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Deadlines Looming for 13GHz Licenses, Biennial Ownership Reports

- Stations Urged to Act Now

Waiting until the last minute to file required reports with the FCC is a fool’s game risking costly fines or even the loss of an important license, so stations are urged to act now and eliminate potential headaches.

13 GHZ Operations Certification Due Nov. 29

Texas Television broadcasters have until Nov. 29 to certify the accuracy of their 13GHz licenses – commonly used for studio-transmitter links or ENG – or risk either losing interference protection or having their license canceled altogether.

Sam Matheny, NAB’s chief technology officer, noted in a missive to members last month that stations holding a fixed point-to-point or mobile/ENG license in the 12.7-13.25 GHz band must certify to the FCC by Nov. 29 that the information on the license is accurate and that the facilities are operating as authorized.

The certification is required to allow the FCC to open the 13 GHz band to new, non-broadcast, entrants.
Corrections and other “minor modifications” to the license data must be made in the Universal Licensing System (ULS) with detailed instructions provided in Section 3 of the FCC’s public notice.

Matheny, who has made several presentations at the annual TAB Show in recent years, explained that the FCC froze major modifications of 13GHz facilities unless a waiver is granted.

FCC rules provide the criteria for major modifications, including changes in transmit antenna location by more than five seconds and changes in emission type, and the commission is likely to consider waivers that do not increase relocation costs that must be paid by new entrants.


Biennial Ownership Reports Due Dec. 1

Commercial and noncommercial broadcasters must file their ownership reports on FCC Forms 323 or 323-E, respectively.

This fundamental obligation applies to every commercial and noncommercial full power TV, Class A TV, LPTV and AM and FM station – even if there was no change in ownership since the last report filing.

LPFM stations are exempted from this report.

The attorneys at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, TAB’s FCC legal counsel, note that the FCC hosted a video information session in 2021 on how to file the report.


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