FCC Votes to Auction Off a Portion of C-band Satellite

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The FCC voted Friday to auction off the 3.7 – 4.0 GHz portion of the microwave C-band used for broadcast distribution of radio and TV via satellite with 5G telecom providers expected to bid. The plan includes payments for registered downlink users to install filters and for satellite companies to relocate their services. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said they will institute phased deadlines that begin in December 2021 to begin clearing out the bottom portion of the band. More details in this TV Technology article.

Radio and TV stations currently use the spectrum for syndicated and network programming from a variety of satellites due to its lower cost than K-band distribution. Greater use of fiber distribution and more efficient compression techniques is easing the demand for satellite spectrum.