FCC Announces Procedures for C-Band FSS Operators to Amend Transition Plans and File Phase II Certifications of Accelerated Relocation


The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) has announced a final limited filing window opening of June 1, 2023, for eligible Fixed Satellite Service space station operators (operators) in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band (C-band) to submit any necessary amendments to their final Transition Plans, which were filed in August of 2020, and/or updated during earlier amendment windows. This window provides a final opportunity for operators to adjust their Transition Plans for Phase II of the C-band transition. In 2020, the FCC adopted rules to make 280 MHz of mid-band spectrum in the C Band available for flexible use. In so doing, the FCC requires new overlay licensees to reimburse the reasonable relocation costs of operators for transitioning and relocating C-Band earth station incumbents from the lower portion to the upper 200 MHz of the band.  

In a separate public notice, the Bureau announces June 1, 2023, as a unified start date for various Phase II transition actions and operators may submit Phase II Certifications demonstrating compliance with the accelerated relocation deadline of December 6, 2023, and their eligibility to receive accelerated relocation payments. The FCC states that certifications will be available for review and comment on potential deficiencies. The Bureau also directs the relocation coordinator to file, by June 1, 2023, a final list of all incumbent earth stations and the operator responsible for transitioning each antenna and feed. Among other things, the Bureau sets a timeline for payment of relocation fees to operators, explains reduced accelerated payments if an operator misses an accelerated relocation deadline, and clarifies that operators may amend/refile a certification with deficiencies without any reduction in payment before the Phase II deadline.

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