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I recently wrote about the offer from SES to reimburse C-band earth station users for their FCC registration fees. SES S.A. is major a communications satellite owner and operator providing video and data connectivity worldwide to broadcasters, content and Internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, governments and institutions. Its SES 6 has 43 C-band transponders.
We now have more details from an SES contact. Reimbursement may be available to U.S. C-band earth station operators who submit their registrations for C-band antennas operating in the contiguous U.S. That would include only the lower 48 U.S. states, excluding Alaska and Hawaii. SES will reimburse for FCC registration fees for radio broadcasters, TV broadcasters, and also for cable systems, DTH providers, video programmers, NVPs and others, subject to the following conditions:
- Proof of submission of the registration fee to the FCC must be provided demonstrating FCC Registration no later than October 31st, 2018.
- Only registrations submitted between July 25th, 2018 and October 17th, 2018 are eligible for reimbursement.
- Reimbursement is limited to the registration fee of $435 per earth station, and
- Reimbursement is at all times subject to the availability of appropriated funds by SES. No other charges or costs will be reimbursed by SES. So, you won't be able to obtain reimbursement for engineering or legal fees.
- Operator eligibility is not dependent on the size of their operations; however, SES's goal is to assist those for whom the cost of the fee is a barrier to registration.
To be eligible for reimbursement, the claimant must attach and send its FCC confirmation of payment to FCCRegistration@SES.com. Upon receipt, SES will check to determine the eligibility status, and if eligible, will reimburse the claimant. SES reports it is currently working on an efficient method for reimbursement.
SES will notify the claimant if it determines it is not eligible for reimbursement. Operators with or entities serving a large number of earth stations at geographically diverse sites, for example, more than 25 sites, should contact FCCRegistration@SES.com to discuss a method batch filing.
SES has also established a phone line for regulatory information and further questions. That number is (609) 987-4300 or e-mail questions to FCCRegistration@SES.com. Instructions are provided at https://www.SES.com/FCC-registration-or-licensing-c-band-antenna. You can also follow them on Twitter: @SES_namp and @SES_satellites.
Don't forget, registration must be accomplished by October 31st, 2018. Apparently, however, that SES will not reimburse for anyone who submitted prior to July 25th, 2018.
Gregg Skall is a long-time member of Womble Bond Dickinson’s Communications, Technology and Media team who represents broadcasters and other parties in their regulatory dealings before the Federal Communications Commission and in their commercial business dealings.