Based on separate analyses from two respected economic and financial advisory firms, NERA and Evercore, the value of the 280 MHz that are to be auctioned in the U.S. this year ranges from $43 billion to $77 billion. In another filing, the CBA quantified the cost of clearing 300 MHz of C-band spectrum at $3.3 billion. The CBA issued these analyses and estimations in order to underscore the significant value of this U.S. spectrum that its members have operated for 40 years to the benefit of 120 million American households who receive movies, TV broadcasts and other content from leading companies such as Discovery, Disney, Fox, NBCUniversal, QVC, ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia, among others.
The CBA responded to remarks delivered by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai about the forthcoming C-band order at an industry event hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, D.C. The CBA is pleased with Chairman Pai’s statement regarding the C-band draft order today, and thanks the Chairman and the FCC staff for their hard work on this item. The CBA looks forward to reviewing the draft order upon its release tomorrow.
The CBA developed a fair and non-discriminatory methodology to allocate C-band clearing acceleration payments among all satellite operators. It recently proposed an allocation based on the number of earth station C-band feeds in the continental U.S. The CBA, as part of its diligence in developing a clearing solution, has collected detailed information on a very large and statistically significant sample of nearly 10,000 FCC-registered earth station sites representing more than 25,000 antennas. Based on this, the CBA estimates that approximately 99% of earth station C-band feeds in the continental U.S. point to a CBA-member satellite; approximately 1% point to a Eutelsat satellite; and between 0% and 0.1% point to an SSO satellite. Other allocation methodologies proposed in the record—including that of Eutelsat—are grossly unfair.
Selecting the C-Band Alliance as Clearing Coordinator will result in the ordering of at least 8 satellites from U.S. manufacturers, providing tech jobs in America. Boeing supports the C-Band Alliance being named Clearing Coordinator and urges the “adequate compensation” of the C-band satellite operators.
To transition C-band spectrum for 5G use, space and ground clearing must be managed together as one plan because of the highly interdependent nature of grooming activities on a satellite. Furthermore, the work required to clear the first 120 MHz of spectrum is nearly as much as is required to clear the remaining 180 MHz. This filing outlines the steps needed in a typical spectrum grooming effort, all of which must occur in the correct order to clear the spectrum without interruption to current services.
The FCC must name the CBA as the Clearing Coordinator responsible for the operational aspects of clearing and transitioning C-band spectrum from current Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) use to 5G use. Only the members of the CBA can take the voluntary steps necessary to orchestrate this immensely complex transition in a timely manner.