FCC Gets C-Band Win in Court Over Regional Operators
An appeals court has denied a request for stay on the FCC’s C-band auction brought by a group of regional satellite operators. On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied a motion to stay the C-band order in the case PSSI Global Services, L.L.C., vs. FCC. The court said the appellants did not satisfy the “stringent requirements for a stay pending appeal.”
The motion was filed by PSSI Global Services in April and was supported by a group of small satellite companies — ABS, ARSAT, Hispamar Satellites, and Hispasat — ineligible for incentive payments or replacement compensation. The small satellite operators argue the FCC is unlawfully reducing their spectrum and enriching their competitors who will receive compensation — Intelsat, SES, Telesat, Eutelsat, and Star One.
PSSI Global Services, which operates a fleet of more than 60 C-band and Ku-band vehicles and provides live event transmission, distribution and programming insert reception, including global satellite communication services, argued the order approved in February will “destroy” its special event satellite broadcast transmission services.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai praised the court’s decision.
“Today’s ruling is great news for American consumers and U.S. leadership in 5G. I am very pleased that the D.C. Circuit rejected this attempt by small satellite operators with no U.S. operations in the C-band to delay our efforts to repurpose critical mid-band spectrum. The FCC will continue to defend our order on the merits, and I look forward to our C-band auction beginning on December 8.”
The parties have been asked to submit proposed formats and schedules for the briefing of these cases by June 29.