Westwood One, the national radio arm of Cumulus Media, is urging every major commercial broadcast radio station to register their existing C Band downlinks with the FCC.
Why? WW0 says this should be done before the Commission evaluates the 3.7-4.2 Ghz C Band for added mobile broadband data services.
“These potential additional services could create insurmountable interference to programming stations receive by satellite,” Westwood One believes.
On April 19, the FCC issued a public notice regarding a 90-day opportunity to register existing C Band Downlinks. Westwood One is encouraging stations to register within the window, which closes July 18, so that the FCC is aware of all downlinks in existence before they offer space to mobile broadband data services.
“The FCC believes that if you do not register your downlink during this window, you do not need interference protection moving forward,” Westwood One notes. “It is critical that stations register their downlinks so the FCC is aware of it during this 90-day window or risk losing ALL of their satellite programming.”
Eric Wiler, Westwood One’s SVP/Technology and Operations, says, “In our history, we have never had to license and/or register C Band downlinks. Yet with the extensive use of mobile devices, WiFi and other data services, there is a constant need for radio spectrum and the government is considering all possible options. All C Band Radio, Television and Data services on every satellite are at risk. Registration is key to helping the FCC appreciate the universe of existing downlinks and potential outcomes of expansion.”
Typically, registration requires a Frequency Coordination Study — at a cost of $1,500 — plus a $435 filing fee. During the 90-day window, the FCC waived the first fee; only the $435 filing fee applies.