specific/government-wide
reporting obligations.
268.
Third, the Clearinghouse will serve in an administrative role and in a function similar to a
special master in a judicial proceeding. 660 The Clearinghouse may mediate any disputes regarding cost
estimates or payments that may arise in the course of band reconfiguration; or refer the disputant parties
to alternative dispute resolution fora.661 Any dispute submitted to the Clearinghouse, or other mediator,
shall be decided within 30 days after the Clearinghouse has received a submission by one party and a
response from the other party. Thereafter, any party may seek expedited non-binding arbitration, which
must be completed within 30 days of the recommended decision or advice of the Clearinghouse or other
mediator. The parties will share the cost of this arbitration if it is before the Clearinghouse.
269.
Should any issues still remain unresolved, they may be referred to the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau within 10 days of recommended decision or advice of the Clearinghouse or
other mediator and any decision of the Clearinghouse can be appealed to the Chief of the Bureau. When
referring an unresolved matter, the Clearinghouse shall forward the entire record on any disputed issues,
including such dispositions thereof that the Clearinghouse has considered. Upon receipt of such record
and advice, the Bureau will decide the disputed issues based on the record submitted. The Bureau is
directed to resolve such disputed issues or designate them for an evidentiary hearing before an
Administrative Law Judge. If the Bureau decides an issue, any party to the dispute wishing to appeal the
decision may do so by filing with the Commission, within 10 days of the effective date of the initial
decision, a Petition for de novo review, whereupon the matter will be set for an evidentiary hearing before
659

The audited statement should follow generally accepted accounting procedures (GAAP) or generally accepted
government auditing standards (GAGAS).
660

See 800 MHz Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 15071-72, para. 194; 47 CFR § 90.676.

661

We clarify that the Clearinghouse’s dispute resolution role is limited to disputes over cost estimates or payments.
Disputes related to the transition itself (e.g., facilities, workmanship, preservation of service) should be reported to
the Relocation Coordinator or the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, as detailed below.

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an Administrative Law Judge. Parties seeking de novo review of a decision by the Bureau are advised
that, in the course of the evidentiary hearing, the Commission may require complete documentation
relevant to any disputed matters, and, where necessary, and at the presiding judge’s discretion, require
expert engineering, economic or other reports, or testimony. Parties may therefore wish to consider
possibly less burdensome and expensive resolution of their disputes through means of alternative dispute
resolution.
270.
Fourth, the Clearinghouse shall provide certain information and reports to the
Commission to facilitate our oversight of the transition. Each quarter, the Clearinghouse shall file
progress reports in such detail as the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau may require. Such reports
shall include detail on the status of reimbursement funds available for obligation, the relocation and
accelerated relocation payments issued, the amounts collected from overlay licensees, and any
certifications filed by incumbents. The quarterly progress reports must account for all funds spent to
transition the band, including its own expenses (including salaries and fees paid to law firms, accounting
firms, and other consultants). The quarterly progress reports shall include descriptions of any disputes
and the manner in which they were resolved.
271.
The Clearinghouse shall provide to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the
Office of the Managing Director additional information upon request. For example, the Bureau may
request that the Clearinghouse estimate the average costs of transitioning an incumbent earth station to aid
the Bureau’s determination of a lump sum payment for such stations that seek flexibility in pursuing the
transition. Or the Bureau may require the Clearinghouse to file special reports leading up to or after the
Relocation Deadline or the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines, reporting on the status of funds associated
with such deadlines so that the Commission can take appropriate action in response. We would anticipate
that the Bureau would require the Clearinghouse to issue a special, audited report after the Relocation
Deadline, identifying any issues that have not readily been referred to the Commission as well as what
actions, if any, need to be taken for the Clearinghouse to complete its obligations (including the estimated
costs and time frame for completing that work). And we direct the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
to assign the Clearinghouse any additional tasks as needed to ensure that the transition of the band
proceeds smoothly and expeditiously.
272.
To the extent commenters argue that an independent Clearinghouse is unnecessary,662 we
disagree. Allowing incumbent space station operators, or other stakeholders, to determine the
reasonableness of their own costs and bill overlay licensees accordingly creates an inherent conflict of
interest—one that can be easily mitigated through an independent third-party Clearinghouse.
273.
Selecting the Clearinghouse.—In the 800 MHz proceeding, the Commission appointed a
committee of stakeholders to select an independent Transition Administrator to manage the complicated
process of relocating incumbent licensees, including public safety, within the 800 MHz band. 663 We
follow suit and find that the best approach for ensuring that the transition of the band will proceed on
schedule is for a committee of stakeholders in the band to select a Relocation Payment Clearinghouse.
274.
The search committee will be composed of nine members appointed by nine entities that
we find, collectively, reasonably represent the interests of stakeholders in the transition. Specifically,
Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat, NAB, NCTA, ACA, CTIA, CCA, and WISPA will each appoint one
representative to the search committee. Intelsat, SES, and Eutelsat represent varying views of the space
station operators, and Eutelsat shares many views similar to those of the Small Satellite Operators.
662
C-Band Alliance Comments at 22 (creation of an independent transition facilitator is unnecessary); Verizon
Comments at 5 (space station operators are best positioned to serve as the transition facilitator); Letter from Carlos
M. Nalda, Counsel, Eutelsat S.A., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Nov. 21,
2019) (Eutelsat Nov. 21, 2019 Ex Parte) (no need for a single transition facilitator; rather, each space station
operator should serve to transition its own services and customers).
663

See 47 CFR § 90.676.

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Although the interests of incumbent earth stations are richly diverse, we find that the membership of
NAB, NCTA, and ACA and their positions advocated in this proceeding fairly represent the broad
interests of earth stations large and small, including those in rural areas and those that are transportable.
We also find that the membership and advocacy of CTIA, CCA, and WISPA fairly represents the views
of prospective flexible-use licensees, including small and rural businesses. The search committee should
proceed by consensus; however, if a vote on selection of a Clearinghouse is required, it shall be by a
majority vote.
275.
We recommend the search committee convene by March 31, 2020; we require that it
shall convene no later than 60 days after publication of this Report and Order in the Federal Register.
Further, it shall notify the Commission of the detailed selection criteria for the position of Clearinghouse
by June 1, 2020. Such criteria must be consistent with the qualifications, roles, and duties of the
Clearinghouse. The search committee should ensure that the Clearinghouse meets relevant best practices
and standards in its operation to ensure an effective and efficient transition.
276.
The Clearinghouse should be required, in administering the transition, to (1) engage in
strategic planning and adopt goals and metrics to evaluate its performance, (2) adopt internal controls for
its operations, (3) use enterprise risk management practices, and (4) use best practices to protect against
improper payments and to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in its handling of funds. The Clearinghouse
must be required to create written procedures for its operations, using the Government Accountability
Office’s (GAO) Green Book 664 to serve as a guide in satisfying such requirements.
277.
The search committee should also ensure that the Clearinghouse adopts robust privacy
and data security best practices in its operations, given that it will receive and process information critical
to ensuring a successful and expeditious transition. The Clearinghouse should therefore also comply
with, on an ongoing basis, all applicable laws and Federal government guidance on privacy and
information security requirements such as relevant provisions in the Federal Information Security
Management Act (FISMA), 665 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) publications, and
Office of Management and Budget guidance. The Clearinghouse should be required to hire a third-party
firm to independently audit and verify, on an annual basis, the Clearinghouse’s compliance with privacy
and information security requirements and to provide recommendations based on any audit findings; to
correct any negative audit findings and adopt any additional practices suggested by the auditor; and to
report the results to the Bureau.
278.
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is directed to issue a Public Notice notifying
the public that the search committee has published criteria for the selection of the Clearinghouse,
outlining the submission requirements, and providing the closing dates for the selection of the
Clearinghouse.
279.
The search committee shall notify the Commission of its choice for the Clearinghouse no
later than July 31, 2020. This notification shall: (a) fully disclose any actual or potential organizational or
personal conflicts of interest or appearance of such conflict of interest of the Clearinghouse or its officers,
directors, employees, and/or contractors; and (b) set out in detail the salary and benefits associated with
each position. Additionally, we expect that the Clearinghouse will enter into one or more appropriate
contracts with incumbent space station operators, overlay licensees, and their agents or designees. The
Clearinghouse shall have an ongoing obligation to update this information as soon as possible after any
relevant changes are made.
664
GAO, The Green Book: Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, GAO-14-704G, (rel. Sep 10,
2014). Available at http://www.gao.gov/greenbook/overview.
665

Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA 2002), enacted as Title III, E-Government Act of
2002, Pub. L. No. 107-347, 116 Stat. 2899, 2946 (Dec. 17, 2002) was subsequently modified by the Federal
Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (Pub. L. No. 113-283, Dec. 18, 2014). As modified, FISMA is
codified at 44 U.S.C. § 3551 et seq.

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280.
After receipt of the notification, the Bureau is hereby directed to issue a Public Notice
inviting comment on whether the entity selected satisfies the criteria set out here. Following the comment
period, the Bureau will issue a final order announcing that the criteria established in this Report and
Order either have or have not been satisfied; should the Bureau be unable to find the criteria have been
satisfied, the selection process will start over and the search committee will submit a new proposed entity.
During the course of the Clearinghouse’s tenure, the Commission will take such measures as are
necessary to ensure a timely transition.
281.
In the event that the search committee fails to select a Clearinghouse and to notify the
Commission by July 31, 2020, the search committee will be dissolved without further action by the
Commission. In the event that the search committee fails to select a Clearinghouse and to notify the
Commission by July 31, 2020, two of the nine members of the search committee will be dropped
therefrom by lot, and the remaining seven members of the search committee shall select a Clearinghouse
by majority vote by August 14, 2020.
282.
To ensure the timely and efficient transition of the band, the Commission directs the
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to provide the Clearinghouse with any needed clarifications or
interpretations of the Commission’s orders. The Bureau, in consultation with the Office of the Managing
Director, may request any documentation from the Clearinghouse necessary to provide guidance or carry
out oversight. And to protect the fair and level playing field for applicants to participate in the
Commission’s auction, beginning on the initial deadline for filing auction applications until the deadline
for making post-auction down payments, the Clearinghouse must make real time disclosures of the
content and timing of, and the parties to, communications, if any, from or to applicants in the auction, as
applicants are defined by the Commission’s rule prohibiting certain auction-related communications.666
283.
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is hereby directed to issue a Public Notice
upon receipt of a request of the Clearinghouse to wind down and suspend operations. If no material
issues are raised within 15 days of the release of said Public Notice, the Bureau may grant the
Clearinghouse’s request to suspend operations on a specific date. Overlay licensees must pay all costs
prior to the date set forth in the Public Notice.
6.

The Logistics of Relocation

284.
We next address the logistics of relocating FSS operations out of the lower 300
megahertz of the C-band spectrum. We discuss the obligations for eligible space station operators that
select to clear by the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines and adopt filing requirements and deadlines
associated with those obligations. We also adopt additional requirements for eligible space station
operators that do not elect to clear by the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines in order to ensure that
incumbent earth station operators, other C-band satellite customers, and prospective flexible-use licensees
are adequately informed and accommodated throughout the transition. Finally, we find it in the public
interest to appoint a Relocation Coordinator to ensure that all incumbent space station operators are
relocating in a timely manner.
285.
In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on the logistics of relocating FSS
operations. The Commission sought comment on having the relevant space station operators form a
transition facilitator as a cooperative entity to coordinate negotiations, clearing, and repacking in the
band.667 The Commission also asked about the role of the transition facilitator and the form of
666
See 47 CFR § 1.2105(c). Because all applicants’ communications with the Clearinghouse will be public as a
result of this requirement and therefore available to other applicants, applicants must take care that their
communications with the Clearinghouse do not violate the prohibition against communications by revealing bids or
bidding strategies. Applicants further will have to consider their independent obligation to report potential
violations to the Commission pursuant to auction rules.
667

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6939-40, paras. 70, 74.

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supervisory authority the Commission should maintain over it. 668 The Commission also sought comment
on a process whereby, after the transition facilitator has coordinated with relevant stakeholders regarding
the transition of services to the upper portion of the band, it would file with the Commission a transition
plan describing the spectrum to be made available for flexible use, the timeline for completing the
transition, and the commitments each party has made to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are
adequately accommodated and able to continue receiving existing C-band services post-transition. 669 The
Commission sought comment on whether to require that the transition plan explain how the spectrum will
be cleared, what types of provisions should be required to ensure that relevant stakeholders are adequately
accommodated, and whether to set a deadline for the submission of a transition plan. 670 To facilitate
transparency in the transition process, the NPRM sought comment on whether the transition plan should
be subject to Commission approval, and on whether it should be made available for public review and
comment. 671
286.
Several commenters argue for a centralized transition facilitator to guarantee a
transparent transition process with appropriate Commission oversight. 672 Several incumbent space station
operators argue that a transition facilitator to coordinate relocation is either unnecessary or that incumbent
space station operators should coordinate the relocation of their own customers. 673 Several commenters in
turn support requiring the submission of a transition plan to be made available for public review and
comment. 674 Commenters ask the Commission to require that the transition plan describe in detail the
estimated costs to transition the band, including reimbursement of reasonable costs to incumbent earth
station operators and satellite customers, 675 the schedule for clearing and deadlines for a completed
transition, 676 and plans for how incumbents will be accommodated and continue to receive existing Cband services. 677 Verizon supports tight timelines for both the submission of a transition plan and the
Commission’s review of the plan. 678 In contrast, the C-Band Alliance opposes requiring the submission
668

See id. at 6941, para. 78.

669

Id. at 6941, paras. 79-80.

670

Id. at 6941-42, para. 81.

671

Id. at 6943-45, paras. 87-94.

672

See Open Technology Institute at New America (OTI) Dec. 9, 2019 Ex Parte; NCTA Reply at 28; NAC
Comments at 6; NAB Reply at 4-7; NPR Comments at 12-13; QVC/HSN Comments at 5; Comcast Comments at
26; Comcast Reply at 12-13; Cox March 15, 2019 Ex Parte at 3; Global Eagle Comments at 9; Letter from Colby
May, Communications Counsel, Trinity Broadcasting Network, to Marlene Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No.
18-122, at 3 (filed May 16, 2019) (Trinity Broadcasting Network May 16, 2019 Ex Parte); ACA Connects Oct. 15,
2019 Ex Parte at 1, Attach. at 16.
673

C-Band Alliance Comments at 22 (creation of an independent transition facilitator is unnecessary); Verizon
Comments at 5 (space station operators are best positioned to serve as the transition facilitator); Eutelsat Nov. 21,
2019 Ex Parte (no need for a single transition facilitator; rather, each space station operator should serve to
transition its own services and customers).
674

AT&T Reply at 7-8; NCTA Comments at 30; GCI Reply at 15; Comcast Reply at 12-13; NAB Comments at 6;
NAB Reply at 4-7; NPR Comments at 12-13; QVC/HSN Reply at 5.
675

NCTA Comments at 29 (should also include plans for ensuring sufficient funds will be placed in escrow to cover
such costs); AT&T Reply at 7-8, 10 (“should be specific to each entity that may incur relocation or retrofitting costs
and enable them to understand precisely how the transition will impact their operations,” arguing that it should also
propose an escrow for all proceeds to ensure transition is fully funded); GCI Reply at 15; NAB Reply at 6-7; NPR
Comments at 12-13; QVC/HSN Reply at 5.
676

NCTA Comments at 29; AT&T Reply at 7-8, 10; GCI Reply at 15.

677

NCTA Comments at 29-30; NAB Comments at 6; NAB Reply at 4-7; QVC/HSN Reply at 5.

678

Verizon Comments at 16-17.

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of a transition plan and argues that the Commission should instead require the submission of periodic
reports on the status of negotiations and progress of clearing efforts. 679 Global Eagle and NAB also
support the regular filing of status reports either in lieu of, or in addition to, a transition plan. 680
287.
We find that making eligible space station operators individually responsible for all space
station clearing obligations will promote an efficient and effective space station transition process. In
light of the complicated interdependencies involved in transitioning earth station operations to the upper
200 megahertz of C-band spectrum, as well as the extensive number of registered incumbent earth
stations, incumbent space station operators are best positioned to know when and how to migrate
incumbent earth stations and when filtering incumbent earth stations is feasible. Incumbent space station
operators have the technical and operational knowledge to perform the necessary satellite grooming to
transition C-band satellite services into the upper 200 megahertz of the band. This approach will leverage
space station operators’ expertise, as well as their incentive to achieve an effective transition of space
station operations, in order to maintain ongoing C-band services in the future.
288.
We nonetheless agree with commenters that the Commission must maintain oversight of
the transition throughout. We tailor this transition plan to whether incumbent space station operators elect
to meet the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines in recognition that such an election would align the
incentives of the incumbent space station operators with the Commission’s goal of rapidly introducing
mid-band spectrum into the marketplace. We start with that election.
289.
Transition for Operators that Elect Accelerated Relocation.—If space station operators
choose to clear on the accelerated timeframe in exchange for an accelerated relocation payment, they
must do so via a written commitment by filing an Accelerated Relocation Election in this docket by May
29, 2020. Commitments to early clearing will be crucial components of prospective flexible-use
licensees’ decisions to compete for a particular license at auction. 681 We therefore find it appropriate to
require space station operators to commit to early clearing as soon as possible to provide bidders with
adequate certainty regarding the clearing date and payment obligations associated with each license.
Such elections shall be public and irrevocable, and we direct the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to
prescribe the precise form of such election via Public Notice no later than May 12, 2020.
290.
Because we find that overlay licensees would only value accelerated relocation if a
significant majority of incumbent earth stations are cleared in a timely manner, we find that at least 80%
of accelerated relocation payments must be accepted via Accelerated Relocation Elections in order for the
Commission to accept elections and require overlay licensees to pay accelerated relocation payments. 682
679

C-Band Alliance Comments at 23.

680

Global Eagle Comments at 9 (while not commenting on the filing of a transition plan, supported the submission
of monthly reports detailing the status of negotiations and including the referral of any reimbursement disputes
between the transition facilitator and C-band incumbents and customers); NAB Reply at 7 (supporting the filing of
regular status reports as to the progress of commitments detailed in a previously filed transition plan).
681

Verizon Jan. 24, 2020 Ex Parte at 2; AT&T Comments at 16-17.

682

We make clear that if the accelerated elections meet the 80% threshold, only those space station operators that
chose to clear on an accelerated timeframe will be expected to meet the accelerated deadlines. Because accelerated
relocation is on an individualized and voluntary basis, we decline AT&T’s request to require all space station
operators to meet the accelerated deadlines if at least 80% elect accelerated clearing. See AT&T Feb. 19, 2020 Ex
Parte at 3; see also Letter from Grant B. Spellmeyer, Vice President, Federal Affairs & Public Policy, U.S. Cellular,
to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1-2 (filed Feb. 21, 2020) (supporting AT&T’s
proposal to require mandatory accelerated clearing after 80% threshold met). We likewise reject SES’s request that
we let electing space station operators clear non-electing space station operators’ earth stations and collect their
share of the accelerated relocation payments, or to simply split their remaining share without performing any
additional clearing. See SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 10. The former would violate the voluntary nature
of accelerated relocation elections and the latter is inconsistent with the purpose of accelerated relocation payments.

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We accordingly direct the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to issue a Public Notice by June 5, 2020,
announcing whether sufficient elections have been made to trigger early relocation or not.
291.
By electing accelerated relocation, an eligible space station operator voluntarily commits
to paying the administrative costs of the Clearinghouse until the Commission awards licenses to the
winning bidders in the auction, at which time those administrative costs will be repaid to those space
station operators.
292.
By electing accelerated relocation, an eligible space station operator voluntarily commits
not only to relocating its own services out of the lower 300 megahertz by the Accelerated Relocation
Deadlines (both Phase I and Phase II) but also to take responsibility for relocating its associated
incumbent earth stations by those same deadlines. A space station operator must plan, coordinate, and
perform (or contract for the performance of) all the tasks necessary to migrate any incumbent earth station
that receives or sends signals to a space station owned by that operator, whether the satellite service
provider is in direct privity of contract with the earth station operator or indirectly through another entity;
in short, the space station operator must provide a turnkey solution to the transition. 683 When a space
station operator takes responsibility, its associated incumbent earth station operators need only facilitate
the space station operator’s completion of that earth station’s relocation, for example, by helping with
scheduling, providing access to facilities, and confirming the work performed.
293.
The one exception to the rule is for incumbent earth station operators that choose to opt
out of the formal relocation process by taking the lump sum relocation payment in lieu of its actual
relocation costs. Such an incumbent earth station operator would then be responsible for coordinating
with the relevant space station operator as necessary and performing all relocation actions on its own,
including switching to alternative transmission mechanisms such as fiber. 684
294.
Only incumbent earth station transition delays that are beyond the control of the
incumbent space station operators will not impact their eligibility for the accelerated relocation
payment. 685 However, to partake of this exception, we require that any eligible space station operator
submit a notice of any incumbent earth station transition delays to the Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau within seven days of discovering an inability to accomplish the assigned earth station transition
task. Such a request must include supporting documentation to allow for resolution as soon as practicable
and must be submitted before the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines. To be clear, a space station
operator’s associated incumbent earth stations will lose their interference protection for the relevant band
once the space station operator has met its obligations under the Accelerated Relocation Deadline for
Phase I or Phase II. 686
295.
We will determine whether an eligible space station operator has met its accelerated
benchmark on an individual basis in order to protect such operators from potential holdout from other
operators. Maintaining individualized eligibility can facilitate competition among space station
683

See AT&T Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 6 (seeking clarification of space station operator’s responsibility to perform
all clearing tasks to receive accelerated relocation payments).
684
Earth station operators electing to opt out must inform the appropriate incumbent space station operator(s) that
relocation services will not be necessary for the relevant earth station site and must coordinate any such transition
with such operators to avoid any disruption in the distribution of video and radio programming. We clarify that
nothing in this Report and Order is intended to affect or change the terms of any private contractual arrangement.
685
See SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 5. SES asks that all relocation deadlines “be adjustable based on
force majeure events, including government and court actions beyond the control of the eligible space station
operators, on a day-by-day basis.” Id. To the extent such events delay an eligible space station operator’s transition,
it should seek resolution through the process described herein.
686

See AT&T Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 3. Such obligations include the process detailed in this Report and Order
for submitting a Certification of Accelerated Relocation.

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operators—after all, content distributors and incumbent earth stations are more likely to choose to use
operators that can meet their publicly elected deadlines for the transition than those that fail to do so. And
even if some eligible space station operators have not relocated by the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines,
we find that value still exists for flexible-use licensees to be able to start deploying terrestrial operations
in some areas before the final Relocation Deadline. 687
296.
By providing Accelerated Relocation Deadlines that eligible space station operators can
commit to meet in order to receive accelerated relocation payments, we will align the space station
operators’ incentives with the Commission’s goal of rapidly introducing mid-band spectrum into the
marketplace.
297.
Our goal is to facilitate the expeditious deployment of next-generation services
nationwide across the entire 280 megahertz made available for terrestrial use, and our rules must properly
align the incentives of eligible space station operators to hit that target. To the extent eligible space
station operators can meet the Phase I and Phase II Accelerated Relocation Deadlines, they will be
eligible to receive the accelerated relocation payments associated with those deadlines. And we agree
with commenters that electing space station operators should receive reduced, but non-zero, accelerated
relocation payments should they miss the specific deadlines. Indeed, commenters rightly argue that
creating a “cliff” on the first day beyond the relevant deadline could create perverse incentives for space
station operators to rush the relocation process at the expense of their customers (to avoid the loss of the
entire payment), or to stop transition work entirely (since they could not get any accelerated relocation
payment if they miss the deadline even by a day or a month). 688 We thus adopt a sliding scale of
decreasing accelerated relocation payments that will provide enough of a “carrot” for space station
operators to continue to accelerate their relocation even where they miss the relevant deadline while also
maintaining a “stick” that does not render the accelerated relocation deadlines meaningless. Specifically,
we adopt the following schedule of declining accelerated relocation payments for the six months
following each Accelerated Relocation Deadline. If an incumbent space station operator cannot complete
the transition within six months of the relevant Accelerated Relocation Deadline, its associated payment
will drop to zero.
Date of Completion

Incremental Reduction

By Deadline
1-30 Days Late
31-60 Days Late
61-90 Days Late
91-120 Days Late
121-150 Days Late
151-180 Days Late
181+ Days Late

-5%
5%
10%
10%
20%
20%
30%

Accelerated Relocation
Payment
100%
95%
90%
80%
70%
50%
30%
0%

687

Although we anticipate that flexible-use licensees may begin deploying and constructing their networks before all
incumbents have cleared the band, we clarify that—absent the consent of affected incumbent earth stations—
flexible-use licensees may not begin operations until either the filing of a validated Certification of Accelerated
Relocation or the lapse of the Relocation Deadline.
688

Letter from Patrick McFadden, Associate General Counsel, NAB, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122, at 4 (filed Feb. 14, 2020); SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 6; Letter from Michelle V.
Bryan, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Administrative Officer, Intelsat, to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 4 (filed Feb. 20, 2020) (Intelsat Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte); Letter
from Martin L. Stern and Robert A. Silverman, Counsel to QVC, Inc. and HSN, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, Attach. at 2 (filed Feb. 21, 2020) (QVC/HSN Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte).

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298.
Subject to confirmation as to the validity of the certification, an eligible space station
operator’s satisfaction of the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines will be determined by the timely filing of
a Certification of Accelerated Relocation demonstrating, in good faith, that it has completed the necessary
clearing actions to satisfy each deadline. An eligible space station operator shall file a Certification of
Accelerated Relocation with the Clearinghouse and make it available for public review in this docket
once it completes its obligations but no later than the applicable relocation deadline. We direct the
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to prescribe the form of such certification.
299.
The Bureau, Clearinghouse, and relevant stakeholders will have the opportunity to review
the Certification of Accelerated Relocation and identify potential deficiencies. 689 We direct the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau to prescribe the form of any challenges by relevant stakeholders as to the
validity of the certification, and to establish the process for how such challenges will impact the
incremental decreases in the accelerated relocation payment. If credible challenges as to the space station
operator’s satisfaction of the relevant deadline are made, the Bureau will issue a public notice identifying
such challenges and will render a final decision as to the validity of the certification no later than 60 days
from its filing. Absent notice from the Bureau of any such deficiencies within 30 days of the filing of the
certification, the Certification of Accelerated Relocation will be deemed validated.
300.
An eligible space station operator that meets the Phase I Accelerated Relocation Deadline
and files the appropriate Certification of Accelerated Relocation may request its Phase I accelerated
relocation payment for disbursement. The Clearinghouse will collect and distribute the accelerated
relocation payments. The Clearinghouse shall promptly notify overlay licensees following validation of
the Certification of Accelerated Relocation. Overlay licensees shall pay the accelerated relocation
payments to the Clearinghouse within 60 days of the notice that eligible space station operators have met
their respective accelerated clearing benchmark. 690 The Clearinghouse shall disburse accelerated
relocation payments to relevant space station operators within seven days of receiving the payment from
overlay licensees. Overlay licensees may begin operations in their respective blocks and PEAs upon
notice of a validated Certification of Accelerated Relocation, and, as relevant, following payment of any
required accelerated relocation payments. 691
301.
Transition for Non-Electing Operators.—By declining to elect for accelerated relocation
payments, an incumbent space station operator is irrevocably forfeiting any right to accelerated relocation
payments, even if it completes all tasks by the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines and files a Certification
of Accelerated Relocation. This is so because bidders in the public auction must know what obligations
they will incur if they become overlay licensees, and the commitment to accelerated relocation therefore
must come well in advance of the auction. We therefore find it appropriate to limit eligible space station
operators’ ability to make such an election in the Accelerated Relocation Election filed no later than May
29, 2020.
302.
Transition Plan.—We require each eligible space station operator to submit to the
Commission and make available for public review a Transition Plan describing the necessary steps and
estimated costs to transition all existing services out of the lower 300 megahertz of C-band spectrum.
Such plans must be filed by June 12, 2020. The Transition Plan must describe in detail the necessary
689
See NAB Feb. 14, 2020 Ex Parte at 3 (asking the Commission to seek information from stakeholders to confirm
that the transition has been successfully completed); NPR Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 2 (same); QVC/HSN
Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 2.
690
We note that overlay licensees that fail to submit timely payment would be in violation of a condition of their
license and therefore be subject to enforcement action, including potential monetary forfeitures, as well as loss of the
license.
691

To the extent overlay licensees negotiate to clear incumbents from the band earlier than any deadlines, they may
deploy service with the consent of affected incumbent earth stations earlier than the deadline—but only so long as
they make all required payments to the Clearinghouse in a timely manner.

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steps for accomplishing the complete transition of existing C-band services to the upper 200 megahertz of
the band by the Relocation Deadline or, as applicable, by the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines.692
Except where an incumbent earth station owner elects the lump sum payment and assumes responsibility
for transitioning its own earth stations, eligible space station operators that elect Accelerated Relocation
Payments are responsible for relocating all associated incumbent earth stations, and therefore must detail
the details of such relocation in the Transition Plan. 693 To the extent an incumbent space station operator
does not elect Accelerated Relocation Payments but nevertheless plans to assume responsibility for
relocating its own associated incumbent earth stations, it must make that clear in the Transition Plan (the
responsibility otherwise falls on incumbent earth station owners to work with overlay licensees to
facilitate an appropriate transition). The Transition Plan must also state a range of estimated costs for the
transition, with appropriate itemization to allow reasonable review by overlay licensees, the
Clearinghouse, and the Commission.
303.
To ensure that incumbent earth station operators, other C-band satellite customers, and
prospective flexible-use licensees are adequately informed regarding the transition, the Transition Plan
must describe in detail: (1) all existing space stations with operations that will need to be repacked into
the upper 200 megahertz; (2) the number of new satellites, if any, that the space station operator will need
to launch in order to maintain sufficient capacity post-transition, including detailed descriptions of why
such new satellites are necessary; (3) the specific grooming plan for migrating existing services to the
upper 200 megahertz, including the pre- and post-transition frequencies that each customer will
occupy; 694 (4) any necessary technology upgrades or other solutions, such as video compression or
modulation, that the space station operator intends to implement; (5) the number and location of earth
stations antennas currently receiving the space station operator’s transmissions that will need to be
transitioned to the upper 200 megahertz; (6) an estimate of the number and location of earth station
antennas that will require retuning and/or repointing in order to receive content on new transponder
frequencies post-transition; and (7) the specific timeline by which the space station operator will
implement the actions described in items (2)-(6).
304.
We recognize that certain space station operators may find it advantageous or necessary
to develop a combined space station grooming plan that allows for more efficient clearing by, for
example, migrating customers to excess capacity on another space station operator’s satellites. 695 Such
space station operators are free to file either individual or joint Transition Plans, so long as any combined
plan separately identifies and describes all required information (i.e., items 1-7) as it pertains to each
individual operator.
305.

692

Incumbent earth station operators, programmers, and other C-band stakeholders will have

All required filings should be made in the docket for this proceeding, GN Docket No. 18-122.

693

We encourage space station operators to coordinate with and seek input from associated incumbent earth station
operators and other C-band satellite customers in developing their Transition Plans, and to work cooperatively with
earth station operators—even those that elect a lump sum payment—during the transition. See QVC/HSN Feb. 21,
2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 1 (requesting that satellite operators seek input from their customers in preparation of their
transition plans); NCTA Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2. We decline, however, to require space station operators to
include all of their “express agreed commitments” to their customers in the transition plans, as QVC and HSN
request, as such requirement would be overly burdensome. See QVC/HSN Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2. The
opportunity to comment on Transition Plans provides these customers the opportunity to raise concerns.
694
While we recognize that space station operators may have an interest in maintaining confidentiality regarding
certain aspects of specific contractual agreements and identifying customer information, we require that any
information necessary to effectuate the transition in a transparent manner must be included in this filing. If space
station operators will be migrating customers to frequencies on a different operator’s space station, the details of that
arrangement between two space station operators would be deemed necessary information.
695

See C-Band Alliance Reply at 15-16; C-Band Alliance Apr. 9, 2019 Ex Parte, Attach. at 1-5.

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an opportunity to file comments on each Transition Plan by July 13, 2020. 696 The Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau is directed to issue a Public Notice detailing the process for such notice and
comment.
306.
We also recognize that there may be a need for an incumbent space station operator to
make changes to its Transition Plan to update certain information or to cure any defects that may be
identified by the Commission or by relevant stakeholders during the comment window. Space station
operators must make any necessary updates or resolve any deficiencies in their individual Transition
Plans by August 14, 2020. After this date, space station operators may only make further adjustments to
their individual plans with the approval of the Commission.
307.
Relocation Coordinator and Status Reports.—We find it in the public interest to provide
for a Relocation Coordinator to ensure that all incumbent space station operators are relocating in a timely
manner.
308.
If eligible space station operators elect accelerated relocation so that a supermajority
(80%) of accelerated relocation payments are accepted (and thus accelerated relocation is triggered), we
find it in the public interest to allow a search committee of such operators to select a Relocation
Coordinator. Specifically, each electing space station operator may select one representative for the
search committee, and the committee shall work by consensus to the extent possible or by supermajority
vote (representing 80% of electing operators’ accelerated relocation payments) to the extent consensus
cannot be reached. 697 If electing eligible space station operators select a Relocation Coordinator, they
shall also be responsible for paying for its costs out of accelerated relocation payments—this will align
the incentives of the Relocation Coordinator and the search committee to minimize costs while
maximizing the chances of meeting the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines. 698
309.
The Relocation Coordinator must be able to demonstrate that it has the requisite expertise
to perform the duties required, which will include: (1) coordinating the schedule for clearing the band; (2)
performing engineering analysis, as necessary, to determine necessary earth station migration actions; (3)
assigning obligations, as necessary, for earth station migrations and filtering; (4) coordinating with
overlay licensees throughout the transition process; (5) assessing the completion of the transition in each
PEA and determining overlay licensees’ ability to commence operations; and (6) mediating scheduling
disputes. The search committee shall notify the Commission of its choice of Relocation Coordinator no
later than July 31, 2020.
310.
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is hereby directed to issue a Public Notice
inviting comment on whether the entity selected satisfies the criteria set out here. Following the comment
period, the Bureau will issue a final order announcing that the criteria established in this Report and
696

Several commenters have asked the Commission to allow opportunity for stakeholders to comment on the
Transition Plan. See, e.g., NAB Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2; AT&T Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 7; NPR Feb. 21, 2020
Ex Parte, Attach. at 3; ACA Connects Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 5; QVC/HSN Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 1
(asking the Commission to allow satellite customers to comment on transition plans); Letter from Elizabeth
Andrion, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Charter Communications, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Feb. 21, 2020) (Charter Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte).
697

Given that the space station operators have primary responsibility for transitioning their associated incumbent
earth stations, we decline NCTA’s request to include earth station operators in the search committee for the
Relocation Coordinator. See NCTA Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 4.
698

Because this approach for selecting the Relocation Coordinator does not require that the selected entity be a
neutral third-party, it is possible that the search committee will select a consortium of eligible space station
operators. We therefore reject SES’s request that overlay licensees, rather than space station operators, pay for the
costs of the Relocation Coordinator, as such an approach could lead to self-dealing on the part of the Relocation
Coordinator and create unnecessary additional costs for overlay licensees. See SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach.
at 10.

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Order either have or have not been satisfied; should the Bureau be unable to find the criteria have been
satisfied, the selection process will start over and the search committee will submit a new proposed entity.
During the course of the Relocation Coordinator’s tenure, the Commission will take such measures as are
necessary to ensure a timely transition.
311.
In the event that the search committee fails to select a Relocation Coordinator and to
notify the Commission by July 31, 2020, the search committee will be dissolved without further action by
the Commission. In the event the search committee fails to select a Relocation Coordinator, or in the case
that at least 80% of accelerated relocation payments are not accepted (and thus accelerated relocation is
not triggered), the Commission will initiate a procurement of a Relocation Coordinator to facilitate the
transition. Specifically, we direct the Office of the Managing Director to initiate a procurement process,
and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to take other necessary actions to meet the Accelerated
Relocation Deadlines (to the extent applicable to any given operator) and the Relocation Deadline.
312.
In the case that the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau selects the Relocation
Coordinator, overlay licensees will, collectively, pay for the services of the Relocation Coordinator and
staff. The Relocation Coordinator shall submit its own reasonable costs to the Relocation Payment
Clearinghouse, who will then collect payments from overlay licensees. It shall also provide additional
financial information as requested by the Bureau to satisfy the Commission’s oversight responsibilities
and/or agency-specific/government-wide reporting obligations. Once selected, we expect that the
Relocation Coordinator will enter into one or more appropriate contracts with incumbent space station
operators, overlay licensees, and their agents or designees.
313.
However selected, the Relocation Coordinator’s responsibilities will be the same. In
short, the Relocation Coordinator may establish a timeline and take actions necessary to migrate and filter
incumbent earth stations to ensure uninterrupted service during and following the transition. The
Relocation Coordinator must review the Transition Plans filed by all eligible space station operators and
recommend any changes to those plans to the Commission to the extent needed to ensure a timely
transition. To the extent that incumbent earth stations are not accounted for in eligible space station
operators’ Transition Plans, the Relocation Coordinator must prepare an Earth Station Transition Plan for
such incumbent earth stations and may require each associated space station operator to file the
information needed for such a plan with the Relocation Coordinator. Where space station operators do
not elect to clear by the Accelerated Relocation Deadlines and therefore are not responsible for earth
station migration and filtering, the Earth Station Transition Plan must provide timelines that ensure all
earth station relocation is completed by the Relocation Deadline. The Relocation Coordinator will
describe and recommend the respective responsibility of each party for earth station migration obligations
in the Earth Station Transition Plan and assist incumbent earth stations in transitioning including, for
example, by installing filters or hiring a third party to install such filters to the extent necessary. For
example, where an earth station requires repointing or retuning to receive transmissions on a new
frequency or satellite, it might be most efficient for the same party performing those tasks to also install
the necessary filter at the same time.
314.
The Relocation Coordinator shall coordinate its operations with overlay licensees, who
must ultimately pay for such relocation costs. The most efficient party to perform earth station migration
actions or install an earth station filter, and the timeframe for doing so, likely will vary widely across
earth stations. Incumbent space station operators must cooperate in good faith with the Relocation
Coordinator—and the Relocation Coordinator must, likewise, coordinate in good faith with incumbent
space station operators—throughout the transition. The Relocation Coordinator will also be responsible
for receiving notice from earth station operators or other satellite customers of any disputes related to
comparability of facilities, workmanship, or preservation of service during the transition and shall

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subsequently notify the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau of the dispute and provide
recommendations for resolution. 699
315.
To protect the fair and level playing field for applicants to participate in the
Commission’s auction, beginning on the initial deadline for filing auction applications until the deadline
for making post-auction down payments, the Relocation Coordinator must make realtime disclosures of
the content and timing of, and the parties to, communications, if any, from or to applicants in the auction,
as applicants are defined by the Commission’s rule prohibiting certain auction-related communications. 700
316.
The Commission also agrees with commenters like Global Eagle and NAB that regularlyfiled status reports would aid our oversight of the transition. 701 Specifically, we require each eligible
space station operator to report the status of its clearing efforts on a quarterly basis, beginning December
31, 2020. Because eligible space station operators will likely need to cooperate to meet the accelerated
timelines, we invite and encourage them to file joint status reports. We also require the Relocation
Coordinator to report on the overall status of clearing efforts on the same schedule. We direct the
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to specify the form and format of such reports.
317.
Finally, we reject Eutelsat’s assertion that the Commission should require the Relocation
Coordinator to be a neutral third party. Eutelsat argues that allowing the Relocation Coordinator to be
selected by a supermajority vote representing at least 80% of the electing operators’ accelerated relocation
payments would give Intelsat and SES effective control over the Relocation Coordinator, leading to
potential conflicts of interest. 702 Eutelsat argues that the Relocation Coordinator should, instead, be a
neutral, independent third party akin to the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse. 703 We disagree. The
Relocation Coordinator’s responsibilities will require detailed coordination with space station operators
and earth stations to assess the validity of Transition Plans and ensure that the space station operators
meet their relocation deadlines. A truly independent Relocation Coordinator may not have the requisite
knowledge or expertise to perform these essential functions and complete the transition in a timely
manner. Given the complexity of the transition process, the importance of rapid clearing, and the need for
ongoing coordination and cooperation with space station operators and their customers, we find that it is
in the public interest for the Relocation Coordinator to be selected by parties representing the vast
majority of the clearing responsibilities in the band. We also find that requiring the Relocation
Coordinator to be a neutral, disinterested third party could create inefficiencies in the clearing process and
endanger the successful completion of the transition. We note, however, that the Relocation
Coordinator’s responsibilities are the same vis-à-vis all incumbent space station operators and that it must
operate in good faith to perform its duties on behalf of each incumbent operator.

699

See NAB Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2 (requesting real-time dispute resolution process during the transition for
disputes related to facilities, workmanship, or preservation of service); ACA Connects Feb. 18, 2020 Ex Parte at 4
(seeking dispute resolution process, including reporting such disputes to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau);
QVC/HSN Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 2; Charter Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2.
700

See 47 CFR § 1.2105(c). Because all applicants’ communications with the Relocation Coordinator will be public
as a result of this requirement and therefore available to other applicants, applicants must take care that their
communications with the Relocation Coordinator do not violate the prohibition against communications by
revealing bids or bidding strategies. Applicants further will have to consider their independent obligation to report
potential violations to the Commission pursuant to auction rules.
701

Global Eagle Comments at 9; NAB Reply at 7.

702

See Eutelsat Feb. 13, 2020 Ex Parte at 2; Eutelsat Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 6-7.

703

See id. (“Neutrality and independence of the Relocation Coordinator are vital, particularly in light of the large
size of the proposed accelerated relocation payments. A conflicted Relocation Coordinator would face competitive
incentives to favor the relocation activities of the satellite operators whose interests it shares, while impeding the
transition efforts of their competitors.”).

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Other FSS Transition Issues

318.
In this section, we address two additional issues related to the FSS Transition that were
raised in the record.
319.
Maintenance of IBFS Data Accuracy.—We decline to require annual certification
requirements or discontinuance requirements, as requested by advocates of point-to-multipoint flexible
use in the band. The NPRM asked several questions about how best to maintain accurate earth station
data in IBFS. 704 Entities like Google and Motorola supporting expanded fixed use and dynamic
frequency management urged requiring FSS licensees to certify the accuracy of their earth station
facilities and keep their registrations up-to-date if operational parameters change to facilitate point-tomultipoint spectrum sharing. 705 Google asserts that, in non-co-channel sharing scenarios, frequency
coordinators and prospective C-band users need this information on an ongoing basis to ascertain how
much spectrum and which specific frequencies are available in a geographic area. Google also states that,
in co-channel sharing cases, knowing actual pointing direction(s) or range(s) of FSS dishes maximizes
sharing opportunities. Google argues that annual certification requirements would help to ensure that the
data in IBFS remains accurate, as would denying interference protection to earth stations with inaccurate
location or frequency information in IBFS. 706 We believe there is increased awareness among incumbent
earth station operators of their rights and responsibilities as a result of this proceeding and the various
public notices associated with it. In addition, because FSS will no longer share with point-to-point in the
contiguous United States and we are not setting aside spectrum for point-to-multipoint or flexible use in
the band on a shared basis with FSS using coordination or dynamic spectrum management, we do not
believe that such additional measures are necessary or worth the additional regulatory requirements.
Further, section 25.162 of the Commission’s rules already requires FSS licensees to keep their
Commission registration and license information up to date, and it is the responsibility of earth station
registrants under the Commission’s rules to surrender any registration or license for an earth station no
longer in use. 707
320.
Revising the Coordination Policy Between FSS and FS Services.—The full band, full arc
coordination policy governs sharing between the co-primary FSS and FS services. In the contiguous
United States this policy will be moot given our decisions today to transition the FSS allocation to the
upper 200 megahertz of the band and to sunset incumbent point-to-point use of the band. Outside the
contiguous United States, the record does not reflect any significant concerns with the existing policy.
Indeed, satellite interests support retention of the full band, full arc policy and argue that the flexibility of
full band, full arc is needed to deal with unanticipated satellite failures, emergencies on the ground, or
unexpected interference. 708 NCTA notes that earth station operators require flexibility to repoint and
change frequencies. Accordingly, we are not adopting our proposal to revise the coordination policy at

704

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6922, para. 34. Specifically, the Commission sought comment on (1) how to maintain
data accuracy to facilitate frequency coordination; (2) whether to require periodic certification of data; and (3) for a
constructed and operational earth station, whether any combination of frequency, azimuth, and elevation listed in the
license or registration that is unused for more than, e.g., 180 days, should be deleted from the license or registration
to minimize unnecessary constraints on successful frequency coordination of new operations. See id. at para. 35.
705

Google Comments at 7-8; Motorola Comments at 3.

706

Google Comments at 8-9.

707

See 47 CFR § 25.162(e) (protection from interference afforded by registration of a receiving earth station shall be
automatically terminated if the Commission finds that the actual use of the facility is inconsistent with what was set
forth in the registrant’s application). See also id. § 25.161(b),(c) (a station authorization shall be terminated . . . if no
authorized space station is functional in orbit or upon the removal or modification of the facilities which renders the
station not operational for more than 90 days, unless specific authority is requested).
708

C-Band Alliance Comments at 49-50.

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this time to require earth stations to report to the Commission the actual frequencies and azimuths used. 709
Nonetheless, if an earth station operator alleges harmful interference from wireless operations in adjacent
bands, it must be prepared to provide all relevant technical data regarding its station’s operation.
Additionally, incumbent space station operations with earth stations will be protected on a primary basis
in the remaining upper 200 megahertz of the band. Since we are clearing 300 megahertz of the band and
declining to permit point-to-multipoint communications within this band at this time, we need not further
limit the scope of earth station operations. Allowing continued flexibility will also facilitate antenna repointing to different satellites during the clearing process. 710
C.

Fixed Use in the C-Band

321.
We adopt rules to sunset as of December 5, 2023, incumbent point-to-point Fixed Service
use under part 101 in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band in the contiguous United States. We find that doing so will
serve the public interest by facilitating the introduction of flexible use into this band and providing
incumbent Fixed Service licensees with a reasonable period to self-relocate their permanent fixed
operations out of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. We also decline to adopt modifications to part 101 to permit
point-to-multipoint Fixed Service use in the 4.0-4.2 GHz band, as doing so could complicate the
continued use of the 4.0-4.2 GHz band by FSS licensees during and after the transition.
1.

Sunsetting Incumbent Point-to-Point Fixed Services

322.
As noted in the NPRM, point-to-point Fixed Service use of the band has declined steeply
over the past 20 years and many other spectrum options are available for point-to-point links. 711 In the
contiguous United States, there are now only 87 point-to-point Fixed Service licenses in this band, of
which 51 are permanent point-to-point Fixed Service and 36 temporary Fixed Service licenses.712
Frequency coordination allows FSS and terrestrial fixed microwave to share the band on a co-primary
basis but coordination of mobile systems would be more complicated because the movement of the
devices would require analyses and interference mitigation to avoid harmful interference to/from both
services. 713 Indeed, the Commission’s Emerging Technologies framework has largely involved the
relocation of fixed services to allow for mobile operations under new, flexible-use licenses. 714 We must
therefore carefully balance these incumbent uses against the need for additional spectrum for flexible use
in deciding upon the best means of resolving issues in this proceeding in the public interest.
323.
We find that the relatively limited incumbent point-to-point Fixed Service use in this
band may be accommodated by sunsetting primary operations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band in the contiguous

709
NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6923, para. 37 (examining the continuation of the full band/full arc coordination policy in
light of potential terrestrial use of the band; proposed that earth station operators would be entitled to protection only
for those frequencies, azimuths, and elevation angles and other parameters reported; proposed that modification
applications identify and include a coordination report for the specific combinations of frequency, azimuth, and
elevation angle that the incumbent intends to use; and acknowledging the policy affords FSS operational flexibility
and sought comment on the consequences of eliminating the policy).
710

See, e.g., C-Band Alliance Comments, Exhibit 2 at 6, 8-12.

711

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6932, para. 47 (noting that fixed licensees in this band have migrated to fiber or other
Fixed Service bands that offered more channelization options without the risk of interference disputes with earth
stations). Indeed, many of the 87 licenses for the 3.7-4.2 GHz band also authorize point-to-point operations on
frequencies in other bands, e.g., the 5.925-6.425 GHz band.
712

See Universal Licensing System, https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/searchLicense.jsp.

713

See, e.g., NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6932, para. 47.

714

See, e.g., 47 CFR § 101.69.

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United States as of December 5, 2023. 715 Accordingly, we adopt a modified version of our proposal to
sunset, in three years, incumbent point-to-point Fixed Service use in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band in the
contiguous United States. 716 Specifically, existing licensees, as of April 19, 2018, of licenses for
permanent Fixed Service operations will have until December 5, 2023, to self-relocate their point-to-point
links out of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. We are also revising our part 101 rules to specify that no applications
for new point-to-point Fixed Service operations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band will be granted for locations in
the contiguous United States. 717 The record in this proceeding demonstrates the need to allocate this
spectrum for flexible use for the provision of 5G, and commenters overwhelmingly support our proposal
to sunset incumbent point-to-point Fixed Service use in the contiguous United States. 718 On the other
hand, because we are not authorizing new flexible-use services outside of the contiguous United States at
this time, we find that it would not be in the public interest to maintain the existing freeze on new pointto-point Fixed Service links in those areas. Therefore, the freeze on point-to-point microwave Fixed
Service applications for sites outside of the contiguous United States will be lifted on the date of
publication of this action in the Federal Register. This decision lifting the freeze, in part, relieves a
restriction and therefore is exempt from the effective date requirements of the Administrative Procedure
Act. 719 Moreover, we find that there is good cause for not delaying the partial lifting of the freeze
because such a delay would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest because it would not serve
purposes of the freeze. 720
324.
We note that the FWCC does not object to relocation to other frequency bands, so long as
proponents of the incoming service pay all expenses needed to enable fixed microwave service in the new
band of at least equal quality in all pertinent respects. 721 But CenturyLink, an incumbent licensee, as well
as FWCC, point out that “[m]any of the fixed systems are twenty years old and that the components
needed to move them to new frequencies are no longer available.” 722 CenturyLink states that
grandfathered and new point-to-point services should be permitted in whatever portion of the spectrum
that is retained for FSS use because “new equipment may become available that would support new pointto-point links in this band.” 723 Because this could give rise to increased complexity in the C-band and
slow deployment of flexible use services, we disagree. New equipment in other bands is readily available
715

See generally FWCC Comments at 5 (noting that fixed operations were grandfathered for five years when the
3.65-3.7 GHz band was added to the Citizens Broadband Radio Service) (citing 2015 3.5 GHz Band Report and
Order, 30 FCC Rcd at 4075, para. 400).
716

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6932, para. 48. Nothing in this Report and Order is intended to preclude parties from
privately negotiating to accomplish earlier clearing of Fixed Service operations.

717

Point-to-point Fixed Service licensees in this band outside the contiguous United States may continue to operate
as licensed and modify existing licenses and new applicants may seek to coordinate new paths consistent with our
existing part 101 rules.
718
CTIA Comments at 15-16; Ericsson Comments at 16; Qualcomm Comments at 6; Starry Comments at 4-5; TMobile Comments at 20; TIA Comments at 8; Verizon Comments at 11. But see CenturyLink Reply at 2-3 (pointto-point Fixed Service licensees should be grandfathered and allowed to operate indefinitely in the upper portion of
the band unless a flexible-use licensee pay to relocate the incumbent); FWCC Comments at 4-8 (generally same
except applicable throughout the band and should grandfather licensees for at least five years or the remaining
license term); NSMA Reply at 1-2 (generally same as FWCC regarding compensation for relocation).
719

See 5 U.S.C. § 553(d)(1).

720

See id. § 553 (d)(3).

721

FWCC May 3 PN Comments at 3.

722

FWCC Comments at 7; CenturyLink Reply at 2 (stating that it has links in the band, some serving E911 and
Federal Aviation Administration circuitry, that have been in service for many years but that some of this equipment
is discontinued (unavailable) and new equipment is not available); see also FWCC Reply at 3.
723

CenturyLink Reply at 2.

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for point-to-point operations and allowing new authorizations in the 4.0-4.2 GHz band could frustrate the
satellite repacking and overall repurposing of the 3.7-3.98 GHz band for 5G in the contiguous United
States. 724 Other bands available for assignment for fixed microwave services under part 101 include
5925-6425, 6525-6875, 6875-7125, 10,700-11,700, 17,700-18,300, 19,300-19,700 MHz, and 21,20023,600 MHz. 725 This sunset provision that we adopt pursuant to our spectrum management authority
under Title III will protect the operations of incumbent Fixed Service licensees while avoiding harmful
interference to new flexible-use licensees and facilitating the FSS transition to the upper 200
megahertz. 726
325.
In the NPRM, the Commission also sought comment on whether to treat those with
permanent licenses differently from those with temporary licenses. 727 The 36 licenses for temporary fixed
links in the contiguous United States are blanket licenses to use any frequencies in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band
for temporary links within a defined geographic area, e.g., statewide. These licenses allow carriers to
meet short-term needs for fixed links by prior coordinating specific frequencies and locations with all
affected licensees. 728 Although these licenses have 10-year terms, a link cannot be used at a given
location for more than 180 days. To be sure, these temporary licenses are different from licenses for
permanent links. We find, however, in the context of our actions today making 280 megahertz of midband spectrum available as rapidly as possible, that these distinctions do not provide a sufficient public
interest justification for treating the 36 temporary fixed licensees differently from the 51 permanent fixed
licensees in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. While temporary fixed licensees operate on a non-interference basis,
the burden of analyzing and responding to coordination requests from these operators and to protect any
successfully coordinated operations for up to 180 days could add additional complexity to new flexibleuse deployments and earth-station transitions. Accordingly, these 36 licensees will have until December
5, 2023, to modify or replace their temporary fixed 3.7-4.2 GHz band equipment with comparable
equipment that operates in other bands. Additionally, given that other bands are available for temporary
fixed operations, we are revising our rules for the contiguous United States to bar acceptance of
applications for new licenses for temporary fixed operations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band.
326.
Relocation Reimbursement and Cost Sharing.—Incumbent licensees of point-to-point
Fixed Service links that relocate out of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band by December 5, 2023, shall be eligible for
reimbursement of their reasonable costs based on the well-established “comparable facilities” standard
used for the transition of microwave links out of other bands. 729 Similar to our approach for earth station
clearing, because fixed service relocation affects spectrum availability on a local basis, all flexible-use
licensees in a PEA where an incumbent Fixed Service licensee self-relocated will share in the
724

See, e.g., FWCC May 3 PN Comments at 3.

725

See, e.g., 47 CFR § 101.147(a).

726

See 47 U.S.C. §§ 301, 302, 303(c), (f), (g), and (r); see also id. § 157.

727

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6932, para. 48. Temporary fixed operations are authorized to operate in defined areas,
e.g., statewide, continental U.S., for up to 180 days subject to prior coordination with all affected licensees. See 47
CFR §§ 101.31(a), 101.103(a), (d). When a fixed station, authorized to operate at temporary locations, is to remain
at a single location for more than 6 months, an application for a station authorization designating that single location
as the permanent location must be filed at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the 6-month period. See id. §
101.31(a)(1).
728

See, e.g., Universal Licensing System, Call Sign KCA74 (authorizing temporary fixed operations statewide in two
states in three bands); Call Sign KJA75 (authorizing temporary fixed operations statewide in nine states in over ten
bands).
729

See, e.g., 47 CFR § 101.73(d) (defining comparable facilities as facilities possessing certain characteristics in
terms of throughput, reliability, and operating costs as compared to the incumbent’s existing facilities). Parties may
negotiate to accomplish early clearing of Fixed Service operations, including through agreements to make premium
payments.

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reimbursement of these reasonable costs on a pro rata basis. Incumbent Fixed Service licensees will be
subject to the same demonstration requirements and reimbursement administrative provisions as those
adopted above for incumbent earth station operators.
327.
Estimated Relocation Costs of the FS Transition.—We find it appropriate to provide
potential bidders in our public auction with an estimate of the relocation costs that they may incur should
they become overlay licensees. We caution that our estimates are estimates only, and we make clear that
overlay licensees will be responsible for the entire allowed costs of relocation—even to the extent that
those costs exceed the estimated range of costs. We further caution that the record contains no
information on the cost estimates of clearing the 87 incumbent licensees in the band.
328.
The Commission’s licensing records reflect that the 51 licenses for permanent links
authorize a total of 702 links (discrete frequencies). We note that for microwave links relocated from the
2.1 GHz Advanced Wireless Services bands, $184,991 was the average cost per link relocation registered
with the AWS Clearinghouse. 730 Using this average cost per link to estimate the total cost of clearing 702
links from the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, results in a cost estimate of $129.9 million. Licensees of temporary
fixed links were not entitled to relocation reimbursement from AWS licensees so the AWS Clearinghouse
data may be less informative. The record is devoid of any cost data but the average cost per temporary
link should be 25-50% lower than for permanent links because temporary links do not usually involve
towers. Using $138,743 (25% lower) as the average replacement cost, if each of the 36 licensees has
equipment for one temporary fixed link in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, this results in a cost estimate of $5.13
million and a total cost estimate for all fixed links of approximately $135 million.
2.

More Intensive Point-to-Multipoint Fixed Use

329.
We have decided to adopt flexible-use rules for this band that allow operators the ability
to use it for fixed or mobile operations (or a combination thereof), and thus decline to adopt changes to
part 101 that would limit terrestrial use of any portion the 3.7-4.2 GHz band to point-to-multipoint Fixed
Service use.
330.
In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on rules that would allow for the more
intensive point-to-multipoint Fixed Service use of the band, how permitting fixed wireless would affect
the possible future clearing of the band for flexible use and the use of the band for satellite operations, and
the impact that point-to-multipoint use would have on the flexibility of FSS earth stations to modify their
operations in response to technical and business needs. 731 Although some commenters support variations
of rules that would license non-geographic, unauctioned point-to-multipoint Fixed Service use of the 3.74.2 GHz band, 732 a number of commenters oppose the proposal. 733 Commenters emphasize that licensing
point-to-multipoint Fixed Service before or during the transition would substantially devalue the spectrum

730

See, e.g., ET Docket No. 00-258, Report of the CTIA Spectrum Clearinghouse, LLC, at 2 (filed Jan. 31, 2019).

731

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6951-52, para. 116.

732

See, e.g., Broadband Access Coalition Comments at 3, 19, 33; CenturyLink Comments at 4; Dynamic Spectrum
Alliance Comments at 5; Dynamic Spectrum Alliance Reply at 5-6; FWCC Comments at 1-2; Geolinks Reply at 14; Google Comments at 4-5, 7; Frontier/Windstream Comments at 4-5; Microsoft Comments at 9-10; Microsoft
Reply at 2; PISC Comments at 5, 12; Frontier/Windstream July 19 PN Comments at 3; Google July 19 PN
Comments at 4-11; WISPA July 19 PN Reply; Google July 19 PN Reply at 3-9; PISC July 19 PN Reply at 6-18.
733

See, e.g., AT&T Reply at 26; Boeing Comments at 5-6; C-Band Alliance Comments at 41; C-Band Alliance
Reply at 49-52; CTIA Reply at 11-12; Ericsson Comments at 17; GCI Comments at 21; QVC/HSN Comments at 2;
LinkUp Communications Comments at 2; NAB Comments at 12-13; NCTA Reply at 24-25; PSSI Global
Comments at 15; SIA Comments at 24-26; TIA Comments at 8; T-Mobile Comments at 202-21; Verizon Reply at
16-19; World Teleport Association Comments at 1-2; Verizon May 3 PN Reply at 6; SIA July 19 PN Comments at
5-6; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints July 19 PN Comments at 5-7; NAB July 19 PN Reply at 8-10;
AT&T July 19 PN Reply at 8-10; Raytheon July 19 PN Reply at 4-6; ABC et al. July 19 PN Reply at 7-8.

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for flexible use, increase the costs of the transition, and undermine market-based approaches to placing
this spectrum to its most valued use. 734
331.
We agree and find that the record demonstrates that it would be unwise to open this band
to point-to-multipoint Fixed use, as a stand-alone service, at this time. Other bands are available for
point-to-multipoint use, including licensed spectrum immediately below 3.7 GHz. In short, permitting
flexible use, fixed or mobile, services across the entire cleared band will ensure that prospective wireless
providers have the ability to provide whichever services (including point-to-multipoint) that consumers
most demand. And authorizing more intensive point-to-multipoint Fixed Service use of the 4.0-4.2 GHz
band before the transition is over could dramatically complicate the repacking and relocation of FSS
operations and earth station registrants.
D.

Technical Rules for the 3.7-4.2 GHz Band

332.
We adopt technical rules for the 3.7-4.2 GHz band spectrum. We find that the technical
rules we adopt herein will encourage efficient use of spectrum resources and promote investment in the
3.7-3.98 GHz band while protecting incumbent users in the band and in adjacent bands.
333.
We note that Comcast recommends that the Commission “encourage interested
stakeholders to convene a broad-based group to develop a comprehensive framework for addressing
interference prevention, detection, mitigation, and enforcement.” 735 Such groups have been successful in
the past in providing the Commission with valuable insights and useful information regarding spectrum
transitions for new uses. 736 We believe that such a multi-stakeholder group could provide valuable insight
into the complex coexistence issues in this band and provide a forum for the industry to work
cooperatively towards efficient technical solutions to these issues. We encourage the industry to convene
a group of interested stakeholders to develop a framework for interference prevention, detection,
mitigation, and enforcement in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. 737 We also encourage any multi-stakeholder group
that is formed to consider best practices and procedures to address issues that may arise during the various
phases of the C-band transition and to consider coexistence issues related to terrestrial wireless operations
below 3.7 GHz. To ensure that all viewpoints are considered, we encourage industry to include
representatives of incumbent earth stations (including MVPDs and broadcasters), incumbent space station
operators, wireless network operators, network equipment manufacturers, and aeronautical
radionavigation equipment manufacturers. We do not, however, take a position on the exact makeup or
organizational structure of any such stakeholder group. 738
334.
We direct the Office of Engineering and Technology to act as a liaison for the
Commission with any such multi-stakeholder group so formed. In particular, we expect the Office to
observe the functioning of any such group and the technical concerns aired to keep an ear to the ground,
734

See, e.g., AT&T Reply at 6, 25-26; C-Band Alliance Comments at 41; C-Band Alliance Reply at 49-52; CTIA
Reply at 11-12; Cumulus Media/Westwood One Comments at 18; Digital Networks Reply at 1; Ericsson Comments
at 17; Qualcomm Comments at 7; Verizon May 3 PN Reply at 6.
735

See Letter from David M. Don, Comcast Corporation, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18122, at 6 (filed Jan. 31, 2020).
736
For example, after the Commission created the Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service, the Wireless Innovation
Forum stood up the Spectrum Sharing Committee to serve as a common industry and government standards body to
support the development and advancement of Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service Standards. See
https://cbrs.wirelessinnovation.org/about.
737
See Letter from Elizabeth Andrion, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Charter Communications to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2 (filed Feb. 20, 2020) (Charter Feb. 20, 2020 Ex
Parte).
738
At this time, we find it unnecessary to establish a deadline for the multi-stakeholder group, as AT&T requests.
See AT&T Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 9.

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as it were, on technical developments that come to light as the relocation process occurs. We also expect
the Office to provide guidance to any such group on the topics on which it would be most helpful for the
Commission to receive input and a sense of the time frames in which such input would be helpful.
1.

Power Levels

335.
Base Station Power.—To support robust deployment of next-generation mobile
broadband services, we will allow base stations in non-rural areas to operate at power levels up to 1640
watts per megahertz EIRP. 739 In addition, consistent with other broadband mobile services in nearby
bands (AWS-1, AWS-3, AWS-4 and PCS), we will permit base stations in rural areas to operate with
double the non-rural power limits (3280 watts per megahertz) in rural areas. 740 We extend the same
power density limit to emissions with a bandwidth less than one megahertz to facilitate uniform power
distribution across a licensee’s authorized band regardless of whether wideband or narrowband
technologies are being deployed. This approach also provides licensees the flexibility to optimize their
system designs to provide wide area coverage without sacrificing the flexibility needed to address
coexistence issues with FSS operations. Further, because advanced antenna systems often have multiple
radiating elements in the same sector, we clarify that the power limits we are adopting apply to the
aggregate power of all antenna elements in any given sector of a base station.
336.
Several commenters, including AT&T, C-Band Alliance, CTIA, Ericsson, Nokia, TMobile, and Verizon support these base station power limits for wireless network deployments in the 3.73.98 GHz band. 741 Notably, CTIA and Samsung agree with the Commission that the AWS limits have
“provided good service while avoiding harmful interference,” and the higher power limit for rural areas
may “promote the Commission’s goals of furthering rural deployment of broadband services.” 742
Ericsson asserts that “[t]hese levels are commensurate with existing rules and deployments, and the
higher power limit for rural areas may promote rural deployment of broadband services.” 743 We agree
with these commenters and believe that, similar to development in other bands, these base station power
limits will promote investment in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band and facilitate the rapid and robust deployment of
next generation wireless networks, including 5G. We also find that adopting consistent power levels with
other AWS bands will allow licensees to achieve similar coverage, creating network efficiencies between
network deployments in different spectrum bands. 744
337.
We disagree with commenters that argue that the base station power limits in this band
should be lower to facilitate coexistence with FSS earth stations and flexible-use operations below the 3.7
GHz band edge. 745 We believe that the 3.7-3.98 GHz band will be a core band for next generation
wireless networks, including 5G, and will require power levels consistent with other bands used for wide
area wireless operations to reach its full potential. 746 We also find that the protection mechanisms we
739

See, e.g., Verizon Comments at 23; Ericsson Reply at 6; Nokia Comments at 11; AT&T Reply at 22; C-Band
Alliance May 13, 2019 Ex Parte at 12.
740

See, e.g., 47 CFR § 27.50(d)(1).

741

See e.g., Samsung July 19 PN Reply at 4; Nokia July 19 PN Comments at 2; T-Mobile Reply at 38; Ericsson
Reply at 7; CTIA Comments at 23, Verizon July 19 PN Reply at 10-11.
742

CTIA Comments at 23 (quoting NPRM at para. 164); Samsung July 19 PN Reply at 4 (quoting NPRM at para.
164).
743

Ericsson Comments at 19.

744

T-Mobile Reply at 38.

745

See Federated Wireless Reply at 6-7; Motorola Comments at 5. We also note that several FSS Earth station
interests argue that the proposed power limits have not been demonstrated to adequately protect FSS operations but
fail to provide counter proposals for consideration. See, e.g., NCTA Reply at 9-11; Comcast Corporation and
NBCUniversal Media LLC Reply at 16-17, 19.
746

See, e.g., U.S. Cellular Corporation July 19 PN Comments at 2; T-Mobile July 19 PN Comments at 18.

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adopt herein will ensure that the potential for harmful interference to incumbent FSS earth stations is
minimized regardless of the base station power levels permitted in the band. Indeed, we note that the CBand Alliance modified its original proposal specifically to support base station power levels consistent
with those we adopt here and has indicated that such power levels will not inhibit the rapid introduction of
next generation wireless services to this band. 747
338.
We decline to adopt our proposal to impose a different power level for emissions less
than one megahertz wide as we do not believe such a distinction is necessary. 748 That is, rather than
impose an absolute power limit for narrow emissions, we adopt the same power density limits for all
emissions in the band. Verizon supports a power density rule without a separate power limit for
emissions less than one megahertz and suggests a minimum channel bandwidth of five megahertz to
ensure use of the band for broadband applications. 749 We note that the power rules for PCS and AWS-1,
e.g., where base stations are permitted an EIRP of 1640 Watts/MHz for emissions greater than 1
megahertz or 1640 Watts per emissions with a bandwidth of less than 1 MHz, were developed when
mobile services were transitioning from narrowband (GSM systems) to wideband technologies (CDMA).
Thus, the Commission adopted the rules to ensure continued service to the public regardless of
technology deployed. 750 While 4G and 5G technologies have continued the trend towards wider channel
bandwidths, certain narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technologies use smaller bandwidths (e.g.
180 kHz). We do not believe a separate power per emission distinction is necessary to accommodate
narrowband emissions because they are often integrated with wideband emissions as additional resource
blocks as opposed to being deployed as separate systems. Nor do we believe we should adopt a minimum
emission bandwidth for the band because licensees should be permitted to choose the best technology or a
mix of technologies to meet market demands. Moreover, we are mindful of the interference potential
possible under our proposed rule whereby a licensee could deploy up to five NB-IoT channels in one
megahertz. This situation could lead to an aggregate power of 8200 Watts/MHz in an urban area and
16400 Watts/MHz in a rural area. Licensees still have flexibility to implement any technology in
accordance with our technical flexibility framework and can design their networks to ensure coverage, but
our rules will ensure power parity between technologies. This approach should avoid an unlikely, yet
problematic scenario where a system stacks narrowband high-powered emissions to meet coverage goals
while also potentially interfering with adjacent channel operations. Thus, we set a uniform power density
distribution across the full 3.7-3.98 GHz band regardless of channel bandwidth.
339.
We also decline to adopt a maximum power limit of 75 dBm EIRP, summed over all
antenna elements.751 While the Commission sought comment on this limit in the NPRM, it received little
support on the record 752 and several parties claimed that such a limit could hinder network
deployments. 753 The C-Band Alliance argues that a maximum power limit is unnecessary as long as
adequate earth station protection levels are established. 754 Samsung argues that the limit would
747

Compare C-Band Alliance Comments, Technical Annex at 9, with C-Band Alliance May 13, 2019 Ex Parte at
12.
748

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6969-70, para. 164.

749

Verizon Jan. 31, 2020 Ex Parte at 2-3.

750

See Biennial Regulatory Review - Amendment of Parts 1, 22, 24, 27 and 90 to Streamline and Harmonize
Various Rules Affecting Wireless Radio Services, WT Dkt. No. 03-264, Third Report and Order, 23 FCC Rcd 5319
(2008) at para. 25.
751

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6970, para. 165.

752

We note that while Verizon initially supported the limit (Verizon Comments at 23), it later withdrew its support
to agree with other terrestrial parties opposing the limit (Verizon July 19 PN Reply at 11).

753

Ericsson Comments at 19; CTIA Comments at 24; AT&T Reply at 22.

754

C-Band Alliance May 13, 2019 Ex Parte at 12.

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unnecessarily limit the use of wide channel bandwidths, which are crucial to 5G deployments to deliver
high data rates and use “multi-input, multi-output” techniques. 755 We agree and find that an upper limit
could hinder flexibility to deploy wider bandwidth technologies 756 without any corresponding benefit, as
3.7-3.98 GHz band licensees will design their systems to protect earth station locations around their
deployments.
340.
Mobile Power.—We adopt a 1 Watt (30 dBm) EIRP power limit for mobile devices, as
proposed in the NPRM. We find that this mobile power limit will provide adequate power for robust
mobile service deployment. Additionally, this limit will permit operation of mobile power classes as
outlined in the 5G standards. 757 We note that most commenters support the proposed 1 Watt EIRP mobile
power limit as adequate for 5G operations and as being consistent with industry standards. 758
341.
While a few commenters suggest allowing higher power limits, 759 we do not find the
record supports a specific need for higher power at this time. Mobile devices typically operate at levels
below 1 Watt to preserve battery life, meet human exposure limits, and meet power control
requirements. 760
342.
Similarly, we disagree with commenters that suggest lower mobile power limits
consistent with those in the 3.5 GHz band. 761 The Citizens Broadband Radio Service, which is based on
lower power, narrower channels and a dynamic spectrum sharing framework, is fundamentally different
than the service we are permitting in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. Thus, the limits adopted there are not
appropriate for this band. Licensees are expected to deploy much wider channel bandwidths and will
operate in exclusively licensed spectrum. The mobile power limit we are adopting is intended to provide
consistency between mobile 5G deployments in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band and comparable macro cell
deployment in the PCS, AWS, and similar bands.
2.

Out-of-band Emissions

343.
Base Station Out-of-band Emissions.—We adopt base station out-of-band emission
(OOBE) requirements based on our proposed limits, which are similar to other AWS services. 762
Specifically, base stations will be required to suppress their emissions beyond the edge of their
authorization to a conducted power level of -13 dBm/MHz.
344.
This limit is supported by several commenters, including Qualcomm, T-Mobile, and
Verizon, because it avoids unnecessary constraints on flexible-use equipment in areas far from FSS earth
755

Samsung July 19 PN Reply at 4.

756

The 1640 watt per megahertz urban power limit corresponds to 32 dBW/MHz or 62 dBm/MHz providing only 13
dB headroom to reach a 75 dBm upper limit. Because 13 dBm represents a twenty-fold increase in power, a 75 dBm
upper limit would correspondingly artificially cap the ability to operate at full power to a 20-megahertz channel;
wider bandwidth channels would be required to operate at lower power. Similarly, the 3280 watt per megahertz
rural limit would only have 10 dB headroom and be limited to a 10-megahertz channel for full power operation.
757

See 3GPP 38.101-1 NR; User Equipment (UE) radio transmission and reception; Part 1: Range 1 Standalone
(Release15).

758

See 3GPP TS 38.101-3 version 15.2.0 Release 15 at 80 (UE Power class (PC) For FR1: Power class 3: 23 dBm
and Power class 2: 26 dBm). AT&T Reply at 18; Ericsson Comments at 20; Nokia Comments at 12.
759

CTIA Comments at 24; Qualcomm Comments at 8.

760

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6971, para. 167.

761

Federated Wireless Reply at 6 and Motorola Comments at 5. We also note that T-Mobile initially suggested a
maximum power of 43 dBm/100 MHz, but later urges the adoption of limits proposed in the NPRM. Compare TMobile Comments at 32 with T-Mobile October 2, 2019 Ex Parte at 10.
762

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6971-72, paras. 168-171; see also 47 CFR § 27.53(h) (AWS emission limits).

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stations and is compatible with the rules governing other mobile broadband services. 763 For example,
T-Mobile warns that “more stringent emission limits will diminish the utility of the band and threaten
coverage.” 764 Verizon argues that “harmonized rules across bands serve the public interest by ensuring
that market forces, not the disparate impact of varying rules, drive the growth of wireless services.” 765
Verizon supplemented its emission limit recommendation to suggest a relaxation of the emission at the
band edge and dropping to our adopted limit after 10 megahertz. 766 We adopt a conducted limit of -13
dBm/MHz because it is consistent with the emission limits we have established for other mobile
broadband services and the emission limits established for 5G technologies by standards bodies, and we
find that this limit has been widely accepted as being adequate for reducing unwanted emissions into
adjacent bands. The C-Band Alliance supports the OOBE limits contained in the 3GPP standard for band
n77. 767 Here we establish a fixed emission mask that fits within the 3GPP specifications and is less
complicated. Further, we are not adopting Verizon’s suggestion to relax the limits in the first 10
megahertz outside of a licensee’s authorized band because there is insufficient debate in the record on the
impact of such a relaxation to adjacent channel operations and we believe manufacturers and licensees are
familiar with our standard -13 dBm/MHz limit and have tools to ensure they meet this limit.
345.
While some commenters support emission suppression to levels lower than what we
adopt, these more stringent emission limits would likely hinder the full potential of 5G deployment in this
band. For example, we are not adopting the emission mask suggested by Nokia (-3 dBm/MHz between
the edge of the 5G spectrum block up to 20 megahertz from the block, -40 dBm/MHz between 20-40
megahertz from the edge of the 5G spectrum block, -50 dBm/MHz between 40-50 megahertz from the
edge of the 5G spectrum block and -60 dBm/MHz beyond that). 768 Nokia’s proposal would permit 10 dB
higher emission levels at the block edge (which could impact adjacent licenses) and the record lacks
support for and does not provide adequate information regarding the viability and impact of imposing the
-50 dBm/MHz and -60 dBm OOBE limits at 40 megahertz and 50 megahertz beyond the edge of the 5G
spectrum block. Ericsson does not object to the -13 dBm/MHz limit at the channel edge, but suggests a
graduated limit of -40 dBm/MHz at the upper edge of a guard band (20-25 megahertz) to protect FSS. 769
Because out-of-band emissions generally continue to decrease with spectral separation and manufacturers
typically are able to filter those emissions to levels lower than what either our adopted limits or the 3GPP
emission masks require, 770 we do not believe it is necessary to specify additional levels of suppression
further outside the band as suggested by Nokia and Ericsson.
346.
For base station OOBE, we apply the part 27 measurement procedures and resolution
bandwidth that are used for AWS devices outlined in section 27.53(h). 771 Specifically, a resolution
763

See e.g., Verizon September 16, 2019 Ex Parte at 5; Qualcomm July 19 PN Comments at 6; T-Mobile Reply at
40. We note that while AT&T initially supported our adopted emission limit, it later supported an emission mask
for base stations that starts at our adopted limit at the band edge, but drops to a suppression of 70 + 10 log10(P) dB
after 20 MHz and 90 + 10 log10(P) dB after 40 MHz. Compare AT&T July 19 PN Reply at 3 with AT&T Jan. 30,
2020 Ex Parte at Appendix A.
764

T-Mobile Comments at 32.

765

Verizon Comment at 23.

766

Specifically, Verizon recommends out-of-band emissions be suppressed to -7 dBm/100 kHz at the nominal
channel edge, sloping linearly to -14 dBm/100 kHz ±5 MHz from the nominal channel edge; then -14 dBm/100 kHz
to ±10 MHz from the nominal channel edge; then -13 dBm/MHz. Verizon Jan. 31, 2020 Ex Parte at 1-2.
767

C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 34.

768

Nokia July 19 PN Comments at 2.

769

Ericsson Reply at 9.

770

3GPP Standard TS 38.104, version 16.1.0, clause 6.6.4.2.1 for Category A base stations,

771

See 47 CFR § 27.53(h)(3), (4).

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bandwidth of 1 megahertz or greater will be used; except in the 1 megahertz bands immediately outside
and adjacent to the licensee’s frequency block where a resolution bandwidth of at least 1% of the
emission bandwidth may be employed. Verizon supports the use of the AWS measurement procedures
because “AWS frequencies are closer [to the C-band] than UMFUS bands, and have a different resolution
bandwidth.” 772 These procedures have been successfully used to prevent harmful interference from
similar services operating in nearby bands. Thus, we conclude that there is no demonstrated reason to
change them for the 3.7-3.98 GHz band.
347.
Mobile Out-of-Band Emissions.—As with base station out-of-band emission limits, we
adopt mobile emission limits similar to our standard emission limits that apply to other mobile broadband
services. Specifically, mobile units must suppress the conducted emissions to no more than -13
dBm/MHz outside their authorized frequency band.
348.
This limit is widely supported by the comments. 773 For example, Qualcomm argues that
a more stringent mobile emission mask would cause “massive reductions in mobile transmit power levels
and thus cripple 5G in this band. 774 Verizon supplemented its emission limit recommendation to relax the
emission limit within the first five megahertz from the channel edge in order to conform to the OOBE
limits contained in the 3GPP standard for band n77. 775 We note that those emission masks vary by
channel bandwidth. We agree that requiring limits more stringent than the 3GPP requirements “could
prevent user equipment that operates on wide channel bandwidths from being certified for use in the
United States.” 776 We adopt a relaxation of the emission limit within the first five megahertz of the
channel edge by varying the resolution bandwidth used when measuring the emission. For emissions
within 1 megahertz from the channel edge, the minimum resolution bandwidth will be either one percent
of the emission bandwidth of the fundamental emission of the transmitter or 350 kilohertz. In the bands
between one and five megahertz removed from the licensee’s authorized frequency block, the minimum
resolution bandwidth will be 500 kilohertz. The adopted relaxation will not affect the interference to FSS
above 4.0 GHz. The adopted relaxation will be entirely contained within the 20 megahertz guard band.
The effect on Citizens Broadband Radio Service operations below 3.7 GHz should be minimal. This limit
will ensure new 3.7 GHz Service operators have a robust equipment market in which mobile devices can
be designed to operate across the variety of spectrum bands currently available for mobile broadband
services. We find that this limit has been widely accepted as being adequate for reducing unwanted
emissions into adjacent bands.
349.
We note that the C-Band Alliance proposed a more stringent mobile equipment emission
mask, but later supported emission masks developed by standards bodies suitable for 5G devices. 778 As
with the requirements for base stations, our approach will provide equipment developers and adjacent
777

772

Verizon Comments at 24.

773
See e.g., Qualcomm July 19 PN Comments at 6; AT&T July 19 PN Reply at 3; T-Mobile Reply at 40; Samsung
July 19 PN Reply at 6. While Verizon initially supported our limit, it supplemented the record to request a
relaxation of the emission limits at the band edge. Specifically, Verizon suggests emissions be suppressed to a level
(a) -13 dBm measured in a bandwidth of 1% of the nominal channel bandwidth, or (b) for channel bandwidths of 50
MHz or greater, -24 dBm/30 kHz; then -10 dBm/MHz to ±5 MHz from the nominal channel edge; then -13
dBm/MHz out to ± the nominal channel bandwidth, except for a 5 MHz channel bandwidth where the -13
dBm/MHz applies to ±6 MHz from the nominal channel edge; then -25 dBm/MHz. Compare Verizon Sept. 16,
2019 Comments at 5 with Verizon Jan. 30, 2020 Ex Parte at 2.
774

Qualcomm July 19 PN Comments at 4.

775

Verizon Feb. 21, 202 Ex Parte at 2.

776

Id at 2.

777

C-Band Alliance May 13, 2019 Ex Parte at 14.

778

C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 34.

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channel licensees certainty as compared to the 3GPP 5G OOBE specifications, which vary with
bandwidth. The limit largely falls within the 3GPP mask and does not preclude higher levels of
suppression should they be needed.
350.
We note that, like the AWS requirements, we are adopting provisions that permit
licensees in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band to implement private agreements with adjacent block licensees to
exceed the adopted OOBE limits. 779 Finally, similar to other part 27 services, we apply section 27.53(i),
which states that the FCC may, in its discretion, require greater attenuation than specified in the rules if an
emission outside of the authorized bandwidth causes harmful interference.780
3.

Antenna Height Limits

351.
We adopt our proposal not to restrict antenna heights for 3.7-3.98 GHz band operations
beyond any requirements necessary to ensure physical obstructions do not impact air navigation safety. 781
This is consistent with part 27 AWS rules, which generally do not impose antenna height limits on
antenna structures.
352.
Commenters generally support adopting 3.7-3.98 GHz band rules similar to existing part
27 rules to promote consistency, 782 and AT&T specifically supports the proposal in the NPRM for flexible
antenna height regulations. 783
353.
Rather than using antenna height limits to reduce interference between mobile service
licensees, as has been done in the past, the Commission more recently has used service boundary limits to
provide licensees more flexibility to design their systems while still ensuring harmful interference
protection between systems. As this has proven successful in other services, we adopt that same approach
in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. Further, we believe such limits would have limited practical effect because we
expect that licensees generally will deploy systems predicated on lower tower heights and increased cell
density achieving maximum 5G data throughput to as many consumers as possible. In rural areas where
higher antennas may be used to provide longer range to serve sparse populations, we believe that the
service area boundary limits we are adopting will ensure that adjacent area licensees are protected from
harmful interference.
4.

Service Area Boundary Limit

354.
We adopt the -76 dBm/m2/MHz power flux density (PFD) limit at a height of 1.5 meters
above ground at the border of the licensees’ service area boundaries as proposed in the NPRM and we
also permit licensees operating in adjacent geographic areas to voluntarily agree to higher levels at their
common boundaries. 784
355.
The commenters that specifically address the service area boundary limit support the -76
dBm/m2/MHz PFD limit. 785 We also note that this metric is straightforward to calculate or measure and
also scales with channel bandwidth to provide licensees flexibility for demonstrating compliance.

779

See 47 CFR § 27.53(h)(4).

780

Id. § 27.53(i).

781

See id. § 27.56.

782

Verizon Comments at 23; T-Mobile Reply at 31.

783

AT&T Reply at 23.

784

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6975, paras. 182-185. See also 2016 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM, 31 FCC
Rcd at 8123-8124, para. 312; 47 CFR § 30.204(a).
785

AT&T Comments at 19; Verizon Comments at 26; Ericsson Comments at 22; T-Mobile Comments at 35.

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FCC 20-22

International Boundary Requirements

356.
We adopt our proposal to apply section 27.57(c) of our rules to this band, which requires
all part 27 operations to comply with international agreements for operations near the Mexican and
Canadian borders. This requirement is consistent with all other part 27 services. Under this provision,
licensee operations must not cause harmful interference across the border, consistent with the terms of the
agreements currently in force. We note that modification of the existing rules might be necessary in order
to comply with any future agreements with Canada and Mexico regarding the use of these bands.
6.

Other Part 27 Rules

357.
As proposed in the NPRM, we adopt several additional technical rules applicable to all
part 27 services, including sections 27.51 (Equipment authorization), 27.52 (RF safety), 27.54 (Frequency
stability), and part 1, subpart BB of the Commission’s rules (Disturbance of AM Broadcast Station
Antenna Patterns) for operations in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. As operations in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band will
be a part 27 service, we find these rules implement important safeguards for all wireless services to ensure
that devices meet RF safety limits and that the potential for causing harmful interference to other
operations is minimized. Further, few commenters address these issues other than supporting uniformity
of 3.7-3.98 GHz band regulations with other part 27 services that will operate in nearby bands. 786
358.
As the Commission has done for other part 27 services since 2014, we also require client
devices to be capable of operating across the entire 3.7-3.98 GHz band. Specifically, we add the 3.7-3.98
GHz band to section 27.75, which requires mobile and portable stations operating in the 600 MHz band
and certain AWS-3 bands to be capable of operating across the relevant band using the same air interfaces
that the equipment uses on any frequency in the band. This requirement does not require licensees to use
any particular industry standard. As CCA states, this requirement will prevent “Balkanization” of the
band and ensure advanced communications across rural and urban markets alike. 787 We agree that cross
band operability is important to ensure a robust equipment market for all licensees.
7.

Protection of Incumbent FSS Earth Stations

359.
The record reflects widely varying views on how to protect incumbent operations and
whether such protections should be negotiated or mandated by rule. For example, the C-Band Alliance
has put forth a specific protection criterion and calculation method based on the received power spectral
density (PSD) within an FSS Earth station and urges the promulgation of its proposal in the rules. 788
However, several commenters, including CTIA, T-Mobile, and Verizon, argue that the C-Band Alliance’s
protection criteria is overly conservative and its adoption will hinder 5G deployment. 789 We adopt here
specific criteria for the protection of the incumbent FSS earth stations but acknowledge the possibility of
private negotiations that depart from these limits. 790
360.
We will require a PFD limit of -124 dBW/m2/MHz as measured at the earth station
antenna. This PFD limit applies to all emissions within the earth station’s authorized band of operation,
4.0-4.2 GHz. In the event of early clearing of the lower 100 megahertz (Phase 1 of the transition), the
limit will apply to all emissions within the 3.82-4.2 GHz band. We also require a PFD limit of -16
dBW/m2/MHz applied across the 3.7-3.98 GHz band at the earth station antenna as a means to prevent

786

See, e.g., Verizon Comments at 23; T-Mobile Comments at 31.

787
CCA Reply at 3. See also U.S. Cellular Reply at 29-30 (recommending a cross band operability requirement to
promote a robust equipment ecosystem).
788

See C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at Attach. A.

789

See, e.g., T-Mobile Second Supplemental Comments at 14; CTIA July 19 PN Comments at 11; Verizon
September 16, 2019 Ex Parte at 5.
790

See T-Mobile Feb. 3, 2020 Ex Parte at Attach.

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receiver blocking. This blocking limit applies to all emissions within the 3.7 GHz Service licensee’s
authorized band of operation.
a.

Protection from Out of Band Emissions

361.
We adopt a PFD limit to protect registered FSS earth stations from out of band emissions
from 3.7 GHz Service operations. For base and mobile stations operating in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band, we
adopt a PFD limit of -124 dBW/m2/MHz, as measured at the antenna of registered FSS earth stations. 3.7
GHz Service licensees will be obligated to ensure that the PFD limit at FSS earth stations is not exceeded
by base and mobile station emissions, which may require them to limit mobile operations when in the
vicinity of an earth station receiver.
362.
The record contains a range of proposals on how FSS earth stations should be protected.
Notably, the C-Band Alliance proposes a formula to calculate the expected received aggregate PSD at
each FSS earth station receiver.791 The C-Band Alliance’s proposed approach would require terrestrial
licensees to consider the aggregate effect of all mobile and base station operations within 40 km of each
earth station over a defined span of look angles for the earth station 792 and a defined reference antenna.793
Several commenters argue that the C-Band Alliance’s proposal is overly protective and would hinder 5G
deployment. 794 For example, AT&T contends that the C-Band Alliance’s plan would create unnecessary
coordination obligations for flexible-use licensees and would lead to inefficient spectrum use. 795 Intelsat
recommended a PFD level of -134 dBW/m2/MHz. 796 AT&T recommends adopting a PFD limit of -124
dBW/m2/MHz for 5G operations in the 50 megahertz immediately below the FSS band edge. 797 We agree
with this PFD value, but rather than apply it to stations only in a specific 50 megahertz as suggested by
AT&T, we will apply that limit to all wireless operations in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band to ensure that earth
stations are adequately protected.
363.
We find that requiring compliance with a PFD limit is relatively simple and less
burdensome on FSS earth station operators and 3.7 GHz Service licensees to implement than a PSD
limit. 798 Using PFD avoids the complexity of registering complex antenna gain patterns for more than
twenty thousand earth stations, and it avoids multiple angular calculations that would be necessary to
predict PSD within each satellite receiver. The PFD limit we are adopting is based on a reference FSS
antenna gain of 0 dBi, 799 interference-to-noise (I/N) protection threshold of -6 dB, 800 a 142.8K FSS earth
station receiver noise temperature, 801 and results in a calculated PFD of -120 dBW/m2/MHz. 802 To
791

See C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at Attach. A.

792

The look angle will vary based on the location of the earth station but protects a full arc view of satellites
between 87- and 139-degrees West longitude.

793

The C-Band Alliance’s proposal urges that PSD levels not exceed an in-band PSD of -59 -10 log10(BW) –
10log10(n) dBm/MHz (where BW is the total amount of C-band spectrum cleared for flexible use in MHz and n is
the number of flexible-use operations within the 40 km radius). Similarly, the out-of-band PSD limit would be -133
-10log10(n2) dBm/MHz for Telemetry, Tracking, and Command stations and -128 -10log10(n2) dBm/MHz for
regular earth stations. C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments, Attach. at 2.
794

See, e.g., Verizon July 19 PN Reply at 3; T-Mobile July 19 PN Reply at 13; CTIA July 19 PN Comments at 8.

795

AT&T July 19 PN Comments at 6.

796

Intelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 3.

797

See AT&T October 22, 2019 Ex Parte at 2.

798

C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 26-29, 33, Appendix A.

799

See AT&T October 22, 2019 Ex Parte at 2. Also, see §25.209(a)(1) and §25.209(a)(4) for earth stations not
operating in the Ku band. 32-25log(Ɵ) = 0 for Ɵ = 19°.

800

See Motorola July 19 PN Comments at 2.

801

See FCC 16-55, Order on Reconsideration and 2nd R&O, at 257.

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account for aggregate interference effects, which we expect will be dominated by a single interferer, we
adjust our calculated value by -4 dB (i.e., assuming the dominant interferer is 40% of the aggregate
power). This results in -120 dBW/m2/MHz - 4 dB = -124 dBW/m2/MHz as the PFD limit to protect earth
stations from out-of-band emissions. 803 We find that using these parameters to calculate a PFD limit is
reasonable and will adequately protect FSS earth station receivers from out-of-band emissions from fixed
and mobile operations in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band.
364.
The C-Band Alliance offered a method of estimating the effect of the aggregate power of
all base stations within a certain distance of an FSS earth station. 804 It provides a formula that considers
the impact of aggregate power from all base stations and mobile devices from one licensee for operations
within 40 km of an earth station, and if there are more than one licensee within 40 km it essentially
divides allotted power by the number of licensees that operate in the subject area. This approach has
challenges in that the number and location of mobile operations may be constantly changing, making it
difficult to predict the aggregate power for all such stations. Thus, the C-Band Alliance approach
assumes all relevant stations have equal potential to cause interference to an earth station. AT&T argues
that the C-Band Alliance’s aggregate power proposal is flawed, overly complex and does not account for
the fact that a single dominant interferer drives the interference power received, not aggregate
interference. 805 We agree that the base stations closest to any earth station will have a larger potential for
causing harmful interference than stations further away. We decline to adopt the C-Band Alliance
proposed methodology. We find that the methodology is excessively burdensome for FSS operators and
terrestrial licensees, and it involves complex calculations that are unnecessary to reasonably limit the
service impact of potential interference. Moreover, the PFD limit we are adopting accounts for the
potential of aggregate interference and will protect FSS earth stations from harmful interference.
365.
The C-Band Alliance proposes that earth station protection be applied to all locations
within one arc second (i.e., about 30 meters depending on location) to provide a buffer around stations. 806
We decline to establish a buffered protection area for earth stations. We observe that the angular
variation over a 30 meter radius protection area is less than 1.7 degrees at distances greater than 1 km, and
the path loss variation over a 30 meter radius protection area at distances greater than 1 km is less than 1
dB. 807 We find that protecting an area of a certain radius instead of an actual deployment could hinder
deployment closer to earth stations because it could minimize the effect of terrain or shielding.
b.

Protection from Receiver Blocking

366.
We will require base stations and mobiles to meet a PFD limit of -16 dBW/m2/MHz, as
measured at the earth station antenna for all registered FSS earth stations. This blocking limit applies to
all emissions within the 3.7 GHz Service licensee’s authorized band of operation.
367.
It is possible that emissions operating at high power, even one relatively removed in
frequency, may overload a receiver in an adjacent band, also known as receiver blocking. Such blocking
effects can be mitigated with filters designed to protect FSS earth stations from receiving energy intended
(Continued from previous page)
802
PFD (dBW/m2/MHz) = 10*log[(kT)*(4π/λ2)*(I/N)*(10-6 MHz/Hz)] = (-228.6 dBW/Hz) + 10*log(142.8) + 33.5
dB/m2 - 6 dB (I/N) + 60 dB-Hz/MHz = -120 dBW/m2/MHz.
803

See AT&T October 22, 2019 Ex Parte at 4-5, which concludes from CommScope’s study that interference of
significance was dominated by a single 5G base station, and not by aggregate effect. Out of an abundance of
caution, the PFD we adopt for a single interferer accounts for up to 2.5 times (1 / 0.4) more interference power from
other sources.
804

C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 32-34 & Attach. at 2-3.

805

AT&T June 6, 2019 Ex Parte at 8.

806

C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 30.

807

35*log10(1,030/970) = 0.91 dB

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for adjacent channels. Ericsson noted that the NTIA recommended the RF front-end preselection filters
be included in new C-band earth station installation to preclude receiver front-end overload. 808 The CBand Alliance proposed an FSS blocking protection mechanism based on an aggregate power spectrum
density (APSD) protection threshold that must be met by all terrestrial operators within 40 km of each
earth station. 809 The APSD is a function of the total amount of C-band spectrum, in megahertz, cleared
for flexible-use licensees and the number of distinct licensees using the same frequency block within a 40
km radius of an earth station. The C-Band Alliance also proposed to install filters on all protected earth
stations to reduce their susceptibility to blocking. 810 After a series of refinements and testing of several
prototype filters, the C-Band Alliance proposed the following definition of the FSS earth station filter
mask: 811

Frequency Range

Attenuation

From 3.7 GHz to 100 megahertz below FSS band edge

-70 dB

From 100 megahertz below lower FSS band edge to 20 megahertz below
lower FSS band edge
From 20 megahertz below lower FSS band edge to 15 megahertz below lower
FSS band edge
From 15 megahertz below lower FSS band edge to lower FSS band edge

-60 dB
-30 dB
0 dB

368.
The transition of the 3.7-3.98 GHz band to flexible use may be conducted in phases, with
an accelerated clearing of the lower 100 megahertz of the band. Some earth stations may need to have
two different filters installed over the course of the transition. The filter mask above is defined relative to
the lower band edge of the FSS and is applicable to both phases of the accelerated clearing plan. In Phase
I, the FSS lower band edge is defined to be 3.82 GHz while in Phase II the FSS lower band edge is
defined to be 4.0 GHz.
369.
The C-Band Alliance notes that filters have been used in earth stations around the world
to mitigate interference for many decades. 812 American Cable Association, however, believes that filters
have proven of dubious effectiveness. 813 It states that one of its members discovered that a Wi-Max
signal from 3.6 GHz can overcome the defenses of the filter and get through to the earth station receiver,
particularly if it is two or three times more powerful than the victimized video signal. 814 We acknowledge
that there can be variation in filter performance. However, when properly designed and installed, filters
can have significant impact in reducing interference to FSS earth stations. Verizon states that there are
real and continuing improvements in C-band earth station receive filter mask technology and, as a result,
the Commission should continue to evaluate the performance of satellite receive filters. 815 While we
808

Ericsson Jan. 13, 2020 Ex Parte at 1. See U.S. Department of Commerce, Analysis of Electromagnetic
Compatibility Between Radar Stations and 4 GHz Satellite Earth Station, NTIA Report 94-313, at 33 (July 1994).
809

C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 37.

810

The APSD threshold proposed by C-Band Alliance is given by [-59 – 10log10(BWMHz) - 10log10(n)] dBm/MHz.
See C-Band Alliance July 19 Comments, Attachment at 1-2.
811

See C-Band Alliance Comments at 31.

812

See C-Band Alliance March. 4, 2019, Further Technical Statement at 10.

813

See American Cable Association Reply at 8.

814

Id. at 8-9.

815

See Verizon Reply at 7.

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agree with Verizon that C-band filter mask technology may be subject to further improvement, we believe
that failure to develop a baseline minimum specification can and will delay deployment of 5G networks in
this band.
370.
We adopt a PFD limit to protect FSS earth stations from receiver blocking, relying on CBand Alliance’s filter specification for suppression of signals from the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. PFD is easily
modeled at the design phase of a deployment, facilitates independent verification and testing by 3.7 GHz
Service licensees and will greatly reduce the amount of coordination and the burden on all relevant
parties. We decline to adopt C-Band Alliance’s suggested PSD limit for the same reasons described
above in determining the PFD limit for out of band emissions. Most importantly, a PSD limit would
require the use of detailed antenna pattern data for each individual earth station antenna and a multitude
of angular computations for each base station. This level of complexity is an unnecessary burden and is
not needed to provide adequate protection for earth stations.
371.
C-Band Alliance states that through testing and analysis they have determined that the
earth station receiver will encounter insignificant degradation if the aggregate power level across its entire
operational frequency range is lower than -59 dBm at the input of the low-noise block downconverter
(LNB). 816 In determining the PFD blocking limit, we use the -59 dBm saturation limit suggested by the
C-Band Alliance which includes an aggregate power factor, the filter’s total rejection, the bandwidth of
flexible-use service, and a 0 dBi FSS antenna gain. We believe the use of 0 dBi FSS antenna gain is a
valid assumption that helps simplify compliance and, for virtually all earth stations of record, provides
greater than necessary protection. For the filter mask described above, we have determined the total
rejection to be 60.85 dB, for an accelerated Phase I where 3.7 GHz Service use will only operate in the
3.7-3.8 GHz frequency range. In the later Phase II band, we have determined the total rejection to be
somewhat greater at 64.46 dB over the full 3.7-4.0 GHz frequency range. 817 Based on these parameters,
we adopt a PFD blocking limit of -16 dBW/m2/MHz for both Phase I and Phase II. This PFD applies at
the earth station antenna and over the authorized band of operation of the 3.7 GHz Service licensee. We
decline to adopt Intelsat’s request to set the PFD blocking limit to -30 dBW/m2/MHz, which incorrectly
asserts that aggregation was not included in the calculation of the value. 818 We anticipate all stakeholders
will work with manufacturers to obtain filters that have better performance characteristics than the
baseline minimum specification if they are available. In the event of a claim of harmful interference, the
earth station operator must demonstrate that they have installed a filter that complies with the mask
described above. If they have not installed such a filter or are unable to make such a demonstration, and
the 3.7 GHz Service licensee can confirm it meets the blocking PFD, the earth station operator will have
to accept the interference.
c.

Full Band/Full Arc Protections

372.
Once the transition is complete, all FSS earth stations will operate above 4.0 GHz, so we
will continue to allow full band/full arc use of that band. The Commission sought comment in the NPRM
on revising the full band/full arc policy for the C-band and several commenters addressed this matter. 819
For example, the C-Band Alliance proposed limiting the orbital arc of satellites that may serve earth
816

See C-Band Alliance Comments, Technical Annex, at 5. Also see C-Band Alliance Mar. 4, 2019 Ex Parte at 1113. An LNB is a receiver component that converts the received signal frequency to a different frequency for
decoding or other signal processing.
817

The OOBE limit for base stations in the guard band is -13 dBm/MHz.

818

Intelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 4.

819

See, e.g., Broadband Access Coalition Comments at 16-17; CTIA Comments at 13-14; Microsoft Comments at 5;
Microsoft Reply at 9-10; PISC Comments at 11-17; Qualcomm Comments at 43-44; AT&T Comments at 12-13;
Boeing Comments at 7; Comcast Comments at 33; Extreme Reach Comments at 5; NAB Comments at 24-28; SIA
Comments at 21-24; Dynamic Spectrum Alliance May 3 PN Comments at 10; Google May 3 PN Comments at 13;
OTI May 3 PN Comments at 23-26; BYU Broadcasting May 3 PN Comments at 10.

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stations in the contiguous United States to 87° W.L. and 139° W.L. 820 We recognize, however, that the
proposal excludes satellites of competing operators that operate outside that arc. While we find merit in
knowing the actual spectrum uses and orientation of earth stations for protection purposes, we find these
merits are outweighed by the need to provide flexibility to earth stations that will be transitioned to
operate above 4.0 GHz. Accordingly, we will maintain the existing policy regarding full band/full arc for
earth stations above 4.0 GHz.
8.

Protection of TT&C Earth Stations

373.
We establish a protection mechanism to allow continued use of the 3.7-4.0 GHz band by
space station licensees operating TT&C links until these operations can be moved to other bands. We
note that, for some satellites, TT&C links cannot be moved to other transponders within the satellite, but
the earth station location for those TT&C links can be moved. Accordingly, until a replacement satellite
can be launched, certain TT&C links will need to continue to operate on a co-channel basis with
terrestrial 3.7 GHz Service spectrum.
a.

Identification of TT&C Earth Stations to be Protected and
Operations at Protected Sites

374.
According to the record, there are 14 unique locations in the contiguous United States
where earth stations are currently providing TT&C functions in the C-band. 821 Due to the potential to
hinder 3.7 GHz Service deployment around these locations, the C-Band Alliance indicated that these
operations could be consolidated into four locations. 822 Specifically, they identified Brewster, WA and
Hawley, PA as two locations where consolidated TT&C could be located. 823 C-Band Alliance noted
“[t]he key selection criteria are that any site: (1) must be located at a sufficient distance from a major
urban area or have a terrain profile such that the propagation losses between urban area and the
TT&C/Gateway location will be large enough to attenuate Flexible Use base station transmissions to a
level that will not unduly impair the Flexible Use licensee’s operation in that urban area; (2) must be
geographically diverse from the other TT&C/Gateway sites; (3) requires nearby access to major
telecommunications points-of-presence; (4) requires some existing FSS infrastructure in place that can be
improved upon for new or additional TT&C/Gateway infrastructure; (5) requires unhindered visibility to
the geostationary satellite arc to elevation angles as low as 5 degrees; (6) must have sufficient land
available to accommodate up to 20 very large (i.e., up to 13m) transmit/receive antennas; (7) must be in
an area unaffected by nearby aeronautical traffic; and (8) must be able to be built out (e.g., building
permits, zoning requirements) within a 36-month time frame.” 824 The space station operators must
identify the four consolidated TT&C locations as soon as feasible, but not later than the submission of the

820

C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 28. The C-Band Alliance’s original proposal was based on the legal
standard set forth in the 25.205(a) that restricts earth station operators from transmitting at elevation angles less than
5 degrees. C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 27-28. The C-Band Alliance conducted an internal
assessment and concluded that it could repack service currently provided to the United States by satellites
throughout the arc by repacking and transmitting from satellites located between 87° W.L. and 139° W.L. C-Band
Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 28.
821

C-Band Alliance Comments, Technical Annex at 3. Lockheed Martin has identified an additional site in
Carpentersville, New Jersey, where it provides TT&C functions during Launch and Early Operations Phase
missions. Lockheed Martin Comments at 7-9; Lockheed Martin Feb 14, 2020 Ex Parte; Lockheed Martin Feb 18,
2020 Ex Parte.
822

C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 30.

823

Id. at 30.

824

C-Band Alliance Jan. 14, 2020 Ex Parte.

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Transition Plan. 825 Should the incumbent space station operators fail to come to consensus, we expect
that SES would identify two locations and Intelsat would identify the other two locations. 826 The
Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will assess the proposed locations, including
consideration of the criteria proposed by C-band Alliance, and make a determination as to the
reasonableness of the sites. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will consider the size of the
population that would be affected as well as other factors in their assessment and may require alternative
locations if the proposed sites are deemed deficient. Identification of the locations must also include all
the technical parameters necessary to assess coexistence such as frequency, authorized bandwidth and
specific look angles to existing satellites.
375.
To facilitate protection of TT&C links while also transitioning them out of the 3.7 GHz
Service band, we will not authorize any new TT&C earth station links in the 3.7 GHz Service band within
the contiguous United States unless it is to consolidate existing TT&C links into the selected locations for
temporary operation. That is, we will allow until December 5, 2021 to consolidate TT&C links to four
protected locations. We may allow existing TT&C operations to continue in their current location beyond
the December 5, 2021 deadline either through a waiver request upon a sufficient showing to the
International Bureau or through negotiated agreements with affected 3.7 GHz Service licensees. During
the transition period prior to December 5, 2021, the space station operators will work to consolidate
TT&C sites to four locations and ensure operations are adequately protected through coordination. After
that date, operations that are not relocated may continue on an unprotected basis.
376.
Further, until December 5, 2030, we will allow protected operation of TT&C operations
in the 3.7-4.0 GHz band at the consolidated locations. This should allow sufficient time for replacement
satellites to be launched and satisfy the lifespan of existing satellites. After this transition period, these
TT&C links may continue to operate on an unprotected basis until the satellites they are communicating
with cease operation. We will also allow negotiated agreements for longer operation where relevant
parties should be able to arrange operating parameters to coexist to allow early entry by 3.7 GHz Service
operations or extended operations by TT&C earth stations.
377.
Further, we will allow private negotiation of TT&C sites as well. Given the limited
number of TT&C sites, we believe private negotiations between the TT&C station operators and 3.7 GHz
Service licensees may permit early entry of 3.7 GHz Service operations or may prolong TT&C operations
in instances where these operations are designed to coexist. Alternatively, TT&C operations could
negotiate to relocate to another country that is maintaining C-band FSS or a remote shielded location in
the United States that is not heavily populated.
378.
Lockheed Martin provides Launch and Early Operations Phase (LEOP) missions for new
satellites. They state that the earth station, located in Carpentersville, NJ, has a unique topography that
“ensures that interference from the facility is highly unlikely and has historically resulted in no known
interference from Lockheed Martin’s operations to other users of the band.” 827 They requested that these
LEOP operations be allowed to continue through use of the Commission’s Special Temporary Authority
(“STA”) licensing mechanism. We agree that such operations may seek authorization through the STA
process.
379.

We also find that earth stations located at TT&C sites may continue to be used—on an

825

X2nSat requests that the Commission designate the TT&C site located in Las Cruces, New Mexico as one of the
four protected TT&C sties. X2nSat Feb. 13, 2020 Ex Parte at 1. We decline the invitation because X2nSat’s
arguments do not address the key criteria we expect the space station operators will use to make their selections.

826
Intelsat Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 7. Consistent with the key criteria laid out here, we expect that all incumbent
space station operators will have the opportunity to co-locate their TT&C and international gateways at these four
sites. And such a requirement, of course, does not preclude any other incumbent space station operator from
suggesting alternative locations to the Bureau that it thinks better meet the identified criteria.
827

Lockheed Martin Feb. 14, 2020 Ex Parte.

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unprotected basis—for international gateway and other operations in the 3.7-4.0 GHz band. According to
the C-band Alliance, these sites are critical ingestion points for a variety of customer services, including
foreign language programming uplinked outside of the U.S, that require the use of the full 3.7-4.2 GHz
band. 828 SES contends that operations at these locations should be permitted to continue in the 3.7-4.0
GHz band on a protected basis. 829 Intelsat argues that the Commission should permit FSS operations at
designated TT&C sites on a secondary basis. 830
380.
We agree with NAB and find that it is in the public interest to allow earth stations located
at the four designated TT&C sites to continue to use the 3.7-4.0 GHz band for international gateway, and
other purposes, on an unprotected basis during the TT&C transition period. Such uses will not cause
harmful interference to terrestrial deployments in the band and will not be protected from harmful
interference. As such, permitting these operations will not affect future deployments by flexible use
licensees or delay the transition of the band. Extending interference protection to these operations, as
requested by SES and C-band Alliance, could effectively preclude terrestrial operations across a wide
geographic area near each TT&C facility across the entire 3.7-4.0 GHz band. This outcome would be
inconsistent with the Commission’s goals for this proceeding and the transition plan detailed herein.
381.
We decline to adopt Disney and Eutelsat’s requests to allow secondary or unprotected
FSS operations in the 3.7-4.0 GHz band nationwide. 831 Expanding FSS access to the 3.7-4.0 GHz band
during the transition period—even on an unprotected basis—could introduce uncertainty into the
transition process and raise doubts about the availability of the band for new flexible use services. Such
uses also create a perverse incentive for space station operators and earth station operators not to complete
their transition work on schedule—leading to potential harmful interference or delays in making the
spectrum available for next-generation services like 5G. In contrast, we agree with NAB that these
operations should be permitted to continue in the 3.7-4.0 GHz band on an unprotected basis at designated
TT&C sites during the 10-year TT&C transition period, or longer if agreements can be negotiated with
terrestrial wireless operators. 832 If all of the overlay licensees in the relevant PEA(s) agree that extending
the use of any or all of these four TT&C sites for FSS operations is the highest and best use of the
spectrum in the area, we find no public policy justification to intervene in such a voluntary transaction
and second-guess the market.
b.

Co-Channel Protection Criteria

382.
TT&C earth stations perform a critical function in maintaining space station operations.
While these operations need adequate protection, their operations will have a direct impact on the ability
of mobile broadband services to operate on the same spectrum. We adopted a single out-of-band
emissions PFD level for protecting FSS earth stations above 4.0 GHz due to the large number of earth
stations and the fact that many earth station operators lack sufficient technical skills to perform
engineering analysis of potential interference sources. The PFD limit that we adopted for earth stations
necessarily relied on assumptions of some parameters such as noise temperature and elevation angle.
TT&C operations have a wider range of variability in some of these key parameters and previous
assumptions may no longer be sufficient. Given that there are few TT&C locations to be protected, it is
possible to do more detailed analysis specific to each site’s particular parameters. We find that a
protection criteria of I/N = -6 dB is appropriate for TT&C links, as we did for the FSS earth stations
828

See C-Band Alliance Jan. 14, 2020 Ex Parte at 8.

829

Id. at 8-9; SES Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte, Attach. at 11.

830

See Intelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 2.

831

See Disney and ESPN Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 3 (requesting that earth stations be permitted to “continue to
receive international programming from non-CONUS satellites on a secondary, non-protected basis in the lower 300
MHz of the C-band.”); Eutelsat Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 6.
832

See NAB Feb. 14, 2020 Ex Parte at 5-6.

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described above. The 3.7 GHz Service licensee must ensure that the aggregated power from its
operations will meet an I/N of -6 dB as received by the TT&C earth station. We will require 3.7 GHz
Service licensees to coordinate their operations within 70 km of TT&C earth stations that continue to
operate in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band.
383.
Our decision to coordinate actual parameters for TT&C deployments is supported by
many factors in the record. For example, a significant factor in the distance over which coordination is
needed is the elevation angle in which the earth station is pointed. Several commenters pushed for
limiting protections based upon a minimum elevation angle in order to reduce the distance from the earth
station in which 3.7 GHz Service operations must coordinate. 833 We agree that TT&C links are highly
unlikely to conduct normal operations at such low elevation angles because control signals need a much
higher degree of reliability than other traffic. 834 But if a low elevation angle is unavoidable, an operator
may be able to use technical solutions to achieve the necessary reliability.835 It is understood that low
elevation angles may be needed during infrequent events such as the loss of a satellite.
384.
Further, because there are fewer TT&C earth stations, and they are run by highly
qualified technical staff, a coordination process that takes into account terrain, shielding, polarization and
other technical parameters will result in adequate earth station protection and permit terrestrial use at a
closer distance. The space station operators who manage TT&C links are sophisticated users with
internal engineering resources. Reliance on our typical prior coordination process would be the simplest
and most thorough approach. 3.7 GHz Service licensees are expected to take all practical steps necessary
to minimize the risk of harmful interference to TT&C operations. Licensees will cooperate in good faith
and make reasonable efforts to anticipate and resolve technical problems that may inhibit effective and
efficient use of the spectrum. Licensees of stations suffering or causing harmful interference are expected
to cooperate and resolve the problem by mutually satisfactory arrangements. If the licensees are unable to
do so, the Commission may impose restrictions including specifying the transmitter power, antenna
height, or area or hours of operation of the stations concerned. Any 3.7 GHz Service licensee with base
stations located within the appropriate coordination distance is required to provide upon request an
engineering analysis to the TT&C operator to demonstrate their ability to comply with the -6 dB I/N
criteria. Both parties are expected to negotiate in good faith. If a dispute arises, either party can bring the
issue to the FCC. Further, we are only providing protection for TT&C operations. Other services or
content that are capable of moving to different transponders must be moved above 4.0 GHz or other FSS
bands unless parties negotiate other arrangements.
385.
To minimize the impact of this coordination requirement, we advise that the protection
criteria will be applied only for the frequencies, bandwidths and look angles that will be in use at each
TT&C site, not full band or full arc. For our purposes here, we define co-channel operations as when any
of the 3.7 GHz Service licensee’s authorized frequencies are separated from the center frequency of the
TT&C earth station by less than 150% of the maximum emission bandwidth in use by the TT&C
operation. They must continue to be protected over the bandwidth that they use. While this definition
affords co-channel protection over more bandwidth than is in use, it is reasonable to allow for graduated
receiver selectivity outside of the desired channel. The record is clear that the actual parameters of earth
stations make a significant difference in the coordination process and we do not feel it is justified to
preclude 3.7 GHz Service operations by coordinating frequencies or look angles that are not being used.
833

See e.g., Ericsson Comments at 4-6 (arguing that a minimum elevation angle of 20 degrees should be considered
for earth station protections to minimize impact on flexible-use deployments).
834
See, e.g., Recommendation ITU-R S.1716, Performance and availability objectives for fixed-satellite service
telemetry, tracking and command systems, at 1 (TT&C carriers need higher performance reliability objectives than
normal traffic carriers) (2005), https://www.itu.int/rec/R-REC-S.1716.
835

See, e.g., T-Mobile Comments at 34 (supporting coordination of TT&C on a case by case basis, arguing that
protection to FSS earth stations should take into account all technical solutions, such as filtering, shielding,
directional antennas, terrain and operating characteristics of the earth station).

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Unlike the typical conventional FSS earth station operator, TT&C earth station operators are aware of the
precise engineering antenna patterns, look angles, noise temperature, and other specifications that allow a
detailed coordination process to efficiently protect TT&C functions and allow 3.7 GHz Service operations
at a safe distance, which can provide better margin for their robust operations.
386.
While the C-Band Alliance contends that the critical nature of TT&C operations warrants
a coordination zone of 150 km around all sites; 836 others argue that this distance is overly conservative. 837
AT&T argues that a 150 km coordination radius would have significant impact on 5G deployment around
TT&C locations and the Commission should use all engineering and commercial tools to manage
interference challenges prior to resorting to such coordination areas. 838 Ericsson contends that
coordination distances of 30 km may be needed in favorable conditions or up to 50-70 km may be needed
for less favorable conditions for co-channel operation. 839 T-Mobile supports coordination of TT&C on a
case -by-case basis and argues that protection to FSS earth stations should take into account all technical
solutions, such as filtering, shielding, directional antennas, terrain, and operating characteristics of the
earth station. 840
387.
We agree with commenters asserting that a 150 km coordination distance is overly
conservative and instead, we set a co-channel coordination distance of 70 km for all TT&C operations.
First, we note that we are allowing coordination based on the parameters of the TT&C’s actual operations
and we find it highly unlikely that the relevant TT&C locations will be pointed at the horizon presenting a
burdensome coordination process with multiple terrestrial licensees for a scenario that is highly unlikely.
Further, a 150 km coordination would complicate 3.7 GHz Service deployment for several licensees,
many of whom would have an unlikely chance of having any impact on TT&C operations, especially due
to their consolidation to areas with terrain shielding and other protective factors. Further, should any
interference to a protected TT&C location occur, we require parties to act in good faith to resolve the
interference.
c.

Adjacent Channel Protection Criteria

388.
To protect TT&C earth stations from adjacent channel interference due to out-of-band
emissions, we set the same interference protection criteria of -6 dB I/N ratio. This limit will apply to all
emissions removed from the TT&C’s center frequency by more than 150% of the TT&C’s necessary
emission bandwidth. Prior coordination is not required for adjacent channel licenses. Both 3.7 GHz
Service licensees and TT&C earth station operators are expected to cooperate in good faith and make
reasonable efforts to anticipate and resolve technical problems that may inhibit effective and efficient use
of the spectrum. The TT&C operators should make available pertinent technical information about their
systems upon request by the 3.7 GHz Service licensees. Licensees of stations suffering or causing
harmful interference are expected to cooperate and resolve the problem by mutually satisfactory
arrangements.
389.
To provide protection from potential receiver overload, we will require base stations and
mobiles to meet a PFD limit of -16 dBW/m2/MHz, as measured at the TT&C earth station antenna. This
blocking limit applies to all emissions within the 3.7 GHz Service licensee’s authorized band of
operation. This is the same limit that is applied to other earth stations as described above and for the
same reasons. All TT&C earth stations will be protected based on the assumption that robust filters have
836

C-Band Alliance July 19 PN Comments at 29; see also Intelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 3 (asserting that a
coordination distance of at least 100 km is needed).

837
AT&T May 23, 2019 Ex Parte at 5, 15-16; Wireless Internet Service Providers Association Aug. 21, 2019 Ex
Parte at 3.
838

AT&T May 23, 2019 Ex Parte at 5, 15-16.

839

Ericsson May 31, 2018 Comments at 5.

840

T-Mobile Comments at 34.

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been installed at the facilities, like other FSS earth stations. Because the bandwidth of the TT&C
emission can vary, this filter will have to be custom fit for each earth station. The quality should be just
as robust, providing a minimum of 60 dB of rejection. The frequency at which the TT&C filter must
meet this 60 dB of rejection will vary with the bandwidth. We expect that the filter should meet 60 dB of
rejection for all frequencies removed from the TT&C’s center frequency by more than 150% of the
TT&C’s emission bandwidth, both above and below the TT&C channel. Further, the filter should
provide 70 dB of rejection for all frequencies removed from the TT&C’s center frequency by more than
250% of the TT&C’s emission bandwidth, both above and below. Intelsat now claims that the protected
bandwidth on both sides of the TT&C’s telemetry signal must be at least 25 megahertz. 841 But given that
TT&Cs typically use a channel bandwidth of 400 to 800 kilohertz, we find this claim to be excessive. In
the event of a claim of harmful interference, the earth station operator must demonstrate that they have
installed a filter that complies with the mask described above. If they have not installed such a filter or
are unable to make such a demonstration, and the 3.7 GHz Service licensee can confirm it meets the PFD,
the TT&C operator will have to accept the interference.
9.

Coexistence with Aeronautical Radionavigation

390.
The nearby 4.2-4.4 GHz band is allocated to Aeronautical Radionavigation and
aeronautical mobile (route) services worldwide. 842 This band is home to radio altimeters and Wireless
Avionics Intra-Communications systems used on aircraft and helicopters worldwide. Radio altimeters are
critical aeronautical safety-of-life systems primarily used at altitudes under 2500 feet above ground level
(AGL) and must operate without harmful interference. Wireless Avionics Intra-Communications systems
provide communications over short distances between points on a single aircraft and are not intended to
provide air-to-ground communications or communications between two or more aircraft.
391.
By licensing only up to 3.98 GHz as flexible-use spectrum, we are providing a 220megahertz guard band between new services in the lower C-band and radio altimeters and Wireless
Avionics Intra-Communications services operating in the 4.2-4.4 GHz band. This is double the minimum
guard band requirement discussed in initial comments by Boeing and ASRC. 843
392.
A set of preliminary test results prepared by the Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute was
provided to the Commission after the comment and reply period. AVSI’s study simulated an aggregate
5G emission for various amounts of allocated spectrum and measured the received power level at which
the accuracy of height measurements exceeds certain criteria. In one scenario, AVSI modeled a worstcase scenario with an aircraft altimeter operating at 200 feet AGL, with numerous other altimeters nearby
creating in-band interference and aggregate base station emissions across the 3.7 to 4.0 GHz band. The
preliminary results show that there may be a large variation in radio altimeter receiver performance
between different manufacturers. The measured PSD levels at which errors occurred ranged from -21 to 51 dBm/MHz for the various types of altimeters that were tested. AVSI concluded that “most of the
altimeters reported broadly consistent susceptibility to OoBI PSD levels until more than approximately
200 to 250 MHz of OoBI was introduced.” 844 AVSI noted that as the amount of active spectrum
increased above 3.9 GHz, the acceptable levels of PSD began to decrease.

841

Intelsat Feb. 21, 2020 Ex Parte at 3.

842

World Radio Conference-15 added a primary aeronautical mobile (route) service (AM(R)S) allocation to the 4.24.4 GHz band in all ITU Regions, and adopted footnote 5.436, which reserves the use of this allocation exclusively
for wireless avionics intra-communications systems.
843

See Boeing Reply at 5-6; Aviation Spectrum Resources Comments 5-6.

844

See “Behavior of Radio Altimeters Subject to Out-Of-Band Interference,” attachment to Letter of Dr. David
Redman, Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications
Commission, Docket No. 18-122 (filed Oct. 22, 2019).

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393.
T-Mobile commissioned a study by Alion to review the AVSI report and they raised
several concerns. 845 Alion noted that AVSI’s analysis identified levels of interference where performance
degradation occurred, but did not investigate whether these levels would occur in any reasonable
scenario. 846 Alion questioned the interference margin assumptions, 847 noting that two of the initial
altimeters types failed due to interference from other altimeters and the scenario had to be adjusted. They
also questioned the simulated waveform for the 5G emissions, which showed flat out-of-band emissions
approximately 40 dB below the carrier. Alion noted that emissions naturally decrease with frequency
separation and concluded that the simulated emission “would not comply with the emission limits for
virtually any services associated with a base station or fixed station governed by FCC rules: Part 27
services, Part 27.53 or Part 96 services.” 848
394.
In subsequent filings, the AVSI again claims that some receivers may be susceptible to
performance degradation, but expressly recognizes that “further analysis is required to consider more
sophisticated propagation models and other coupling paths and, as appropriate, to characterize statistical
likelihood of interference levels.” 849
395.
We agree with T-Mobile and Alion that the AVSI study does not demonstrate that
harmful interference would likely result under reasonable scenarios (or even reasonably “foreseeable”
scenarios to use the parlance of AVSI). We find the limits we set for the 3.7 GHz Service are sufficient to
protect aeronautical services in the 4.2-4.4 GHz band. Specifically, the technical rules on power and
emission limits we set for the 3.7 GHz Service and the spectral separation of 220 megahertz should offer
all due protection to services in the 4.2-4.4 GHz band. We nonetheless agree with AVSI that further
analysis is warranted on why there may even be a potential for some interference given that well-designed
equipment should not ordinarily receive any significant interference (let alone harmful interference) given
these circumstances. As such, we encourage AVSI and others to participate in the multi-stakeholder
group that we expect industry will set up—and as requested by AVSI itself. 850 We expect the aviation
industry to take account of the RF environment that is evolving below the 3980 MHz band edge and take
appropriate action, if necessary, to ensure protection of such devices.
10.

Coexistence with the Citizens Broadband Radio Service

396.
We do not require dynamic spectrum management or other protection mechanisms
suggested by some to protect the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (operating below 3.7 GHz) or FSS
operations (in the 4.0-4.2 GHz band) from new 3.7 GHz Service operations. Although Federated
Wireless and others support the use of some form of dynamic spectrum management or an automated
coordination capability to mitigate interference from new 3.7 GHz Service operations into the 3.55-3.7

845

Letter from Steve B. Sharkey, Vice President, T-Mobile, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No.
18-122, at 2 and Attach. at 2 (T-Mobile Jan. 22, 2020 Ex Parte).
846

Id., Attach. at 8.

847

Id., Attach. at 4 (“During testing of the 200 ft. altitude case, two of the RAs would not operate in the presence of
baseline in-band RA interference. To restore operation, the loop loss was reduced by 2 to 3 dB. This indicates that
the available interference margin of the RA under test was consumed by the in-band RAs before any adjacent-band
interference was introduced.”).
848

Id., Attach. at 7.

849

Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 12; Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute Feb. 4,
2020 Ex Parte, “AFE 76s2 Report: Effect of Out-of-Band Interference Signals on Radio Altimeters, Issue 1.0”
attachment to letter of Dr. David Redman; Aviation Spectrum Resources, Inc. Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte.
850

Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute Feb. 19, 2020 Ex Parte at 4.

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GHz band, 851 we find such provisions are unwarranted in this instance and could hinder efficient 5G
deployment in the band. Specifically, we note that the dynamic management approach is needed in the
Citizens Broadband Radio Service to coordinate access between Priority Access Licensees and General
Authorized Access users and to prevent interference to incumbent Federal and non-Federal operations.
The same considerations are not present in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band and the transition and licensing
approach we adopt for introducing 3.7 GHz Service to the 3.7-3.98 GHz band is appropriate for the
unique circumstances and anticipated use cases for the band. As Ericsson noted, “database management
approaches work best when there is sparse use of the spectrum by competing services.” 852 Ericsson cited
SIA’s comments that “a database attempting to determine whether to authorize a terrestrial wireless
transmission in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band would need to consider the impact on hundreds or even thousands
of C-band receive earth station antennas in the surrounding area,” and that the computing power needed
to make each determination “would be staggering.” 853 Further, we deny requests that we require
coordination between Citizens Broadband Radio Service and 3.7 GHz Service operations, but we
encourage parties to explore synchronization of TDD operations to minimize interference between these
adjacent services. 854
397.
We find that 3.7 GHz Service operations above 3.7 GHz can coexist with operations
below the band edge. First, we note that the emission limits we are adopting are consistent with other
mobile service bands that have proven successful in coexisting with a variety of adjacent services.
Further, the flexible nature of the equipment that will likely operate in the Citizens Broadband Radio
Service band and the advanced spectrum management capabilities of the SAS should allow flexibility to
access different channels in any location that might be near a higher-powered 3.7 GHz Service tower or
make opportunistic use of different channels in different areas. Further, in some instances, operations
above and below the 3.7 GHz band edge may be synchronized when they are deployed as part of a
carrier’s network. 855 As noted by Verizon, synchronization of two different carriers can be implemented
using traditional 3GPP methods based on an absolute timing reference.
IV.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

398.
Paperwork Reduction Analysis.—This Report and Order contains new and modified
information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law
No. 104-13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under
section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies will be invited to
comment on the new and modified information collection requirements contained in the proceeding. In
addition, we note that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, 856 we previously
sought specific comment on how we might “further reduce the information collection burden for small

851
Federated Wireless Reply at 7; Letter from Jennifer M. McCarthy, Vice President, Legal Advocacy, Federated
Wireless, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2 (filed Oct. 31, 2019); Dynamic
Spectrum Alliance Comments at 6.
852

Ericsson Comments at 6-7.

853

Id.

854
Charter Feb. 20, 2020 Ex Parte at 1-2; Letter from Aryeh B. Fishman, Associate General Counsel, Regulatory
Legal Affairs, Edison Electric Institute, Liz Sachs, Counsel, Enterprise Wireless Association, Frank Korinek,
Director of Government Affairs, Motorola Solutions, Inc., James Crandall, Associate, American Petroleum Institute,
and Brett Kilbourne, Vice President, Policy, and General Counsel, Utilities Technology Council (Industrial Internet
of Things (“IIoT”) Coalition), to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 1 (filed Feb. 14,
2020); Letter from Jennifer M. McCarthy, Vice President, Legal Advocacy, Federated Wireless, Inc., to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122, at 2 (filed Feb. 5, 2020).
855

Verizon Nov. 12, 2019 Ex Parte at 2.

856

Pub. L. No. 107-198.

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business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.” 857 We have described impacts that might affect small
businesses, which includes most businesses with fewer than 25 employees, in the Final Regulatory
Flexibility Analysis (FRFA), attached as Appendix B.
399.
Congressional Review Act.—The Commission has determined, and the Administrator or
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, concurs that these
rules are “major” under the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. § 804(2). The Commission will send a
copy of this Report and Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the
Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(A).
400.
Regulatory Flexibility Act.—The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),
requires that an agency prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for notice and comment rulemakings,
unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a
substantial number of small entities.” 858 The FRFA concerning the impact of the rule changes contained
in the Report and Order is attached as Appendix B.
401.
Ex Parte Presentations.—This proceeding shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose”
proceeding in accordance with the Commission’s ex parte rules. 859 Persons making ex parte
presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral
presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the
Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda
summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting
at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made
during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or
arguments already reflected in the presenter’s written comments, memoranda or other filings in the
proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments,
memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or
arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given
to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must
be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the
Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and
memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through
the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native
format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize
themselves with the Commission’s ex parte rules.
402.
Comment Period and Filing Procedures.—Pursuant to section 316 of the
Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. § 316, interested parties may file any protest of the proposed
modifications no later than thirty (30) days after publication of this Report and Order in the Federal
Register. Protests may be filed using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See
Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).
•
•

Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
ECFS: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs.
Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing.
If more than one active docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding,
filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

857

44 U.S.C. § 3506(c)(4).

858

5 U.S.C. §§ 601 et seq.

859

47 CFR §§ 1.1200 et seq.

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403.
Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or
by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s
Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
•

•
•

All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary must be
delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554.
The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber
bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.
Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must
be sent to 9050 Junction Drive, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701.
U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street,
SW, Washington DC 20554.

404.
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with
disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to [email protected] or call
the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).
405.
Availability of Documents.—Comments, reply comments, and ex parte submissions will
be available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal
Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-A257, Washington, D.C. These
documents will also be available via ECFS. Documents will be available electronically in ASCII,
Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat.
V.

ORDERING CLAUSES

406.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(j), 5(c), 201, 302,
303, 304, 307(e), 309, and 316 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151, 152,
154(i), 154(j), 155(c), 201, 302, 303, 304, 307(e), 309, and 316, this Report and Order IS HEREBY
ADOPTED.
407.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the rules and requirements as adopted herein ARE
ADOPTED, effective sixty (60) days after publication in the Federal Register; and that the Order of
Proposed Modification is effective as of the date of publication in the Federal Register; provided,
however, that Sections 25.138(a)-(b); 25.147(a)-(c); 27.14(w)(1-4); 27.1412(b)(3)(i); 27.1412(c);
27.1412(c)(2); 27.1412(d)(1)-(2); 27.1412(f)-(h); 27.1413(a)(2)-(3); 27.1413(c)(3); 27.1413(c)(7);
27.1412(b)(3)(i); 27.1412(c); 27.1413(a)(2)-(3); 27.1413(b); 27.1413(c)(3)(i); 27.1414(b)(3);
27.1414(b)(4)(i); 27.1414(b)(4)(iii); 27.1414(c)(1)-(3); 27.1412(d)(1)-(2); 27.1412(f); 27.1412(g);
27.1414(c)(3)(ii); 27.1414(c)(6)-(7); 27.1414(b)(4)(iii); 27.1414(c)(1)-(2); 27.1415; 27.1415(a);
27.1416(a); 27.1417; 27.1419; 27.1421; 27.1422(c); 27.1424; 101.101(2) of the Commission’s rules,
which contain new or modified information collection requirements that require review by the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act, will not become effective until the
effective date for those information collections is announced in a document published in the Federal
Register after the Commission receives OMB approval. The Commission directs the Bureau to issue such
document and to cause Sections 25.138(a)-(b); 25.147(a)-(c); 27.14(w)(1-4); 27.1412(b)(3)(i);
27.1412(c); 27.1412(c)(2); 27.1412(d)(1)-(2); 27.1412(f)-(h); 27.1413(a)(2)-(3); 27.1413(c)(3);
27.1413(c)(7); 27.1412(b)(3)(i); 27.1412(c); 27.1413(a)(2)-(3); 27.1413(b); 27.1413(c)(3)(i);
27.1414(b)(3); 27.1414(b)(4)(i); 27.1414(b)(4)(iii); 27.1414(c)(1)-(3); 27.1412(d)(1)-(2); 27.1412(f);
27.1412(g); 27.1414(c)(3)(ii); 27.1414(c)(6)-(7); 27.1414(b)(4)(iii); 27.1414(c)(1)-(2); 27.1415;
27.1415(a); 27.1416(a); 27.1417; 27.1419; 27.1421; 27.1422(c); 27.1424; 101.101(2) to be revised
accordingly.
408.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the freeze on applications for new FSS earth stations in
the 3.7-4.2 GHz band outside of the contiguous United States and on applications for new point-to-point
microwave Fixed Service sites outside of the contiguous United States will be lifted on the date of
publication of this Report and Order in the Federal Register.
409.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 309 and 316 of the
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Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 309 and 316, in the Order of Proposed
Modification the Commission proposes that the licenses and authorizations of all 3.7-4.2 GHz FSS
licensees and market access holders; all transmit-receive earth station licenses; and all Fixed Service
licenses will be modified pursuant to the conditions specified in this Report and Order at paragraphs 123125, 321, 323, 325, these modification conditions will be effective 60 days after publication of this Report
and Order and Order in the Federal Register, provided, however, that in the event any FSS licensee,
Fixed Service licensee, transmit-receive earth station licensee, or any other licensee or permittee who
believes that its license or permit would be modified by this proposed action, seeks to protest this
proposed modification and its accompanying timetable, the proposed license modifications specified in
this Report and Order and Order and contested by the licensee or permittee shall not be made final as to
such licensee or permittee unless and until the Commission orders otherwise. Pursuant to Section
316(a)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 316(a)(1), publication of this
Report and Order in the Federal Register shall constitute notification in writing of our Order proposing
the modification of the 3.7-4.2 GHz FSS licenses, Fixed Service Licenses, transmit-receive earth station
licenses, and of the grounds and reasons therefore, and those licensees and any other party seeking to file
a protest pursuant to Section 316 shall have 30 days from the date of such publication to protest such
Order.
410.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Section 309 and 316 of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 309 and 316, that following the final modification of each FSS
license and transmit-receive earth station license, the International Bureau shall further modify such
licenses as are necessary in order to implement the specific band reconfiguration in the manner specified
in this Report and Order; and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau shall modify each Fixed Service
license as necessary in order to implement the specific band reconfiguration in the manner specified in
this Report and Order.
411.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission’s Consumer and Governmental
Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Report and Order, including
the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business
Administration.
412.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Report and Order SHALL BE sent to Congress
and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C.
801(a)(1)(A).
413.
It is our intention in adopting these rules that, if any provision of the Report and Order or
the rules, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held to be unlawful, the remaining
portions of such Report and Order and the rules not deemed unlawful, and the application of the Report
and Order and the rules to other persons or circumstances, shall remain in effect to the fullest extent
permitted by law.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary

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APPENDIX A
Final Rules
The Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 1, 2, 25, 27, and 101 as follows:
PART 1 – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
1.

The authority citation for part 1 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 47 U.S.C. chs. 2, 5, 9, 13; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, unless otherwise noted.
2.

Amend § 1.907 by revising the definition of “Covered geographic licenses” to read as
follows:

§ 1.907 Definitions.
*****
Covered geographic licenses. Covered geographic licenses consist of the following services: 1.4
GHz Service (part 27, subpart I, of this chapter); 1.6 GHz Service (part 27, subpart J); 24 GHz Service
and Digital Electronic Message Services (part 101, subpart G, of this chapter); 218-219 MHz Service
(part 95, subpart F, of this chapter); 220-222 MHz Service, excluding public safety licenses (part 90,
subpart T, of this chapter); 600 MHz Service (part 27, subpart N); 700 MHz Commercial Services (part
27, subpart F and H); 700 MHz Guard Band Service (part 27, subpart G); 800 MHz Specialized Mobile
Radio Service (part 90, subpart S); 900 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Service (part 90, subpart S); 3.7
GHz Service (part 27, subpart O); Advanced Wireless Services (part 27, subparts K and L); Air-Ground
Radiotelephone Service (Commercial Aviation) (part 22, subpart G, of this chapter); Broadband Personal
Communications Service (part 24, subpart E, of this chapter); Broadband Radio Service (part 27, subpart
M); Cellular Radiotelephone Service (part 22, subpart H); Citizens Broadband Radio Service (part 96,
subpart C, of this chapter); Dedicated Short Range Communications Service, excluding public safety
licenses (part 90, subpart M); H Block Service (part 27, subpart K); Local Multipoint Distribution Service
(part 101, subpart L); Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (part 101, subpart P);
Multilateration Location and Monitoring Service (part 90, subpart M); Multiple Address Systems (EAs)
(part 101, subpart O); Narrowband Personal Communications Service (part 24, subpart D); Paging and
Radiotelephone Service (part 22, subpart E; part 90, subpart P); VHF Public Coast Stations, including

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FCC 20-22

Automated Maritime Telecommunications Systems (part 80, subpart J, of this chapter); Upper Microwave
Flexible Use Service (part 30 of this chapter); and Wireless Communications Service (part 27, subpart D).
*****
3.
Amend § 1.9005 by removing the word “and” at the end of paragraph (kk); removing the
period at the end of paragraph (ll) and adding “; and” in its place; and adding paragraph (mm).
The addition reads as follows:
§ 1.9005 Included services.
*****
(mm) The 3.7 GHz Service in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band.
PART 2 – FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS AND RADIO TREATY MATTERS; GENERAL
RULES AND REGULATIONS
4.

The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, and 336, unless otherwise noted.
5.

Amend § 2.106 by revising page 41 of the Table of Frequency Allocations and adding
footnote NG182 and revising footnote NG457A in the list of Non-Federal Government
(NG) Footnotes to read as follows:

§ 2.106 Table of Frequency Allocations.
*****

149

Table of Frequency Allocations
Region 1 Table
(See previous page)

3600-4200
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
(space-to-Earth)
Mobile

International Table
Region 2 Table
3500-3600
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
(space-to-Earth)
MOBILE except aeronautical
mobile 5.431B
Radiolocation 5.433
3600-3700
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
(space-to-Earth)
MOBILE except aeronautical
mobile 5.434
Radiolocation 5.433

3500-5460 MHz (SHF)
Region 3 Table
3500-3600
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
5.433A
Radiolocation 5.433
3600-3700
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
Radiolocation

5.435
3700-4200
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile

4200-4400
AERONAUTICAL MOBILE (R) 5.436
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION 5.438
5.437 5.439 5.440
4400-4500
FIXED
MOBILE 5.440A
4500-4800
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.441
MOBILE 5.440A
4800-4990
FIXED
MOBILE 5.440A 5.441A 5.441B 5.442
Radio astronomy
5.149 5.339 5.443
4990-5000
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
RADIO ASTRONOMY
Space research (passive)
5.149

United States Table
Federal Table
Non-Federal Table
3500-3550
3500-3550
RADIOLOCATION G59
Radiolocation
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
(ground-based) G110
3550-3600
3550-3650
FIXED
RADIOLOCATION G59
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
(ground-based) G110
US105 US433
3600-3650
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) US107
US245
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
US105 US433
US105 US107 US245 US433
3650-3700
3650-3700
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) NG169
NG185
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
US109 US349
US109 US349
3700-4200
3700-4000
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
NG182 NG457A
4000-4200
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) NG457A
NG182
4200-4400
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
5.440 US261
4400-4940
FIXED
MOBILE

US113 US245 US342
4940-4990
5.339 US342 US385 G122
4990-5000
RADIO ASTRONOMY US74
Space research (passive)
US246

150

Page 41
FCC Rule Part(s)
Private Land Mobile (90)

Citizens Broadband (96)

Satellite
Communications (25)
Citizens Broadband (96)

Wireless
Communications (27)
Satellite
Communications (25)
Aviation (87)

4400-4500
4500-4800
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
5.441 US245
4800-4940
US113 US342
4940-4990
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
5.339 US342 US385

Public Safety Land
Mobile (90Y)

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

*****
NON-FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (NG) FOOTNOTES
*****
NG182 In the band 3700-4200 MHz, the following provisions shall apply:
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(1) of this footnote, any currently authorized space stations
serving the contiguous United States may continue to operate on a primary basis, but no applications for
new space station authorizations or new petitions for market access shall be accepted for filing after June
21, 2018, other than applications by existing operators in the band seeking to make more efficient use of
the band 4000-4200 MHz. Applications for extension, cancellation, replacement, or modification of
existing space station authorizations in the band will continue to be accepted and processed normally.
(b) In areas outside the contiguous United States, the band 3700-4000 MHz is also allocated to
the fixed-satellite service (space-to-Earth) on a primary basis.
(c) In the contiguous United States, i.e., the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia as
defined by Partial Economic Areas Nos. 1-41, 43-211, 213-263, 265-297, 299-359, and 361-411, which
includes areas within 12 nautical miles of the U.S. Gulf coastline (see § 27.6(m) of this chapter), the
following provisions apply:
(1) Incumbent use of the fixed-satellite service (space-to-Earth) in the band 3700-4000 MHz is
subject to the provisions of §§ 25.138, 25.147, 25.203(n) and part 27, subpart O, of this chapter;
(2) Fixed service licensees authorized as of April 19, 2018, pursuant to part 101 of this chapter,
must self-relocate their point-to-point links out of the band 3700-4200 MHz by December 5, 2023;
(3) In the band 3980-4000 MHz, no new fixed or mobile operations will be permitted until
specified by Commission rule, order, or notice.
*****
NG457A Earth stations on vessels (ESVs), as regulated under 47 CFR part 25, are an application
of the fixed-satellite service and the following provisions shall apply:
(a) In the band 3700-4200 MHz, ESVs may be authorized to receive FSS signals from
151

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

geostationary satellites. ESVs in motion are subject to the condition that these earth stations may not
claim protection from transmissions of non-Federal stations in the fixed and mobile except aeronautical
mobile services. While docked, ESVs receiving in the band 4000-4200 MHz may be coordinated for up
to 180 days, renewable. NG182 applies to incumbent licensees that provide service to ESVs in the band
3700-4000 MHz.
(b) In the band 5925-6425 MHz, ESVs may be authorized to transmit to geostationary satellites
on a primary basis.
*****
PART 25 – SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS
6.

The authority citation for part 25 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 301, 302, 303, 307, 309, 310, 319, 332, 605, and 721, unless otherwise noted.
7.

Amend § 25.103 by adding the definition of “Contiguous United States (CONUS)” in
alphabetical order to read as follows:

§ 25.103 Definitions.
*****
Contiguous United States (CONUS). For purposes of subparts B and C of this part, the
contiguous United States consists of the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia as defined by
Partial Economic Areas Nos. 1-41, 43-211, 213-263, 265-297, 299-359, and 361-411, which includes
areas within 12 nautical miles of the U.S. Gulf coastline. In this context, the rest of the United States
includes the Honolulu, Anchorage, Kodiak, Fairbanks, Juneau, Puerto Rico, Guam-Northern Mariana
Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Gulf of Mexico PEAs (Nos. 42, 212, 264, 298,
360, 412-416). See § 27.6(m) of this chapter.
*****
8.

Amend § 25.109 by adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:

§ 25.109 Cross-reference.
*****

152

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

(e) Space and earth stations in the 3700-4200 MHz band may be subject to transition rules in part
27 of this chapter.
9.

Add § 25.138 to read as follows:

§ 25.138 Earth Stations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band.
(a) Applications for new, modified, or renewed earth station licenses and registrations in the 3.74.0 GHz portion of the band in CONUS are no longer accepted.
(b) Applications for new earth station licenses or registrations within CONUS in the 4.0-4.2 GHz
portion of the band will not be accepted until the transition is completed and upon announcement by the
International Bureau via Public Notice that applications may be filed.
(c) Fixed and temporary fixed earth stations operating in the 3.7-4.0 GHz portion of the band
within CONUS will be protected from interference by licensees in the 3.7 GHz Service subject to the
deadlines set forth in § 27.1412 of this chapter and are eligible for transition into the 4.0-4.2 GHz band so
long as they:
(1) Were operational as of April 19, 2018 and continue to be operational;
(2) Were licensed or registered (or had a pending application for license or registration) in the
IBFS database on November 7, 2018; and
(3) Timely certified the accuracy of the information on file with the Commission by May 28,
2019.
(d) Fixed and temporary earth station licenses and registrations that meet the criteria in paragraph
(c) of this section may be renewed or modified to maintain operations in the 4.0-4.2 GHz band.
(e) Applications for new, modified, or renewed licenses and registrations for earth stations
outside CONUS operating in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band will continue to be accepted.
10.

Add § 25.147 to read as follows:

§ 25.147 Space Stations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band.
The 3.7-4.0 GHz portion of the band is being transitioned in CONUS from FSS GSO (space-toEarth) to the 3.7 GHz Service.
153

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

(a) New applications for space station licenses and petitions for market access concerning spaceto-Earth operations in the 3.7-4.0 GHz portion of the band within CONUS will no longer be accepted.
(b) Applications for new or modified space station licenses or petitions for market access in the
4.0-4.2 GHz portion of the band within CONUS will not be accepted during the transition except by
existing operators in the band to implement an efficient transition.
(c) Applications for new or modified space station licenses or petitions for market access for
space-to-Earth operations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band outside CONUS will continue to be accepted.
11.

Amend § 25.203 by adding paragraph (n) to read as follows:

§ 25.203 Choice of sites and frequencies.
*****
(n) From December 5, 2021 until December 5, 2030, consolidated telemetry, tracking, and control
(TT&C) operations at no more than four locations may be authorized on a primary basis to support space
station operations, and no other TT&C operations shall be entitled to interference protection in the 3.7-4.0
GHz band.

PART 27 – MISCELLANEOUS WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES
12.

The authority citation for part 27 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 301, 302a, 303, 307, 309, 332, 336, 337, 1403, 1404, 1451, and 1452, unless
otherwise noted.
13.

Amend § 27.1 by adding paragraph (b)(15) and revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:

§ 27.1 Basis and purpose.
*****
(b) * * *
(15) 3700-3980 MHz.
(c) Scope. The rules in this part apply only to stations authorized under this part or authorized
under another part of this chapter on frequencies or bands transitioning to authorizations under
this part.

154

Federal Communications Commission

14.

FCC 20-22

Amend § 27.4 by adding in alphabetical order the definition for “3.7 GHz Service” to
read as follows:

§ 27.4 Terms and definitions.
3.7 GHz Service. A radiocommunication service licensed under this part for the frequency bands
specified in § 27.5(m) (3700-3980 MHz band).
*****
15.

Amend § 27.5 by adding paragraph (m) to read as follows:

§ 27.5 Frequencies.
*****
(m) 3700-3980 MHz band. The 3.7 GHz Service is comprised of Block A (3700-3800 MHz);
Block B (3800-3900 MHz); and Block C (3900-3980 MHz). These blocks are licensed as 14 individual
20 megahertz sub-blocks available for assignment in the contiguous United States on a Partial Economic
Area basis, see § 27.6(m), as follows:
Figure 1 to Paragraph (m)

16.

Amend § 27.6 by adding paragraph (m) to read as follows:

§ 27.6 Service areas.
*****
(m) 3700-3980 MHz Band. Service areas in the 3.7 GHz Service are based on Partial Economic
Areas (PEAs) as defined by appendix A to this subpart (see Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Provides Details About Partial Economic Areas, DA 14-759, Public Notice, released June 2, 2014, for
more information). The 3.7 GHz Service will be licensed in the contiguous United States, i.e., the
contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia as defined by Partial Economic Areas Nos. 1-41, 43211, 213-263, 265-297, 299-359, and 361-411. The service areas of PEAs that border the U.S. coastline
155

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

of the Gulf of Mexico extend 12 nautical miles from the U.S. Gulf coastline. The 3.7 GHz Service will
not be licensed for the following PEAs:
Table 3 to Paragraph (m)
PEA Number
42
212
264
298
360
412
413
414
415

17.

PEA Name
Honolulu, HI
Anchorage, AK
Kodiak, AK
Fairbanks, AK
Juneau, AK
Puerto Rico
Guam-Northern Mariana Islands
US Virgin Islands
American Samoa

Add appendix A to subpart A of part 27 to read as follows:

Appendix A to subpart A of part 27 – List of partial economic areas with corresponding counties.

PEA
Number
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
09001
09003
09005
09007
09009
09011
09013
09015
34003
34013
34017
34019
34021
34023
34025
34027
34029
34031
34035
34037
34039
34041
36005
36027
36047

County Name

Fairfield
Hartford
Litchfield
Middlesex
New Haven
New London
Tolland
Windham
Bergen
Essex
Hudson
Hunterdon
Mercer
Middlesex
Monmouth
Morris
Ocean
Passaic
Somerset
Sussex
Union
Warren
Bronx
Dutchess
Kings

State

PEA
Number

CT
CT
CT
CT
CT
CT
CT
CT
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NY
NY
NY

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

156

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
36059
36061
36071
36079
36081
36085
36087
36103
36105
36111
36119
42025
42069
42077
42079
42089
42095
06029
06037
06059
06065
06071
06079
06083
06111

County Name

Nassau
New York
Orange
Putnam
Queens
Richmond
Rockland
Suffolk
Sullivan
Ulster
Westchester
Carbon
Lackawanna
Lehigh
Luzerne
Monroe
Northampton
Kern
Los Angeles
Orange
Riverside
San Bernardino
San Luis Obispo
Santa Barbara
Ventura

State

NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
17031
17043
17063
17089
17091
17093
17097
17111
17197
18091
18089
18127
06001
06013
06041
06053
06055
06075
06077
06081
06085
06087
06095
06097
06099

5

11001

5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5

24003
24005
24510
24009
24011
24013
24017
24019
24025
24027
24029
24031
24033
24035
24037
24041
51510
51013
51059
51600
51610

County Name

Cook
DuPage
Grundy
Kane
Kankakee
Kendall
Lake
McHenry
Will
La Porte
Lake
Porter
Alameda
Contra Costa
Marin
Monterey
Napa
San Francisco
San Joaquin
San Mateo
Santa Clara
Santa Cruz
Solano
Sonoma
Stanislaus
District of
Columbia
Anne Arundel
Baltimore
Baltimore City
Calvert
Caroline
Carroll
Charles
Dorchester
Harford
Howard
Kent
Montgomery
Prince George's
Queen Anne's
St. Mary's
Talbot
Alexandria City
Arlington
Fairfax
Fairfax City
Falls Church City

PEA
Number

State

IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IN
IN
IN
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA

5
5

DC
MD
MD
MD
MD
MD
MD
MD
MD
MD
MD
MD
MD
MD
MD
MD
MD
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA

157

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
51107
51683

5

51685

5
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8

51153
10001
10003
24015
34001
34005
34007
34009
34011
34015
34033
42011
42017
42029
42045
42071
42091
42101
25001
25005
25007
25009
25017
25019
25021
25023
25025
25027
44001
44003
44005
44007
44009
48085
48113
48121
48139
48181
48221
48251
48257
48367
48397
48439

FCC 20-22

County Name

Loudoun
Manassas City
Manassas Park
City
Prince William
Kent
New Castle
Cecil
Atlantic
Burlington
Camden
Cape May
Cumberland
Gloucester
Salem
Berks
Bucks
Chester
Delaware
Lancaster
Montgomery
Philadelphia
Barnstable
Bristol
Dukes
Essex
Middlesex
Nantucket
Norfolk
Plymouth
Suffolk
Worcester
Bristol
Kent
Newport
Providence
Washington
Collin
Dallas
Denton
Ellis
Grayson
Hood
Johnson
Kaufman
Parker
Rockwall
Tarrant

State

VA
VA
VA
VA
DE
DE
MD
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
NJ
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
MA
MA
MA
MA
MA
MA
MA
MA
MA
MA
RI
RI
RI
RI
RI
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
8
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
48497
12011
12043
12051
12061
12085
12086
12087
12093
12099
12111
48039
48071
48157
48167
48201
48291
48339
48473
13011
13013
13035
13057
13059
13063
13067
13085
13089
13097
13105
13113
13117
13119
13121
13133
13135
13137
13139
13147
13151
13157
13159
13187
13195
13211
13217
13219

County Name

Wise
Broward
Glades
Hendry
Indian River
Martin
Miami-Dade
Monroe
Okeechobee
Palm Beach
St. Lucie
Brazoria
Chambers
Fort Bend
Galveston
Harris
Liberty
Montgomery
Waller
Banks
Barrow
Butts
Cherokee
Clarke
Clayton
Cobb
Dawson
DeKalb
Douglas
Elbert
Fayette
Forsyth
Franklin
Fulton
Greene
Gwinnett
Habersham
Hall
Hart
Henry
Jackson
Jasper
Lumpkin
Madison
Morgan
Newton
Oconee

State

PEA
Number

TX
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA

11
11
11
11
11
11
11
11
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
13
13
13
13
13
13
13
13
13
13
13
13
13
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
15

158

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
13221
13223
13241
13247
13257
13265
13297
13311
26049
26087
26093
26099
26125
26155
26147
26161
26163
12009
12017
12035
12049
12055
12069
12083
12095
12097
12105
12117
12119
12127
39007
39019
39029
39035
39043
39055
39077
39085
39093
39099
39103
39133
39151
39153
39155
42085
04013

FCC 20-22

County Name

Oglethorpe
Paulding
Rabun
Rockdale
Stephens
Taliaferro
Walton
White
Genesee
Lapeer
Livingston
Macomb
Oakland
Shiawassee
St. Clair
Washtenaw
Wayne
Brevard
Citrus
Flagler
Hardee
Highlands
Lake
Marion
Orange
Osceola
Polk
Seminole
Sumter
Volusia
Ashtabula
Carroll
Columbiana
Cuyahoga
Erie
Geauga
Huron
Lake
Lorain
Mahoning
Medina
Portage
Stark
Summit
Trumbull
Mercer
Maricopa

State

GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
PA
AZ

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
16
16
16
16
16
16
17
17
17
17
17
17
17
17
17
17
17
17
17
18
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
21
21
21
21

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
53009
53031
53033
53035
53053
53061
27003
27009
27019
27025
27037
27053
27123
27139
27141
27145
27163
27171
55109
06073
41003
41005
41007
41009
41041
41043
41047
41051
41053
41057
41067
41071
53011
53015
53069
08001
08005
08013
08014
08031
08035
08047
08059
12053
12057
12101
12103

County Name

Clallam
Jefferson
King
Kitsap
Pierce
Snohomish
Anoka
Benton
Carver
Chisago
Dakota
Hennepin
Ramsey
Scott
Sherburne
Stearns
Washington
Wright
St. Croix
San Diego
Benton
Clackamas
Clatsop
Columbia
Lincoln
Linn
Marion
Multnomah
Polk
Tillamook
Washington
Yamhill
Clark
Cowlitz
Wahkiakum
Adams
Arapahoe
Boulder
Broomfield
Denver
Douglas
Gilpin
Jefferson
Hernando
Hillsborough
Pasco
Pinellas

State

PEA
Number

WA
WA
WA
WA
WA
WA
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
WI
CA
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
WA
WA
WA
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
FL
FL
FL
FL

22
22
22
22
22
22
22
22
22
22
22
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
24
24
24
24
24
24
24
24
24
24
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
26

159

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
06005
06007
06011
06017
06021
06057
06061
06067
06101
06113
06115
42003
42005
42007
42019
42063
42073
42125
42129
17005
17027
17121
17133
17163
29071
29099
29183
29189
29510
21015
21023
21037
21077
21081
21117
21135
21161
21191
39001
39015
39017
39025
39027
39061
39071
39165
04015

FCC 20-22

County Name

Amador
Butte
Colusa
El Dorado
Glenn
Nevada
Placer
Sacramento
Sutter
Yolo
Yuba
Allegheny
Armstrong
Beaver
Butler
Indiana
Lawrence
Washington
Westmoreland
Bond
Clinton
Marion
Monroe
St. Clair
Franklin
Jefferson
St. Charles
St. Louis
St. Louis City
Boone
Bracken
Campbell
Gallatin
Grant
Kenton
Lewis
Mason
Pendleton
Adams
Brown
Butler
Clermont
Clinton
Hamilton
Highland
Warren
Mohave

State

CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
AZ

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
26
27
27
27
27
27
28
28
28
28
29
29
29
29
29
29
29
29
29
29
29
29
29
29
29
29
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
31
31
31
31
31
31
31
32
32
32
32
32
32
32

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
32003
49011
49035
49045
49049
49057
48013
48029
48091
48187
12001
12003
12007
12019
12023
12029
12031
12041
12047
12067
12075
12089
12107
12109
12121
12125
20091
20209
29037
29047
29095
29165
29177
18011
18035
18057
18063
18081
18095
18097
21047
47021
47037
47043
47125
47147
47149

County Name

Clark
Davis
Salt Lake
Tooele
Utah
Weber
Atascosa
Bexar
Comal
Guadalupe
Alachua
Baker
Bradford
Clay
Columbia
Dixie
Duval
Gilchrist
Hamilton
Lafayette
Levy
Nassau
Putnam
St. Johns
Suwannee
Union
Johnson
Wyandotte
Cass
Clay
Jackson
Platte
Ray
Boone
Delaware
Hamilton
Hendricks
Johnson
Madison
Marion
Christian
Cheatham
Davidson
Dickson
Montgomery
Robertson
Rutherford

PEA
Number

State

NV
UT
UT
UT
UT
UT
TX
TX
TX
TX
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
KS
KS
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
KY
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN

32
32
32
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
33

160

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
47165
47187
47189
37053
51550
51620
51073
51650
51093
51095
51115

33

51700

33
33
33
33
33
33

51710
51735
51740
51175
51800
51181

33

51810

33
33
34
34
34
34
35
35
35
35
36
36
36

51830
51199
06019
06031
06039
06107
48209
48331
48453
48491
22051
22057
22071

36

22075

36
36
36

22087
22089
22093

36

22095

36

22103

36
36
36
36
37

22105
22109
22117
28109
39041

FCC 20-22

County Name

State

Sumner
Williamson
Wilson
Currituck
Chesapeake City
Franklin City
Gloucester
Hampton City
Isle of Wight
James City
Mathews
Newport News
City
Norfolk City
Poquoson City
Portsmouth City
Southampton
Suffolk City
Surry
Virginia Beach
City
Williamsburg City
York
Fresno
Kings
Madera
Tulare
Hays
Milam
Travis
Williamson
Jefferson Parish
Lafourche Parish
Orleans Parish
Plaquemines
Parish
St. Bernard Parish
St. Charles Parish
St. James Parish
St. John the
Baptist Parish
St. Tammany
Parish
Tangipahoa Parish
Terrebonne Parish
Washington Parish
Pearl River
Delaware

TN
TN
TN
NC
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
CA
CA
CA
CA
TX
TX
TX
TX
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
MS
OH

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
37
37
37
37
38
38
38
38
39
39
39
39
39
39
39
39
39
40
40
40
40
40
40
40
41
41
41
41
41
41
41
41
41
41
41
41
42
42
42
42
42
43
43
43
44
44
44

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
39045
39049
39097
39129
55079
55089
55131
55133
40017
40027
40031
40051
40081
40083
40087
40109
40125
01015
01073
01117
01115
01121
01125
01127
36011
36017
36023
36025
36043
36053
36065
36067
36075
36077
36097
36109
15001
15003
15005
15007
15009
37071
37119
37179
36037
36051
36055

County Name

Fairfield
Franklin
Madison
Pickaway
Milwaukee
Ozaukee
Washington
Waukesha
Canadian
Cleveland
Comanche
Grady
Lincoln
Logan
McClain
Oklahoma
Pottawatomie
Calhoun
Jefferson
Shelby
St. Clair
Talladega
Tuscaloosa
Walker
Cayuga
Chenango
Cortland
Delaware
Herkimer
Madison
Oneida
Onondaga
Oswego
Otsego
Schuyler
Tompkins
Hawaii
Honolulu
Kalawao
Kauai
Maui
Gaston
Mecklenburg
Union
Genesee
Livingston
Monroe

State

PEA
Number

OH
OH
OH
OH
WI
WI
WI
WI
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
HI
HI
HI
HI
HI
NC
NC
NC
NY
NY
NY

44
44
44
44
44
44
44
45
45
45
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
46
47
47
47
47
48
48
48
48
48
48

161

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
36069
36073
36099
36101
36117
36121
36123
37063
37135
37183
05005
05009
05015
05023
05029
05045
05049
05063
05065
05067
05069
05071
05085
05089
05101
05105
05115
05117
05119
05125
05129
05135
05137
05141
05145
05147
05149
48061
48215
48427
48489
42001
42041
42043
42067
42075
42099

FCC 20-22

County Name

Ontario
Orleans
Seneca
Steuben
Wayne
Wyoming
Yates
Durham
Orange
Wake
Baxter
Boone
Carroll
Cleburne
Conway
Faulkner
Fulton
Independence
Izard
Jackson
Jefferson
Johnson
Lonoke
Marion
Newton
Perry
Pope
Prairie
Pulaski
Saline
Searcy
Sharp
Stone
Van Buren
White
Woodruff
Yell
Cameron
Hidalgo
Starr
Willacy
Adams
Cumberland
Dauphin
Juniata
Lebanon
Perry

State

NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NC
NC
NC
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
TX
TX
TX
TX
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
48
49
49
49
49
49
49
49
49
49
49
49
49
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
42133
36001
36021
36035
36039
36041
36057
36083
36091
36093
36095
36113
36115
37149
45007
45021
45045
45073
45077
45083
45087
18019
18043
18077
18143
21029
21041
21103
21111
21185
21211
21223
21019
21043
21063
21089
39053
39087
39105
39167
54005
54007
54011
54013
54015
54019
54021

County Name

York
Albany
Columbia
Fulton
Greene
Hamilton
Montgomery
Rensselaer
Saratoga
Schenectady
Schoharie
Warren
Washington
Polk
Anderson
Cherokee
Greenville
Oconee
Pickens
Spartanburg
Union
Clark
Floyd
Jefferson
Scott
Bullitt
Carroll
Henry
Jefferson
Oldham
Shelby
Trimble
Boyd
Carter
Elliott
Greenup
Gallia
Lawrence
Meigs
Washington
Boone
Braxton
Cabell
Calhoun
Clay
Fayette
Gilmer

State

PEA
Number

PA
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NY
NC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
IN
IN
IN
IN
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
OH
OH
OH
OH
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV

52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
52
53
53
53
54
54
55
55
55
55
55
55
55
55
55
55
55
55
56
56
56
56
56
56
56
56
56
56
56
56
57

162

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
54035
54039
54043
54045
54053
54067
54073
54079
54081
54085
54087
54089
54099
54101
54105
54107
54109
04003
04019
04023
36029
36063
01033
01049
01055
01059
01071
01077
01079
01083
01089
01095
01103
47103
26005
26015
26023
26025
26067
26077
26107
26117
26121
26123
26127
26159
51036

FCC 20-22

County Name

Jackson
Kanawha
Lincoln
Logan
Mason
Nicholas
Pleasants
Putnam
Raleigh
Ritchie
Roane
Summers
Wayne
Webster
Wirt
Wood
Wyoming
Cochise
Pima
Santa Cruz
Erie
Niagara
Colbert
DeKalb
Etowah
Franklin
Jackson
Lauderdale
Lawrence
Limestone
Madison
Marshall
Morgan
Lincoln
Allegan
Barry
Branch
Calhoun
Ionia
Kalamazoo
Mecosta
Montcalm
Muskegon
Newaygo
Oceana
Van Buren
Charles City

State

WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
AZ
AZ
AZ
NY
NY
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
TN
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
VA

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
57
57
57
57
57
57
57
57
57
57
57
57
57
57
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
59
59
59
60
60
60
60
60

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
51041
51057
51075
51085
51087
51097
51101
51103
51119
51127
51133
51145
51159
51760
17023
18007
18015
18017
18021
18023
18045
18055
18067
18093
18103
18105
18107
18109
18117
18119
18121
18133
18153
18157
18159
18165
18167
18171
18181
05035
47157
47167
33001
33011
33013
33015
33017

County Name

Chesterfield
Essex
Goochland
Hanover
Henrico
King and Queen
King William
Lancaster
Middlesex
New Kent
Northumberland
Powhatan
Richmond
Richmond City
Clark
Benton
Carroll
Cass
Clay
Clinton
Fountain
Greene
Howard
Lawrence
Miami
Monroe
Montgomery
Morgan
Orange
Owen
Parke
Putnam
Sullivan
Tippecanoe
Tipton
Vermillion
Vigo
Warren
White
Crittenden
Shelby
Tipton
Belknap
Hillsborough
Merrimack
Rockingham
Strafford

State

PEA
Number

VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
IL
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
AR
TN
TN
NH
NH
NH
NH
NH

61
61
61
61
61
61
61
61
61
61
61
61
61
62
62
62
62
62
62
63
63
63
63
63
63
63
64
64
64
64
64
64
64
64
64
64
64
65
65
66
66
66
66
66
66
66
67

163

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
39039
39051
39063
39065
39069
39095
39123
39125
39143
39147
39171
39173
39175
39021
39023
39057
39109
39113
39135
40021
40037
40097
40113
40131
40143
40145
18039
18049
18085
18087
18099
18131
18141
18149
26021
26027
26149
12021
12071
26037
26045
26059
26065
26075
26091
26115
12015

FCC 20-22

County Name

Defiance
Fulton
Hancock
Hardin
Henry
Lucas
Ottawa
Paulding
Sandusky
Seneca
Williams
Wood
Wyandot
Champaign
Clark
Greene
Miami
Montgomery
Preble
Cherokee
Creek
Mayes
Osage
Rogers
Tulsa
Wagoner
Elkhart
Fulton
Kosciusko
Lagrange
Marshall
Pulaski
St. Joseph
Starke
Berrien
Cass
St. Joseph
Collier
Lee
Clinton
Eaton
Hillsdale
Ingham
Jackson
Lenawee
Monroe
Charlotte

State

OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
MI
MI
MI
FL
FL
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
FL

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
67
67
67
68
68
69
69
69
69
69
70
70
70
70
70
70
70
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
72
72
72
72
72
72
72
72
72
72
72
72
72
72
72
72
72
72
73
74
74

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
12027
12081
12115
26081
26139
25003
25011
25013
25015
50003
06015
41011
41015
41019
41029
41033
41039
47001
47009
47013
47093
47105
47129
47145
47151
47173
12005
12013
12037
12039
12045
12063
12065
12073
12077
12079
12123
12129
13087
13099
13131
13201
13253
13275
48141
13047
13083

County Name

DeSoto
Manatee
Sarasota
Kent
Ottawa
Berkshire
Franklin
Hampden
Hampshire
Bennington
Del Norte
Coos
Curry
Douglas
Jackson
Josephine
Lane
Anderson
Blount
Campbell
Knox
Loudon
Morgan
Roane
Scott
Union
Bay
Calhoun
Franklin
Gadsden
Gulf
Jackson
Jefferson
Leon
Liberty
Madison
Taylor
Wakulla
Decatur
Early
Grady
Miller
Seminole
Thomas
El Paso
Catoosa
Dade

State

PEA
Number

FL
FL
FL
MI
MI
MA
MA
MA
MA
VT
CA
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
FL
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
TX
GA
GA

74
74
74
74
74
74
74
74
74
74
74
75
75
76
76
76
76
76
76
76
76
76
76
76
76
76
76
76
76
76
76
77
77
77
77
77
77
77
77
78
78
78
79
79
79
79
79

164

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
13295
47007
47011
47065
47115
47107
47121
47123
47139
47143
47153
35001
35043
06003
06027
06035
06051
06063
06091
32510
32001
32005
32007
32011
32013
32015
32019
32027
32029
32031
32033
23001
23005
23007
23013
23015
23017
23023
23031
37001
37081
37151
28001
28005
28021
28023
28029

FCC 20-22

County Name

Walker
Bledsoe
Bradley
Hamilton
Marion
McMinn
Meigs
Monroe
Polk
Rhea
Sequatchie
Bernalillo
Sandoval
Alpine
Inyo
Lassen
Mono
Plumas
Sierra
Carson City
Churchill
Douglas
Elko
Eureka
Humboldt
Lander
Lyon
Pershing
Storey
Washoe
White Pine
Androscoggin
Cumberland
Franklin
Knox
Lincoln
Oxford
Sagadahoc
York
Alamance
Guilford
Randolph
Adams
Amite
Claiborne
Clarke
Copiah

State

GA
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
NM
NM
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
NV
NV
NV
NV
NV
NV
NV
NV
NV
NV
NV
NV
ME
ME
ME
ME
ME
ME
ME
ME
NC
NC
NC
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
79
80
80
80
81
81
81
81
81
81
81
81
81
81
81
81
81
81
82
82

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
28031
28035
28037
28041
28061
28063
28065
28067
28069
28073
28075
28077
28079
28085
28091
28099
28101
28111
28113
28123
28127
28129
28147
28153
19155
31055
31153
26001
26011
26017
26035
26051
26057
26063
26069
26073
26111
26129
26145
26151
26157
22005
22007

82

22033

82
82

22047
22063

County Name

State

Covington
Forrest
Franklin
Greene
Jasper
Jefferson
Jefferson Davis
Jones
Kemper
Lamar
Lauderdale
Lawrence
Leake
Lincoln
Marion
Neshoba
Newton
Perry
Pike
Scott
Simpson
Smith
Walthall
Wayne
Pottawattamie
Douglas
Sarpy
Alcona
Arenac
Bay
Clare
Gladwin
Gratiot
Huron
Iosco
Isabella
Midland
Ogemaw
Saginaw
Sanilac
Tuscola
Ascension Parish
Assumption Parish
East Baton Rouge
Parish
Iberville Parish
Livingston Parish

MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
IA
NE
NE
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
LA
LA

PEA
Number

LA
LA
LA

165

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number

82

22121

83
83
83
83
83
83
83
83
83
83
83
83
84
84
84
84
84
84
84
84
85
85
85
85
86
86
86
86
86
86
86
86
86
86
86
86
86
86
86
86
86
86
87
87
87
87

18001
18003
18009
18033
18053
18069
18075
18113
18151
18169
18179
18183
01003
01025
01035
01053
01097
01099
01129
01131
45015
45019
45029
45035
21005
21011
21017
21049
21067
21069
21073
21097
21113
21165
21167
21173
21181
21187
21201
21205
21209
21239
12033
12091
12113
12131

FCC 20-22

County Name

West Baton Rouge
Parish
Adams
Allen
Blackford
De Kalb
Grant
Huntington
Jay
Noble
Steuben
Wabash
Wells
Whitley
Baldwin
Clarke
Conecuh
Escambia
Mobile
Monroe
Washington
Wilcox
Berkeley
Charleston
Colleton
Dorchester
Anderson
Bath
Bourbon
Clark
Fayette
Fleming
Franklin
Harrison
Jessamine
Menifee
Mercer
Montgomery
Nicholas
Owen
Robertson
Rowan
Scott
Woodford
Escambia
Okaloosa
Santa Rosa
Walton

State

LA
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
SC
SC
SC
SC
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
FL
FL
FL
FL

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
88
88
88
88
88
88
88
89
89
90
90
90
90
90
90
90
90
90
90
90
91
91
92
92
92
92
92
92
92
92
92
92
92
92
92
92
92
93
93
93
93
93
93
93
93
94
94

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
24001
24021
24023
24043
42055
42057
54057
45063
45079
22025
22029
22065
22107
28007
28049
28051
28089
28121
28149
28163
08041
08119
17019
17025
17029
17035
17041
17045
17049
17051
17053
17079
17115
17139
17147
17173
17183
22001
22039
22045
22055
22097
22099
22101
22113
48027
48099

County Name

State

PEA
Number

Allegany
Frederick
Garrett
Washington
Franklin
Fulton
Mineral
Lexington
Richland
Catahoula Parish
Concordia Parish
Madison Parish
Tensas Parish
Attala
Hinds
Holmes
Madison
Rankin
Warren
Yazoo
El Paso
Teller
Champaign
Clay
Coles
Cumberland
Douglas
Edgar
Effingham
Fayette
Ford
Jasper
Macon
Moultrie
Piatt
Shelby
Vermilion
Acadia Parish
Evangeline Parish
Iberia Parish
Lafayette Parish
St. Landry Parish
St. Martin Parish
St. Mary Parish
Vermilion Parish
Bell
Coryell

MD
MD
MD
MD
PA
PA
WV
SC
SC
LA
LA
LA
LA
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
CO
CO
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
TX
TX

94
94
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
95
96
96
96
96
96
96
96
96
96
96
96
96
96
96
96
96
96

166

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
48145
48309
21025
21065
21071
21109
21115
21119
21127
21129
21133
21153
21159
21175
21189
21193
21195
21197
21237
51021
51027
51051
51105
51720
51167
51185
51195
54047
54055
54059
21001
21013
21021
21045
21051
21053
21079
21087
21095
21121
21125
21131
21137
21151
21147
21199
21203

FCC 20-22

County Name

Falls
McLennan
Breathitt
Estill
Floyd
Jackson
Johnson
Knott
Lawrence
Lee
Letcher
Magoffin
Martin
Morgan
Owsley
Perry
Pike
Powell
Wolfe
Bland
Buchanan
Dickenson
Lee
Norton City
Russell
Tazewell
Wise
McDowell
Mercer
Mingo
Adair
Bell
Boyle
Casey
Clay
Clinton
Garrard
Green
Harlan
Knox
Laurel
Leslie
Lincoln
Madison
McCreary
Pulaski
Rockcastle

State

TX
TX
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
WV
WV
WV
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
96
96
96
96
96
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
97
98
98
98
98
98
98
98
98
98
98
99
99
99
99
99

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
21207
21217
21231
21235
47025
19143
27013
27015
27023
27033
27043
27047
27063
27067
27073
27079
27081
27083
27091
27085
27093
27101
27103
27105
27127
27129
27131
27143
27147
27161
27165
27173
47019
47059
47073
47163
47171
47179
51520
51169
51173
51191
28003
28013
28017
28019
28025

County Name

State

Russell
Taylor
Wayne
Whitley
Claiborne
Osceola
Blue Earth
Brown
Chippewa
Cottonwood
Faribault
Freeborn
Jackson
Kandiyohi
Lac qui Parle
Le Sueur
Lincoln
Lyon
Martin
McLeod
Meeker
Murray
Nicollet
Nobles
Redwood
Renville
Rice
Sibley
Steele
Waseca
Watonwan
Yellow Medicine
Carter
Greene
Hawkins
Sullivan
Unicoi
Washington
Bristol City
Scott
Smyth
Washington
Alcorn
Calhoun
Chickasaw
Choctaw
Clay

KY
KY
KY
KY
TN
IA
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
VA
VA
VA
VA
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS

PEA
Number
99
99
99
99
99
99
99
99
99
99
99
99
99
99
99
99
99
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
101
101
102
102
102
102
102
102
102
102
102
102
102
102
102
102
102

167

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
28043
28057
28081
28087
28095
28097
28103
28105
28115
28117
28139
28141
28145
28155
28159
47071
47109
37013
37031
37049
37055
37079
37095
37103
37107
37117
37137
37147
37177
37187
20015
20173
08015
08019
08027
08029
08037
08043
08045
08049
08051
08053
08057
08065
08077
08081
08085

FCC 20-22

County Name

Grenada
Itawamba
Lee
Lowndes
Monroe
Montgomery
Noxubee
Oktibbeha
Pontotoc
Prentiss
Tippah
Tishomingo
Union
Webster
Winston
Hardin
McNairy
Beaufort
Carteret
Craven
Dare
Greene
Hyde
Jones
Lenoir
Martin
Pamlico
Pitt
Tyrrell
Washington
Butler
Sedgwick
Chaffee
Clear Creek
Custer
Delta
Eagle
Fremont
Garfield
Grand
Gunnison
Hinsdale
Jackson
Lake
Mesa
Moffat
Montrose

State

MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
TN
TN
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
KS
KS
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
102
102
102
102
102
102
102
103
103
103
103
103
103
103
103
103
103
103
103
103
103
103
103
104
104
105
105
105
105
105
105
105
106
106
106
106
106
106
106
106
106
106
106
106
106
107
107

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
08091
08093
08097
08103
08107
08113
08117
51043
51061
51069
51139
51157
51171
51187
51840
54003
54023
54027
54031
54037
54065
54083
54093
08069
08123
13073
13181
13189
13245
13317
45003
45037
39009
39047
39059
39073
39079
39115
39119
39121
39127
39131
39141
39145
39163
23003
23009

County Name

Ouray
Park
Pitkin
Rio Blanco
Routt
San Miguel
Summit
Clarke
Fauquier
Frederick
Page
Rappahannock
Shenandoah
Warren
Winchester City
Berkeley
Grant
Hampshire
Hardy
Jefferson
Morgan
Randolph
Tucker
Larimer
Weld
Columbia
Lincoln
McDuffie
Richmond
Wilkes
Aiken
Edgefield
Athens
Fayette
Guernsey
Hocking
Jackson
Morgan
Muskingum
Noble
Perry
Pike
Ross
Scioto
Vinton
Aroostook
Hancock

PEA
Number

State

CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
CO
CO
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
SC
SC
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
ME
ME

107
107
107
107
107
107
108
108
108
109
109
109
109
109
109
109
109
109
109
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
110
111
111
111
111
111
111
112
112
112

168

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
23011
23019
23021
23025
23027
23029
19049
19153
19181
37065
37069
37077
37083
37127
37131
37145
37181
37185
37195
21075
21105
47005
47017
47023
47033
47039
47045
47047
47053
47069
47075
47077
47079
47095
47097
47113
47131
47183
05007
05087
05143
29119
40001
40041
21003
21009
21031

FCC 20-22

County Name

Kennebec
Penobscot
Piscataquis
Somerset
Waldo
Washington
Dallas
Polk
Warren
Edgecombe
Franklin
Granville
Halifax
Nash
Northampton
Person
Vance
Warren
Wilson
Fulton
Hickman
Benton
Carroll
Chester
Crockett
Decatur
Dyer
Fayette
Gibson
Hardeman
Haywood
Henderson
Henry
Lake
Lauderdale
Madison
Obion
Weakley
Benton
Madison
Washington
McDonald
Adair
Delaware
Allen
Barren
Butler

State

ME
ME
ME
ME
ME
ME
IA
IA
IA
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
KY
KY
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
AR
AR
AR
MO
OK
OK
KY
KY
KY

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
112
112
112
112
112
112
112
112
112
112
112
112
112
112
112
112
112
112
113
113
113
113
113
113
114
114
114
114
114
114
114
114
114
114
114
115
115
115
115
115
115
115
116
116
116
117
117

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
21057
21061
21099
21141
21169
21171
21213
21219
21227
47027
47035
47049
47087
47111
47133
47137
47141
47169
42031
42039
42049
42053
42121
42123
42051
42059
54001
54017
54033
54041
54049
54061
54077
54091
54097
37021
37087
37089
37099
37115
37173
37175
17007
17201
55105
13045
13077

County Name

Cumberland
Edmonson
Hart
Logan
Metcalfe
Monroe
Simpson
Todd
Warren
Clay
Cumberland
Fentress
Jackson
Macon
Overton
Pickett
Putnam
Trousdale
Clarion
Crawford
Erie
Forest
Venango
Warren
Fayette
Greene
Barbour
Doddridge
Harrison
Lewis
Marion
Monongalia
Preston
Taylor
Upshur
Buncombe
Haywood
Henderson
Jackson
Madison
Swain
Transylvania
Boone
Winnebago
Rock
Carroll
Coweta

PEA
Number

State

KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
IL
IL
WI
GA
GA

117
117
117
117
117
117
117
117
117
118
118
118
118
118
118
118
118
118
118
118
118
118
119
119
119
120
120
120
120
120
120
120
120
121
121
121
121
121
121
122
123
123
123
123
123
123
123

169

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
13143
13149
13171
13199
13231
13255
13263
13285
13293
18005
18013
18031
18041
18059
18065
18071
18079
18135
18139
18145
18161
18177
53005
53021
53077
05027
05073
22013
22015
22017
22027
22119
22127
42009
42013
42021
42061
42087
42111
55025
39005
39033
39067
39075
39139
39157
39169

FCC 20-22

County Name

State

Haralson
Heard
Lamar
Meriwether
Pike
Spalding
Talbot
Troup
Upson
Bartholomew
Brown
Decatur
Fayette
Hancock
Henry
Jackson
Jennings
Randolph
Rush
Shelby
Union
Wayne
Benton
Franklin
Yakima
Columbia
Lafayette
Bienville Parish
Bossier Parish
Caddo Parish
Claiborne Parish
Webster Parish
Winn Parish
Bedford
Blair
Cambria
Huntingdon
Mifflin
Somerset
Dane
Ashland
Crawford
Harrison
Holmes
Richland
Tuscarawas
Wayne

GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
WA
WA
WA
AR
AR
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
WI
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
124
124
124
124
124
125
125
125
125
125
125
125
125
125
126
126
126
126
127
127
127
127
127
127
127
127
127
127
127
128
128
128
128
128
128
128
128
128
128
128
129
129
129
129
129
129
129

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
53027
53041
53045
53049
53067
17013
17083
17117
17119
29073
29113
29139
29163
29219
04007
04009
04011
04021
18027
18037
18051
18083
18101
18123
18125
18129
18147
18163
18173
13009
13021
13023
13091
13153
13169
13225
13235
13289
13315
13319
17001
17009
17017
17021
17061
17107
17129

County Name

Grays Harbor
Lewis
Mason
Pacific
Thurston
Calhoun
Jersey
Macoupin
Madison
Gasconade
Lincoln
Montgomery
Pike
Warren
Gila
Graham
Greenlee
Pinal
Daviess
Dubois
Gibson
Knox
Martin
Perry
Pike
Posey
Spencer
Vanderburgh
Warrick
Baldwin
Bibb
Bleckley
Dodge
Houston
Jones
Peach
Pulaski
Twiggs
Wilcox
Wilkinson
Adams
Brown
Cass
Christian
Greene
Logan
Menard

PEA
Number

State

WA
WA
WA
WA
WA
IL
IL
IL
IL
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
AZ
AZ
AZ
AZ
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL

129
129
129
129
129
129
130
131
131
131
131
131
132
132
132
132
132
133
133
133
133
133
133
133
133
133
133
133
133
133
133
133
134
134
134
134
134
134
134
135
135
135
135
135
135
136
136

170

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
17135
17137
17149
17167
17169
17171
53063
37037
37085
37101
37105
37163
48007
48025
48355
48391
48409
48005
48161
48225
48289
48293
48313
48347
48373
48395
48403
48405
48407
48419
48455
48471
39031
39083
39089
39091
39101
39117
39159
48199
48241
48245
48351
48361
48457
42035
42037

FCC 20-22

County Name

Montgomery
Morgan
Pike
Sangamon
Schuyler
Scott
Spokane
Chatham
Harnett
Johnston
Lee
Sampson
Aransas
Bee
Nueces
Refugio
San Patricio
Angelina
Freestone
Houston
Leon
Limestone
Madison
Nacogdoches
Polk
Robertson
Sabine
San Augustine
San Jacinto
Shelby
Trinity
Walker
Coshocton
Knox
Licking
Logan
Marion
Morrow
Union
Hardin
Jasper
Jefferson
Newton
Orange
Tyler
Clinton
Columbia

State

IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
WA
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
PA
PA

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
136
136
136
136
136
136
136
137
137
137
137
137
137
137
137
137
137
137
137
138
138
138
138
138
138
138
138
138
139
139
139
139
139
139
139
139
139
139
139
139
139
139
139
139
139
139
139

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
42081
42093
42097
42109
42113
42119
42131
27049
55005
55013
55017
55033
55035
55091
55093
55095
55107
55113
55129
50001
50005
50007
50011
50013
50015
50019
50021
50023
05001
05003
05011
05013
05017
05019
05025
05039
05041
05043
05051
05053
05057
05059
05061
05079
05095
05097
05099

County Name

State

Lycoming
Montour
Northumberland
Snyder
Sullivan
Union
Wyoming
Goodhue
Barron
Burnett
Chippewa
Dunn
Eau Claire
Pepin
Pierce
Polk
Rusk
Sawyer
Washburn
Addison
Caledonia
Chittenden
Franklin
Grand Isle
Lamoille
Orleans
Rutland
Washington
Arkansas
Ashley
Bradley
Calhoun
Chicot
Clark
Cleveland
Dallas
Desha
Drew
Garland
Grant
Hempstead
Hot Spring
Howard
Lincoln
Monroe
Montgomery
Nevada

PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
MN
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
VT
VT
VT
VT
VT
VT
VT
VT
VT
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR

PEA
Number
139
139
139
140
140

171

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
05103
05109
05139
51033
51047

140

51630

140
140
140
140
140
140
141
141
141
141
141
141
141
141
141
141
141
141
141
141
141
141
141
141
142
142
142
142
142
143
143
143
143
143
143
143
143
143
144
144
144

51099
51113
51137
51177
51179
51193
27001
27007
27021
27029
27035
27041
27051
27057
27059
27065
27095
27097
27115
27121
27149
27151
27153
27159
06009
06043
06047
06069
06109
33003
33005
33007
33009
33019
50009
50017
50025
50027
48063
48119
48147

FCC 20-22

County Name

Ouachita
Pike
Union
Caroline
Culpeper
Fredericksburg
City
King George
Madison
Orange
Spotsylvania
Stafford
Westmoreland
Aitkin
Beltrami
Cass
Clearwater
Crow Wing
Douglas
Grant
Hubbard
Isanti
Kanabec
Mille Lacs
Morrison
Pine
Pope
Stevens
Swift
Todd
Wadena
Calaveras
Mariposa
Merced
San Benito
Tuolumne
Carroll
Cheshire
Coos
Grafton
Sullivan
Essex
Orange
Windham
Windsor
Camp
Delta
Fannin

State

AR
AR
AR
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
CA
CA
CA
CA
CA
NH
NH
NH
NH
NH
VT
VT
VT
VT
TX
TX
TX

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
144
144
144
144
144
144
144
144
144
144
145
145
145
145
145
145
145
145
145
145
145
145
145
145
146
146
146
146
147
147
147
147
147
147
148
148
148
148
149
149
149
149
149
150
150
150
150

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
48159
48223
48231
48277
48379
48387
48449
48459
48467
48499
47003
47015
47031
47041
47051
47055
47061
47117
47119
47127
47159
47175
47177
47185
37019
37047
37129
37141
10005
24039
24045
24047
51001
51131
53029
53055
53057
53073
28039
28045
28047
28059
28131
29029
29059
29065
29085

County Name

Franklin
Hopkins
Hunt
Lamar
Rains
Red River
Titus
Upshur
Van Zandt
Wood
Bedford
Cannon
Coffee
DeKalb
Franklin
Giles
Grundy
Marshall
Maury
Moore
Smith
Van Buren
Warren
White
Brunswick
Columbus
New Hanover
Pender
Sussex
Somerset
Wicomico
Worcester
Accomack
Northampton
Island
San Juan
Skagit
Whatcom
George
Hancock
Harrison
Jackson
Stone
Camden
Dallas
Dent
Hickory

PEA
Number

State

TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
NC
NC
NC
NC
DE
MD
MD
MD
VA
VA
WA
WA
WA
WA
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MO
MO
MO
MO

150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
151
151
152
152
152
153
153
153
153
153
154
154
154
154
155
155
155
156
157
157
157
158
158
158
158
158
158
158
158
158
158
159
159
159
159

172

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
29105
29125
29131
29141
29149
29161
29167
29169
29203
29215
29225
29229
37067
37169
48183
48203
48423
55027
55039
55047
55055
55127
45033
45043
45051
45067
55015
55087
55139
16001
04012
04027
06025
30029
30039
30047
30049
30053
30061
30063
30077
30081
30089
13007
13017
13019
13027

FCC 20-22

County Name

State

Laclede
Maries
Miller
Morgan
Oregon
Phelps
Polk
Pulaski
Shannon
Texas
Webster
Wright
Forsyth
Stokes
Gregg
Harrison
Smith
Dodge
Fond du Lac
Green Lake
Jefferson
Walworth
Dillon
Georgetown
Horry
Marion
Calumet
Outagamie
Winnebago
Ada
La Paz
Yuma
Imperial
Flathead
Granite
Lake
Lewis and Clark
Lincoln
Mineral
Missoula
Powell
Ravalli
Sanders
Baker
Ben Hill
Berrien
Brooks

MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
NC
NC
TX
TX
TX
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
SC
SC
SC
SC
WI
WI
WI
ID
AZ
AZ
CA
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
GA
GA
GA
GA

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
159
159
159
159
159
159
159
159
159
159
159
159
159
159
160
160
160
160
160
160
160
160
160
160
160
160
160
161
161
161
161
161
161
161
161
161
161
161
161
161
161
161
161
162
162
162
162

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
13037
13061
13071
13075
13101
13155
13173
13185
13205
13243
13273
13277
13287
13321
48015
48051
48057
48089
48123
48149
48175
48239
48285
48321
48469
48477
48481
17003
17055
17059
17065
17069
17077
17081
17087
17145
17151
17153
17157
17165
17181
17189
17199
18025
18061
18175
21027

County Name

Calhoun
Clay
Colquitt
Cook
Echols
Irwin
Lanier
Lowndes
Mitchell
Randolph
Terrell
Tift
Turner
Worth
Austin
Burleson
Calhoun
Colorado
DeWitt
Fayette
Goliad
Jackson
Lavaca
Matagorda
Victoria
Washington
Wharton
Alexander
Franklin
Gallatin
Hamilton
Hardin
Jackson
Jefferson
Johnson
Perry
Pope
Pulaski
Randolph
Saline
Union
Washington
Williamson
Crawford
Harrison
Washington
Breckinridge

PEA
Number

State

GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IN
IN
IN
KY

162
162
162
162
162
162
162
162
163
163
163
164
164
164
165
165
165
165
165
165
165
165
166
166
166
166
166
167
167
167
167
167
167
167
167
167
167
167
167
167
167
167
168
168
168
169
169

173

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
21085
21093
21123
21155
21163
21179
21215
21229
19163
17073
17161
01001
01051
01101
01017
01019
01029
01111
13015
13055
13115
13233
06049
06089
06093
06103
41035
51005
51015
51017
51530
51580
51660
51091
51678
51163
51165
51790
51820
54025
54071
54075
17143
17179
17203
37061
37133

FCC 20-22

County Name

State

Grayson
Hardin
Larue
Marion
Meade
Nelson
Spencer
Washington
Scott
Henry
Rock Island
Autauga
Elmore
Montgomery
Chambers
Cherokee
Cleburne
Randolph
Bartow
Chattooga
Floyd
Polk
Modoc
Shasta
Siskiyou
Tehama
Klamath
Alleghany
Augusta
Bath
Buena Vista City
Covington City
Harrisonburg City
Highland
Lexington City
Rockbridge
Rockingham
Staunton City
Waynesboro City
Greenbrier
Pendleton
Pocahontas
Peoria
Tazewell
Woodford
Duplin
Onslow

KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
IA
IL
IL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
GA
GA
GA
GA
CA
CA
CA
CA
OR
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
WV
WV
WV
IL
IL
IL
NC
NC

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
169
170
170
170
170
170
170
170
170
170
170
171
171
171
171
171
171
171
171
171
172
172
172
172
172
172
172
173
173
173
173
173
173
173
173
173
173
174
174
175
175
175
175
175
175
175
175

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
37191
01005
01031
01039
01045
01061
01067
01069
12059
12133
13239
05033
05047
05083
05127
05131
40061
40077
40079
40135
27017
27031
27061
27071
27075
27137
55031
51019
51515
51035
51063
51067
51071
51121
51155
51750
54063
29043
29077
28009
28033
28071
28093
28107
28119
28137
28143

County Name

Wayne
Barbour
Coffee
Covington
Dale
Geneva
Henry
Houston
Holmes
Washington
Quitman
Crawford
Franklin
Logan
Scott
Sebastian
Haskell
Latimer
Le Flore
Sequoyah
Carlton
Cook
Itasca
Koochiching
Lake
St. Louis
Douglas
Bedford
Bedford City
Carroll
Floyd
Franklin
Giles
Montgomery
Pulaski
Radford City
Monroe
Christian
Greene
Benton
DeSoto
Lafayette
Marshall
Panola
Quitman
Tate
Tunica

PEA
Number

State

NC
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
FL
FL
GA
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
OK
OK
OK
OK
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
WI
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
WV
MO
MO
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS

175
176
176
176
176
176
176
176
176
176
176
176
176
176
176
176
177
177
177
178
178
178
178
178
178
178
178
178
178
178
178
178
178
178
179
179
179
179
179
179
179
179
179
179
179
179
179

174

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
28161
19015
19025
19027
19047
19073
19075
19079
19083
19091
19127
19161
19169
19171
19187
19197
13029
13051
13103
20003
20011
20059
20107
20121
29013
29015
29039
29083
29101
29107
29159
29195
29185
29217
19007
19051
19057
19087
19099
19101
19107
19111
19123
19125
19135
19157
19177

FCC 20-22

County Name

Yalobusha
Boone
Calhoun
Carroll
Crawford
Greene
Grundy
Hamilton
Hardin
Humboldt
Marshall
Sac
Story
Tama
Webster
Wright
Bryan
Chatham
Effingham
Anderson
Bourbon
Franklin
Linn
Miami
Bates
Benton
Cedar
Henry
Johnson
Lafayette
Pettis
Saline
St. Clair
Vernon
Appanoose
Davis
Des Moines
Henry
Jasper
Jefferson
Keokuk
Lee
Mahaska
Marion
Monroe
Poweshiek
Van Buren

State

MS
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
GA
GA
GA
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
179
179
179
179
179
180
180
181
181
181
181
181
181
181
181
181
181
181
181
182
182
183
183
183
183
183
183
183
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184
184

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
19179
17067
17071
29045
29199
04005
04025
05081
05091
05113
05133
40013
40023
40089
40127
48037
48067
48315
48343
19103
19113
29019
29027
29051
29053
29089
29135
29151
22021
22035
22041
22049
22061
22067
22073
22083
22111

184

22123

185
185
185
185
185
185
185
185
185

26013
26043
26053
26061
26071
26083
26103
26109
26131

County Name

State

Wapello
Hancock
Henderson
Clark
Scotland
Coconino
Yavapai
Little River
Miller
Polk
Sevier
Bryan
Choctaw
McCurtain
Pushmataha
Bowie
Cass
Marion
Morris
Johnson
Linn
Boone
Callaway
Cole
Cooper
Howard
Moniteau
Osage
Caldwell Parish
East Carroll Parish
Franklin Parish
Jackson Parish
Lincoln Parish
Morehouse Parish
Ouachita Parish
Richland Parish
Union Parish
West Carroll
Parish
Baraga
Dickinson
Gogebic
Houghton
Iron
Keweenaw
Marquette
Menominee
Ontonagon

IA
IL
IL
MO
MO
AZ
AZ
AR
AR
AR
AR
OK
OK
OK
OK
TX
TX
TX
TX
IA
IA
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA

PEA
Number
185
185
185
185
185
185
186
186
186
187
187
187
187
187
187
187
187
187
188
188
188
188
188
189
189
189
189
189
189
189
190
190
190
190
190
190
190
190
190
190
190
190
190
190
190
190
190

LA
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI

175

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
55037
55051
55075
55078
55083
55115
45023
45057
45091
16005
16011
16019
16033
16043
16051
16065
16077
16081
36003
36009
36013
42083
42105
22003
22009
22011
22043
22059
22079
22115
30019
30021
30031
30033
30037
30057
30055
30065
30067
30069
30083
30085
30091
30095
30097
30105
30111

FCC 20-22

County Name

State

Florence
Iron
Marinette
Menominee
Oconto
Shawano
Chester
Lancaster
York
Bannock
Bingham
Bonneville
Clark
Fremont
Jefferson
Madison
Power
Teton
Allegany
Cattaraugus
Chautauqua
McKean
Potter
Allen Parish
Avoyelles Parish
Beauregard Parish
Grant Parish
La Salle Parish
Rapides Parish
Vernon Parish
Daniels
Dawson
Gallatin
Garfield
Golden Valley
Madison
McCone
Musselshell
Park
Petroleum
Richland
Roosevelt
Sheridan
Stillwater
Sweet Grass
Valley
Yellowstone

WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
SC
SC
SC
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
NY
NY
NY
PA
PA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
LA
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
191
191
191
191

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
51007
51025
51029
51037

191

51570

191
191
191
191
191
191
191
191
191
191
191
191
192
193
193
193
193
193
193
194
194
194
194
194
195
195
195
195
195
195
195
195
195
195
196
196
196
196
196
196
196
196

51049
51053
51595
51081
51670
51111
51117
51135
51730
51147
51149
51183
37051
20005
20043
20045
20103
29003
29021
42023
42027
42033
42047
42065
16009
16017
16021
16035
16049
16055
16057
16061
16069
16079
29017
29023
29031
29035
29093
29123
29133
29143

County Name

Amelia
Brunswick
Buckingham
Charlotte
Colonial Heights
City
Cumberland
Dinwiddie
Emporia City
Greensville
Hopewell City
Lunenburg
Mecklenburg
Nottoway
Petersburg City
Prince Edward
Prince George
Sussex
Cumberland
Atchison
Doniphan
Douglas
Leavenworth
Andrew
Buchanan
Cameron
Centre
Clearfield
Elk
Jefferson
Benewah
Bonner
Boundary
Clearwater
Idaho
Kootenai
Latah
Lewis
Nez Perce
Shoshone
Bollinger
Butler
Cape Girardeau
Carter
Iron
Madison
Mississippi
New Madrid

PEA
Number

State

VA
VA
VA
VA

196
196
196
196
196
196
197
197
197
197
197
197
197
197
197
198
198
198
198
198
198
198
198
198
199
199
199
199
199
199
199
199
200
200
200
200
200
200
200
201
201
201
201
201
201
201
201

VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
NC
KS
KS
KS
KS
MO
MO
PA
PA
PA
PA
PA
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO

176

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
29157
29179
29181
29201
29207
29223
39013
39081
39111
54009
54029
54051
54069
54095
54103
05021
05031
05055
05075
05093
05111
05121
29069
29155
13111
13123
13129
13213
13227
13281
13291
13313
37033
37157
51590
51089
51690
51141
51143
48019
48127
48163
48171
48259
48265
48283
48323

FCC 20-22

County Name

State

Perry
Reynolds
Ripley
Scott
Stoddard
Wayne
Belmont
Jefferson
Monroe
Brooke
Hancock
Marshall
Ohio
Tyler
Wetzel
Clay
Craighead
Greene
Lawrence
Mississippi
Poinsett
Randolph
Dunklin
Pemiscot
Fannin
Gilmer
Gordon
Murray
Pickens
Towns
Union
Whitfield
Caswell
Rockingham
Danville City
Henry
Martinsville City
Patrick
Pittsylvania
Bandera
Dimmit
Frio
Gillespie
Kendall
Kerr
La Salle
Maverick

MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
OH
OH
OH
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
WV
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
AR
MO
MO
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
NC
NC
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
201
201
201
201
202
202
202
202
202
202
202
203
203
203
203
203
203
203
203
203
203
203
204
204
204
204
204
204
204
204
204
204
205
205
205
205
206
206
206
206
206
206
207
207
207
207
207

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
48325
48385
48463
48507
01113
13053
13145
13197
13215
13259
13307
26009
26019
26055
26079
26085
26089
26101
26105
26113
26133
26165
21055
21059
21091
21101
21107
21149
21177
21183
21225
21233
06023
06033
06045
06105
53001
53007
53017
53025
53037
53047
13003
13005
13025
13039
13049

County Name

Medina
Real
Uvalde
Zavala
Russell
Chattahoochee
Harris
Marion
Muscogee
Stewart
Webster
Antrim
Benzie
Grand Traverse
Kalkaska
Lake
Leelanau
Manistee
Mason
Missaukee
Osceola
Wexford
Crittenden
Daviess
Hancock
Henderson
Hopkins
McLean
Muhlenberg
Ohio
Union
Webster
Humboldt
Lake
Mendocino
Trinity
Adams
Chelan
Douglas
Grant
Kittitas
Okanogan
Atkinson
Bacon
Brantley
Camden
Charlton

PEA
Number

State

TX
TX
TX
TX
AL
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
CA
CA
CA
CA
WA
WA
WA
WA
WA
WA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA

207
207
207
207
207
207
208
208
209
209
209
210
210
210
211
211
211
211
211
211
211
211
211
211
211
211
211
211
211

177

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
13065
13069
13127
13191
13229
13299
37097
37159
55009
55029
55061
36007
36107
42115
40005
40019
40029
40033
40049
40063
40067
40069
40085
40095
40099
40107
40123
40133
40137

212

02020

213
213
213
213
213
213
213
213
213
214
215
215
215
216
216
216
216

41013
41017
41027
41031
41037
41055
41065
53039
53059
31109
37003
37023
37035
20021
20037
29011
29097

FCC 20-22

County Name

Clinch
Coffee
Glynn
McIntosh
Pierce
Ware
Iredell
Rowan
Brown
Door
Kewaunee
Broome
Tioga
Susquehanna
Atoka
Carter
Coal
Cotton
Garvin
Hughes
Jefferson
Johnston
Love
Marshall
Murray
Okfuskee
Pontotoc
Seminole
Stephens
Anchorage
Borough
Crook
Deschutes
Hood River
Jefferson
Lake
Sherman
Wasco
Klickitat
Skamania
Lancaster
Alexander
Burke
Catawba
Cherokee
Crawford
Barton
Jasper

State

GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
NC
NC
WI
WI
WI
NY
NY
PA
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
AK
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
WA
WA
NE
NC
NC
NC
KS
KS
MO
MO

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
216
216
217
218
218
218
219
219
219
219
219
219
219
219
219
219
219
219
219
219
219
219
219
219
220
220
221
221
221
222
222
222
222
222
222
223
223
223
223
223
223
223
224
224
224
224
224

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
29145
40115
48303
55073
55097
55141
19019
19021
19023
19033
19037
19041
19059
19063
19065
19067
19069
19081
19109
19131
19147
19151
19189
19195
48135
48329
48247
48479
48505
47029
47057
47063
47067
47089
47155
19061
19097
17085
55043
55045
55049
55065
17015
17037
17103
17141
17177

County Name

Newton
Ottawa
Lubbock
Marathon
Portage
Wood
Buchanan
Buena Vista
Butler
Cerro Gordo
Chickasaw
Clay
Dickinson
Emmet
Fayette
Floyd
Franklin
Hancock
Kossuth
Mitchell
Palo Alto
Pocahontas
Winnebago
Worth
Ector
Midland
Jim Hogg
Webb
Zapata
Cocke
Grainger
Hamblen
Hancock
Jefferson
Sevier
Dubuque
Jackson
Jo Daviess
Grant
Green
Iowa
Lafayette
Carroll
DeKalb
Lee
Ogle
Stephenson

PEA
Number

State

MO
OK
TX
WI
WI
WI
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
IA
IA
IL
WI
WI
WI
WI
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL

225
225
225
225
225
225
226
226
226
226
226
227
227
227
228
228
228
228
228
229
229
229
229
229
229
229
229
229
230
230
230
230
231
231
231
231
231
231
231
231
231
231
231
231
231
231
231

178

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
27055
55053
55063
55081
55121
55123
39003
39011
39107
39137
39161
36045
36049
36089
51023
51045
51161
51770
51775
32009
32017
32021
32023
49001
49017
49021
49031
49053
37017
37093
37155
37165
31003
31011
31021
31023
31025
31037
31039
31053
31119
31125
31139
31141
31143
31155
31167

FCC 20-22

County Name

Houston
Jackson
La Crosse
Monroe
Trempealeau
Vernon
Allen
Auglaize
Mercer
Putnam
Van Wert
Jefferson
Lewis
St. Lawrence
Botetourt
Craig
Roanoke
Roanoke City
Salem City
Esmeralda
Lincoln
Mineral
Nye
Beaver
Garfield
Iron
Piute
Washington
Bladen
Hoke
Robeson
Scotland
Antelope
Boone
Burt
Butler
Cass
Colfax
Cuming
Dodge
Madison
Nance
Pierce
Platte
Polk
Saunders
Stanton

State

MN
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
NY
NY
NY
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
NV
NV
NV
NV
UT
UT
UT
UT
UT
NC
NC
NC
NC
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
231
231
232
232
232
232
232
232
233
233
233
234
234
234
235
235
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
236
237
237
237
237
237
237
237
237
238

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
31177
31179
20013
20031
20085
20087
20139
20177
37045
37109
37161
37057
37059
37197
48375
48381
31001
31015
31017
31019
31035
31041
31047
31071
31077
31079
31081
31089
31093
31103
31115
31121
31129
31149
31163
31175
31181
31183
13031
13043
13109
13179
13183
13251
13267
13305
45031

County Name

Washington
Wayne
Brown
Coffey
Jackson
Jefferson
Osage
Shawnee
Cleveland
Lincoln
Rutherford
Davidson
Davie
Yadkin
Potter
Randall
Adams
Boyd
Brown
Buffalo
Clay
Custer
Dawson
Garfield
Greeley
Hall
Hamilton
Holt
Howard
Keya Paha
Loup
Merrick
Nuckolls
Rock
Sherman
Valley
Webster
Wheeler
Bulloch
Candler
Evans
Liberty
Long
Screven
Tattnall
Wayne
Darlington

PEA
Number

State

NE
NE
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
TX
TX
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
SC

238
238
239
239
240

179

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
45041
45089
37025
37167
51003

240

51540

240
240
240
240
241
241
241
241
241
241
241
241
241
241
241
241
241
242
242

51065
51079
51109
51125
13001
13107
13141
13161
13167
13175
13209
13237
13271
13279
13283
13303
13309
22019
22023

242

22053

243
243
243
243
243
243
243
243
243
243
244
244
244
244
244
244
244
244
244
244

17127
21007
21033
21035
21039
21083
21139
21143
21157
21145
20017
20027
20041
20061
20111
20117
20127
20131
20149
20161

FCC 20-22

County Name

Florence
Williamsburg
Cabarrus
Stanly
Albemarle
Charlottesville
City
Fluvanna
Greene
Louisa
Nelson
Appling
Emanuel
Hancock
Jeff Davis
Johnson
Laurens
Montgomery
Putnam
Telfair
Toombs
Treutlen
Washington
Wheeler
Calcasieu Parish
Cameron Parish
Jefferson Davis
Parish
Massac
Ballard
Caldwell
Calloway
Carlisle
Graves
Livingston
Lyon
Marshall
McCracken
Chase
Clay
Dickinson
Geary
Lyon
Marshall
Morris
Nemaha
Pottawatomie
Riley

State

SC
SC
NC
NC
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
LA
LA
LA
IL
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
244
244
245
245
245
245
245
245
245
245
246
246
246
246
246
247
247
247
248
248
248
248
249
249
250
250
251
251
251
251
251
251
251
251
251
251
251
251
251
251
251
251
251
251
252
252
252

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
20197
20201
29009
29057
29067
29091
29109
29153
29209
29213
01027
01037
01081
01087
01123
16027
16039
16073
45027
45055
45061
45085
48041
48185
35013
35051
20007
20009
20033
20047
20051
20053
20097
20115
20113
20135
20145
20151
20159
20165
20167
20169
20185
20195
19035
19093
19133

County Name

Wabaunsee
Washington
Barry
Dade
Douglas
Howell
Lawrence
Ozark
Stone
Taney
Clay
Coosa
Lee
Macon
Tallapoosa
Canyon
Elmore
Owyhee
Clarendon
Kershaw
Lee
Sumter
Brazos
Grimes
Dona Ana
Sierra
Barber
Barton
Comanche
Edwards
Ellis
Ellsworth
Kiowa
Marion
McPherson
Ness
Pawnee
Pratt
Rice
Rush
Russell
Saline
Stafford
Trego
Cherokee
Ida
Monona

PEA
Number

State

KS
KS
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
ID
ID
ID
SC
SC
SC
SC
TX
TX
NM
NM
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
IA
IA
IA

252
252
252
252
252
253
253
253
253
253
253
253
254
254
254
254
254
254
254
254
254
254
255
255
255
255
255
255
255
255
255
255
256
256
256
256
256
257
257
257
257
257
257
257
257
258
258

180

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
19141
19149
19167
19193
46127
55001
55021
55023
55057
55077
55103
55111
55003
55007
55019
55041
55067
55069
55085
55099
55119
55125
28011
28015
28027
28053
28055
28083
28125
28133
28135
28151
51009
51011
51031
51083
51680
56001
56005
56009
56011
56021
56027
56031
56045
01009
01043

FCC 20-22

County Name

O'Brien
Plymouth
Sioux
Woodbury
Union
Adams
Columbia
Crawford
Juneau
Marquette
Richland
Sauk
Ashland
Bayfield
Clark
Forest
Langlade
Lincoln
Oneida
Price
Taylor
Vilas
Bolivar
Carroll
Coahoma
Humphreys
Issaquena
Leflore
Sharkey
Sunflower
Tallahatchie
Washington
Amherst
Appomattox
Campbell
Halifax
Lynchburg City
Albany
Campbell
Converse
Crook
Laramie
Niobrara
Platte
Weston
Blount
Cullman

State

IA
IA
IA
IA
SD
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
WI
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
MS
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
WY
WY
WY
WY
WY
WY
WY
WY
AL
AL

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
258
258
258
259
259
259
259
259
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
261
261
262
262
262
263
263
263
263
263

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
01057
01093
01133
35005
35015
35025
48165
48501
26007
26029
26031
26039
26047
26119
26135
26137
26141
26143
27027
38017
45013
45049
45053
35019
35028
35033
35047
35049

264

02013

264

02016

264

02050

264

02060

264

02070

264

02122

264

02150

264

02164

264

02170

264

02261

265

19089

County Name

State

Fayette
Marion
Winston
Chaves
Eddy
Lea
Gaines
Yoakum
Alpena
Charlevoix
Cheboygan
Crawford
Emmet
Montmorency
Oscoda
Otsego
Presque Isle
Roscommon
Clay
Cass
Beaufort
Hampton
Jasper
Guadalupe
Los Alamos
Mora
San Miguel
Santa Fe
Aleutians East
Borough
Aleutians West
Census Area
Bethel Census
Area
Bristol Bay
Borough
Dillingham Census
Area
Kenai Peninsula
Borough
Kodiak Island
Borough
Lake and
Peninsula Borough
Matanuska-Susitna
Borough
Valdez-Cordova
Census Area
Howard

AL
AL
AL
NM
NM
NM
TX
TX
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MN
ND
SC
SC
SC
NM
NM
NM
NM
NM

PEA
Number
265
265
265
265
265
265
265
266
266
266
266
266
267
267
268
268
268
268
268
268
269
270
270
270
270
271
271
271
272
272
272
272
272
272
272
272
272
272
273
273
274
274
274
274
274
274
274

AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
IA

181

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
19191
27039
27045
27099
27157
27169
55011
37009
37011
37027
37189
47091
55071
55117
19031
19045
19115
19139
17131
17195
55101
17011
17099
17105
17155
36015
42015
42117
48035
48049
48083
48093
48133
48143
48193
48217
48333
48425
17039
17113
16013
16025
16031
16047
16053
16063
16067

FCC 20-22

County Name

Winneshiek
Dodge
Fillmore
Mower
Wabasha
Winona
Buffalo
Ashe
Avery
Caldwell
Watauga
Johnson
Manitowoc
Sheboygan
Cedar
Clinton
Louisa
Muscatine
Mercer
Whiteside
Racine
Bureau
La Salle
Livingston
Putnam
Chemung
Bradford
Tioga
Bosque
Brown
Coleman
Comanche
Eastland
Erath
Hamilton
Hill
Mills
Somervell
De Witt
McLean
Blaine
Camas
Cassia
Gooding
Jerome
Lincoln
Minidoka

State

IA
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
WI
NC
NC
NC
NC
TN
WI
WI
IA
IA
IA
IA
IL
IL
WI
IL
IL
IL
IL
NY
PA
PA
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
IL
IL
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
274
275
275
275
276
276
276
276
276
276
276
276
276
276
277
277
277
277
277
277
277
277
278
278
278
278
278
278
278
278
278
278
279
279
279
279
280
280
280
280
280
280
280
280
280
280
280

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
16083
48001
48213
48349
30011
38001
46019
46033
46047
46063
46081
46093
46103
46105
20035
20049
20073
20077
20079
20095
20155
20191
20001
20019
20099
20125
20133
20205
20207
40035
40105
40147
16041
16071
49003
49005
20025
20055
20057
20067
20069
20071
20075
20081
20083
20093
20101

County Name

Twin Falls
Anderson
Henderson
Navarro
Carter
Adams
Butte
Custer
Fall River
Harding
Lawrence
Meade
Pennington
Perkins
Cowley
Elk
Greenwood
Harper
Harvey
Kingman
Reno
Sumner
Allen
Chautauqua
Labette
Montgomery
Neosho
Wilson
Woodson
Craig
Nowata
Washington
Franklin
Oneida
Box Elder
Cache
Clark
Finney
Ford
Grant
Gray
Greeley
Hamilton
Haskell
Hodgeman
Kearny
Lane

PEA
Number

State

ID
TX
TX
TX
MT
ND
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
OK
OK
OK
ID
ID
UT
UT
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS

280
280
280
280
280
280
280
280
280
280
281
281
281
281
282
282
282
282
282
282
282
283
283
283
284
284
284
284
285
285
285
286
287
288
288
288
289
289
289
289
289
289
289
289
289
290
290

182

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
20119
20129
20171
20175
20187
20189
20203
40007
40025
40139
40091
40101
40111
40121
17057
17095
17123
17125
17109
17175
17187
36019
36031
36033
45001
45047
45059
45065
04001
35006
35031
46099
55059
48059
48253
48441
49007
49013
49015
49019
49029
49043
49047
49051
49055
27011
27117

FCC 20-22

County Name

Meade
Morton
Scott
Seward
Stanton
Stevens
Wichita
Beaver
Cimarron
Texas
McIntosh
Muskogee
Okmulgee
Pittsburg
Fulton
Knox
Marshall
Mason
McDonough
Stark
Warren
Clinton
Essex
Franklin
Abbeville
Greenwood
Laurens
McCormick
Apache
Cibola
McKinley
Minnehaha
Kenosha
Callahan
Jones
Taylor
Carbon
Duchesne
Emery
Grand
Morgan
Summit
Uintah
Wasatch
Wayne
Big Stone
Pipestone

State

KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
NY
NY
NY
SC
SC
SC
SC
AZ
NM
NM
SD
WI
TX
TX
TX
UT
UT
UT
UT
UT
UT
UT
UT
UT
MN
MN

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
290
290
290
290
290
290
290
290
290
290
290
290
290
290
290
291
291
291
292
293
293
293
293
293
293
293
293
293
294
294
295
295
295
295
296
297
297
297
297
297
297
297
297
298

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
27133
27155
46005
46011
46025
46029
46039
46051
46057
46077
46079
46097
46101
46109
46111
37123
37125
37153
08101
21221
47081
47083
47085
47099
47101
47135
47161
47181
19013
19017
40071
40103
40117
40119
42107
41001
41021
41023
41049
41059
41061
41063
41069
02068

298

02090

298

02180

County Name

Rock
Traverse
Beadle
Brookings
Clark
Codington
Deuel
Grant
Hamlin
Kingsbury
Lake
Miner
Moody
Roberts
Sanborn
Montgomery
Moore
Richmond
Pueblo
Trigg
Hickman
Houston
Humphreys
Lawrence
Lewis
Perry
Stewart
Wayne
Black Hawk
Bremer
Kay
Noble
Pawnee
Payne
Schuylkill
Baker
Gilliam
Grant
Morrow
Umatilla
Union
Wallowa
Wheeler
Denali Borough
Fairbanks North
Star Borough
Nome Census
Area

PEA
Number

State

MN
MN
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
NC
NC
NC
CO
KY
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
IA
IA
OK
OK
OK
OK
PA
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
OR
AK
AK
AK

183

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number

298

02185

298

02188

298

02240

298

02270

298

02290

299
299
299
299
299
299
299
299
299
299
299
299
299
299
300
300
300
300
300
300
300
301
302
302
302
302
302
302
302
302
303
303
303
303
303
303
303

29001
29025
29033
29049
29061
29063
29079
29081
29103
29117
29129
29171
29197
29211
01011
01013
01041
01047
01085
01105
01109
27109
40003
40011
40015
40047
40053
40073
40093
40151
30005
30013
30015
30035
30041
30051
30073

FCC 20-22

County Name

North Slope
Borough
Northwest Arctic
Borough
Southeast
Fairbanks Census
Area
Wade Hampton
Census Area
Yukon-Koyukuk
Census Area
Adair
Caldwell
Carroll
Clinton
Daviess
DeKalb
Grundy
Harrison
Knox
Livingston
Mercer
Putnam
Schuyler
Sullivan
Bullock
Butler
Crenshaw
Dallas
Lowndes
Perry
Pike
Olmsted
Alfalfa
Blaine
Caddo
Garfield
Grant
Kingfisher
Major
Woods
Blaine
Cascade
Chouteau
Glacier
Hill
Liberty
Pondera

State

AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
MN
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
303
303
304
304
305
305
305
305
305
305
305
305
305
305
305
305
306
306
307
307
307
307
307
307
307
307
307
307
307
308
308
308
308
308
308
308
308
309
309
309
309
309
309
309
310
310
310

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
30099
30101
37171
37193
40009
40039
40043
40045
40055
40057
40059
40065
40075
40129
40149
40153
48077
48485
19119
31027
31107
46009
46027
46061
46067
46083
46087
46125
46135
13079
13081
13093
13193
13207
13249
13261
13269
37015
37029
37041
37073
37091
37139
37143
29055
29187
29186

County Name

Teton
Toole
Surry
Wilkes
Beckham
Custer
Dewey
Ellis
Greer
Harmon
Harper
Jackson
Kiowa
Roger Mills
Washita
Woodward
Clay
Wichita
Lyon
Cedar
Knox
Bon Homme
Clay
Hanson
Hutchinson
Lincoln
McCook
Turner
Yankton
Crawford
Crisp
Dooly
Macon
Monroe
Schley
Sumter
Taylor
Bertie
Camden
Chowan
Gates
Hertford
Pasquotank
Perquimans
Crawford
St. Francois
Ste. Genevieve

PEA
Number

State

MT
MT
NC
NC
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
TX
TX
IA
NE
NE
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
MO
MO
MO

310
311
311
311
311
311
311
311
311
311
311
311
311
311
311
311
311
312
313
313
313
314
314
314
315
315
315
315
315
315
315
315
315
315
315
315
316
316
316
316
316
316
316
316
316
317
317

184

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
29221
08003
08009
08011
08017
08021
08023
08025
08055
08061
08071
08079
08089
08099
08105
08109
35007
35045
48021
48055
48287
48073
48365
48401
30003
30009
30017
30025
30075
30079
30087
30103
56003
56019
56029
56033
16007
16029
49009
49033
56007
56023
56035
56037
56041
31059
31067

FCC 20-22

County Name

Washington
Alamosa
Baca
Bent
Cheyenne
Conejos
Costilla
Crowley
Huerfano
Kiowa
Las Animas
Mineral
Otero
Prowers
Rio Grande
Saguache
Colfax
San Juan
Bastrop
Caldwell
Lee
Cherokee
Panola
Rusk
Big Horn
Carbon
Custer
Fallon
Powder River
Prairie
Rosebud
Treasure
Big Horn
Johnson
Park
Sheridan
Bear Lake
Caribou
Daggett
Rich
Carbon
Lincoln
Sublette
Sweetwater
Uinta
Fillmore
Gage

State

MO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
NM
NM
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
WY
WY
WY
WY
ID
ID
UT
UT
WY
WY
WY
WY
WY
NE
NE

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
317
317
317
317
317
317
317
317
317
317
318
318
318
318
318
318
318
318
318
318
318
318
318
318
318
318
318
319
319
320
320
320
320
321
321
321
321
321
322
322
322
322
322
322
322
322
322

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
31095
31097
31127
31131
31133
31147
31151
31159
31169
31185
27069
27077
27089
27113
27125
27135
38005
38019
38027
38063
38067
38071
38079
38091
38095
38097
38099
13095
13177
48235
48413
48435
48451
18029
18047
18115
18137
18155
38009
38013
38023
38049
38053
38061
38075
38101
38105

County Name

State

Jefferson
Johnson
Nemaha
Otoe
Pawnee
Richardson
Saline
Seward
Thayer
York
Kittson
Lake of the Woods
Marshall
Pennington
Red Lake
Roseau
Benson
Cavalier
Eddy
Nelson
Pembina
Ramsey
Rolette
Steele
Towner
Traill
Walsh
Dougherty
Lee
Irion
Schleicher
Sutton
Tom Green
Dearborn
Franklin
Ohio
Ripley
Switzerland
Bottineau
Burke
Divide
McHenry
McKenzie
Mountrail
Renville
Ward
Williams

NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
GA
GA
TX
TX
TX
TX
IN
IN
IN
IN
IN
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND

PEA
Number
323
323
323
323
324
324
325
325
326
326
326
326
326
327
327
328
329
329
329
329
329
329
329
330
330
330
330
330
330
330
331
331
331
331
331
331
331
332
332
332
333
333
334
334
334
334
334

185

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
35003
35053
35057
35061
42103
42127
38015
38059
27005
27087
27107
27111
27167
45017
45075
04017
48047
48131
48249
48261
48273
48297
48311
17033
17047
17101
17159
17185
17191
17193
48079
48189
48219
48279
48305
48437
48445
37007
45025
45069
39037
39149
48011
48065
48075
48087
48101

FCC 20-22

County Name

Catron
Socorro
Torrance
Valencia
Pike
Wayne
Burleigh
Morton
Becker
Mahnomen
Norman
Otter Tail
Wilkin
Calhoun
Orangeburg
Navajo
Brooks
Duval
Jim Wells
Kenedy
Kleberg
Live Oak
McMullen
Crawford
Edwards
Lawrence
Richland
Wabash
Wayne
White
Cochran
Hale
Hockley
Lamb
Lynn
Swisher
Terry
Anson
Chesterfield
Marlboro
Darke
Shelby
Armstrong
Carson
Childress
Collingsworth
Cottle

State

NM
NM
NM
NM
PA
PA
ND
ND
MN
MN
MN
MN
MN
SC
SC
AZ
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
IL
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
NC
SC
SC
OH
OH
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
334
334
334
334
334
334
334
334
334
334
335

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
48129
48179
48191
48195
48211
48233
48295
48357
48393
48483
22031

335

22069

335
335
336
336
337
337
337
337
338
338
338
338
338
339
339
339
339
339
339
339
339
339
340
340
340
340
340
340
341
341
342
342
342
342
342

22081
22085
27119
38035
48097
48237
48337
48363
08007
08033
08067
08083
08111
31007
31013
31033
31045
31105
31123
31157
31165
56015
35009
35011
35021
35037
35041
35059
35027
35035
46003
46015
46017
46023
46035

County Name

Donley
Gray
Hall
Hansford
Hemphill
Hutchinson
Lipscomb
Ochiltree
Roberts
Wheeler
De Soto Parish
Natchitoches
Parish
Red River Parish
Sabine Parish
Polk
Grand Forks
Cooke
Jack
Montague
Palo Pinto
Archuleta
Dolores
La Plata
Montezuma
San Juan
Banner
Box Butte
Cheyenne
Dawes
Kimball
Morrill
Scotts Bluff
Sioux
Goshen
Curry
DeBaca
Harding
Quay
Roosevelt
Union
Lincoln
Otero
Aurora
Brule
Buffalo
Charles Mix
Davison

PEA
Number

State

TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
LA

342
342
342
342
342
342
342
342
342
342
343
343
343
343
343
343
343
343
343
343
343
343
343
344
344
344
345
345
345
346
346
346
346

LA
LA
LA
MN
ND
TX
TX
TX
TX
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
WY
NM
NM
NM
NM
NM
NM
NM
NM
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD

186

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
46043
46053
46059
46065
46069
46073
46085
46117
46119
46123
48043
48103
48105
48243
48301
48371
48377
48383
48389
48443
48461
48475
48495
01007
01021
01065
45039
45071
45081
37039
37043
37075
37113

347

22037

347

22077

347

22091

347

22125

347
348
348
348
348
348
348
348

28157
46013
46021
46037
46041
46045
46049
46091

FCC 20-22

County Name

Douglas
Gregory
Hand
Hughes
Hyde
Jerauld
Lyman
Stanley
Sully
Tripp
Brewster
Crane
Crockett
Jeff Davis
Loving
Pecos
Presidio
Reagan
Reeves
Terrell
Upton
Ward
Winkler
Bibb
Chilton
Hale
Fairfield
Newberry
Saluda
Cherokee
Clay
Graham
Macon
East Feliciana
Parish
Pointe Coupee
Parish
St. Helena Parish
West Feliciana
Parish
Wilkinson
Brown
Campbell
Day
Dewey
Edmunds
Faulk
Marshall

State

SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
AL
AL
AL
SC
SC
SC
NC
NC
NC
NC
LA
LA
LA
LA
MS
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
348
348
348
348
348
349
349
349
350
350
350
350
351
351
351
351
351
351
351
351
351
351
351
351
351
351
351
351
351
351
352
352
352
353
353
353
354
354
355
356
356
356
356
357
357
358
358

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
46089
46107
46115
46129
46137
37111
37121
37199
05037
05077
05107
05123
30109
38007
38011
38025
38029
38033
38037
38041
38043
38047
38051
38055
38057
38065
38085
38087
38089
46031
48177
48255
48493
17075
18073
18111
55135
55137
56025
53019
53043
53051
53065
35039
35055
48031
48053

County Name

McPherson
Potter
Spink
Walworth
Ziebach
McDowell
Mitchell
Yancey
Cross
Lee
Phillips
St. Francis
Wibaux
Billings
Bowman
Dunn
Emmons
Golden Valley
Grant
Hettinger
Kidder
Logan
McIntosh
McLean
Mercer
Oliver
Sioux
Slope
Stark
Corson
Gonzales
Karnes
Wilson
Iroquois
Jasper
Newton
Waupaca
Waushara
Natrona
Ferry
Lincoln
Pend Oreille
Stevens
Rio Arriba
Taos
Blanco
Burnet

PEA
Number

State

SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
NC
NC
NC
AR
AR
AR
AR
MT
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
SD
TX
TX
TX
IL
IN
IN
WI
WI
WY
WA
WA
WA
WA
NM
NM
TX
TX

358
359
359
359
359
359
359
360

187

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
48299
08075
08087
08095
08121
08125
31057
02100

360

02105

360

02110

360

02130

360

02195

360

02198

360

02220

360

02230

360
360
361
361
361
361
362
362
362
362
362
362
363
363
363
363
363
363
364
364
364
364
364
365
365
365
365
365
365

02275
02282
49023
49027
49039
49041
16003
16015
16045
16075
16085
16087
48003
48033
48115
48173
48227
48317
30001
30007
30023
30043
30093
40141
48009
48023
48155
48197
48429

FCC 20-22

County Name

State

Llano
Logan
Morgan
Phillips
Washington
Yuma
Dundy
Haines Borough
Hoonah-Angoon
Census Area
Juneau Borough
Ketchikan
Gateway Borough
Petersburg
Prince of WalesHyder
Sitka Borough
Skagway
Municipality
Wrangell
Yakutat Borough
Juab
Millard
Sanpete
Sevier
Adams
Boise
Gem
Payette
Valley
Washington
Andrews
Borden
Dawson
Glasscock
Howard
Martin
Beaverhead
Broadwater
Deer Lodge
Jefferson
Silver Bow
Tillman
Archer
Baylor
Foard
Hardeman
Stephens

TX
CO
CO
CO
CO
CO
NE
AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
AK
UT
UT
UT
UT
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
ID
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
OK
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
365
365
365
366
366
366
367
367
367
367
368
368
368
368
368
368
368
368
368
368
368
368
368
368
369
369
369
369
369
369
369
370
370
370
371
371
371
371
372
372
372
372
372
372
372
372
372

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
48447
48487
48503
53003
53023
53075
29007
29137
29175
29205
20029
20039
20065
20089
20105
20123
20137
20141
20143
20147
20153
20157
20163
20183
19003
19071
19129
19137
19145
19173
29005
19011
19095
19183
37005
51640
51077
51197
08039
08063
08073
20023
20063
20109
20179
20181
20193

County Name

Throckmorton
Wilbarger
Young
Asotin
Garfield
Whitman
Audrain
Monroe
Randolph
Shelby
Cloud
Decatur
Graham
Jewell
Lincoln
Mitchell
Norton
Osborne
Ottawa
Phillips
Rawlins
Republic
Rooks
Smith
Adams
Fremont
Mills
Montgomery
Page
Taylor
Atchison
Benton
Iowa
Washington
Alleghany
Galax City
Grayson
Wythe
Elbert
Kit Carson
Lincoln
Cheyenne
Gove
Logan
Sheridan
Sherman
Thomas

PEA
Number

State

TX
TX
TX
WA
WA
WA
MO
MO
MO
MO
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
MO
IA
IA
IA
NC
VA
VA
VA
CO
CO
CO
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS
KS

372
373
373
374
374
374
374
374
374
374
374
374
374
374
374
374
375
375
375
376
376
376
376
376
376
377
377
377
377
378
378
378
378
378
379
379
379
380
380
380
381
381
381
382
382
382
383

188

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
20199
53013
53071
08115
31005
31009
31029
31049
31069
31091
31101
31111
31113
31117
31135
31171
35017
35023
35029
48111
48117
48205
48341
48359
48421
01023
01063
01091
01119
13033
13125
13163
13165
13301
26033
26095
26097
26003
26041
26153
48137
48271
48465
56013
56017
56043
19039

FCC 20-22

County Name

Wallace
Columbia
Walla Walla
Sedgwick
Arthur
Blaine
Chase
Deuel
Garden
Hooker
Keith
Lincoln
Logan
McPherson
Perkins
Thomas
Grant
Hidalgo
Luna
Dallam
Deaf Smith
Hartley
Moore
Oldham
Sherman
Choctaw
Greene
Marengo
Sumter
Burke
Glascock
Jefferson
Jenkins
Warren
Chippewa
Luce
Mackinac
Alger
Delta
Schoolcraft
Edwards
Kinney
Val Verde
Fremont
Hot Springs
Washakie
Clarke

State

KS
WA
WA
CO
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NM
NM
NM
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
AL
AL
AL
AL
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
MI
TX
TX
TX
WY
WY
WY
IA

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
383
383
383
383
383
384
384
384
385
385
385
386
386
386
387
387
387
387
387
387
387
388
388
388
388
389
389
389
389
389
389
389
389
389
389
390
390
390
390
391
391
392
392
392
392
393
393

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
19053
19117
19159
19175
19185
19005
19043
19055
29111
29127
29173
45005
45009
45011
38003
38021
38039
38045
38073
38077
38081
19009
19029
19085
19165
31061
31063
31065
31073
31083
31085
31087
31099
31137
31145
48151
48335
48353
48415
41025
41045
29075
29087
29147
29227
29041
29115

County Name

Decatur
Lucas
Ringgold
Union
Wayne
Allamakee
Clayton
Delaware
Lewis
Marion
Ralls
Allendale
Bamberg
Barnwell
Barnes
Dickey
Griggs
LaMoure
Ransom
Richland
Sargent
Audubon
Cass
Harrison
Shelby
Franklin
Frontier
Furnas
Gosper
Harlan
Hayes
Hitchcock
Kearney
Phelps
Red Willow
Fisher
Mitchell
Nolan
Scurry
Harney
Malheur
Gentry
Holt
Nodaway
Worth
Chariton
Linn

PEA
Number

State

IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
IA
MO
MO
MO
SC
SC
SC
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
IA
IA
IA
IA
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
TX
TX
TX
TX
OR
OR
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO
MO

393
394
394
394
394
394
394
394
395
395
395
395
395
396
396
396
397
397
398
398
398
399
399
400
400
400
401
401
401
401
401
401
401
402
402
402
402
402
403
403
403
403
403
404
404
405
406

189

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
29121
46007
46055
46071
46075
46095
46113
46121
38031
38069
38083
38093
38103
19001
19077
19121
01075
01107
31043
31051
31173
48281
48411
48017
48069
48369
48045
48107
48125
48153
48169
48263
48345
48095
48267
48319
48307
48327
30027
30045
30059
30071
30107
49025
49037
56039
19105

FCC 20-22

County Name

Macon
Bennett
Haakon
Jackson
Jones
Mellette
Shannon
Todd
Foster
Pierce
Sheridan
Stutsman
Wells
Adair
Guthrie
Madison
Lamar
Pickens
Dakota
Dixon
Thurston
Lampasas
San Saba
Bailey
Castro
Parmer
Briscoe
Crosby
Dickens
Floyd
Garza
Kent
Motley
Concho
Kimble
Mason
McCulloch
Menard
Fergus
Judith Basin
Meagher
Phillips
Wheatland
Kane
San Juan
Teton
Jones

State

MO
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
SD
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
IA
IA
IA
AL
AL
NE
NE
NE
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
MT
MT
MT
MT
MT
UT
UT
WY
IA

Federal Communications Commission

PEA
Number
407
407
407
408
408
408
409
409
409
409
409
410
410
410
411
411
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
16023
16037
16059
48081
48399
48431
48207
48269
48275
48417
48433
31031
31075
31161
48109
48229
72001
72003
72005
72007
72009
72011
72013
72015
72017
72019
72021
72023
72025
72027
72029
72031
72033
72035
72037
72039
72041
72043
72045
72047
72049
72051
72053
72054
72055
72057
72059

County Name

Butte
Custer
Lemhi
Coke
Runnels
Sterling
Haskell
King
Knox
Shackelford
Stonewall
Cherry
Grant
Sheridan
Culberson
Hudspeth
Adjuntas
Aguada
Aguadilla
Aguas Buenas
Aibonito
Anasco
Arecibo
Arroyo
Barceloneta
Barranquitas
Bayamon
Cabo Rojo
Caguas
Camuy
Canovanas
Carolina
Catano
Cayey
Ceiba
Ciales
Cidra
Coamo
Comerio
Corozal
Culebra
Dorado
Fajardo
Florida
Guanica
Guayama
Guayanilla

PEA
Number

State

ID
ID
ID
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
TX
NE
NE
NE
TX
TX
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR

412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412
412

190

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
72061
72063
72065
72067
72069
72071
72073
72075
72077
72079
72081
72083
72085
72087
72089
72091
72093
72095
72097
72099
72101
72103
72105
72107
72109
72111
72113
72115
72117
72119
72121
72123
72125
72127
72129
72131
72133
72135
72137
72139
72141
72143
72145
72147
72149
72151
72153

FCC 20-22

County Name

Guaynabo
Gurabo
Hatillo
Hormigueros
Humacao
Isabela
Jayuya
Juana Diaz
Juncos
Lajas
Lares
Las Marias
Las Piedras
Loiza
Luquillo
Manati
Maricao
Maunabo
Mayaguez
Moca
Morovis
Naguabo
Naranjito
Orocovis
Patillas
Penuelas
Ponce
Quebradillas
Rincon
Rio Grande
Sabana Grande
Salinas
San German
San Juan
San Lorenzo
San Sebastian
Santa Isabel
Toa Alta
Toa Baja
Trujillo Alto
Utuado
Vega Alta
Vega Baja
Vieques
Villalba
Yabucoa
Yauco

State

PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR
PR

Federal Communications Commission

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
66010
69085
69100
69110
69120
78010
78020
78030
60010

PEA
Number
413
413
413
413
413
414
414
414
415

18.

County Name

Guam
Northern Islands
Rota
Saipan
Tinian
St. Croix
St. John
St. Thomas
Eastern District

PEA
Number

State

GU
MP
MP
MP
MP
VI
VI
VI
AS

415
415
415
415

Federal
Information
Processing
System
Number
60020
60030
60040
60050

416

99023

416

99001

FCC 20-22

County Name

State

Manu'a District
Rose Island
Swains Island
Western District
Gulf of Mexico
Central and East
Gulf of Mexico
West

AS
AS
AS
AS
GM
GM

Amend § 27.11 by adding paragraph (l) to read as follows:

§ 27.11 Initial authorization.
*****
(l) 3700-3980 MHz band. Authorizations for licenses in the 3.7 GHz Service will be based on
Partial Economic Areas (PEAs), as specified in § 27.6(m), and the frequency sub-blocks specified in
§ 27.5(m).
19.

Amend § 27.13 by adding paragraph (m) to read as follows:

§ 27.13 License period.
*****
(m) 3700-3980 MHz band. Authorizations for licenses in the 3.7 GHz Service in the 3700-3980
MHz band will have a term not to exceed 15 years from the date of issuance or renewal.
20.

Amend § 27.14 by revising the first sentence of paragraphs (a) and (k) and adding
paragraph (v) to read as follows:

§ 27.14 Construction requirements.
(a) AWS and WCS licensees, with the exception of WCS licensees holding authorizations for the
600 MHz band, Block A in the 698-704 MHz and 728-734 MHz bands, Block B in the 704-710 MHz and
734-740 MHz bands, Block E in the 722-728 MHz band, Block C, C1 or C2 in the 746-757 MHz and
776-787 MHz bands, Block A in the 2305-2310 MHz and 2350-2355 MHz bands, Block B in the 23102315 MHz and 2355-2360 MHz bands, Block C in the 2315-2320 MHz band, Block D in the 2345-2350
MHz band, and in the 3700-3980 MHz band, and with the exception of licensees holding AWS
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Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

authorizations in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands, the 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200
MHz bands, or 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands, must, as a performance
requirement, make a showing of “substantial service” in their license area within the prescribed license
term set forth in § 27.13. * * *
*****
(k) Licensees holding WCS or AWS authorizations in the spectrum blocks enumerated in
paragraphs (g), (h), (i), (q), (r), (s), (t), and (v) of this section, including any licensee that obtained its
license pursuant to the procedures set forth in paragraph (j) of this section, shall demonstrate compliance
with performance requirements by filing a construction notification with the Commission, within 15 days
of the expiration of the applicable benchmark, in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 1.946(d) of
this chapter. * * *
*****
(v) The following provisions apply to any licensee holding an authorization in the 3700-3980
MHz band:
(1) Licensees relying on mobile or point-to-multipoint service shall provide reliable signal
coverage and offer service within eight (8) years from the date of the initial license to at least forty-five
(45) percent of the population in each of its license areas (“First Buildout Requirement”). Licensee shall
provide reliable signal coverage and offer service within twelve (12) years from the date of the initial
license to at least eighty (80) percent of the population in each of its license areas (“Second Buildout
Requirement”). Licensees relying on point-to-point service shall demonstrate within eight years of the
license issue date that they have four links operating and providing service to customers or for internal
use if the population within the license area is equal to or less than 268,000 and, if the population is
greater than 268,000, that they have at least one link in operation and providing service to customers, or
for internal use, per every 67,000 persons within a license area (“First Buildout Requirement”). Licensees
relying on point-to-point service shall demonstrate within 12 years of the license issue date that they have
eight links operating and providing service to customers or for internal use if the population within the
192

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

license area is equal to or less than 268,000 and, if the population within the license area is greater than
268,000, shall demonstrate they are providing service and have at least two links in operation per every
67,000 persons within a license area (“Second Buildout Requirement”).
(2) In the alternative, a licensee offering Internet of Things-type services shall provide geographic
area coverage within eight (8) years from the date of the initial license to thirty-five (35) percent of the
license (“First Buildout Requirement”). A licensee offering Internet of Things-type services shall provide
geographic area coverage within twelve (12) years from the date of the initial license to sixty-five (65)
percent of the license (“Second Buildout Requirement”).
(3) If a licensee fails to establish that it meets the First Buildout Requirement for a particular
license area, the licensee’s Second Buildout Requirement deadline and license term will be reduced by
two years. If a licensee fails to establish that it meets the Second Buildout Requirement for a particular
license area, its authorization for each license area in which it fails to meet the Second Buildout
Requirement shall terminate automatically without Commission action, and the licensee will be ineligible
to regain it if the Commission makes the license available at a later date.
(4) To demonstrate compliance with these performance requirements, licensees shall use the most
recently available decennial U.S. Census Data at the time of measurement and shall base their
measurements of population or geographic area served on areas no larger than the Census Tract level.
The population or area within a specific Census Tract (or other acceptable identifier) will be deemed
served by the licensee only if it provides reliable signal coverage to and offers service within the specific
Census Tract (or other acceptable identifier). To the extent the Census Tract (or other acceptable
identifier) extends beyond the boundaries of a license area, a licensee with authorizations for such areas
may include only the population or geographic area within the Census Tract (or other acceptable
identifier) towards meeting the performance requirement of a single, individual license. If a licensee does
not provide reliable signal coverage to an entire license area, the license must provide a map that
accurately depicts the boundaries of the area or areas within each license area not being served. Each
licensee also must file supporting documentation certifying the type of service it is providing for each
193

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

licensed area within its service territory and the type of technology used to provide such service.
Supporting documentation must include the assumptions used to create the coverage maps, including the
propagation model and the signal strength necessary to provide reliable service with the licensee’s
technology.
21.

Amend § 27.50 by adding paragraph (j) to read as follows:

§ 27.50 Power limits and duty cycle.
*****
(j) The following power requirements apply to stations transmitting in the 3700-3980 MHz band:
(1) The power of each fixed or base station transmitting in the 3700-3980 MHz band and located
in any county with population density of 100 or fewer persons per square mile, based upon the most
recently available population statistics from the Bureau of the Census, is limited to an equivalent
isotropically radiated power (EIRP) of 3280 Watts/MHz. This limit applies to the aggregate power of all
antenna elements in any given sector of a base station.
(2) The power of each fixed or base station transmitting in the 3700-3980 MHz band and situated
in any geographic location other than that described in paragraph (j)(1) of this section is limited to an
EIRP of 1640 Watts/MHz. This limit applies to the aggregate power of all antenna elements in any given
sector of a base station.
(3) Mobile and portable stations are limited to 1 Watt EIRP. Mobile and portable stations
operating in these bands must employ a means for limiting power to the minimum necessary for
successful communications.
(4) Equipment employed must be authorized in accordance with the provisions of § 27.51. Power
measurements for transmissions by stations authorized under this section may be made either in
accordance with a Commission-approved average power technique or in compliance with paragraph (j)(5)
of this section. In measuring transmissions in this band using an average power technique, the peak-toaverage ratio (PAR) of the transmission may not exceed 13 dB.

194

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

(5) Peak transmit power must be measured over any interval of continuous transmission using
instrumentation calibrated in terms of an rms-equivalent voltage. The measurement results shall be
properly adjusted for any instrument limitations, such as detector response times, limited resolution
bandwidth capability when compared to the emission bandwidth, sensitivity, and any other relevant
factors, so as to obtain a true peak measurement for the emission in question over the full bandwidth of
the channel.
22.

Amend § 27.53 by adding paragraph (l) to read as follows:

§ 27.53 Emission limits.
*****
(l) 3.7 GHz Service. The following emission limits apply to stations transmitting in the 3700-3980
MHz band:
(1) For base station operations in the 3700-3980 MHz band, the conducted power of any
emission outside the licensee’s authorized bandwidth shall not exceed −13 dBm/MHz. Compliance with
this paragraph (l)(1) is based on the use of measurement instrumentation employing a resolution
bandwidth of 1 megahertz or greater. However, in the 1 megahertz bands immediately outside and
adjacent to the licensee's frequency block, a resolution bandwidth of at least one percent of the emission
bandwidth of the fundamental emission of the transmitter may be employed. The emission bandwidth is
defined as the width of the signal between two points, one below the carrier center frequency and one
above the carrier center frequency, outside of which all emissions are attenuated at least 26 dB below the
transmitter power.
(2) For mobile operations in the 3700-3980 MHz band, the conducted power of any emission
outside the licensee’s authorized bandwidth shall not exceed −13 dBm/MHz. Compliance with this
paragraph (l)(2) is based on the use of measurement instrumentation employing a resolution bandwidth of
1 megahertz or greater. However, in the 1 megahertz bands immediately outside and adjacent to the
licensee's frequency block, the minimum resolution bandwidth for the measurement shall be either one
percent of the emission bandwidth of the fundamental emission of the transmitter or 350 kHz. In the
195

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

bands between 1 and 5 MHz removed from the licensee’s frequency block, the minimum resolution
bandwidth for the measurement shall be 500 kHz. The emission bandwidth is defined as the width of the
signal between two points, one below the carrier center frequency and one above the carrier center
frequency, outside of which all emissions are attenuated at least 26 dB below the transmitter power.
*****
23.

Amend § 27.55 by adding paragraph (d) to read as follows:

§ 27.55 Power strength limits.
*****
(d) Power flux density for stations operating in the 3700-3980 MHz band. For base and fixed
stations operation in the 3700-3980 MHz band in accordance with the provisions of § 27.50(j), the power
flux density (PFD) at any location on the geographical border of a licensee’s service area shall not exceed
−76 dBm/m2/MHz. This power flux density will be measured at 1.5 meters above ground. Licensees in
adjacent geographic areas may voluntarily agree to operate under a higher PFD at their common
boundary.
24.

Amend § 27.57 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:

§ 27.57 International coordination.
*****
(c) Operation in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1710-1755 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 1915-1920 MHz, 19952000 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz, 2155-2180 MHz, 2180-2200 MHz, and 3700-3980 MHz
bands is subject to international agreements with Mexico and Canada.
25.

Amend § 27.75 by adding paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:

§ 27.75 Basic interoperability requirement.
(a) * * *
(3) Mobile and portable stations that operate on any portion of frequencies in the 3700-3980 MHz
band must be capable of operating on all frequencies in the 3700-3980 MHz band using the same air
interfaces that the equipment utilizes on any frequencies in the 3700-3980 MHz band.
196

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 20-22

*****
26.

Add subpart O to read as follows:

Subpart O—3.7 GHz Service (3700-3980 MHz)
Sec.
27.1401 Licenses in the 3.7 GHz Service are subject to competitive bidding.
27.1402 Designated entities in the 3.7 GHz Service.
27.1411 Transition of the 3700-3980 MHz band to the 3.7 GHz Service.
27.1412 Transition Plan.
27.1413 Relocation Coordinator.
27.1414 Relocation Payment Clearinghouse.
27.1415 Documentation of expenses.
27.1416 Reimbursable costs.
27.1417 Reimbursement fund.
27.1418 Payment obligations.
27.1419 Lump sum payment for earth station opt out.
27.1420 Cost-sharing formula.
27.1421 Disputes over costs and cost-sharing.
27.1422 Accelerated relocation payments.
27.1423 Protection of incumbent operations.
27.1424 Agreements between 3.7 GHz Service licensees and C-Band earth station operators.
§ 27.1401 Licenses in the 3.7 GHz Service are subject to competitive bidding.
Mutually exclusive initial applications for licenses in the 3.7 GHz Service are subject to
competitive bidding. The general competitive bidding procedures set forth in 47 CFR part 1, subpart Q,
will apply unless otherwise provided in this subpart.
§ 27.1402 Designated entities in the 3.7 GHz Service.
(a) Eligibility for small business provisions--(1) Definitions--(i) Small business. A small business
is an entity that, together with its affiliates, its controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling
interests, has average gross revenues not exceeding $55 million for the preceding five (5) years.
(ii) Very small business. A very small business is an entity that, together with its affiliates, its
controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interests, has average gross revenues not
exceeding $20 million for the preceding five (5) years.
(2) Bidding credits. A winning bidder that qualifies as a small business, as defined in this section,
or a consortium of such small businesses as provided in § 1.2110(c)(6) of this chapter, may use a bidding
credit of 15 percent, subject to the cap specified in § 1.2110(f)(2)(ii) of this chapter. A winning bidder
197

Federal Communications Commission

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that qualifies as a very small business, as defined in this section, or a consortium of such very small
businesses as provided in § 1.2110(c)(6) of this chapter, may use a bidding credit of 25 percent, subject to
the cap specified in § 1.2110(f)(2)(ii) of this chapter.
(b) Eligibility for rural service provider bidding credit. A rural service provider, as defined in §
1.2110(f)(4)(i) of this chapter, that has not claimed a small business bidding credit may use the bidding
credit of 15 percent specified in § 1.2110(f)(4) of this chapter.
§ 27.1411 Transition of the 3700-3980 MHz band to the 3.7 GHz Service.
(a) Transition of the 3700-3798 MHz Band. The 3700-3980 MHz band is being transitioned in
the lower 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia from geostationary satellite orbit (GSO)
fixed-satellite service (space-to-Earth) and fixed service operations to the 3.7 GHz Service.
(b) Definitions--(1) Incumbent space station operator. An incumbent space station operator is
defined as a space station operator authorized to provide C-band service to any part of the contiguous
United States pursuant to an FCC-issued license or grant of market access as of June 21, 2018.
(2) Eligible space station operator. For purposes of determining eligibility to receive
reimbursement for relocation costs incurred as a result of the transition of FSS operations to the 40004200 MHz band, an eligible space station operators may receive reimbursement for relocation costs
incurred as a result of the transition of FSS operations to the 4000-4200 MHz band. An eligible space
station operator is defined as an incumbent space station operator that has demonstrated as of February 1,
2020, that it has an existing relationship to provide service via C-band satellite transmission to one or
more incumbent earth stations in the contiguous United States. Such existing relationships may be
directly with the incumbent earth station, or indirectly through content distributors or other entities, so
long as the relationship requires the provision of C-band satellite services to one or more specific
incumbent earth stations in the contiguous United States.
(3) Incumbent earth station. An incumbent earth station for this subpart is defined as an earth
station that is entitled to interference protection pursuant to § 25.138(c) of this chapter. An incumbent
earth station must transition above 4000 MHz pursuant to this subpart. An incumbent earth station will
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be able to continue receiving uninterrupted service both during and after the transition.
(4) Earth station migration. Earth station migration includes any necessary changes that allow
the uninterrupted reception of service by an incumbent earth station on new frequencies in the upper
portion of the band, including, but not limited to retuning and repointing antennas, “dual illumination”
during which the same programming is simultaneously downlinked over the original and new frequencies,
and the installation of new equipment or software at earth station uplink and/or downlink locations for
customers identified for technology upgrades necessary to facilitate the repack, such as compression
technology or modulation.
(5) Earth station filtering. A passband filter must be installed at the site of each incumbent earth
station at the same time or after it has been migrated to new frequencies to block signals from adjacent
channels and to prevent harmful interference from licensees in the 3.7 GHz Service. Earth station
filtering can occur either simultaneously with, or after, the earth station migration, or can occur at any
point after the earth station migration so long as all affected earth stations in a given Partial Economic
Area and surrounding areas are filtered prior to a licensee in the 3.7 GHz Service commencing operations.
(6) Contiguous United States (CONUS). For the purposes of the rules established in this subpart,
contiguous United States consists of the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia as defined by
Partial Economic Areas Nos. 1-41, 43-211, 213-263, 265-297, 299-359, and 361-411, which includes
areas within 12 nautical miles of the U.S. Gulf coastline (see § 27.6(m)). In this context, the rest of the
United States includes the Honolulu, Anchorage, Kodiak, Fairbanks, Juneau, Puerto Rico, GuamNorthern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Gulf of Mexico PEAs.
(7) Relocation Payment Clearinghouse. A Relocation Payment Clearinghouse is a neutral,
independent third-party to administer the cost management for the transition of the 3700-4000 MHz band
from the Fixed Satellite Service and Fixed Service to the 3.7 GHz Service.
(8) Relocation Coordinator. A Relocation Coordinator is a third party that will ensure that all
incumbent space station operators are relocating in a timely matter, and that is selected consistent with §
27.1413. The Relocation Coordinator will have technical experience in understanding and working on
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earth stations and will manage the migration and filtering of incumbent earth stations of eligible space
station operators that decline accelerated relocation payment.
§ 27.1412 Transition Plan.
(a) Relocation deadlines. Eligible space station operators are responsible for all necessary actions
to clear their transponders from the 3700-4000 MHz band (e.g., launching new satellites, reprogramming
transponders, exchanging customers) and to migrate the existing services of incumbent earth stations in
CONUS to the 4000-4200 MHz band (unless the incumbent earth station opts out of the formal relocation
process, per paragraph (e) of this section), as of December 5, 2025. Eligible space station operators that
fail to do so will be in violation of the conditions of their license authorization and potentially subject to
forfeitures and other sanctions.
(b) Accelerated relocation deadlines. An eligible space station operator shall qualify for
accelerated relocation payments by completing an early transition of the band to the 3.7 GHz Service.
(1) Phase I deadline. An eligible space station operator shall receive an accelerated relocation
payment if it clears its transponders from the 3700-3820 MHz band and migrates all associated incumbent
earth stations in CONUS above 3820 MHz no later than December 5, 2021 (Phase I deadline). To satisfy
the Phase I deadline, an eligible space station operator must also provide passband filters to block signals
from the 3700-3820 MHz band on all associated incumbent earth stations in PEAs 1-4, 6-10, 12-19, 2141, and 43-50 no later than December 5, 2021 (see § 27.6(m)). If an eligible space station operator
receives an accelerated relocation payment for meeting this deadline, it must also satisfy the second early
clearing deadline of December 5, 2023.
(2) Phase II deadline. An eligible space station operator shall receive an accelerated relocation
payment if it clears its transponders from the 3700-4000 MHz band and migrates incumbent earth stations
in CONUS above 4000 MHz no later than December 5, 2023 (Phase II deadline). To satisfy the Phase II
deadline, an eligible space station operator must also provide passband filters on all associated incumbent
earth stations in CONUS no later than December 5, 2023.
(3) Transition delays. An eligible space station operator shall not be held responsible for
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circumstances beyond their control related to earth station migration or filtering.
(i) An eligible space station operator must submit a notice of any incumbent earth station
transition delays to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau within 7 days of discovering an inability to
accomplish the assigned earth station transition task. Such a request must include supporting
documentation to allow for resolution as soon as practicable and must be submitted before the accelerated
relocation deadlines.
(4) Responsibility for meeting accelerated relocation deadlines. An eligible space station
operator’s satisfaction of the accelerated relocation deadlines shall be determined on an individual basis.
(c) Accelerated relocation election. An eligible space station operator may elect to receive
accelerated relocation payments to transition the 3700-4000 MHz band to the 3.7 GHz Service according
to the Phase I and Phase II deadlines via a written commitment by filing an accelerated relocation election
in GN Docket No. 18-122 no later than May 29, 2020.
(1) The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will prescribe the precise form of such election via
Public Notice no later than May 12, 2020.
(2) Each eligible space station operator that that makes an accelerated relocation election will be
required, as part of its filing of this accelerated relocation election, to commit to paying the administrative
costs of the Clearinghouse until the Commission awards licenses to the winning bidders in the auction, at
which time those administrative costs will be repaid to those space station operators.
(d) Transition Plan. Eligible space station operators must file with the Commission in GN
Docket No. 18-122 no later than June 12, 2020, a Transition Plan that describes the actions that must be
taken to clear transponders on space stations and to migrate and filter earth stations. Eligible space station
operators must make any necessary updates or resolve any deficiencies in their individual Transition
Plans by August 14, 2020.
(1) The Transition Plan must detail the eligible space station operator’s individual timeline and
necessary actions for clearing its transponders from the 3700-4000 MHz band, including:
(i) All existing space stations with operations that will need to be transitioned to operations above
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4000 MHz;
(ii) The number of new satellites, if any, that the space station operator will need to launch in
order to maintain sufficient capacity post-transition, including detailed descriptions of why such new
satellites are necessary;
(iii) The specific grooming plan for migrating existing services above 4000 MHz, including the
pre- and post-transition frequencies that each customer will occupy;
(iv) Any necessary technology upgrades or other solutions, such as video compression or
modulation, that the space station operator intends to implement;
(v) The number and location of incumbent earth stations antennas currently receiving the space
station operator’s transmissions that will need to be transitioned above 4000 MHz;
(vi) An estimate of the number and location of incumbent earth station antennas that will require
retuning and/or repointing in order to receive content on new transponder frequencies post-transition; and
(vii) The specific timeline by which the space station operator will implement the actions
described in its plan including any commitments to satisfy an early clearing.
(2) To the extent that incumbent earth stations are not accounted for in eligible space station
operators’ Transition Plans, the Relocation Coordinator must prepare an Earth Station Transition Plan for
such incumbent earth stations and may require each associated space station operator to file the
information needed for such a plan with the Relocation Coordinator.
(i) Where space station operators do not elect to clear by the accelerated relocation deadlines and
therefore are not responsible for earth station relocation, the Earth Station Transition Plan must provide
timelines that ensure all earth station relocation is completed no later than the relocation deadline.
(ii) The Relocation Coordinator will describe and recommend the respective responsibility of
each party for earth station migration and filtering obligations in the Earth Station Transition Plan and
assist incumbent earth stations in transitioning including, for example, by installing filters or hiring a third
party to install such filters to the extent necessary.
(e) Incumbent earth station opt-out. An incumbent earth station within the contiguous United
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States may opt out of the formal relocation process and accept a lump sum payment equal to the estimated
reasonable transition costs of earth station migration and filtering, as determined by the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau, in lieu of actual relocation costs. Such an incumbent earth station is
responsible for coordinating with the relevant space station operator as necessary and performing all
relocation actions on its own, including switching to alternative transmission mechanisms such as fiber,
and it will not receive further reimbursement for any costs exceeding the lump sum payment. An
incumbent earth station electing to opt out must inform the appropriate space station operator(s) and the
Relocation Coordinator that earth station migration and filtering will not be necessary for the relevant
earth station site and must coordinate with operators to avoid any disruption of video and radio
programming.
(f) Space station status reports. On a quarterly basis, beginning December 31, 2020: Each
eligible space station operator must provide a status report of its clearing efforts. Eligible space station
operators may file joint status reports.
(g) Certification of accelerated relocation. Each eligible space station operator must file a timely
certification that it has completed the necessary clearing actions to satisfy each accelerated relocation
deadline. The certification must be filed once the eligible space station operator completes its obligations
but no later than the applicable accelerated relocation deadline. The Wireless Telecommunication Bureau
will prescribe the form of such certification.
(1) The Bureau, Clearinghouse, and relevant stakeholders will have the opportunity to review the
Certification of Accelerated Relocation and identify potential deficiencies. The Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau will prescribe the form of any challenges by relevant stakeholders as to the
validity of the certification and will establish the process for how such challenges will impact the
incremental decreases in the accelerated relocation payment as set- forth in section 27.1422(d).
(2) If credible challenges as to the space station operator’s satisfaction of the relevant deadline are
made, the Bureau will issue a public notice identifying such challenges and will render a final decision as
to the validity of the certification no later than 60 days from its filing. Absent notice from the Bureau of
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any such deficiencies within 30 days of the filing of the certification, the Certification of Accelerated
Relocation will be deemed validated.
(h) Delegated authority. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is delegated the role of
providing clarifications or interpretations to eligible space station operators of the Commission’s orders
for all aspects of the transition.
§ 27.1413 Relocation Coordinator.
(a) Search committee. If eligible space station operators elect to receive accelerated relocation
payments no later than May 29, 2020, so that a supermajority (80%) of accelerated relocation payments
are accepted, each such electing eligible space station operator shall be eligible to appoint one member to
a search committee that will seek proposals for a third-party with technical experience in understanding
and working on earth stations to serve as a Relocation Coordinator and to manage the migration and
filtering of incumbent earth stations of eligible space station operators that decline accelerated relocation
payment.
(1) The search committee should proceed by consensus; however, if a vote on selection of a
Relocation Coordinator is required, it shall be by a supermajority (80%).
(i) The search committee shall notify the Commission of its choice of Relocation Coordinator.
(ii) The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau shall issue a Public Notice inviting comment on
whether the entity selected satisfies the criteria established in paragraph (b) of this section and issue a
final order announcing whether the criteria has been satisfied;
(iii) Should the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau be unable to find the criteria have been
satisfied, the selection process will start over and the search committee will submit a new proposed entity.
(2) If eligible space station operators select a Relocation Coordinator, they shall be responsible
for paying its costs.
(3) In the event that the search committee fails to select a Relocation Coordinator and to notify
the Commission by July 31, 2020, or in the case that at least 80% of accelerated relocation payments are
not accepted (and thus accelerated relocation is not triggered):
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(i) The search committee will be dissolved without further action by the Commission.
(ii) The Commission will initiate a procurement of a Relocation Coordinator to facilitate the
transition. Specifically, the Office of the Managing Director will initiate the procurement, and the
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will take all other necessary actions to meet the accelerated
relocation deadlines (to the extent applicable to any given operator) and the relocation deadline.
(iii) In the case that the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau selects the Relocation Coordinator,
overlay licensees will, collectively, pay for the services of the Relocation Coordinator and staff. The
Relocation Coordinator shall submit its own reasonable costs to the Relocation Clearinghouse, who will
then collect payments from overlay licensees. It shall also provide additional financial information as
requested by the Bureau to satisfy the Commission’s oversight responsibilities and/or agency
specific/government-wide reporting obligations.
(b) Relocation Coordinator criteria. The Relocation Coordinator must be able to demonstrate
that it has the requisite expertise to perform the duties required, which will include:
(1) Coordinating the schedule for clearing the band;
(2) Performing engineering analysis, as necessary to determine necessary earth station migration
actions;
(3) Assigning obligations, as necessary, for earth station migrations and filtering;
(4) Coordinating with overlay licensees throughout the transition process;
(5) Assessing the completion of the transition in each PEA and determining overlay licensees’
ability to commence operations; and
(6) Mediating scheduling disputes.
(c) Relocation Coordinator duties. The Relocation Coordinator shall:
(1) Establish a timeline and take actions necessary to migrate and filter incumbent earth stations
to ensure uninterrupted service during and following the transition.
(2) Review the Transition Plans filed by all eligible space station operators and recommend any
changes to those plans to the Commission to the extent needed to ensure a timely transition.
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(3) To the extent that incumbent earth stations are not accounted for in eligible space station
operators’ Transition Plans, the Relocation Coordinator must include those incumbent earth stations in an
Earth Station Transition Plan.
(i) May require each associated space station operator to file the information needed for such a
plan with the Relocation Coordinator.
(ii) Will describe and recommend the respective responsibility of each party for earth station
migration obligations in the Earth Station Transition Plan and assist incumbent earth stations in
transitioning including, for example, by installing filters or hiring a third party to install such filters to the
extent necessary.
(4) Coordinate its operations with overlay licensees.
(5) Be responsible for receiving notice from earth station operators or other satellite customers of
any disputes related to comparability of facilities, workmanship, or preservation of service during the
transition and shall subsequently notify the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau of the dispute and
provide recommendations for resolution.
(6) Must make real time disclosures of the content and timing of and the parties to
communications, if any, from or to applicants to participate in the competitive bidding, as defined by
§ 1.2105(c)(5)(i) of this chapter whenever the prohibition in § 1.2105(c) of this chapter applies to
competitive bidding for licenses in the 3.7 GHz Service.
(7) Incumbent space station operators must cooperate in good faith with the Relocation
Coordinator throughout the transition.
(d) Status reports. On a quarterly basis, beginning December 31, 2020, the Relocation
Coordinator must provide a report on the overall status of clearing efforts.
(e) Document requests. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, in consultation with the
Office of Managing Director, may request any documentation from the Relocation Coordinator necessary
to provide guidance or carry out oversight.
§ 27.1414 Relocation Payment Clearinghouse.
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A Relocation Payment Clearinghouse shall be selected and serve to administer the cost-related
aspects of the transition in a fair, transparent manner, pursuant to Commission rules and oversight, to
mitigate financial disputes among stakeholders, and to collect and distribute payments in a timely manner
for the transition of the 3700-4000 MHz band to the 3.7 GHz Service.
(a) Selection process. (1) A search committee will select the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse.
The search committee shall consist of member appointed by each of following nine entities: ACA
Connects, Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat S.A., National Association Broadcasters, National Cable Television
Association, CTIA, Competitive Carriers Association, and WISPA.
(2) The search committee shall convene no later than [INSERT DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF
PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER] and shall notify the Commission of the detailed selection

criteria for the position of Relocation Payment Clearinghouse no later than June 1, 2020. Such criteria
must be consistent with the qualifications, roles, and duties of the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse
specified in this subpart. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) is directed, on delegated
authority, to issue a Public Notice notifying the public that the search committee has published criteria,
outlining submission requirements, and providing the closing dates for the selection of the Relocation
Payment Clearinghouse and source (i.e., web page).
(3) The search committee should proceed by consensus; however, if a vote on selection of a
Relocation Payment Clearinghouse is required, it shall be by a majority.
(4) In the event that the search committee fails to select a Relocation Payment Clearinghouse and
to notify the Commission by July 31, 2020, the search committee will be dissolved without further action
by the Commission. In the event that the search committee fails to select a Clearinghouse and to notify
the Commission by July 31, 2020, two of the nine members of the search committee will be dropped
therefrom by lot, and the remaining seven members of the search committee shall select a Clearinghouse
by majority vote by August 14, 2020.
(5) During the course of the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse’s tenure, the Commission will
take such measures as are necessary to ensure timely compliance, including, should it become necessary,
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issuing subsequent public notices to select new Relocation Payment Clearinghouses(s).
(b) Selection criteria. (1) The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse must be a neutral, independent
entity with no conflicts of interest (organizational or personal) on the part of the organization or its
officers, directors, employees, contractors, or significant subcontractors.
(i) Organizational conflicts of interest means that because of other activities or relationships with
other entities, the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse, its contractors, or significant subcontractors are
unable or potentially unable to render impartial services, assistance or advice; the Relocation Payment
Clearinghouse’s objectivity in performing its function is or might be otherwise impaired; or the
Relocation Payment Clearinghouse might gain an unfair competitive advantage.
(ii) Personal conflict of interest means a situation in which an employee, officer, or director of the
Relocation Payment Clearinghouse, the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse’s contractors or significant
subcontractors has a financial interest, personal activity, or relationship that could impair that person’s
ability to act impartially and in the best interest of the transition when performing their assigned role, or is
engaged in self-dealing.
(2) The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse must be able to demonstrate that it has the requisite
expertise to perform the duties required, which will include collecting and distributing relocation and
accelerated relocation payments, auditing incoming and outgoing estimates, mitigating cost disputes
among parties, and generally acting as clearinghouse.
(3) The search committee should ensure that the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse meets
relevant best practices and standards in its operation to ensure an effective and efficient transition. First,
the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse should be required, in administering the transition, to:
(i) Engage in strategic planning and adopt goals and metrics to evaluate its performance;
(ii) Adopt internal controls for its operations;
(iii) Utilize enterprise risk management practices; and
(iv) Use best practices to protect against improper payments and to prevent fraud, waste and
abuse in its handling of funds. The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse must be required to create written
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procedures for its operations, using the Government Accountability Office’s Green Book to serve as a
guide in satisfying such requirements.
(4) The search committee must also ensure that the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse adopts
robust privacy and data security best practices in its operations, given that it will receive and process
information critical to ensuring a successful and expeditious transition.
(i) When the prohibition in § 1.2105(c) of this chapter applies to competitive bidding for licenses
in the 3.7 GHz service, the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse must make real time disclosures of the
content and timing of and the parties to communications, if any, from or to applicants to participate in the
competitive bidding, as defined by § 1.2105(c)(5)(i) of this chapter.
(ii) The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse should also comply with, on an ongoing basis, all
applicable laws and Federal Government guidance on privacy and information security requirements such
as relevant provisions in the Federal Information Security Management Act, National Institute of
Standards and Technology publications, and Office of Management and Budget guidance.
(iii) The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse must hire a third-party firm to independently audit
and verify, on an annual basis, the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse’s compliance with privacy and
information security requirements and to provide recommendations based on any audit findings; to
correct any negative audit findings and adopt any additional practices suggested by the auditor; and to
report the results to the Bureau.
(c) Reports and information. (1) The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse must provide quarterly
reports that detail the status of reimbursement funds available for clearing obligations, the relocation and
accelerated relocation payments issued, the amounts collected from overlay licensees, and any
certifications filed by incumbents. The reports must account for all funds spent to transition the 3.7 GHz
Service Band, including the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse’s own expenses, e.g., salaries and fees
paid to law firms, accounting firms, and other consultants. The report shall include descriptions of any
disputes and the manner in which they were resolved.
(2) The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse shall provide to the Office of the Managing Director
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and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, by March 1 of each year, an audited statement of funds
expended to date, including salaries and expenses of the Clearinghouse
(3) The Relocation Clearing House shall provide to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
additional information upon request.
§ 27. 1415 Documentation of expenses.
Parties seeking reimbursement of compensable relocation costs must document their actual
expenses and the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse, or a third-party on behalf of the Relocation
Payment Clearinghouse, may conduct audits of entities that receive reimbursements. Entities receiving
reimbursements must make available all relevant documentation upon request from the Relocation
Payment Clearinghouse or its contractor.
§ 27.1416 Reimbursable costs.
(a) Determining reimbursable costs. The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse shall review
reimbursement requests to determine whether they are reasonable and to ensure they comply with the
requirements adopted in this sub-part. The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse shall give parties the
opportunity to supplement any reimbursement claims that the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse deems
deficient. Reimbursement submissions that fall within the estimated range of costs in the cost category
schedule issued by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau shall be presumed reasonable. If the
Relocation Payment Clearinghouse determines that the amount sought for reimbursement is unreasonable,
it shall notify the party of the amount it deems eligible for reimbursement. The Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau shall make further determinations related to reimbursable costs, as
necessary, throughout the transition process.
(b) Payment procedures. Following a determination of the reimbursable amount, the Relocation
Payment Clearinghouse shall incorporate approved claims into invoices, which it shall issue to each
licensee indicating the amount to be paid. The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse shall pay approved
claims within 30 days of invoice submission. The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse shall also include
its own reasonable costs in the invoices.
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§ 27.1417 Reimbursement fund.
The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse will establish and administer an account that will fund
the costs for the transition of this band to the 3.7 GHz Service after an auction for the 3.7 GHz Service
concludes. Licensees in the 3.7 GHz Service shall pay their pro rata share of six months’ worth of
estimated transition costs into a reimbursement fund, administered by the Relocation Payment
Clearinghouse, shortly after the auction and then every six months until the transition is complete. The
Relocation Payment Clearinghouse shall draw from the reimbursement fund to pay approved, invoiced
claims, consistent with § 27.1418. If the reimbursement fund does not have sufficient funds to pay
approved claims before a six-month replenishment, the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse shall provide
3.7 GHz Service licensees with 30 days’ notice of the additional pro rata shares they must contribute. At
the end of the transition, the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse shall refund any unused amounts to 3.7
GHz Service licensees according to their pro rata shares.
§ 27.1418 Payment obligations.
(a) Each eligible space station operator is responsible for the payment of its own satellite
transition costs until the auction winners have been announced.
(b) Licensees in the 3.7 GHz Service shall pay their pro rata share of:
(1) The reasonable costs of the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse and, in the event the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau selects the Relocation Coordinator, the services of the Relocation
Coordinator and its staff;
(2) The actual relocation costs, provided that they are not unreasonable, for eligible space station
operators and incumbent fixed service licensees; the actual transition costs, provided they are not
unreasonable, associated with the necessary migration and filtering of incumbent earth stations;
(3) Any lump sum payments, if elected by incumbent earth station operators in lieu of actual
relocation costs; and
(4) Specified accelerated relocation payments for space station operators that clear on an
accelerated timeframe. Licensees in the 3.7 GHz Service shall be responsible for the full costs of space
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station transition, the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse, and, if selected and established by the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau, the Relocation Coordinator, based on their pro rata share of the total
auction bids of each licensee’s gross winning bids in the auction overall; they shall be responsible for
incumbent earth station and incumbent fixed service transition costs in a Partial Economic Area based on
their pro rata share of the total gross bids for that Partial Economic Area.
(c) Following the auction, and every six months until the close of the transition, licensees in the
3.7 GHz Service shall submit their portion of estimated transition costs to a reimbursement fund, and the
Relocation Payment Clearinghouse will reimburse parties incurring transition costs. If actual costs exceed
estimated costs, the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse shall perform a true-up for additional funds from
3.7 GHz Service licensees.
(d) If 3.7 GHz band license is relinquished to the Commission prior to all relocation cost
reimbursements and accelerated relocation payments being paid, the remaining payments will be
distributed among other similarly situated 3.7 GHz band licensees. If a new license is issued for the
previously relinquished rights prior to final payments becoming due, the new 3.7 GHz band licensee will
be responsible for the same pro rata share of relocation costs and accelerated relocation payments as the
initial 3.7 GHz band license. If a 3.7 GHz band licensee sells its rights on the secondary market, the new
3.7 GHz band licensee will be obligated to fulfill all payment obligations associated with the license.
§ 27.1419 Lump sum payment for earth station opt out.
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau shall announce a lump sum that will be available per
each incumbent earth station that elects to opt out from the formal relocation process, per § 27.1412(e), as
well as the process for electing lump sum payments. Incumbent earth station owners must make the lump
sum payment election no later than 30 days after the Bureau announces the lump sum payment amounts,
and must indicate whether each incumbent earth station for which it elects the lump sum payment will be
transitioned to the upper 200 megahertz in order to maintain C-band services or will discontinue C-band
services.

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§ 27.1420 Cost-sharing formula.
(a) For space station transition and Relocation Payment Clearinghouse costs, and in the event the
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau selects a Relocation Coordinator pursuant to § 27.1413(a),
Relocation Coordinator costs, the pro rata share of each flexible-use licensee will be the sum of the final
clock phase prices (P) for the set of all license blocks

that a bidder wins divided by the total final

clock phase prices for all N license blocks sold in the auction. To determine a licensee’s reimbursement
obligation (RO), that pro rata share would then be multiplied by the total eligible reimbursement costs
(RC). Mathematically, this is represented as:

(b) For incumbent earth stations and fixed service incumbent licensee transition costs, a flexibleuse licensee’s pro rata share will be determined on a PEA-specific basis, based on the final clock phase
prices for the license blocks it won in each PEA. To calculate the pro rata share for incumbent earth
station transition costs in a given PEA, the same formula identified in § 27.1412(a) will be used, except I
is the set of licenses a bidder won in the PEA, N is the total blocks sold in the PEA and RC is the PEAspecific earth station and fixed service relocation costs.
(c) For the Phase I accelerated relocation payments, the pro rata share of each flexible use licensee
of the 3.7 to 3.8 MHz in the 46 PEAs that are cleared by December 5, 2021, will be the sum of the final
clock phase prices (P) that the licensee won divided by the total final clock phase prices for all M license
blocks sold in those 46 PEAs. To determine a licensee’s RO the pro rata share would then be multiplied
by the total accelerated relocation payment due for Phase I, A1. Mathematically, this is represented as:

(d) For Phase II accelerated relocation payments, the pro rata share of each flexible use licensee
will be the sum of the final clock phase prices (P) that the licensee won in the entire auction, divided by
the total final clock phase prices for all N license blocks sold in the auction. To determine a licensee’s RO
the pro rata share would then be multiplied by the total accelerated relocation payment due for Phase II,
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A2. Mathematically, this is represented as:

§ 27.1421 Disputes over costs and cost-sharing.
(a) Parties disputing a cost estimate, cost invoice, or payment or cost-sharing obligation must file
an objection with the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse.
(b) The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse may mediate any disputes regarding cost estimates or
payments that may arise in the course of band reconfiguration; or refer the disputant parties to alternative
dispute resolution fora.
(1) Any dispute submitted to the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse, or other mediator, shall be
decided within 30 days after the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse has received a submission by one
party and a response from the other party.
(2) Thereafter, any party may seek expedited non-binding arbitration, which must be completed
within 30 days of the recommended decision or advice of the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse or other
mediator.
(3) The parties will share the cost of this arbitration if it is before the Relocation Payment
Clearinghouse.
(c) Should any issues still remain unresolved, they may be referred to the Bureau within ten days
of recommended decision or advice of the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse or other mediator and any
decision of the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse can be appealed to the Chief of the Bureau.
(1) When referring an unresolved matter, the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse shall forward
the entire record on any disputed issues, including such dispositions thereof that the Relocation Payment
Clearinghouse has considered.
(2) Upon receipt of such record and advice, the Bureau will decide the disputed issues based on
the record submitted. The Bureau is directed to resolve such disputed issues or designate them for an
evidentiary hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. If the Bureau decides an issue, any party to the
dispute wishing to appeal the decision may do so by filing with the Commission, within ten days of the
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effective date of the initial decision, a Petition for de novo review; whereupon the matter will be set for an
evidentiary hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
(3) Parties seeking de novo review of a decision by the Bureau are advised that, in the course of
the evidentiary hearing, the Commission may require complete documentation relevant to any disputed
matters; and, where necessary, and at the presiding judge’s discretion, require expert engineering,
economic or other reports or testimony. Parties may therefore wish to consider possibly less burdensome
and expensive resolution of their disputes through means of alternative dispute resolution.
§ 27.1422 Accelerated relocation payment.
(a) Eligible space station operators that meet the applicable early-clearing benchmark(s), as
confirmed in their Certification of Accelerated Relocation set-forth in § 27.1412(g), will be eligible for
their respective accelerated relocation payment.
(b) The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse will distribute the accelerated relocation payments
accordingly:
Table 1 to Paragraph (b)
Accelerated Relocation Payment by Operator
Payment
Phase I Payment Phase II Payment
Intelsat
$
4,865,366,000 $ 1,197,842,000 $
3,667,524,000
SES
$
3,968,133,000 $
976,945,000 $
2,991,188,000
Eutelsat
$
506,978,000 $
124,817,000 $
382,161,000
Telesat
$
344,400,000 $
84,790,000 $
259,610,000
Star One
$
15,124,000 $
3,723,000 $
11,401,000
Totals
$
9,700,001,000 $ 2,388,117,000 $
7,311,884,000

(c) The Relocation Payment Clearinghouse shall promptly notify 3.7 GHz Service licensees
following validation of the Certification of Accelerated Relocations as set-forth in Section 27.1412(g).
3.7 GHz Service licensees shall pay the accelerated relocation payments to the Clearinghouse within 60
days of the notice that eligible space station operators have met their respective accelerated clearing
benchmark. The Clearinghouse shall disburse accelerated relocation payments to relevant space station
operators within seven days of receiving the payment from overlay licensees.
(d) For eligible space station operators that fail to meet either the Phase I or Phase II benchmarks
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as of the relevant accelerated relocation deadline, the accelerated relocation payment will be reduced
according to the following schedule of declining accelerated relocation payments for the six months
following the relevant deadline:
Table 1 to Paragraph (d)

Date of Completion

Incremental Reduction

By Deadline
1-30 Days Late
31-60 Days Late
61-90 Days Late
91-120 Days Late
121-150 Days Late
151-180 Days Late
181+ Days Late

-5%
5%
10%
10%
20%
20%
30%

Accelerated Relocation
Payment
100%
95%
90%
80%
70%
50%
30%
0%

§ 27.1423 Protection of incumbent operations.
(a) To protect incumbent earth stations from out-of-band emissions from fixed stations, base
stations and mobiles, the power flux density (PFD) of any emissions within the 4000-4200 MHz band
must not exceed -124 dBW/m2/MHz as measured at the earth station antenna.
(b) To protect incumbent earth stations from blocking, the power flux density (PFD) of any
emissions within the 3700-3980 MHz band must not exceed -16 dBW/m2/MHz as measured at the earth
station antenna.
(c) All 3.7 GHz Service licensees, prior to initiating operations from any base or fixed station,
must coordinate cochannel frequency usage with all incumbent Telemetry, Tracking, and Command
(TT&C) earth stations within a 70 km radius. The licensee must ensure that the aggregated power from
its operations meets an interference to noise ratio (I/N) of -6 dB to the TT&C earth station receiver. A
base station’s operation will be defined as cochannel when any of the 3.7 GHz Service licensee’s
authorized frequencies are separated from the center frequency of the TT&C earth station by less than
150% of the maximum emission bandwidth in use by the TT&C earth station.
(d) All 3.7 GHz Service licensees operating on an adjacent channel to an incumbent TT&C earth
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station must ensure that the aggregated power from its operations meets an interference to noise ratio
(I/N) of -6 dB to the TT&C earth station receiver.
(e) To protect incumbent TT&C earth stations from blocking, the power flux density (PFD) of
any emissions within the 3700-3980 MHz band must not exceed -16 dBW/m2/MHz as measured at the
TT&C earth station antenna.
§ 27.1424 Agreements between 3.7 GHz Service licensees and C-Band earth station operators.
The PFD limits in § 27.1423 may be modified by the private agreement of licensees of 3.7 GHz
Service and entities operating earth stations in the 4000-4200 MHz band or TT&C operations in the 37003980 MHz band. A licensee of the 3.7 GHz Service who is a party to such an agreement must maintain a
copy of the agreement in its station files and disclose it, upon request, to prospective license assignees,
transferees, or spectrum lessees, and to the Commission.
PART 101 – FIXED MICROWAVE SERVICES
27.

The authority citation for part 101 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 303.
28.

Amend § 101.3 by adding a definition for “Contiguous United States” in alphabetical
order to read as follows:

§ 101.3 Definitions.
*****
Contiguous United States. For the 3700-4200 MHz band, the contiguous United States consists
of the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia as defined by Partial Economic Areas Nos. 1-41,
43-211, 213-263, 265-297, 299-359, and 361-411, which includes areas within 12 nautical miles of the
U.S. Gulf coastline (see § 27.6(m) of this chapter). In this context, the rest of the United States includes
the Honolulu, Anchorage, Kodiak, Fairbanks, Juneau, Puerto Rico, Guam-Northern Mariana Islands, U.S.
Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Gulf of Mexico PEAs (Nos. 42, 212, 264, 298, 360, 412-416).
*****
29.

Amend § 101.101 by revising the table heading “Other” and the entry “3700-4200” and
adding Note 2 to read as follows:

§ 101.101 Frequency availability.
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Radio service
Frequency
band (MHz)

3700-4200

Common
carrier
(Part
101)

CC LTTS

Private
radio
(Part
101)
OFS

Broadcast
auxiliary
(Part 74)

Other
(Parts 15, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 74,
78 & 100)

Notes

*******
SAT, ET
*******

(2).

*****
Notes
*****
(2) Frequencies in this band are shared with stations in the fixed satellite service outside the
contiguous United States. Applications for new permanent or temporary facilities in these bands will not
be accepted for locations in the contiguous United States. Licensees, as of April 19, 2018, of existing
permanent and temporary point-to-point Fixed Service links in the contiguous United States have until
December 5, 2023, to self-relocate their point-to-point links out of the 3,700-4,200 MHz band. Such
licensees may seek reimbursement of their reasonable costs based on the “comparable facilities” standard
used for the transition of microwave links out of other bands, see § 101.73(d) of this chapter (defining
comparable facilities as facilities possessing certain characteristics in terms of throughput, reliability and
operating costs) subject to the demonstration requirements and reimbursement administrative provisions
administrative provisions in part 27, subpart O, of this chapter.
30.

Amend § 101.147 by revising Notes 8, 14, and 25 to paragraph (a) and the heading of
paragraph (h) to read as follows:

§ 101.147 Frequency assignments.
(a) * * *
NOTES
*****
(8) This frequency band is shared with station(s) in the Local Television Transmission Service for
locations outside the contiguous United States and applications for new permanent or temporary facilities
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in this band will not be accepted for locations in the contiguous United States. Existing licensees as of
April 19, 2018, for permanent and temporary point-to-point Fixed Service links in the contiguous United
States have until December 5, 2023, to self-relocate their point-to-point links out of the 3,700-4,200 MHz
band. This frequency band is also shared in the U.S. Possessions in the Caribbean area, with stations in
the International Fixed Public Radiocommunications Services.
*****
(14) Frequencies in this band are shared with stations in the fixed satellite service. For 3,7004,200 MHz, frequencies are only available for locations outside the contiguous United States and
applications for new permanent or temporary facilities in this band will not be accepted for locations in
the contiguous United States. Existing licensees as of April 19, 2018, of permanent and temporary pointto-point Fixed Service links in the contiguous United States have until December 5, 2023, to self-relocate
their point-to-point links out of the 3,700-4,200 MHz.
*****
(25) Frequencies in these bands are available for assignment to television STL stations. For
3,700-4,200 MHz, frequencies are only available for locations outside the contiguous United States and
applications for new permanent or temporary facilities in this band will not be accepted for locations in
the contiguous United States. Existing licensees as of April 19, 2018, of permanent and temporary pointto-point Fixed Service links in the contiguous United States have until December 5, 2023, to self-relocate
their point-to-point links out of the 3,700-4,200 MHz band.
*****
(h) 3,700 to 4,200 MHz outside the contiguous United States.
*****
31.

Amend § 101.803 by revising Note 1 to paragraph (d) to read as follows:

§ 101.803 Frequencies.
*****
(d) * * *
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NOTES
(1) This frequency band is shared with stations in the Point to Point Microwave Radio Service
and, in United States Possessions in the Caribbean area, with stations in the International Fixed
Radiocommunications Services. For 3,700-4,200 MHz frequencies are only available for locations
outside the contiguous United States and applications for new permanent or temporary facilities in this
band will not be accepted for locations in the contiguous United States. In the contiguous United States,
licensees of existing licenses, as of April 19, 2018, for permanent point-to-point Fixed Service links have
until December 5, 2023, to self-relocate their point-to-point links out of the 3,700-4,200 MHz band.
*****

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APPENDIX B
Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
1.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), 1 an Initial
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice)
released in July 2018 in this proceeding. 2 The Commission sought written public comment on the
proposals in the Notice, including comments on the IRFA. No comments were filed addressing the IRFA.
This present Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA. 3
A.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Report and Order

2.
In the Report and Order and Order of Proposed Modification (Report and Order), the
Commission expands on its efforts to close the digital divide and secure U.S. leadership in the next
generation of wireless services, including fifth-generation (5G) wireless and other advanced spectrumbased services by making the 3.7-3.98 GHz band available for flexible terrestrial wireless use. The
Commission adopts new rules for this band that are designed to achieve four key goals: 1) make a
significant amount of spectrum available for flexible use, including 5G services; 2) ensure that a
significant amount of that spectrum is made available quickly so it can be used in upcoming 5G
deployments; 3) recover for the public a portion of the value of this public spectrum resource; and 4)
ensure the continuous and uninterrupted delivery of services currently offered in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band
(C-band). Specifically, the Commission makes 280 MHz of spectrum available on a national basis
through an auction conducted by the Commission. Because this band is prime spectrum for next
generation wireless services, this action will serve as a critical step in advancing United States leadership
in 5G and in implementing the Commission’s comprehensive strategy to Facilitate America’s Superiority
in 5G Technology (the 5G FAST Plan). At the same time, the Commission adopts rules to accommodate
incumbent Fixed Satellite Service and Fixed Services operations in the band, enabling those operators to
have continuous and uninterrupted delivery of the same video programming and other content that they
do today.
3.
The 3.7-4.2 GHz band currently is allocated in the United States exclusively for nonFederal use on a primary basis for Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) and Fixed Service. For FSS, the 3.7-4.2
GHz band (space-to-Earth or downlink) is paired with the 5.925-6.425 GHz band (Earth-to-space or
uplink), and collectively these bands are known as the “conventional C-band.” Domestically, space
station operators use the 3.7-4.2 GHz band to provide downlink signals of various bandwidths to licensed
transmit-receive, registered receive-only, and unregistered receive-only earth stations throughout the
United States. FSS operators use this band to deliver programming to television and radio broadcasters
throughout the country and to provide telephone and data services to consumers. The 3.7-4.2 GHz band
is also used for reception of telemetry signals transmitted by satellites, typically near the edges of the
band, i.e., at 3.7 GHz or 4.2 GHz.
4.
The Report and Order expands on the Commission’s efforts to open up mid-band
spectrum by making the 3.7-3.98 GHz band available for flexible-use wireless services. The Commission
adds a mobile, except aeronautical mobile, allocation to the 3.7-4.0 GHz band. The Commission also
adopts a process to transition this 280 megahertz of spectrum from incumbent use to new flexible-use by
December 5, 2025, with accelerated relocation payment options for space station operators that serve
earth stations in the contiguous United States to accelerate this transition in two stages: (1) 100 megahertz
1

See 5 U.S.C. § 603. The RFA, 5 U.S.C. §§ 601-612, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, (SBREFA) Pub. L. No. 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).

2

Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band, Order & Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, GN Docket No. 18122, 33 FCC Rcd 6915 (2018) (Notice).

3

See 5 U.S.C. § 604.

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(3.7-3.8 GHz) by December 5, 2021 and (2) all 280 megahertz by December 5, 2023. In both cases, the
space station operators would clear an additional 20 megahertz to be used as a guard band. The
Commission adopts relocation and accelerated relocation payment rules including rules establishing an
independent Relocation Payment Clearinghouse to oversee the cost-related aspects of the transition, as
well as a Relocation Coordinator to ensure that all incumbent space station operators are relocating in a
timely manner and ensure uninterrupted service during and following the transition. The Commission
adopts service and technical rules for flexible-use licensees in the 280 megahertz of spectrum designated
for transition to flexible use.
5.
Adopting a primary non-Federal mobile, except aeronautical mobile, allocation to the
3.7-3.98 GHz band will foster more efficient and intensive use of mid-band spectrum to facilitate and
incentivize investment in next generation wireless services. Mid-band spectrum is ideal for next
generation wireless broadband service due to its favorable propagation and capacity characteristics.
Allocating the 3.7-3.98 GHz band for mobile services will also address the Commission’s mandate under
the MOBILE NOW Act to identify spectrum for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use. In addition,
adopting this allocation will harmonize the Commission’s allocations for the 3.7-4.0 GHz band with
international allocations. The Commission’s plan will ensure that content that FSS now delivers to
incumbent earth stations will continue uninterrupted.
B.

Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA

6.
There were no comments filed that specifically addressed the proposed rules and policies
presented in the IRFA.
C.
Response to Comments by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business
Administration
7.
Pursuant to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which amended the RFA, the
Commission is required to respond to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the
Small Business Administration (SBA), and to provide a detailed statement of any change made to the
proposed rules as a result of those comments. 4
8.
proceeding.
D.

The Chief Counsel did not file any comments in response to the proposed rules in this
Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rules Will

Apply
9.
The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of
the number of small entities that may be affected by the rules adopted herein. 5 The RFA generally
defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small
organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” 6 In addition, the term “small business” has the
same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.” 7 A “small business

4

5 U.S.C. § 604(a)(3).

5

Id.

6

Id. § 601(6).

7

Id. § 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small-business concern” in the Small Business Act, 15
U.S.C. § 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an agency,
after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity for public
comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and
publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.”

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concern” is one which: (1) is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of
operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA. 8
10.
Small Businesses, Small Organizations, Small Governmental Jurisdictions. Our actions,
over time, may affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. We therefore describe here,
at the outset, three broad groups of small entities that could be directly affected herein. 9 First, while there
are industry specific size standards for small businesses that are used in the regulatory flexibility analysis,
according to data from the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, in general, a small business is an independent
business having fewer than 500 employees. 10 These types of small businesses represent 99.9% of all
businesses in the United States, which translates to 30.7 million businesses. 11
11.
Next, the type of small entity described as a “small organization” is generally “any notfor-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” 12 The
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses a revenue benchmark of $50,000 or less to delineate its annual
electronic filing requirements for small exempt organizations. 13 Nationwide, for tax year 2018, there
were approximately 571,709 small exempt organizations in the U.S. reporting revenues of $50,000 or less
according to the registration and tax data for exempt organizations available from the IRS. 14
12.
Finally, the small entity described as a “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined
generally as “governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special
districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” 15 U.S. Census Bureau data from the 2017 Census
of Governments 16 indicate that there were 90,075 local governmental jurisdictions consisting of general
purpose governments and special purpose governments in the United States. 17 Of this number, there were
8

15 U.S.C. § 632.

9

See 5 U.S.C. § 601(3)-(6).

10

See SBA, Office of Advocacy, “What’s New With Small Business,” https://cdn.advocacy.sba.gov/wpcontent/uploads/2019/09/23172859/Whats-New-With-Small-Business-2019.pdf (Sept 2019).
11

Id.

12

5 U.S.C. § 601(4).

13

The IRS benchmark is similar to the population of less than 50,000 benchmark in 5 U.S.C § 601(5) that is used to
define a small governmental jurisdiction. Therefore, the IRS benchmark has been used to estimate the number small
organizations in this small entity description. See Annual Electronic Filing Requirement for Small Exempt
Organizations — Form 990-N (e-Postcard), "Who must file,"
https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/annual-electronic-filing-requirement-for-small-exempt-organizationsform-990-n-e-postcard. We note that the IRS data does not provide information on whether a small exempt
organization is independently owned and operated or dominant in its field.
14

See Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract (EO BMF), "CSV Files by Region,"
https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/exempt-organizations-business-master-file-extract-eo-bmf. The IRS
Exempt Organization Business Master File (EO BMF) Extract provides information on all registered taxexempt/non-profit organizations. The data utilized for purposes of this description was extracted from the IRS EO
BMF data for Region 1-Northeast Area (76,886), Region 2-Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes Areas (221,121), and
Region 3-Gulf Coast and Pacific Coast Areas (273,702) which includes the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii.
This data does not include information for Puerto Rico.
15

5 U.S.C. § 601(5).

16

See 13 U.S.C. § 161. The Census of Governments survey is conducted every five (5) years compiling data for
years ending with “2” and “7”. See also Census of Governments, https://www.census.gov/programssurveys/cog/about.html.
17

See U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 Census of Governments – Organization Table 2. Local Governments by Type and
State: 2017 [CG1700ORG02]. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2017/econ/gus/2017-governments.html. Local
governmental jurisdictions are made up of general purpose governments (county, municipal and town or township)
(continued….)

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36,931 general purpose governments (county, 18 municipal and town or township 19) with populations of
less than 50,000 and 12,040 special purpose governments - independent school districts 20 with enrollment
populations of less than 50,000. 21 Accordingly, based on the 2017 U.S. Census of Governments data, we
estimate that at least 48,971 entities fall into the category of “small governmental jurisdictions.” 22
13.
Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). This industry comprises
establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide
communications via the airwaves. Establishments in this industry have spectrum licenses and provide
services using that spectrum, such as cellular services, paging services, wireless internet access, and
wireless video services. 23 The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small
if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. 24 For this industry, U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012 show that there
were 967 firms that operated for the entire year. 25 Of this total, 955 firms had employment of 999 or
fewer employees and 12 had employment of 1,000 employees or more. 26 Thus under this category and
the associated size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of wireless telecommunications
carriers (except satellite) are small entities.
14.
Satellite Telecommunications. This category comprises firms “primarily engaged in
providing telecommunications services to other establishments in the telecommunications and
broadcasting industries by forwarding and receiving communications signals via a system of satellites or
reselling satellite telecommunications.” 27 Satellite telecommunications service providers include satellite
(Continued from previous page)
and special purpose governments (special districts and independent school districts). See also Table 2.
CG1700ORG02 Table Notes_Local Governments by Type and State_2017.
18

See U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 Census of Governments - Organization, Table 5. County Governments by
Population-Size Group and State: 2017 [CG1700ORG05]. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2017/econ/gus/2017governments.html. There were 2,105 county governments with populations less than 50,000. This category does not
include subcounty (municipal and township) governments.
19

See id. There were 18,729 municipal and 16,097 town and township governments with populations less than
50,000.
20

See id. There were 12,040 independent school districts with enrollment populations less than 50,000. See also
Table 4. Special-Purpose Local Governments by State Census Years 1942 to 2017 [CG1700ORG04],
CG1700ORG04 Table Notes_Special Purpose Local Governments by State_Census Years 1942 to 2017.

21
While the special purpose governments category also includes local special district governments, the 2017 Census
of Governments data does not provide data aggregated based on population size for the special purpose governments
category. Therefore, only data from independent school districts is included in the special purpose governments
category.
22

This total is derived from the sum of the number of general purpose governments (county, municipal and town or
township) with populations of less than 50,000 (36,931) and the number of special purpose governments independent school districts with enrollment populations of less than 50,000 (12,040), from the 2017 Census of
Governments - Organizations Tables 5, 6, and 10.

23
U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 NAICS Definitions, “517312 Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (Except
Satellite),” https://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517312&search=2017%20NAICS%20Search.
24

13 CFR § 121.201, NAICS code 517312 (previously 517210).

25

U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Economic Census of the United States, Table EC1251SSSZ5, Information: Subject
Series: Estab and Firm Size: Employment Size of Firms for the U.S.: 2012 NAICS Code 517210,
https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ECN/2012_US/51SSSZ5//naics~517210.

26

Id. Available census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have employment of
1,500 or fewer employees; the largest category provided is for firms with “1000 employees or more.”
27

U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 NAICS Definitions, “517410 Satellite Telecommunications,”
https://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?input=517410&search=2017+NAICS+Search&search=2017.

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and earth station operators. The category has a small business size standard of $35 million or less in
average annual receipts, under SBA rules. 28 For this category, U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012 show
that there were a total of 333 firms that operated for the entire year.29 Of this total, 299 firms had annual
receipts of less than $25 million. 30 Consequently, we estimate that the majority of satellite
telecommunications providers are small entities.
E.
Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance
Requirements for Small Entities
15.
The Commission expects the rules adopted in the Report and Order will impose new or
additional reporting or recordkeeping and/or other compliance obligations on small entities as well as
other applicants and licensees. In addition to the rule changes associated with transitioning the band
through the approach adopted in the Report and Order, there are new service rule compliance obligations.
New licensees in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band will have to meet various service rules, including construction
benchmarks and technical operating requirements. In the event a small entity obtains licenses through
auction, the small entity licensee would be required to satisfy construction requirements, operate in
compliance with technical rules (e.g,, power, out of band emissions, and field strength limits), and may
have to coordinate with incumbent FSS operations in limited instances. Small entity licensees would be
responsible for making certain construction demonstrations with the Commission through the Universal
Licensing System showing that they have satisfied the relevant construction benchmarks.
16.
All filing, recordkeeping and reporting requirements adopted in the Report and Order,
including professional, accounting, engineering or survey services used in meeting these requirements
will be the same for small and large entities that intend to utilize these new 3.7 GHz Service licenses. To
the extent having the same requirements for all licensees results in the costs of complying with the rules
being relatively greater for smaller entities than for large ones, these costs are necessary to effectuate the
purpose of the Communications Act, namely to further the efficient use of spectrum, to prevent spectrum
warehousing and are necessary to promote fairness. Likewise, compliance with the service and technical
rules and coordination requirements are necessary for the furtherance of the goals of protecting the public
while also providing interference free services. Small entities must therefore comply with these rules and
requirements. The Commission believes however, that small entities will benefit from having more
information about opportunities in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band, more flexibility to provide a wider range of
services, and more options for gaining access to wireless spectrum.
17.
In order to comply with the rule changes adopted in the Report and Order, small entities
may be required to hire attorneys, engineers, consultants, or other professionals. While the Commission
cannot quantify the cost of compliance with the rule changes, we note that several of the rule changes are
consistent with and mirror existing policies and requirements used for other part 27 flexible-use licenses.
Therefore, small entities with existing licenses in other bands may already be familiar with such policies
and requirements and have the processes and procedures in place to facilitate compliance resulting in
minimal incremental costs to comply with our requirements for the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. The
recordkeeping, reporting and other compliance obligations for small entities and other licensees are
described below.
18.
Designated Entity Provisions. The Commission adopts the proposal to apply the two
small business definitions with higher gross revenues thresholds to auctions of overlay licenses in the 3.728

13 CFR § 121.201, NAICS code 517410.

29

U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Economic Census of the United States, Table EC1251SSSZ4, Information: Subject
Series - Estab and Firm Size: Receipts Size of Firms for the United States: 2012, NAICS code 517410,
https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ECN/2012_US/51SSSZ4//naics~517410.

30
Id. The available U.S. Census Bureau data does not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that
meet the SBA size standard of annual receipts of $35 million or less.

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3.98 GHz band. 31 Accordingly, an entity with average annual gross revenues for the relevant preceding
period not exceeding $55 million will qualify as a “small business,” while an entity with average annual
gross revenues for the relevant preceding period not exceeding $20 million will qualify as a “very small
business.” Since their adoption in 2015, the Commission has used these gross revenue thresholds in
auctions for licenses likely to be used to provide 5G services in a variety of bands. The results in these
auctions indicate that these gross revenue thresholds have provided an opportunity for bidders claiming
eligibility as small businesses to win licenses to provide spectrum-based services at auction. These
thresholds do not appear to be overly inclusive as a substantial number of qualified bidders in these
auctions do not come within the thresholds. This helps preclude designated entity benefits from flowing
to entities for which such credits are not necessary.
19.
The Commission also adopts the proposal to provide qualifying “small businesses” with a
bidding credit of 15% and qualifying “very small businesses” with a bidding credit of 25%, consistent
with the standardized schedule in part 1 of the rules. 32 This proposal was modeled on the small business
size standards and associated bidding credits that the Commission adopted for a range of other services.33
The Commission believes that use of the small business tiers and associated bidding credits set forth in
the part 1 bidding credit schedule will provide consistency and predictability for small businesses.
20.
Rural Service Providers. In the NPRM, the Commission also sought comment on a
proposal to offer a bidding credit for rural service providers. 34 The rural service provider bidding credit
awards a 15% bidding credit to those that service predominantly rural areas and that have fewer than
250,000 combined wireless, wireline, broadband and cable subscribers. 35 As a general matter, the
Commission “has made closing the digital divide between Americans with, and without, access to modern
broadband networks its top priority . . . [and is] committed to ensuring that all Americans, including those
in rural areas, Tribal lands, and disaster-affected areas, have the benefits of a high-speed broadband
connection.” 36 In this proceeding, a variety of organizations and associations that in turn represent the
31

Following adoption of the NPRM, the Commission sought consultation on July 23, 2018, regarding these
proposed size standards with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), as required by the Small Business Act,
15 U.S.C. § 632(a)(2)(c), and 13 C.F.R. §§ 121.901-903. The standardized schedule of bidding credits provided in
section 1.2110(f)(2)(i) defines small businesses based on average gross revenues for the preceding three years. The
SBA indicated that the proposed size standards appeared reasonable and that it had no specific comments. See
Letter from Khem R. Sharma, Chief, Office of Size Standards, U.S. Small Business Administration, to Gary D.
Michaels, Deputy Chief, Auctions and Spectrum Access Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal
Communications Commission, dated August 27, 2018. Subsequently, in December 2018, Congress revised the
standard set out in the Small Business Act for categorizing a business concern as a “small business concern,” by
providing as a general matter that a Federal agency cannot propose to categorize a business concern as a “small
business concern” for Small Business Act purposes unless the size of the concern is based on its annual average
gross receipts “over a period of not less than 5 years.” 15 U.S.C. § 632(a)(2)(C)(ii)(II), as amended by Small
Business Runway Extension Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-324 (Dec. 17, 2018). To implement the proposal in the
NPRM consistent with this statutory requirement, average annual gross revenues for purposes of small business
bidding credits in this band will be based on the preceding 5 years.
32

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6969-70, para. 163. See also 47 C.F.R. § 1.2110(f)(2)(i)(B), (C).

33

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6969-70, para. 163. See, e.g., Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 1.7
GHz and 2.1 GHz Bands, WT Docket No. 02-353, Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 25162, 25220, para. 149 (2003);
Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 2000-2020/2180-2200 MHz Bands, et al., WT Docket No. 1270, et al., 27 FCC Rcd 16102, 16185, para. 217 (adopting the AWS-1 size standards and associated bidding credits
for small businesses for any AWS-4 licenses awarded through competitive bidding).

34

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6969-70, para. 163.

35

Competitive Bidding Update Report and Order, 30 FCC Rcd at 7530, para. 88.

36
Inquiry Concerning Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications Capability to All Americans in a Reasonable
and Timely Fashion, Broadband Deployment Report, 34 FCC Rcd 3857, 3858 (2019).

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providers that serve the most rural and sparsely populated areas of the country have come together to
stress that “rules [for bringing this spectrum to market] should balance the competing needs of interested
parties and offer meaningful opportunities for providers of all kinds and sizes to offer spectrum-based
services to rural consumers.” 37
21.
Licensing and Operating Rules. The Commission adopts licensing and operating rules
that afford licensees the flexibility to align licenses in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band with licenses in other
spectrum bands governed by part 27 of the Commission’s rules and other flexible-use services.
Specifically, the Commission adopts rules requiring 3.7 GHz Service licensees in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band
to comply with licensing and operating rules that are similar to all part 27 services, including flexible use,
regulatory status, foreign ownership reporting, compliance with construction requirements, renewal
criteria, permanent discontinuance of operations, partitioning and disaggregation, and spectrum leasing.
22.
Application Requirements & Eligibility. Licensees in the A, B, and C blocks must
comply with the Commission’s general application requirements. 38 Further, the Commission adopts an
open eligibility standard for licenses in the A, B, and C Blocks. 39 The Commission has determined that
eligibility restrictions on licenses may be imposed only when open eligibility would pose a significant
likelihood of substantial harm to competition in specific markets and when an eligibility restriction would
be effective in eliminating that harm. 40
23.
Mobile Spectrum Holdings. The Commission does not impose a pre-auction bright-line
limit on acquisitions of the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. Instead, the Commission will incorporate into the
spectrum screen the 280 megahertz of spectrum that the Commission makes available in the 3.7-3.98 GHz
band. The Commission will also perform case-by-case review of the long-form license applications filed
as a result of the auction. In regard to mobile spectrum holdings, the Commission will include the A, B,
and C Blocks of the 3.7-3.98 GHz band in the screen for secondary market transactions because the
spectrum will become “suitable and available in the near term for the provision of mobile
telephony/broadband services.” The Commission will add the 280 megahertz of spectrum to the screen
once the auction closes.
24.
Mobile or Point-to-Multipoint Performance Requirements. The Commission concludes
that licensees in the A, B, and C Blocks offering mobile or point-to-multipoint services must provide
reliable signal coverage and offer service to at least 45% of the population in each of their license areas
within eight years of the license issue date (first performance benchmark), and to at least 80% of the
37

Letter from Rural Representatives (NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association); National Rural Electrical
Cooperative Association; Rural Wireless Association; The League of Rural Voters; National Organization of Black
County Officials; Michigan Broadband Cooperative; Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce; Kentucky Rural
Health Association; Indiana Small and Rural Schools Association), to The Honorable Roger Wicker, The Honorable
Frank Pallone, Jr., and The Honorable Ajit Pai, Chairman, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Mar. 24, 2019).
38

See 47 CFR §§ 1.901-1.959. To grant a license application, the Commission must determine that the public
convenience, interest, or necessity will be served thereby under section 307 of the Communications Act. See 47
U.S.C. § 307; see also id. §§ 309(a), 310(a), (b).

39

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6963, para. 145, note 256 (citing AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16193, paras.
241-42; Service Rules for the 746-764 and 776-794 MHz Bands et al., WT Docket No. 06-150 et al., 22 FCC Rcd
15289, 15381, 15383-84, paras. 253, 256 (2007) (700 MHz Second Report and Order); Allocations and Service
Rules for the 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz and 92-95 GHz Bands, Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 23318, 23346-47, para.
70 (2003)). NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6963, para. 145.
40

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6963, n.256 (citing AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16193, paras. 241-42;
Service Rules for the 746-764 and 776-794 MHz Bands et al., WT Docket No. 06-150 et al., 22 FCC Rcd 15289,
15381, 15383-84, paras. 253, 256 (2007) (700 MHz Second Report and Order); Allocations and Service Rules for
the 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz and 92-95 GHz Bands, Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 23318, 23346-47, para. 70
(2003)).

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population in each of their license areas within 12 years from the license issue date (second performance
benchmark).
25.
Alternate IoT Performance Requirements. The Commission recognized in the NPRM
that 3.7-3.98 GHz licenses have flexibility to provide services potentially less suited to a population
coverage metric. 41 Therefore, the Commission sought comment on an alternative performance
benchmark metric for licensees providing IoT-type fixed and mobile services. 42 Based on the record
evidence, 43 the Commission will allow licenses in the A, B, and C Blocks offering IoT-type services to
provide geographic area coverage of 35% of the license area at the first (eight-year) performance
benchmark, and geographic area coverage of 65% of the license area at the second (12-year) performance
benchmark.
26.
Fixed Point-to-Point under Flexible Use Performance Requirements. The Commission
adopts a requirement that part 27 geographic area licensees providing Fixed Service in the A, B, and C
Blocks band must demonstrate within eight years of the license issue date (first performance benchmark)
that they have four links operating and providing service, either to customers or for internal use, if the
population within the license area is equal to or less than 268,000. If the population within the license
area is greater than 268,000, the Commission requires a licensee relying on point-to-point service to
demonstrate it has at least one link in operation and providing service, either to customers or for internal
use, per every 67,000 persons within a license area. The Commission requires licensees relying on pointto-point service to demonstrate within 12 years of the license issue date (final performance benchmark)
that they have eight links operating and providing service, either to customers or for internal use, if the
population within the license area is equal to or less than 268,000. If the population within the license
area is greater than 268,000, the Commission requires a licensee relying on point-to-point service to
demonstrate it is providing service and has at least two links in operation per every 67,000 persons within
a license area.
27.
Penalty for Failure to Meet Performance Requirements. Along with performance
benchmarks, the Commission adopts meaningful and enforceable penalties for failing to ensure timely
build-out. Specifically, as proposed in the NPRM, the Commission adopts a rule requiring that, in the
event a licensee in the A, B, or C Block fails to meet the first performance benchmark, the licensee’s
second benchmark and license term would be reduced by two years, thereby requiring it to meet the
second performance benchmark two years sooner (at 10 years into the license term) and reducing its
license term to 13 years.44 If a licensee fails to meet the second performance benchmark for a particular
license area, its authorization for each license area in which it fails to meet the performance requirement
shall terminate automatically without Commission action. 45
28.
Compliance Procedures. In addition to compliance procedures applicable to all part 27
licensees, including the filing of electronic coverage maps and supporting documentation, the
Commission adopts a rule requiring that such electronic coverage maps must accurately depict both the
41

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6965, para. 154.

42

Id.

43
T-Mobile Comments at 28-29; Verizon Comments at 22 (arguing the Commission should adopt an alternative
geographic coverage requirement that may be more suitable for some Internet of Things or low-power services that
are not designed to cover residential populations).
44

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6967, para. 157.

45

See, e.g., 2018 3.5 GHz Band Report and Order, 33 FCC Rcd at 10638, para 73; Service Rules for Advances
Wireless Services H Block—Implementing Section 6401 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of
2012 Related to the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz Bands, Report and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 9483, 9564, para.
212 (2013) (H Block Report and Order); Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Reminds Wireless Licensees of
Construction Obligations, Public Notice, 32 FCC Rcd 4802, 4802-03 (WTB 2017).

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boundaries of each licensed area and the coverage boundaries of the actual areas to which the licensee
provides service. As proposed in the NPRM, the rule the Commission is adopting requires measurements
of populations served on areas no larger than the Census Tract level so a licensee deploying small cells
has the option to measure its coverage using a smaller acceptable identifier such as a Census Block. Each
licensee also must file supporting documentation certifying the type of service it is providing for each
licensed area within its service territory and the type of technology used to provide such service.
Supporting documentation must include the assumptions used to create the coverage maps, including the
propagation model and the signal strength necessary to provide reliable service with the licensee’s
technology.
29.
License Renewal. As proposed in the NPRM, the Commission will apply the general
renewal requirements applicable to all Wireless Radio Services (WRS) licensees to 3.7-3.98 GHz band
licensees in the A, B, and C Blocks. 46 This approach will promote consistency across services. 47
30.
Renewal Term Construction Obligation. In addition to, and independent of, these general
renewal provisions, the Commission finds that any additional renewal term construction obligations
adopted in the Wireless Radio Services Renewal Reform proceeding would apply to licenses in the A, B,
and C Blocks of the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. 48
31.
New Earth Stations. On April 19, 2018, the staff released the Freeze and 90-Day
Earth Station Filing Window Public Notice, which froze applications for new or modified earth stations in
the 3.7-4.2 GHz band to preserve the current landscape of authorized operations pending action as part of
the Commission’s ongoing inquiry into the possibility of permitting mobile broadband use and more
intensive fixed use of the band through this proceeding. 49 Given the Commission’s decision to limit FSS
operations in the 3.7-4.0 GHz band in the contiguous United States but not elsewhere, the Commission
converts the freeze for new FSS earth stations in the 3.7-4.0 GHz band in the contiguous United States
into an elimination of the application process for registrations and licenses for those operations, and the
Commission lifts the freeze for new FSS earth stations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band outside of the contiguous
United States as of the publication date of the Report and Order. Earth stations registered after the filing
freeze is lifted will not be considered incumbent earth stations and will not qualify for reimbursement of
relocation costs. Further, any new registered earth stations outside of the contiguous United States may
not claim protection from harmful interference from new flexible-use licensees in the contiguous United
States.
32.
The Commission revises the part 25 rules such that applications for 3.7-4.0 GHz band
earth station licenses or registrations in the contiguous United States will no longer be accepted.
Limiting, as described, the registration of new earth stations in spectrum being transitioned to primary
terrestrial use will provide a stable spectral environment for more intensive terrestrial use of 3.7-3.98 GHz
and facilitate the rapid transition to terrestrial use.
33.
With respect to registered incumbent earth stations that are transitioned to the 4.0-4.2
GHz band, the Commission will permit these earth stations to be renewed and/or modified to maintain
their operations in the 4.0-4.2 GHz band. The Commission will not, however, accept applications for new
46

See NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6967-68, 6979, para. 160 (citing 47 CFR § 1.949 (Application for renewal of
authorization)) and Appx. A, Proposed Rules, 47 CFR § 1.907 (proposing to add 3.7-4.2 GHz band to definition of
“Covered Geographic Licenses”). See also 47 CFR § 1.949(d) (renewal standard for covered geographic license).
47

The Commission, for example, applied the same principles in the 2016 Spectrum Frontiers Order and FNPRM,
concluding that UMFUS licensees would meet the renewal standard in their initial license terms if they met certain
performance benchmarks and were “using [their] facilities to provide service.” 2016 Spectrum Frontiers Order and
FNPRM, 31 FCC Rcd at 8088, para. 206. See also T-Mobile Comments at 31; AT&T Reply at 22.
48

See Wireless Radio Services Renewal Reform FNPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 8911-18, paras. 100-23.

49

See Freeze and 90-Day Earth Station Filing Window Public Notice at 1.

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earth stations in the 4.0-4.2 GHz portion of the band for the time being, during this transition period.
34.
Relocation and Accelerated Relocation Payments. New overlay licensees must pay their
share of relocation and accelerated relocation payments to reimburse incumbents for the reasonable costs
of transitioning out of the lower 300 megahertz of the C-band in the contiguous United States. Based on
the unique circumstances of the band, the Commission also finds it necessary to condition new licenses
on making acceleration payments to satellite incumbents that voluntarily choose to clear the band on an
expedited schedule. Like relocation payments, the Commission finds that requiring such mandatory
payments is both in the public interest and within the Commission’s Title III authority.
35.
Sunsetting Incumbent Point-to-Point Fixed Services. Incumbent licensees of temporary
fixed and permanent point-to-point Fixed Service links will have until December 5, 2023, to self-relocate
their point-to-point links out of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. The Commission also revises its part 101 rules to
specify that no applications for new point-to-point Fixed Service will be granted in the contiguous United
States.
36.
Relocation Reimbursement and Cost Sharing for Point-to-Point Fixed Services.
Incumbent licensees of permanent point-to-point Fixed Service links that self-relocate out of the band
within December 5, 2023 shall be eligible for reimbursement of their reasonable costs based on the wellestablished “comparable facilities” standard used for the transition of microwave links out of other
bands. 50 Similar to the Commission’s approach for earth station clearing, because fixed service relocation
affects spectrum availability on a local basis, all flexible-use licensees in a PEA where an incumbent
Fixed Service licensee self-relocated will share in the reimbursement of these reasonable costs on a pro
rata basis. Incumbent Fixed Service licensees will be subject to the same demonstration requirements
and reimbursement administrative provisions as those adopted above for incumbent earth station
operators.
37.
Power Levels for Base Station Power. To support robust deployment of next-generation
mobile broadband services, the Commission will allow base stations in non-rural areas to operate at
power levels up to 1640 watts per megahertz EIRP. 51 In addition, consistent with other broadband mobile
services in nearby bands (AWS-1, AWS-3, AWS-4 and PCS), the Commission will permit base stations
in rural areas to operate with double the non-rural power limits (3280 watts per megahertz) in rural
areas. 52 The Commission extends the same power density limit to emissions with a bandwidth less than
one megahertz to facilitate uniform power distribution across a licensee’s authorized band regardless of
whether wideband or narrowband technologies are being deployed.
38.
Power Levels for Mobile Power. The Commission adopts a 1 Watt (30 dBm) EIRP power
limit for mobile devices, as proposed in the NPRM.
39.
Base Station Out-of-band Emissions. The Commission adopts base station out-of-band
emission (OOBE) requirements based on the proposed limits, which are similar to other AWS services. 53
Specifically, base stations will be required to suppress their emissions beyond the edge of their
authorization to a conducted power level of -13 dBm/MHz. For base station OOBE, we apply the part 27
measurement procedures and resolution bandwidth that are used for AWS devices outlined in section
50

See, e.g., 47 CFR § 101.73(d) (defining comparable facilities as facilities possessing certain characteristics in
terms of throughput, reliability and operating costs). We note that for the Advanced Wireless Services in the 2.1
GHz band, $184,991 was the average cost per link relocation registered with the AWS Clearinghouse. See, e.g., ET
Docket No. 00-258, Report of the CTIA Spectrum Clearinghouse, LLC, at 2 (filed Jan. 31, 2019).
51

See, e.g., Verizon Comments at 23; Ericsson Reply at 6; Nokia Comments at 11; AT&T Reply at 22; C-Band
Alliance May 13, 2019 Ex Parte at 12.
52

See, e.g., 47 CFR § 27.50(d)(1).

53

NPRM, 33 FCC Rcd at 6971-72, paras. 168-171; see also 47 CFR § 27.53(h) (AWS emission limits).

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27.53(h). 54 Specifically, a resolution bandwidth of 1 megahertz or greater will be used; except in the 1
megahertz bands immediately outside and adjacent to the licensee’s frequency block where a resolution
bandwidth of at least 1% of the emission bandwidth may be employed.
40.
Mobile Out-of-Band Emissions. As with base station out-of-band emission limits, the
Commission adopts mobile emission limits similar to the standard emission limits that apply to other
mobile broadband services. Specifically, mobile units must suppress the conducted emissions to no more
than -13 dBm/MHz outside their authorized frequency band. We adopt a relaxation of the emission limit
within the first five megahertz of the channel edge by varying the resolution bandwidth used when
measuring the emission. For emissions within 1 MHz from the channel edge, the minimum resolution
bandwidth will be either one percent of the emission bandwidth of the fundamental emission of the
transmitter or 350 kHz. In the bands between one and five megahertz removed from the licensee’s
authorized frequency block, the minimum resolution bandwidth will be 500 kHz. The adopted relaxation
will not affect the interference to FSS above 4.0 GHz. The adopted relaxation will be entirely contained
within the 20 MHz guard band. The effect on CBRS operations below 3.7 GHz should be minimal.
41.
Antenna Heights Limit. The Commission adopts the proposal not to restrict antenna
heights for 3.7-3.98 GHz band operations beyond any requirements necessary to ensure air navigation
safety. 55 This is consistent with part 27 AWS rules, which generally do not impose antenna height limits
on antenna structures.
42.
Service Area Boundary Limit. The Commission adopts the -76 dBm/m2/MHz power flux
density (PFD) limit at a height of 1.5 meters above ground at the border of the licensees’ service area
boundaries as proposed in the NPRM and also permits licensees operating in adjacent geographic areas to
voluntarily agree to higher levels at their common boundaries.
43.
International Boundary Requirements. The Commission adopts the proposal to apply
section 27.57(c) of the rules, which requires all part 27 operations to comply with international
agreements for operations near the Mexican and Canadian borders.
44.
Other Part 27 Rules. The Commission adopts several additional technical rules
applicable to all part 27 services, including sections 27.51 (Equipment authorization), 27.52 (RF safety),
27.54 (Frequency stability), and part 1, subpart BB of the Commission’s rules (Disturbance of AM
Broadcast Station Antenna Patterns) for operations in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. The Commission requires
client devices to be capable of operating across the entire 3.7-3.98 GHz band. Specifically, the
Commission adds the 3.7-3.98 GHz band to section 27.75, which requires mobile and portable stations
operating in the 600 MHz band and certain AWS-3 bands to be capable of operating across the relevant
band using the same air interfaces that the equipment uses on any frequency in the band. This
requirement does not require licensees to use any particular industry standard.
45.
Protection from Out of Band Emissions. The Commission adopts a PFD limit to protect
registered FSS earth stations from out of band emissions from 3.7 GHz Service operations. For base and
mobile stations operating in the 3.7–3.98 GHz band, the Commission adopts a PFD limit of -124
dBW/m2/MHz, as measured at the antenna of registered FSS earth stations. 3.7 GHz Service licensees
will be obligated to ensure that the PFD limit at FSS earth stations is not exceeded by base and mobile
station emissions, which may require them to limit mobile operations when in the vicinity of an earth
station receiver.
46.
Protection from Receiver Blocking. The Commission will require base stations and
mobiles to meet a PFD limit of -16 dBW/m2/MHz, as measured at the earth station antenna for all
registered FSS earth stations. This blocking limit applies to all emissions within the 3.7 GHz Service
54

See 47 CFR § 27.53(h)(3), (4).

55

See id. § 27.56.

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licensee’s authorized band of operation.
47.
Co-Channel Protection Criteria for TT&C Earth Stations. A protection criteria of I/N = 6 dB is appropriate for TT&C links. The Commission will require 3.7 GHz Service licensees to
coordinate their operations within 70 km of TT&C earth stations that continue to operate in the 3.7-3.98
GHz band.
48.
Adjacent Channel Protection Criteria for TT&C Earth Stations. To protect TT&C earth
stations from adjacent channel interference due to out-of-band emissions, the Commission sets the same
interference protection criteria of -6 dB I/N ratio. Prior coordination is not required for adjacent channel
licenses. To provide protection from potential receiver overload, the Commission will require base
stations and mobiles to meet a PFD limit of -16 dBW/m2/MHz, as measured at the TT&C earth station
antenna.
49.
Small entities may be required to hire attorneys, engineers, consultants, or other
professionals to comply with the rule changes adopted in the Report and Order. Although the
Commission cannot quantify the cost of compliance with the rule changes, we note that several of the rule
changes are consistent with and mirror existing policies and requirements used for other part 27 flexibleuse licenses. Therefore, small entities with existing licenses in other bands may already be familiar with
such policies and requirements and have the processes and procedures in place to facilitate compliance
resulting in minimal incremental costs to comply with our requirements for the 3.7-4.2 GHz band.
F.
Steps Taken to Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and
Significant Alternatives Considered
50.
The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, specifically small business,
alternatives that it has considered in reaching its approach, which may include the following four
alternatives (among others): (1) the establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or
timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification,
consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities;
(3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule,
or any part thereof, for small entities. 56
51.
In the Report and Order, the Commission has adopted a transition using a Commissionled competitive bidding process to make C-band spectrum available for next-generation terrestrial
wireless use. We considered the position of the Small Satellite Operators, the C-Band Alliance, and the
approaches of other commenters but believe that the Commission-led forward auction will leverage the
best features of the various proposals submitted in the record and allow us to repurpose the socially
efficient amount of spectrum for flexible use rapidly and transparently. It will also facilitate robust
deployment of next-generation terrestrial wireless networks and ensure that qualified incumbents in the
band are able to continue their operations without interruption. The advantages of the public auction
approach include making a significant amount of 3.7-4.2 GHz band spectrum available quickly through a
public auction of flexible use license, followed by a transition period that leverages incumbent FSS
operators’ expertise to achieve an effective relocation of existing services to the upper portion of the
band, aligns stakeholders’ incentives so as to achieve an expeditious transition, and ensures effective
accommodation of incumbent users. It will also facilitate robust deployment of next generation terrestrial
wireless networks and ensure that qualified incumbents in the band are able to continue their operations
without interruption. We find that the public auction approach fulfills the Commission’s obligations to
manage spectrum in the public interest.
52.
To ensure that small entities and all eligible interests are included in the Transition Plans
and compensated for the transition to the upper 200 megahertz of the band, the transition obligations the
Commission adopts require that, in order for a space station operator to satisfy the clearing benchmarks
56

5 U.S.C. § 603(c)(1)-(4).

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and become eligible for reimbursement of reasonable relocation costs and potential accelerated relocation
payments, it must demonstrate that the space station transmissions and receiving earth station operations
have been sufficiently cleared such that the new flexible-use licensee could begin operating without
causing harmful interference to registered incumbent earth stations. We find that, if the Small Satellite
Operators satisfy our definition of eligible space station operators such that they have incumbent
registered earth station customers that will need to be transitioned to the upper portion of the band, then
they would be entitled to reimbursement of reasonable relocation costs and potential accelerated
relocation payments. This will ensure that any small space station operator incumbent affected by the
transition will have the opportunity to participate.
53.
The Report and Order adopts bidding credits for small and very small businesses. The
auction of flexible-use licenses relies heavily on a competitive marketplace to set the value of spectrum
and compensate incumbents for the costs of transitioning out of the lower 300 megahertz of the band.
Specifically, for small entities, the Commission is focused on facilitating competition in the band and
ensuring that all relevant interests, not just those of the largest companies, are represented. This will help
to reduce the potential economic impact on small entities.
54.
The license areas chosen in the Report and Order should provide spectrum access
opportunities for smaller carriers by giving them access to less densely populated areas that match their
footprints. While PEAs are small enough to provide spectrum access opportunities for smaller carriers
and PEAs can be further disaggregated, these units of area also nest within and may be aggregated to
form larger license areas. Thus, the rules should enable small entities and other providers providing
service in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band to adjust their spectrum holdings more easily and build their networks
pursuant to individual business plans, allowing them to manage the economic impact. We also believe
this should result in small entities having an easier time acquiring or accessing spectrum.
55.
Another step taken by the Commission that should help minimize the economic impact
for small entities is the adoption of 15-year license terms for licenses in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. Small
entities should benefit from the opportunity for long term operational certainty and a longer period to
develop, test and provision innovative services and applications. This longer licensing term should also
allow small entities to curtail and spread out its costs. Lastly, as mentioned above, many of the rule
changes adopted in the Report and Order are consistent with and mirror existing requirements for other
bands. The Commission’s decision to take this approach for the 3.7-3.98 GHz band should minimize the
economic impact for small entities who are already obligated to comply with and have been complying
with existing requirements in other bands.
G.

Report to Congress

56.
The Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order, including this FRFA, in a
report to Congress pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. 57 In addition, the Commission will send a
copy of the Report and Order, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. A
copy of the Report and Order, and FRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal
Register. 58

57

See 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(A).

58

See id. § 604(b).

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APPENDIX C
List of Commenters
C-band NPRM Comments:
Aerospace Industries Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association
Alaska Communications Internet, LLC (Alaska Comm.)
Altice USA, Inc. (Altice)
American Cable Association
ABS Global Ltd., Hispasat S.A., Embratel Star One S.A. (collectively, “Small Satellite Operators”)
AT&T Services, Inc. (AT&T)
Aviation Spectrum Resources, Inc. (Aviation Spectrum Resources)
Block Communications, Inc. Gray Television, Inc. Meredith Corporation
The Boeing Company (Boeing)
Broadband Access Coalition
Broadband Connects America Coalition
CB2.0 Communications Inc. (CB2.0)
C-Band Alliance
Charter Communications, Inc. (Charter)
Cisco Systems, Inc. (Cisco)
Comcast Corporation and NBCUniversal Media, LLC (Comcast)
Competitive Carriers Association (CCA)
CBS Corporation, Discovery, Inc., The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Inc., Univision
Communications Inc., and Viacom Inc. (CBS, et al.)
CTIA
Cumulus Media Inc. and Westwood One, LLC (Cumulus Media/Westwood One)
Digital Networks, LLC
Dynamic Spectrum Alliance
Ericsson
Eternal Word Television Network, Inc.
Eutelsat S.A. (Eutelsat)
Extreme Reach, Inc. (Extreme Reach)
Federated Wireless, Inc. (Federated Wireless)
Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition Inc. (FWCC)
Frontier Communications and Windstream Services (Frontier/Windstream)
Garmin International, Inc.
Gary E. Timm
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GCI Communication Corp. (GCI)
Global Eagle Entertainment (Global Eagle)
Google LLC (Google)
Inmarsat Inc. (Inmarsat)
Intel Corporation, Intelsat License LLC, SES Americom, Inc.
ITC Global, Inc. (ITC Global)
Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
Lockheed Martin Corporation (Lockheed Martin)
Luken Communications, LLC (Luken Communications)
Linkup Communications Corporation (LinkUp Communications)
Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft)
Motorola Solutions, Inc. (Motorola)
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
National Public Radio (NPR)
NCTA - The Internet & Television Association (NCTA)
Nokia
North American Broadcasters Association
Olympusat
PSSI Global, LLC (PSSI Global)
Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC)
Qualcomm Inc. (Qualcomm)
QVC, Inc. and HSN, Inc. (QVC/HSN)
R Street Institute
Robert Bosch LLC and Supporting Parties
Satellite Industry Association (SIA)
Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc.
Speedcast Communications, Inc. (Speedcast)
Starry, Inc. (Starry)
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)
The Boeing Company (Boeing)
The C-SPAN Networks
T-Mobile USA, Inc. (T-Mobile)
Thomas C. Smith
United States Cellular Corporation (U.S. Cellular)
Verizon
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World Teleport Association
C-band NPRM Reply Comments:
ABC Television Affiliates Association, CBS Television Network Affiliates Association, FBC Television
Affiliates Association, NBC Television Affiliates (“ABC Television Affiliates Association et al.”)
ABS Global Ltd., Hispasat S.A., Embratel Star One S.A. (“Small Satellite Operators”)
Aerospace Industries Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association
Alaska Communications Internet, LLC (Alaska Comm.)
Alaska Telecom Association (Alaska Telecom)
Alphastar International, LLC
American Cable Association
AT&T Services, Inc. (AT&T)
Aviation Spectrum Resources, Inc. (Aviation Spectrum Resources)
BASF Corporation
Broadband Access Coalition
CB2.0 Communications Inc. (CB2.0)
C-Band Alliance
CenturyLink
Charter Communications, Inc. (Charter)
Comcast Corporation and NBCUniversal Media, LLC (collectively, “Comcast”)
Competitive Carriers Association (CCA)
Comsearch
CBS Corporation, Discovery, Inc., The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Inc., Univision
Communications Inc., and Viacom Inc. (CBS, et al.)
CTIA
Digital Networks, LLC (Digital Networks)
Dynamic Spectrum Alliance
Ericsson
Federated Wireless, Inc. (Federated Wireless)
Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition (FWCC)
Foxconn Industrial Internet
Garmin International, Inc.
GCI Communication Corp.
GeoLinks
Google LLC (Google)
iHeartCommunications, Inc.,
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Intel Corporation (Intel)
Intelsat License LLC,SES Americom, Inc.
Learfield IMG College
Luken Communications, LLC
Maxar Technologies Holdings Inc.
Meredith Corporation
Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft)
Microspace Communications Corporation
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
National Spectrum Management Association
National Translator Association
NCTA - The Internet & Television Association (NCTA)
Nokia
North American Broadcasters Association
Northrop Grumman
NTCA - The Rural Broadband Association (NTCA)
Paul Litchfield
PSSI Global, LLC (PSSI Global)
Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC)
Qualcomm Incorporated (Qualcomm)
QVC, Inc. and HSN, Inc. (QVC/HSN)
RigNet Satcom, Inc.
Robert Bosch LLC
Satellite Industry Association (SIA)
Sherrod Munday
Siemens Corporation
The Boeing Company (Boeing)
Thomas C Smith
Volkswagen Group of America
T-Mobile USA, Inc. (T-Mobile)
U.S. Electrodynamics, Inc.
United States Cellular Corporation (U.S. Cellular)
Verizon
May 3 PN Comments:
ABS Global LTD., Hispasat S.A., and Claro S.A. (“Small Satellite Operators”)
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ACA Connects
AT&T Services, Inc. (AT&T)
BYU Broadcasting
Competitive Carriers Association (CCA)
Charter Communications, Inc. (Charter)
Dyanmic Spectrum Alliance
Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition (FWCC)
Google LLC (Google)
National Public Radio, Inc. (NPR)
NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association (NTCA)
Open Technology Institute at New America (OTI)
PSSI Global Services, LLC (PSSI Global)
Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC)
Raytheon Corporation (Raytheon)
Satellite Industry Association (SIA)
T-Mobile USA, Inc. (T-Mobile)
Verizon
Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA)
May 3 PN Reply:
ABS Global LTD., Hispasat S.A., and Claro S.A. (“Small Satellite Operators”)
ACA Connects
AT&T Services, Inc. (AT&T)
C-Band Alliance
Charter Communications, Inc. (Charter)
Comcast
Inmarsat Inc. (Inmarsat)
International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO)
Raytheon Corporation (Raytheon)
Satellite Industry Association (SIA)
ABS Global Ltd., Hispasat S.A., Embratel Star One S.A. (collectively, “Small Satellite Operators”)
T-Mobile USA, Inc. (T-Mobile)
Verizon
Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA)

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July 19 PN Comments:
ABS Global LTD., Hispasat S.A., and Claro S.A. (“Small Satellite Operators”)
Airspan Networks Inc.
Alaska Communications Internet, LLC (Alaska Comm.)
Alaska Telecom Association (Alaska Telecom)
Arthur B. Reis
AT&T Services, Inc. (AT&T)
Broadband Connects America Coalition
Cambium Networks, LTD.
C-Band Alliance
CommScope, Inc.
CBS Corporation, Discovery, Inc., The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Inc., Univision
Communications Inc., and Viacom Inc. (CBS et al.)
CTIA
Cumulus Media Inc. and Westwood One, LLC (Cumulus Media/Westwood One)
Dynamic Spectrum Alliance
Frontier Communications and Windstream Services (Frontier/Windstream)
GCI Communication Corp. (GCI)
Globecast America, Incorporated (Globecast)
Google LLC (Google)
Learfield IMG College
LinkUp Communications Corporation (LinkUp Communications)
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Motorola Solutions Inc. (Motorola)
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
North American Broadcasters Association
National Public Radio, Inc. (NPR)
Nokia
North American Broadcasters Association
NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association (NTCA)
PSSI Global Services, LLC (PSSI)
Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC)
Qualcomm Incorporated (Qualcomm)
QVC, Inc. and HSN, Inc. (QVC/HSN)
Riverfront Broadcasting, LLC (Riverfront Broadcasting)
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Satellite Industry Association (SIA)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
T-Mobile USA, Inc. (T-Mobile)
WTVY-TV
United States Cellular Corporation (U.S. Cellular)
Verizon
Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA)
July 19 PN Reply:
A&E Television Networks (AETN)
ABS Global LTD., Hispasat S.A., and Claro S.A. (“Small Satellite Operators”)
ABC Television Affiliates Association, CBS Television Network Affiliates Association, FBC Television
Affiliates Association, NBC Television Affiliates (ABC Television Affiliates Association et al.)
ACA Connects, Charter, Competitive Carriers Association (ACA Connects Coalition)
Altice
Arthur B Reis
AT&T Services, Inc. (AT&T)
C-Band Alliance
Encompass Digital Media (Encompass)
Google LLC (Google)
Igolgi
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
NovelSat
Olympusat
Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC)
Randy Williams
Raytheon Corporation (Raytheon)
Samsung Electronics (Samsung)
The Space Connection, Inc. (SpaceConnection)
T-Mobile USA, Inc. (T-Mobile)
Trinity Broadcasting Network
Verizon
Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA)
Wireless Internet Service Providers Association , Google, Microsoft (WISPA et al.)

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CONFIDENTIAL APPENDIX D

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STATEMENT OF
CHAIRMAN AJIT PAI
Re:

Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band, GN Docket No. 18-122

Securing United States leadership in 5G is a national priority. One study pegs 5G’s economic
potential at three million new jobs, $275 billion in private investment, and $500 billion in new economic
growth. You can quibble with the numbers, but there’s no question that 5G networks will be an important
platform for innovation and investment in the coming years, as were 4G LTE and the mobile app
economy it enabled over a decade ago. That explains why countries around the world are jockeying for
global leadership in 5G. Whoever sets the pace globally will become the frontrunner in the development
of the 5G ecosystem and attract the jobs, growth, and consumer benefits that come with that status. And I
want the past to be prologue: I want America’s success in 5G to match our leadership in 4G.
That’s why the FCC has been pursuing a strategy to Facilitate America’s Superiority in 5G
Technology—the 5G FAST Plan. By executing that plan, the Commission has already made an
unprecedented amount of spectrum available for commercial, flexible wireless use. In the high bands, we
have successfully concluded our nation’s first two millimeter-wave auctions in the 28 GHz and 24 GHz
band, and our ongoing auction of the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands will soon come to a
successful end. With respect to low-band spectrum, the transition of the 600 MHz band for wireless use
is on schedule, notwithstanding many predictions to the contrary. Indeed, mobile network operators are
already deploying 5G wireless services in the band.
We have also taken decisive action with respect to mid-band spectrum, which is appealing for 5G
as it combines good geographic coverage with good capacity. We’ve made more spectrum in the 2.5
GHz band available for 5G. We’ve reformed our rules regarding the 3.5 GHz band to encourage 5G
deployment and will be auctioning licenses in that band this summer. We’ve approved the TMobile/Sprint merger, which, as the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently
recognized, will allow critical mid-band spectrum to be used for 5G. And today, we adopt an Order that
will repurpose 280 megahertz of new, mid-band spectrum for flexible use, which will help deliver 5G
services to consumers across our country and promote our global leadership.
During this proceeding, I made it clear that my decision would be based on four guiding
principles. First, the FCC must make available a significant amount of C-band spectrum for 5G. Second,
we must do so quickly. Third, we must generate revenue for the federal government. And fourth, we
must ensure that the services that are currently delivered using the C-band can continue to be delivered to
the American people. The Order we adopt today advances each of these principles.
I’ll start with the first two. This item will make a large swath of mid-band spectrum available,
and will do so quickly. From Congress to my fellow Commissioners to wireless providers to equipment
manufacturers, virtually everyone agrees that we need to act expeditiously to make a large amount of Cband spectrum available for 5G. Among other things, doing so will help close the digital divide, enabling
all Americans—whether they live in rural or urban areas—to access new and innovative 5G applications
and services.
To ensure that the 280 megahertz of repurposed spectrum from 3.7 GHz to 3.98 GHz is made
available for flexible wireless use as quickly as possible, the Order provides for “accelerated relocation
payments” for satellite operators if they meet deadlines for clearing C-band spectrum rapidly.
Why are accelerated relocation payments necessary? The answer is simple: speed. We want
satellite operators to vacate the lower portion of the C-band quickly. And this transition will be much
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faster if we align the incentives of satellite operators with the incentives of wireless providers who want
expedited access to that spectrum.
To properly align those incentives, we are giving satellite operators the opportunity to receive
accelerated relocation payments of $9.7 billion if they meet our accelerated clearing milestones. Now,
some believe that these payments are too small. Others have criticized them as being too large. But as
Goldilocks might say, I believe we’ve gotten it just right. We arrived at this figure by working with our
economists and other expert staff to determine the value to auction winners of having satellite operators
clear the spectrum in an accelerated timeframe and to approximate the size of payments that would be
made in the private marketplace absent holdout and free-rider problems.
Turning to my third principle, I believe that a public auction, run by our outstanding staff here at
the FCC, will be the best way to ensure that we generate revenue for the federal government and value for
U.S. taxpayers. And that auction will start later this year—on December 8. The Commission has a
quarter-century track record of successful and transparent auctions. In fact, as of late last year, the
Commission had conducted 93 spectrum auctions that generated over $117 billion in revenue for the U.S.
Treasury. That doesn’t include the ongoing auction of the 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands, which is
wrapping up and has already attracted over $7.5 billion in gross bids. And we conduct our auctions in a
fair, trusted, and transparent manner that assigns flexible-use licenses quickly and would be difficult, if
not impossible, for a private sale to replicate.
With respect to this principle of revenue for the federal government, it’s important to make a
couple of points about accelerated relocation payments. First, they will be made by wireless carriers, not
the FCC and not the American taxpayer. And second, to the extent they impact the proceeds of the
auction at all, they are likely to increase those proceeds. That’s because without a strong incentive for
satellite operators to cooperate, it will take years longer to clear this spectrum, dramatically reducing the
value of this spectrum opportunity to wireless bidders. It’s like repainting your house before you sell it;
yes, there are costs to doing that, but the costs are more than offset by the higher sales price. And our
conservative approach here means the costs of accelerated relocation are easily outweighed by the
benefits to the Treasury (not to mention the public at large).
As for the fourth principle, the Commission is adopting a transition plan for this band that will
ensure that the American people are able to receive C-band services in a continuous and uninterrupted
manner. The item lays out a comprehensive and systematic transition process that will ensure that all
incumbents are held harmless, including registered earth station operators that will be able to continue
serving over 110 million households. And the record is clear that the services provided through the Cband today can be delivered in the future through the upper 200 megahertz of the band.
The substance of today’s Order is sound. But as to its timing, there are some who argue that we
should wait—indefinitely. They complain that we are refusing to sit on our hands and wait for Congress
to legislate. It’s at once amusing and astounding that some making this criticism are the very same people
who have previously complained that the agency isn’t moving quickly enough on mid-band spectrum.
Indeed, by now, it’s become a tired refrain: Demand action on mid-band spectrum, but vote against
putting 2.5 GHz spectrum to work for American consumers. Demand action on mid-band spectrum, but
vote against making the 3.5 GHz band a testbed for 5G. Demand action on mid-band spectrum, but vote
against letting New T-Mobile put underused spectrum to work in rural America. Demand action on midband spectrum, but vote against every single one of the infrastructure reforms needed to enable that
spectrum to be used for 5G. Demand action on mid-band spectrum, but vote against the C-band public
auction that will help ensure American leadership in 5G. For some, the imperative of criticizing the
Commission no matter the issue appears to outweigh the importance of holding positions that bear even a
semblance of internal consistency. We see this tactic of diametrically opposed talk and action a lot in
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Washington. Some in the Beltway quietly accommodate themselves to it; others gleefully praise it as
savvy. But the American people see it for what it is: a pretzel, not a principle.
So let me be clear regarding this tepid call to change course and sit still. For those waiting with
bated breath for that favorite Washington catchphrase “the U-turn,” I have only one thing to say: You
turn if you want to. This Chairman’s not for turning. The goal of leading the world in 5G is too urgent,
the need to close the digital divide too pressing for us to put off action indefinitely. The time to act is
now. And we are acting.
And we should, in part, because the law says we can. The Communications Act requires that the
FCC act in the public interest and gives us ample legal authority to move forward with this public auction.
Section 316 of the Act allows us to modify the licenses of C-band incumbents. Section 309 of the Act
authorizes a public auction of the lower 280 megahertz of the C-band for flexible-use, overlay licenses.
Section 303 of the Act gives us the authority to set new technical rules for the band. And section 303(r)
of the Act lets us require the winners of the public auction to pay for the relocation of the band’s
incumbents under our Emerging Technologies framework.
Of course, I’m always open to input from Congress. And if Congress passes legislation after our
vote today so that revenue from this auction can supplement the $20.4 billion the Commission dedicated
to closing the digital divide just last month, I’m all for it. But as the Chairman of the FCC, it would be
irresponsible for me to do nothing on a spectrum band vital for 5G in the hopes that a Congress under
divided control and in an election year is going to pass C-band legislation addressing the difficult issues
ably resolved by this Order.
Our decision today benefited greatly from the extensive comments in the record and feedback
from a variety of stakeholders. In particular, I’d like to thank those members of the satellite industry,
mobile wireless providers, wireless Internet service providers, cable operators, broadcasters, and content
distributors who engaged in these issues in good faith and provided constructive feedback on our
proposals. In order for the C-band transition to be a success, we will need to see continued cooperation
and constructive engagement from all these stakeholders.
I’d also like to thank all our hardworking FCC staff. This is probably the most complicated
proceeding that the Commission has encountered in many years. And we couldn’t have gotten to this
point without the Herculean efforts of those across the Commission. From the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau, Ken Baker, Steve Buenzow, Peter Daronco, Thomas Derenge, Connie Diaz,
Kamran Etemad, Anna Gentry, Jessica Greffenius, Joyce Jones, Susannah Larson, Roger Noel, Matthew
Pearl, Paul Powell, Jessica Quinley, Jaclyn Rosen, Blaise Scinto, Dana Shaffer, Max Staloff, Donald
Stockdale, Cecilia Sulhoff, Becky Tangren, Jeff Tignor, Brian Wondrack, and Janet Young; from the
Office of Economics and Analytics, Valerie Barrish, Erik Beith, Craig Bomberger, Jonathan Campbell,
Rita Cookmeyer, Patrick DeGraba, Shabnam Javid, Daniel Habif, Bill Huber, Pramesh Jobanputra, Evan
Kwerel, Paul Lafontaine, Giulia McHenry, Eliot Maenner, Tajma Rahimic, Erik Salovaara, Linda
Sanderson, Martha Stancill, Sue Sterner, Patrick Sun, and Margaret Wiener; from the Office of
Engineering and Technology, Bahman Badipour, Michael Ha, Ira Keltz, Tom Mooring, Nick Oros,
Robert Pavlak, Barbara Pavon, and Ronald Repasi; from the International Bureau, Jose Albuquerque,
Paul Blais, Jameyanne Fuller, Jennifer Gilsenan, Kerry Murray, Robert Nelson, Jim Schlichting, and Tom
Sullivan; from the Office of General Counsel, Deborah Broderson, Michael Carlson, David Horowitz,
Thomas Johnson, and William Richardson; from the Office of Communications Business Opportunities,
Chana Wilkerson; from the Office of Managing Director, Dan Daly, Sunny Diemert, Dawn DiGiorgio,
Jae Seong, Timothy Siekierka, Deena Shetler, and Mark Stephens; and from the Enforcement Bureau,
Christopher Killion and Jeremy Marcus.

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STATEMENT OF
FCC COMMISSIONER MICHAEL O’RIELLY
Re:

Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band, GN Docket No. 18-122

This is a fantastic day, and the timing of today’s order is both serendipitous and appropriate. Five
years ago, almost to the day, I was sitting at Mobile World Congress discussing the future of the wireless
sector with industry leaders. During a series of conversations, it became abundantly clear that the U.S., as
a whole, and the Commission, in particular, weren’t doing enough to allocate mid-band spectrum for 5G.
While industry members all said millimeter wave spectrum was useful and a component of nextgeneration networks, the critical ingredient was mid-band frequencies with their ideal blend of
propagation and capacity. Especially outside of our largest cities, mid-band would be the key to realizing
the promise of increased speeds and lower latency, along with the vision of a world where almost every
object may be connected to the Internet. From that moment on, I turned my attention to the importance of
mid-bands, and more specifically the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band, otherwise known as the C-Band, discussing it
with almost anyone who would listen. But, I did more than just talk or wish or complain.
In the many sessions I have had over the past five years with wireless providers, manufactures,
the satellite industry, and the broadcasters and cable operators, which account for the vast majority of CBand transmissions, I worked hard to get the relevant parties to accept the fundamental concept. That
wasn’t easy, became quite tense at moments, and took a lot of effort, which ultimately proved fruitful. I
also formulated four key principles along the way that would need to be addressed to execute this deal
and for this reallocation to be successful. First, a sufficient amount of spectrum has to be repurposed, at
least between 200 and 300 megahertz. Second, it must be done quickly. There’s not time to drag our
proverbial feet, as the wireless industry already needed this spectrum yesterday. Third, the incumbent
users of the band must be accommodated, and the satellite licensees must be on board and receive
adequate compensation to give up their existing rights. Fourth, the other portion of the C-Band, or 6
GHz, has to be opened for unlicensed use.
I thank Chairman Pai for moving this critical item, when the prior Commission did not, and
crafting an order that is generally in line with my first three requirements. While I may have gone down a
slightly different path if I had the opportunity, I am pleased that we are clearing 280 megahertz for
auction. This landing spot took tremendous effort to achieve, as well as a considerable amount of my
time, energy, and patience. But, it was incredibly important because new 5G wireless services are going
to need wide channel allocations, and no other band provides as great an opportunity as the C-Band.
I also appreciate that the Chairman has committed to making sure that the auction happens this
year. Further, if things go as planned, all incumbents should be fully accommodated, with their concerns
addressed. I find it highly unlikely that the Commission would turn off popular broadcast and cable
programming should the restructuring of this band not be complete by 2025.
At the same time, we have all had to deal with the back and forth between industry participants
and Hill policy makers about incentive payments and the possible distribution of proceeds. This is
unfortunate, as many months were wasted debating whether to even provide an incentive payment to the
satellite providers. The reality is that to do otherwise would have doomed this project and undermined
decades of spectrum policy. Keep in mind, satellite companies provide valuable services to their
contractees but are willing to do more with less—with varying degrees of difficulty—to enable the
government to meet its 5G objectives. Compensation was therefore always going to part of the equation.
In the end, almost everyone came around to this thinking—even if they may not agree with the exact
funding level. Further, I believe that we have the authority to compensate incumbents for their reasonable
expenses and implement the accelerated relocation payments separate and apart from our auction process
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using our Emerging Technologies framework.
As for my fourth principle, permitting unlicensed use in the 6 GHz band, we have an open
proceeding on that matter, and I have adequate assurances from the Chairman and staff of the Office of
Engineering and Technology that staff are concluding their technical analysis and preparing an order for
Commission consideration in the not too distant future. While it may not be simultaneous with this item,
its forthcoming consideration will prove sufficient for me. Providing more unlicensed spectrum has been
a passion of mine and getting 6 GHz across the finish line is worth the wait.
So, here we are voting on an item that represents the culmination of many years of work for me,
as well as a huge step forward in the Commission’s 5G efforts. I feel a sense of accomplishment and
relief at the same time. Not everything in this document is perfect. And, the process probably could have
been handled slightly differently, but it worked out in the end. Ultimately, we are finishing on a positive
upswing, worthy of our great nation’s custom of facing tough tasks head-on. The Chairman should be
proud of his leadership and ignore the naysayers’ arguments, which will fade over time, as they always
do.
I approve.

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STATEMENT OF
COMMISSIONER BRENDAN CARR
Re:

Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band, GN Docket No. 18-122

I can say it no better than my colleague, so I’ll just quote her: “When it comes to mid-band
spectrum for 5G I think one thing is clear: we need to move more and move faster.” Those who call for
more and faster FCC movement on mid-band should celebrate this morning, because the order before us
accomplishes precisely those goals. It moves more mid-band spectrum to 5G, and it moves the spectrum
at a fast clip.
First, the “more” part. The latest 5G standard is optimized for wide spectrum channels, ideally
100 MHz or more in size. But the mid-band is a crowded neighborhood, with government users and
legacy technologies making those wide, clear channels illusive. Recognizing the imperative of mid-band
for 5G, this Commission opened a mid-band proceeding in 2017.
Since then, we have taken action. At 3.5 GHz, we ensured mid-band spectrum works in the real
world and will now auction it off this summer. With EBS, which had not been assigned in roughly half
the country, we are pushing mid-band out into the commercial marketplace. At 2.5 GHz, our decision in
Sprint/T-Mobile enables the combined company to build out this valuable mid-band nationwide. At 2
GHz AWS-4, we now have a binding commitment from DISH to build broadband using its mid-band
licenses—an intensive use of the spectrum that DISH wasn’t planning on absent the transaction and our
demands. We are pressing ahead with 5.9 GHz and 6 GHz, as well. And on top of all of that diligent
progress on mid-band, today we set up the clearing of 300 MHz of C-band.
It’s not just the amount but also the speed that matters. Time is of the essence, because we know
what is at stake with 5G. $275 billion of private sector investment, with not a penny of new taxes. Three
million jobs. Another half trillion dollars in economic growth. What’s more, the country that builds
strong 5G first will reap the benefits of early adopter jobs and services. The trillion-dollar club—those
companies with market caps above $1 trillion—has just four members: Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and
Google. They’re all American, and they all ride on our world-leading mobile networks. That’s not a
coincidence, and when the next Amazons and Apples are invented, we want them to be invented here; we
want the jobs, and services, and opportunities centered here.
Beyond global competitions and unfathomable dollar figures, we act with a sense of urgency
because we know what a connection means to American families. Every day that a family lacks adequate
Internet access may be a day a doctor’s appointment is missed, a picture to loved ones goes unsent, and,
yes, homework remains unfinished. But pointing at the digital divide while doing nothing about it isn’t
leadership; it’s policy tourism. Here again, I’m proud to say that this Commission has acted decisively.
We examined our authority, we thought creatively about the technology options, and we pressed the
parties to their limits to clear this spectrum now.
This has been a tremendously complicated and important policy puzzle to solve. It involves
nearly every industry that the Commission regulates, and the outcome was not obvious. The best minds
at this agency ground away at this for two years, relying on all of our capabilities: engineering,
economics, and law. The Chairman and staff deserve immense credit and our gratitude for, if nothing
else, their endurance.
After all of that, I think we landed this item in the perfect spot. We will clear 300 MHz, which is
more than incumbents ever thought they could give up and is enough to enable a number of providers to
offer truly mobile 5G services. Americans will start benefiting from these services next year with a full
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clearing coming in 2023—again, pushing the speedometer to its limit. And we will do all of this using
the FCC’s tried and true auction process, using rules that are fair and known, and which will result in tens
of billions of dollars being returned to the American taxpayer.
You might know that we got it right, ironically, by the grumbles we hear from both sides. You
didn’t send enough money to the Treasury; you sent too much money to the Treasury. The equipment
you’re providing to incumbent operators is gold-plated; the equipment you’re providing isn’t good
enough. On mid-band, it’s “go, go, go,” but when the politics change, it’s “slow, slow, slow.” And on
and on. At the end of a long and difficult road to compromise—and that’s certainly the road we’ve been
on—sometimes a little criticism from opposing sides is a sign that you landed in just the right place.
I want to thank my colleagues for agreeing to move up the election and clearing dates so that this
spectrum can be used for 5G as quickly as possible. And I want to thank and congratulate everyone in
this agency and all of the public commenters who made this landmark decision what it is. In particular, I
thank WTB, OEA, OET, IB, OGC, OMD, EB, and the Chairman and his staff for their work on this item.
It has my strong support.

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STATEMENT OF
COMMISSONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL
DISSENTING
Re:

Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band, GN Docket No. 18-122

Re:

Auction of Flexible-Use Service Licenses 3.7-3.98 GHz Band for Next-Generation
Wireless Services, Comment Sought on Competitive Bidding Procedures for Auction
107, AU Docket No. 20-25

In the United States we have a mid-band spectrum problem that is threatening to slow our ability
to build faster 5G wireless networks.
That is a fact that is universally recognized. It’s the result of a few forces. For starters, so much
of our mid-band airwaves are already used by government agencies or commercial services. That’s not
true in many other parts of the world where this spectrum has been less broadly deployed and can more
easily be repurposed for next-generation wireless networks. In fact, more than two dozen countries have
made significant progress in making mid-band airwaves the core of early 5G service and are reaping the
benefits. But the United States has fallen behind because instead tackling our own mid-band shortage,
we’ve spent the last three years bringing high-band airwaves to market with a series of auctions of the 24,
28, 37, 39, and 47 GHz bands.
That’s why last year I warned in WIRED that the Federal Communications Commission needs to
pivot from its exclusive focus on high-band spectrum to mid-band airwaves. After all, if we don’t the
world will move on without us. Why? Because our efforts to date with high-band airwaves at the
expense of mid-band spectrum are misguided. High-band airwaves have substantial capacity, but their
signals do not travel far. As a result, commercializing them is costly—especially in rural areas. The
sheer volume of antenna facilities required to make this service viable will limit deployment to the most
populated urban areas. That means our early 5G spectrum policy has only deepened the digital divide.
Along the way, we had no shortage of opportunities to address this problem. We could have held
an incentive auction of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. We could have held an auction of the 3.5 GHz
band early instead of delaying it three years for picayune policy changes. We could have moved faster on
our unlicensed proposals in the 5.9 GHz band which have been kicking around this agency for seven
years. But we did not. We refused to acknowledge there was even a problem. And when this agency
made shortsighted decisions about mid-band spectrum, I called them out.
So now we have today’s decision. In this proceeding, the FCC finally accepts what is obvious:
we have reached the point where we need to fix our mid-band spectrum problem. We finally recognize
our 5G future depends on getting this right. That’s the good news.
The not-so-good news is that the C-band may be among the most challenging slices of spectrum
that the FCC has ever taken up. It has unique features that were not on congressional radar when this
agency was given authority to repurpose spectrum. You can start with the fact that existing incumbents in
the 3.7-4.2 GHz band share the full 500 megahertz at the same time. Plus, millions of households across
the country rely on this spectrum to receive a wide range of television and radio programming. All of this
means that the traditional tools available to us won’t work.
With our hands already tied, the FCC tries to fix this problem the wrong way. Specifically, the
FCC proposes to clear the C-band for 5G by sunsetting existing operations by 2025 and then offering
incumbent satellite operators the option to accelerate their transition in exchange for their reasonable
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relocation costs—as much as $5.2 billion—plus a $9.7 billion accelerated relocation payment. Then the
FCC proposes to hold a public auction of overlay licenses for new flexible use, including 5G.
There are three things that are fundamentally wrong with this proposal.
First, this decision is wrong on the law. Section 309(j) of the Communications Act sets forth
the procedures for this agency to hold a spectrum auction. It requires that all deposits the FCC may
require to bid in an auction, as well as all proceeds from the use of an auction, are deposited in the United
States Treasury. Consistent with this rule, under the FCC’s tried-and-true Emerging Technologies
framework, the agency may require new entrants to privately negotiate with incumbents and pay their
reasonable relocation expenses. This very specific framework has not only been used in the past, it has
been blessed by courts that have reviewed our auction proposals.
But that’s not the framework we adopt here no matter how this decision tries to dress it up and
say otherwise. The Emerging Technologies framework is a voluntary and market-based approach to
spectrum clearing. It offers new licensees the option to pay for faster access and capitalizes on the fact
that a new entrant has better information about the value of relocation and an incumbent has better
information about the cost. This asymmetry of information creates incentives for parties to engage in
strategic bargaining, increasing the likelihood that a fair and efficient agreement can be reached.
However here, with a legal sleight of hand, the FCC takes what must be voluntary and makes it
mandatory. We force C-band auction winners to pay nearly $10 billion to incumbent satellite operators
over and above their relocation costs. There is no cite to any legal authority or precedent that allows us to
do so.
Moreover, we pluck that amount of payment out of thin air in a manner that does not reflect how
market transactions work. That puts what we do here fundamentally at odds with both the Emerging
Technologies framework and Section 309(j). Indeed, where Congress previously authorized the FCC to
require similar payments in the context of an incentive auction, it required the agency to use a competitive
reverse auction to facilitate price discovery and then give forward auction participants the choice to pay it.
Nor do we square our decision with the court’s finding in Teledesic LLC v. FCC that any
voluntary incentive payment must be proportionate to the cost of providing replacement facilities. There
is no attempt here to explain how the acceleration payment is tied at all to facilitating access to the Cband—beyond placating the largest incumbents.
All of this means that this decision forces auction winners to make an arbitrary payment that
reduces the proceeds the government would otherwise realize at auction. Again, this is not what the
Emerging Technologies framework permits. It’s not what is contemplated in Section 309(j) of the
Communications Act. The FCC has no legal authority to require any payments to incumbents that extend
beyond actual and reasonable relocation costs. Remember that Section 309(j) is explicit that all deposits
the FCC may require at auction, as well as all proceeds from the auction, must flow to the United States
Treasury. The FCC tries to get around this requirement by suggesting it can create a third category of
auction-related payments that are not deposits or proceeds. But by doing so, the FCC is reducing
revenues that statutorily must go to the Treasury and is undermining congressional power of the purse.
Indeed, if we accept the FCC’s argument, it is hard to imagine any limitation on the agency’s ability to
require payments for any purpose that even loosely can be connected to some spectrum-related goal as a
condition of auction participation—and that simply cannot be the case. As a result, it is flat out
disingenuous to suggest that authority to make this so-called acceleration payment is established in the
Emerging Technologies framework. Because it is not.

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Second, this decision is wrong on the economics. Comb through this decision and you will not
find a rational basis for the nearly $10 billion we are set to give away in this repurposing of the C-band.
It’s not the result of data-driven decision-making. At best, it’s back-of-the envelope math. It looks a lot
like an effort to justify backroom deals and promised payoffs. That’s not the kind of decision a federal
agency should be making. That’s a question more appropriately answered by Congress or the markets.
What is most disappointing is that just over a year ago the FCC launched a new Office of
Economics and Analytics to tackle the hardest issues before us—just like here with the C-band. A key
objective of this office, we were told, was providing independent economic analysis to inform the
agency’s decisions. But in the first real test of this office’s abilities—this proceeding—the economics
experts are nowhere to be found.
That’s too bad, because it would have been nice to know what they thought about all of the issues
raised in this proceeding. Here’s an example. Early in the decision, the agency discusses the calculation
of the benefits associated with an accelerated transition. We cite one economist who says that for every
year of delay in making C-band available, consumer welfare is reduced by $15 billion. Another estimates
that one year of delay would reduce the value of repurposing the C-band from seven to eleven percent.
But we do no analysis ourselves.
Next, the FCC tackles the relocation costs of the transition. It ticks through all the best guesses in
the record. The C-Band Alliance estimates that the total cost to clear 300 megahertz in the contiguous
United States would be $2.8 billion. Eutelsat estimates $3.5 billion. ACA puts the number closer to $6.1
billion. So what does the office we set up to do this analysis think? We don’t know. Because instead of
doing the work ourselves we just go halfsies and pick a range in the middle.
We do the same when it comes to predicting the prices that bidders will pay for licenses to
operate on this spectrum. We list the best guesses of the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition, the Brattle
Group, the C-Band Alliance, Kerrisdale Capital Management, and American Action Forum and then pick
$0.50 per MHz-pop—because we say it is in the middle. We do no analysis of our own.
Finally, its hard to square our economic analysis with our decision to dismiss pre-auction
aggregation limits, which could limit 5G competition in the future. Likewise, the performance
obligations are divorced from the economic reality that they can be a tool to facilitate faster and more
widespread 5G deployment. In fact, we only require carriers to build out this spectrum to 45 percent of
the population within 8 years. Good luck with rural deployment because that does not suggest a whole lot
of urgency.
Third, this decision is wrong on policy. With today’s action the FCC substitutes its will for the
will of Congress. By acting unilaterally this the agency is not only exceeding its authority under the law,
it is denying the legislative branch the ability to produce a statute that gets us where we want to go on 5G
and mid-band spectrum. It also denies us all the ability to take the funds from the auction of these public
airwaves and put them to broader public purpose than those contemplated in the existing statute.
Working with Congress we can use the billions of dollars in revenues this auction could raise to
do the very infrastructure projects this country so desperately needs.
And what might those involve?
We could start with using this auction as a vehicle for Congress to repeal the provision in the
Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act that requires the FCC to auction off T-band spectrum one
year from now. This auction will jeopardize the communications of police and fire officials in New York,
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Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston,
and Miami. We should be looking for every implement in our policy toolkit to help prevent this public
safety mess, including support from the revenues associated with this spectrum auction.
Next, we could use the billions of dollars raised in auction revenue to do other big things. We
could do audacious things. We could start a fund a new initiative to help with rural broadband. We could
fund the nation’s transition to next-generation 911, which is sorely needed and would benefit public
safety in every state. Or we could use some of the revenues to seed a Homework Gap Trust Fund to help
our nation’s students stuck in the digital divide. It could support wi-fi hotspots for loan in every school
library—and virtually eliminate the Homework Gap overnight.
But because we act now, we handicap the funding Congress could secure and risk discounting the
value of this auction in the eyes of the Congressional Budget Office. We deny Congress its rightful role
setting auction policy. Plus we take a pass on what is truly needed—a legislative overhaul of our system
for incentivizing the return of airwaves and the repurposing of the them for a future where we can lead in
5G. For all of these reasons, I dissent.

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STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER GEOFFREY STARKS
DISSENTING
Re:

Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band, GN Docket No. 18-122

We live in an age when the demand for wireless service is growing at an almost-exponential pace.
It seems like everyone is on their smartphone – on the street, in the subway, and even up here on the dais!
But there are less obvious activities taking place too – like the utility connecting sensors throughout its
power grid to monitor energy consumption; the manufacturer placing inventory-tracking monitors
throughout its factory; or the city installing routers on its buses to provide free Wi-Fi to passengers. This
demand will only increase with time, and full deployment of Fifth-Generation wireless service and its
capabilities will kick things into high gear.
5G and the applications that will grow from it are critical to our economic future. They promise
to change the way we work, increase our health and safety, and create new opportunities for education
and entertainment. The number of 5G connections is growing fast around the world. According to one
recent study, the number of 5G global connections will reach 1.3 billion by 2025, covering 40 percent of
the world’s population or approximately 2.7 billion people.
Mid-band spectrum like that at issue in this proceeding is essential to this future. Compared to
the millimeter wave spectrum that has been the focus of late, transmissions on mid-band spectrum can
travel greater distances and penetrate farther into buildings. Moreover, mid-band spectrum is not only
important for 5G, but can also help address the problem of internet inequality by connecting people who
live outside the most densely populated urban centers.
While the Commission has been working on other mid-band spectrum bands, none have received
as much attention in the last few years as the C-Band. Among other purposes, this band is currently used
by fixed satellite service operators to deliver programming to broadcasters and cable operators; however,
overall use of the C-Band has been declining for decades as customers take advantage of alternative
technologies. The underused nature of the band, combined with its size and proximity to the 3.5 GHz
CBRS band, make it an ideal candidate for reallocation for expanded flexible use.
We must seize this great opportunity. But in its haste to make this spectrum available for new
wireless terrestrial uses, the majority has over-stretched our legal precedent and entered into a deal that
will take money from American taxpayers to placate foreign satellite operators who may not even keep up
their end of the bargain. I’m concerned that today’s order ultimately will most benefit these satellite
operators and the largest wireless carriers, at the expense of both competition and the American taxpayer.
The days of easy spectrum decision-making are over. Low-hanging fruit has already been
plucked. While technology continues to make feasible the use of spectrum bands where terrestrial
wireless use was previously deemed impossible, there is only so much spectrum to go around. Basic
physics dictates that we must reexamine our current spectrum allocations to determine where we can
operate more efficiently. For the foreseeable future, spectrum policymaking will likely require
progressively more difficult decisions, including the possibility that we will need to relocate entrenched
incumbents to make room for new entrants and new technologies.
That’s why it is so critical that we get today’s order right – incumbents everywhere are watching,
assessing whether the FCC proceeds based on a well-established and principled basis, and what it will
mean for parties that seek similar arrangements.
As today’s decision makes clear, the Commission has broad authority under Section 316 of the
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Communications Act to modify existing licenses where doing so would serve the public interest. Nor is
the Commission required to have the licensees’ consent – all that is necessary is for the agency to find
that the modification “serves the public interest, convenience and necessity.” 1 And while the agency
cannot “fundamentally change” a license under Section 316 of the Communications Act, a modification is
permissible where a licensee can continue to provide substantially the same service. 2
Unfortunately, certain members of the apparently defunct C-Band Alliance have repeatedly
dashed our hopes of quickly making C-Band spectrum available for terrestrial wireless use by threatening
to sue and overturn any order. They have argued that they deserve not only reasonable reallocation
expenses as a result of any C-Band reallocation, but also a windfall of historic proportions. To make
matters worse, they also sought to control the process for license reassignment and payments through a
private sale or auction, arguing that this is the fastest way to put C-Band spectrum to terrestrial wireless
use.
Several months ago, I said “enough,” and was the first on the Commission to demand a public
auction. I’m glad that my colleagues all agree with me here today and say “yes” to the public auction. A
private sale or auction of the C-Band would have been unlawful under Section 309(j) of the Act, which
requires the use of a “system of competitive bidding” in which “all proceeds” are deposited in the U.S.
Treasury. 3 The private sale or auction proposals, however, would have converted funds that should go to
the U.S. Treasury into an unprecedented windfall for a group of private entities. It would have
established a terrible precedent for wireless policy by handing control over the licensing process to that
same small group of foreign satellite operators. And our experience with conducting public spectrum
auctions demonstrates that a public auction will not only ensure a fair distribution of the auction funds but
also will quickly make the C-Band spectrum available for terrestrial wireless use.
I’m glad that we have chosen to conduct a public auction. But I must object to the majority’s
response to the satellite operators’ demands. To be clear, I recognize that the threat of litigation and/or
bankruptcy is real and could delay the availability of this important spectrum band. I also recognize the
Emerging Technologies line of cases, in which the Commission created an incentive regime to encourage
incumbent licensees to expedite spectrum reallocation efforts.
But those cases make it clear that, while the Commission can require winning bidders to
contribute to a fund for the benefit of the incumbent licensees, those mandatory payments are limited to
reasonable relocation costs. In those proceedings, any payments to encourage incumbents to expedite
their departure from the affected spectrum beyond ordinary relocation costs resulted from voluntary
negotiations between the bidders and the incumbents, subject to the Commission’s oversight.
In this case, rather than voluntary payments negotiated between private parties, the majority has
adopted a scheme of mandatory payments from winning bidders into a fund calculated and divided via a
process that remains something of a mystery. Such an approach is not supported by our statutory
authority. Section 309(j) of the Act authorizes the Commission to conduct competitive bidding for
licenses to operate consistent with the agency’s rules. But it does not include any authority to require, in
addition, that winning bidders contribute towards a fund that would result in billions of dollars paid to
satellite incumbent operators beyond their reasonable relocation costs.

1

California Metro Mobile Communications, Inc. v. FCC, 365 F.3d 38, 45 (D.C. 2004).

2

Cmty Television, Inc. v. FCC, 216 F.3d 1136, 1140-41 (D.C. Cir. 2000).

3

47 U.S.C. § 309(j).

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The majority points to the Commission’s authority to require payment of those costs as support
for its mandatory accelerated relocation payment scheme. But the order never cites any authority
permitting the Commission to require winning bidders to compensate incumbents above their reasonable
costs. Instead, the majority discusses potential issues with a voluntary negotiation scheme and the
economic benefits of an accelerated rollout of 5G in the C-Band. While these are worthwhile policy
considerations, none of them create new legal authority for the scheme we adopt today.
Instead, the approach in today’s order creates a potential spectrum policy headache that I fear we
will be addressing for years to come. As I mentioned earlier, the age of “easy” spectrum allocation
decisions is over. For the foreseeable future, this agency will have to re-distribute underutilized spectrum
away from incumbents – both federal and non-federal -- to make it available for more efficient use.
Requiring billions of dollars in mandatory payments to the incumbents here will only encourage demands
for similar treatment from similarly situated incumbents. This may not be especially problematic for
large, well-funded bidders, but the additional expense of mandatory contributions towards an “accelerated
relocation” fund may place bidders with fewer resources at a significant financial disadvantage.
But the issues don’t stop with the mandatory nature of the incentive payments. As I noted earlier,
the courts have permitted incentive payments that result from negotiations between the new entrants and
the incumbent licensees. Such payments, however, must be “proportionate to the cost of providing
comparable facilities.” 4
In this case, however, the majority does not even attempt to calculate the additional cost to the
satellite operators of an expedited exit from the lower portion of the C-Band. Instead, it bases the
incentive payments on an estimate on how much an accelerated relocation would increase the profits of
new licensees. Under the order’s reasoning, the accelerated payments should be based on the amount that
the “overlay licensees themselves would be willing to pay to clear this spectrum early.” The order
calculates that this value is about $10.52 billion, then determines that the satellite operators should receive
$9.7 billion, which it characterizes as “reasonably close” to that amount. As explained above, however,
neither our rules nor our caselaw justify such a basis for incentive payments. And even if we accepted
that the Commission can both require bidders to make incentive payments unrelated to the cost of
accelerated relocation and set the exact amount of those payments, how we arrived at the precise $9.7
billion figure is never explained other than as a “necessarily imprecise” result of a “line-drawing
exercise.”
Moreover, the order’s division of the $9.7 billion amongst some – but not all – of the satellite
operators authorized to operate in the C-Band is vaguely explained as based on the “relative contribution
that each eligible space station operator is likely to make towards accelerating the transition of the 3.73.98 GHz band to flexible use and clearing the 3.98-4.0 GHz band….” 5 Late last week, SES introduced
an accounting firm’s analysis – attested to by the members of the C-Band Alliance at the time –
4

See Teledesic LLC v. FCC, 275 F.3d 75, 82 (D.C. Cir. 2001); Amendment to the Commission’s Rules Regarding a
Plan for Sharing the Costs of Microwave Relocation, First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, 11 FCC Rcd 8825, ¶ 32 (1996) (when negotiating voluntary accelerated relocation payments, to
constitute good faith negotiations, incumbents may only seek premiums for accelerated clearing that are reasonably
related to the cost of providing comparable facilities). See also Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission’s Rules to
Allocate Spectrum Below 3 GHz for Mobile and Fixed Services to Support the Introduction of New Advanced
Wireless Services, Including Third Generation Wireless Systems, Ninth Report and Order, 21 FCC Rcd 4473, 4546
(2006) (in determining whether an incumbent is bargaining in good faith over accelerated relocation payments, the
Commission will consider whether the demand for payment is “directly related to relocation” and “proportion[ate]”
to “the cost of providing comparable facilities”).
5

Report and Order at para. 227.

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describing the 2017 C-band downlink revenue shares for those operators. 6 The order asserts that this
filing is the “best evidence” in the record in support of the division of the $9.7 billion in accelerated
relocation payments because it reflects the C-Band Alliance members’ own understanding of their relative
contribution to clearing the spectrum. 7
But this filing contains no information supporting its findings and does not even discuss all of the
operators receiving money under this order. Indeed, Intelsat has responded that this filing merely reflects
“a private agreement that was predicated on a completely different structure is legally irrelevant and
factually unsupported.” 8 Even the order recognizes that there are many variables relevant to each
operator’s “contribution” to clearing the spectrum, including their number of earth stations, transponder
usage, and coverage. While we do consider some of those factors in how we divide the acceleration
payments, however, we give the greatest weight by far to the C-Band Alliance report.
I do not believe that we should delegate our statutory responsibilities and provide billions of
dollars to foreign satellite operators based primarily on an opaque private agreement between the parties
that most stand to benefit from our decision. And even if we ignore those issues, we still have the
underlying problem that nothing in the record suggests that the $9.7 billion figure has any relation to the
actual additional costs that the satellite operators will incur if they expedite their relocation to meet the
deadlines in this decision.
We are told to accept these financial and legal gymnastics because, in the end, this will ensure
that the C-Band will be put to terrestrial use as quickly as possible. But, as events in the last few weeks
have shown, the foundation of this bargain appears to be crumbling. In the last two weeks, a large
investor has acquired a major stake in Intelsat and is pushing the company to seek a larger payout by
declining the accelerated relocation payments, declaring bankruptcy and taking the Commission to court. 9
Since then, Intelsat has effectively declared the end of the C-Band Alliance and filed a series of ex partes
objecting to the $9.7 billion overall payout as too low, demanding as much as 67 percent of the $9.7
billion and disputing our authority to modify its licenses in the first place. 10 Meanwhile, SES argues that,
if anything, it also deserves an increased percentage of the $9.7 billion, and arguing that any adjustment in
Intelsat’s favor would simply be “placate[ing] disgruntled, financially-troubled companies.” 11 Finally,
Eutelsat, another former member of the C-Band Alliance has proposed an entirely different calculation
model that would award it an additional $1 billion, at the expense of SES. 12 The C-Band Alliance has
turned into a circular firing squad.
6

Letter from John Purvis, Chief Legal Office, SES Americom, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122 (filed Feb. 20, 2020).

7

Report and Order at para. 228.

8

Letter from Laura H. Phillips, Counsel, Intelsat US LLC, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No.
18-122 (filed Feb. 21, 2020).

9

Alexandra Scaggs, “David Tepper Wants Intelsat to Fight the FCC on 5G Spectrum Move. Its Stock Surged 26%,”
Barron’s (Feb. 18, 2020), at https://www.barrons.com/articles/david-tepper-wants-intelsat-to-fight-the-fcc-on-5gspectrum-move-its-stock-surged-26-51582064179.
10

Letter from Laura H. Phillips, Counsel, Intelsat US LLC, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No.
18-122 (filed Feb. 21, 2020).
11

Letter from John Purvis, Chief Legal Officer, SES Americom Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN
Docket No. 18-122 (filed Feb. 20, 2020).
12
Letter from Carlos M. Nalda, Consultant, Eutelsat S.A., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No.
18-122, at 5 (filed Feb. 20, 2020).

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After years of debate and thousands of pages of comments, it would be ironic if, having
compromised on so much, we ended up in the same position that we had so desperately hoped to avoid –
stuck in litigation and with any auction on indefinite hold. But that appears to be a very real possibility at
this moment.
It didn’t have to be this way. We could have followed our precedent and established clear rules
and strict deadlines to govern voluntary negotiations that were consistent with our precedent. Even now,
Congress is considering bipartisan legislation that would grant us clear authority to auction this spectrum
in a manner that would clear away the threat of litigation and direct auction proceeds towards funding
rural broadband and next-generation 911 services. I remain hopeful that Congress will provide us
guidance and authority to reduce the threat of litigation and empower us to address these critical public
policy needs.
One final note. Congress directed the Commission to design auctions that “promot[e] economic
opportunity and competition . . . by avoiding excessive concentration of licenses and by disseminating
licenses among a wide variety of applicants, including small businesses, rural telephone companies, and
businesses owned by members of minority groups and women.” 13 This proceeding not only represents an
important opportunity to spur the future deployment of 5G, but also to encourage wireless competition
and diversity. As noted earlier, by requiring mandatory payments into an accelerated relocation fund, we
may discourage auction participation by smaller, less well-funded bidders. But I’m also disappointed that
we are refusing to place reasonable spectrum aggregation limits on the auction. Multiple parties
representing small and rural carriers have urged the Commission to consider such limits to protect
competition and ensure that a wide variety of applicants have access to the spectrum. 14 The Commission
has imposed such limits previously, including in the 3.5 GHz auction Public Notice we adopt today, and
other countries have adopted similar measures with success. 15 I believe we should have followed their
example.
Finally, while I disagree with much of the reasoning of this order, I would be remiss if I didn’t
acknowledge the hard work of the Commission staff throughout the building on this proceeding. Thank
you all for your continued service.

13

47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(3)(B).

14
See, e.g., Letter from Competitive Carriers Association, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, INCOMPAS,
Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, and Computer & Communications Industry Association to Marlene
H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 18-122 (filed Feb. 18, 2020).
15

See Letter from Steve B. Sharkey, T-Mobile, Vice-President, Government Affairs, Technology and Engineering
Policy, T-Mobile USA, Inc., to Marlene Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket 18-122 (filed Feb. 5, 2020) (citing
Taiwan, Italy, Canada).

258


File Typeapplication/pdf
File TitleOrders TOC by Paragraph.dot
AuthorBecky Tangren
File Modified2020-04-16
File Created2020-04-16

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