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FCC Sets May 28, 2019 Deadline to Certify Accuracy of C-Band Earth Station Information

April 18, 2019

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) released a Public Notice providing a deadline of May 28, 2019 for earth stations operating in the C-Band – 3.7-4.2 GHz – to certify the accuracy of all information reflected on their licenses or registrations contained in the FCC’s International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) database. The Public Notice follows an Order released in July 2018 wherein the FCC announced that it would request such information to ensure that, as the agency evaluates future uses of the C-Band, it fully understands the band’s current use by earth stations. Licensees of the following types of stations must provide the information summarized below.

  • Fixed-satellite service earth stations in the C-Band, including temporary-fixed or transportable earth stations (e.g., satellite news trucks). Operators must certify the accuracy of their license or registration information contained in IBFS. Notably, earth station operators that filed for new or modified licenses or registrations between April 19, 2018 and October 31, 2018 are exempt from this certification requirement. For earth stations licensed or registered outside this window, the certification must:
  1. List the following:
    • the call sign(s),
    • file numbers, and
    • applicant or registrant name.
  2. Contain this statement: “The undersigned, individually and for the applicant, licensee, or registrant, hereby certifies that all information reflected in his or her licenses or registrations in IBFS, including any attached exhibits, are true, complete and correct to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, and have been made in good faith.”
  3. Be signed by an authorized representative for the licensee or registrant.
  • Temporary-fixed or transportable earth stations in the C-Band (e.g., satellite news trucks). Operators must provide the following information, regardless of when their earth stations were licensed or registered:
  1. Earth station call sign;
  2. Address of where the equipment is typically stored;
  3. Area within which the equipment is typically used;
  4. How often the equipment is used and the duration of such use;
  5. Number of transponders typically used in the C-Band and extent of use on both the uplink and downlink; and
  6. Licensee/registrant and point of contact information.

The Public Notice reminds all earth station operators, including those exempt from the certification requirement, that they are required to update their information in IBFS in the event of a change in contact information or any of the operational parameters.

The Commission has stated that it will protect only those C-Band earth stations licensed or registered in IBFS for which the licensee/registrant timely files the certification noted above, so you are strongly encouraged to do so.

The required information must be submitted electronically by May 28, 2019, using the filing procedures set forth in the Public Notice.

If you have any questions about the above filing requirements or need assistance with submitting the required information, please contact the Wiley Rein attorney who regularly handles your FCC matters or one of the attorneys listed on this alert.