PITTSBURGH, July 30, 2020 – ACA Connects President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding the Public Notice released this morning by the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, which announced the lump sum amounts that would be available to MVPD earth station operators who are required to clear out of the lower portion of the C-band:
“Instead of following the clear instructions of the FCC’s February Order to announce a lump sum amount for earth station operators who want to relocate out of the lower portion of C-band on their own, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau chose to eviscerate the lump sum concept as part of today’s Public Notice. As a result, hundreds of MVPDs who were relying on the text of the FCC’s Order will now be forced to abandon their shovel-ready plans to deploy and use fiber as a satellite replacement. For most, if not all, ACA Connects members, the Bureau’s meager lump sum payment has turned the Order’s option of transitioning to fiber into a non-option.
“It didn’t have to be this way. The lump sum option included in the FCC’s February Order was the product of reasoned decision making that occurred over a very lengthy period of time. Against the backdrop of the over 2-1/2 years it took for the FCC to get to an order in this proceeding, the Bureau could have taken another couple of months to get the lump sum amount right without compromising the C-band auction schedule or the accelerated transition deadlines. However, in its own rush to get things done, the Bureau has wholly discarded the directions of the Commission, and in turn small cable operators—who never asked for this transition, have nothing to gain from it, and only ask to be made whole—are denied the promises the Commission made to them in the C-band Order.”