The Federal Communications Commission is planning to auction off C-band spectrum so it can be used for 5G. ACA Connects and others are urging precautions to limit the impact on companies using those airwaves for video operations.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai last month confirmed plans to hold a public auction for 280 megahertz of C-band spectrum (between 3.7 GHz and 4.2 GHz) before the end of 2020. The multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) and programmers currently using that spectrum for distributing and receiving video would still be able to use the upper 200 megahertz of the C-band under the FCC’s proposal.
But ACA Connects, which represents cable and telecom operators, said that would require companies to make substantial facility upgrades necessary to receive video over a compressed portion of the C-band. The group is pushing the FCC to provide monetary support for MVPDs and programmers who choose to shift operations from the C-band to fiber-based network solutions.
“The reallocation of C-Band spectrum for 5G must come with adequate protections for incumbent MVPDs, including the option to use relocation funds to obtain fiber-based video transport solutions that meet their needs. Vubiquity and MobiTV’s recent filings provide two examples of such solutions that exist in the marketplace today. ACA Connects encourages the FCC to take these filings into account as it develops and seeks comment on a post-auction transition plan for incumbent MVPDs,” ACA Connects said in a statement.
During a recent meeting with the FCC, Vubiquity – which operates a fiber distribution network that serves more than 100 MVPDs and programmers – asked the FCC to make available to MVPDs and programmers funds for upgrading their networks along with limited funds for implementing IP connections to major points of presence on Vubiquity’s network.
“Use of the Vubiquity fiber network could assist in keeping transitioning costs low while providing a long term solution to migrating off of C-Band spectrum for those MVPDs looking for a long term fiber network distribution solution,” wrote Vubiquity in an FCC filing.
MobiTV, a similar video transport provider, has filed similar suggestions with the FCC.