Knowledgebase: PitchBlue Bulletins
UPDATED - FCC Registration of C-Band Satellite Dishes used for PitchBlue®
Posted by Marc Drazin on 20 April 2018 08:44 AM

PitchBlue® has consistently recommended that all stations using our platform register their C-band receive only dishes with the FCC. If you have not done so, it is now critical that ALL your C-band dishes are registered with the FCC.

On Thursday, April 19th, the FCC announced a temporary freeze on applications for new/modified C-band Earth Station licenses and registrations (including Receive Only antennas), as well as fixed-microwave licenses in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band.  They also established a docket on “Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band.”

On June 21st, the FCC extended their earlier 90-day filing window for EXISTING C-band users (i.e., Earth Stations including Receive Only antennas in operation as of April 19, 2018) that are not yet registered with the FCC to register their facilities. That window now closes on October 17th, 2018.  To encourage registration, the FCC is waiving the frequency coordination requirement. They have also clarified that applicants may register all earth stations at a single geographic location or address with a single application and pay a single application fee of $435. Further, they have also waived certain rules to allow users with earth stations at multiple locations to register all of those stations with a single application while paying the VSAT system filing fee, which is $10,620.

For the past several months, NAB has been encouraging C-band users to register their Earth Stations (including receive only antennas) with the FCC in anticipation of a specific “mid-band” proposal to offer wireless broadband services (5G) in the 3.7 – 4.2 GHz spectrum (or some portion of that spectrum). The FCC is poised to issue a specific proposal, and only registered Earth Stations may be protected from interference or reimbursed for costs relating to establishing alternative/replacement service.

The NAB’s discussions with FCC staff indicate that applicants for C-band registration can still apply for “ALSAT” protection (over the entire domestic arc) as well as full-band operation, even if the present operation is limited to a particular satellite and transponder.  The FCC also encourages registration of ALL antennas at a given site.  This latter suggestion is likely to allow for reimbursement of costs associated with service restoration for each antenna at that site. 

Additional details are in these Public Notices:

The information shared above was assembled by Robert Weller, the Vice President for Spectrum Policy, and Patrick McFadden, the Associate General Counsel, at the NAB. Mr. Weller can be reached by calling the NAB at 202-429-5397 or via e-mail at Mr. McFadden can be reached by calling 202-775-4983 or via e-mail at

Marc Drazin

Program Director

PitchBlue® content distribution platform