FCC Denies C-Band Joint Petition for Stay

On June 10, 2020, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“Bureau”) released an Order denying the Joint Petition for Stay (“Petition”) filed by ABS Global Ltd., Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales S.A., Hispamar Satélites S.A. and Hispasat S.A. (the “Small Satellite Operators” or “SSOs”) in the C-Band proceeding (GN Docket No. 18-122). The Bureau concluded that the SSOs failed to make the required showing under the traditional four-factor test that (1) it is likely to prevail on the merits; (2) it will suffer irreparable harm absent the grant of preliminary relief; (3) other parties will not be harmed if the stay is granted; and (4) the public interest would favor grant of the stay.


Specifically, the Bureau found that the Petition was not likely to prevail on the merits because the Commission justified its authority to modify C-band satellite operators’ spectrum access rights under 47 § U.S.C. 316, and did not arbitrarily exclude the SSOs from reimbursement payments. The Bureau also determined that the harm alleged in the Petition is remote rather than imminent, speculative, and does not rise to the level of irreparable injury, as the SSOs “have not come close to demonstrating an existential threat to their businesses.” The Bureau also found that the SSOs did not demonstrate that the public interest favors a grant of the stay because granting the stay would significantly delay the auction and transition process and harm multiple stakeholders. The Bureau emphasized that the decisions made in the Report and Order contribute to the deployment of 5G wireless services as quickly as possible by establishing an aggressive timetable for making this spectrum available and scheduling the auction for later this year.


For additional information please see previous blog post FCC Seeks Comment on Petition for Stay of C-Band Order


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