Cunningham Seeks Earth Station Reimbursement

Cunningham Communications, a small independent broadband, cable and phone provider in rural Kansas has asked the FCC to add its earth station to the list of those whose move as part of the C-Band spectrum clearing the FCC is paying for. 

Related: FCC Won’t Include IRDs in C-Band Lump Sums

Cunningham said the failure of its earth station to make the list was due to its difficulty in navigating the registration process, and thus paying the $450 filing fee, and has asked either for the FCC to reverse the decision to exclude its earth station from moving expense reimbursement or waive the payment fee deadline that Cunningham missed.  

Cunningham made the payment last month, but the International Bureau refused to add it to the list of covered earth stations, says the company. 

If the FCC does not reverse that decision, it told the commission, “a small cable operator in rural Kansas will likely be forced to spend over $200,000 to transition. No Commission policy supports such an absurd [and “potentially perverse”] result. Accordingly, Cunningham files this Application for Review and Request for Waiver.” 

Cunningham serves approximately 2,605 video subs, 5,320 broadband subs and 3,563 phone customers and is a fourth-generation family run business. 

Related: FCC Rejects Second Petition to Stay C-Band Order

As part of the FCC’s decision to auction 280 MHz of the lower portion of the C-Band for 5G wireless broadband, it is paying incumbent earth station operators for the cost of moving to to the upper 200 MHz.

The request could fall on receptive ears, at least in the chairman’s office.  Chairman Ajit Pai is from rural Kansas and has been attentive to the challenges of rural providers there and elsewhere.


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