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Satnews Daily
June 24th, 2020

Smallsat Operators Lose in DC Court Decision Regarding FCC Auction

Chris Forrester

Journalist Chris Forrester is reporting at the Advanced Television infosite that a court case has been heard by the US Court of Appeals between ABS, Hispasat and Arsat — these companies had been arguing that the FCC should pause the date of Commission’s Dec auction of C-band frequencies over the US.

The trio were deliberately excluded by the FCC from its incentive plan for C-band compensation given to Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat, Telesat and Claro/StarOne.

The Appeal Court ruled against the three small satellite operators saying the Court was not satisfied that the small operators had satisfied the stringent requirements for a “stay pending appeal.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai welcomed the Court’s decision, adding that the ruling was great news for US consumers and leadership in 5G. The FCC had decided the three smaller operators were not eligible for the incentive payouts.

Ajit Pai

“I am very pleased that the D.C. Circuit rejected this attempt by small satellite operators with no US operations in the C-band to delay our efforts to repurpose critical mid-band spectrum,” Pai said. “The FCC will continue to defend our order on the merits, and I look forward to our C-band auction beginning on December 8th.”

However, the arguments may not be over — at least two of the players (Hispasat of Madrid and Arsat of Argentina) are already appealing this decision.