By Lee Petro
Special Counsel, Pillsbury Law
WASHINGTON — Last April, the broadcast industry was abuzz with the need to register previously unlicensed earth stations in order to reduce the chance of future displacement. In April 2018, the deadline for submitting the registrations was announced, and after two extensions, all fixed-satellite service (FSS) earth stations in use prior to April 19, 2018 that operated in the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band were to be registered with the FCC by October 31, 2018.
Subsequent to the April 2018 announcement, the FCC adopted an Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the potential for re-purposing the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. Since then, most of the focus (over 400 submissions thus far) has been on various proposals for reallocating the spectrum band for 5G use. Simultaneously, the FCC has worked to implement the Order’s information collection requirements.