The Truth About 5G and Why You Should Hold On To Your Wallet

5g Clay

I’m going to confess something … the title of my blog entry might be a little (or maybe a lot?) misleading.

It wasn’t at all misleading three years ago, when I first penned this blog entry. But things have changed.

Just three years ago the advice I gave to broadcasters outside the Top 46 markets who had NOT registered with the FCC to have their antennas protected with a 5G filter was not to panic, but take their time filtering their downlinks.

But now? No more delays; the time has come.

If you haven’t made the call to filter your C-band antennas as yet, you need to do so now, and quickly. In less than four months 5G broadband will be given the green light to operate at will in the co-shared Mid-band spectrum, in any US market they wish.


In January 2020, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted an Order of Proposed Modification for 5G users to share the Mid-band (or C-band spectrum) with broadcasters. The plan is for 5G broadband to operate in the lower 280 MHz of the C-band spectrum, C-band operators in the upper part, and a 20 MHz of bandwidth as guard band in between.

Broadcasters quickly filtered antennas in the Top 46 markets, while the satellite owners directed C-band earth stations outside these markets to either clear the spectrum or move to the upper part of the bandwidth. They also strongly urged broadcasters who were planning to stay in the C-band spectrum to do their best to mitigate the effects of 5G by installing a 5G filter themselves, no matter where the antennas were located.

The filtering of antennas, the relocation of C-band users, the clearing of C-band space — all of these tasks were assigned a time frame by the FCC to be completed no later than December 5, 2023.


Rehoming C-band broadcasters to the upper part of the bandwidth has been a huge undertaking on the part of the satellite owners, as they have worked with content distributors like us and our C-band clients to make it happen. In fact, I’m happy to say that the two satellite providers we utilize the most for our clients — Intelsat and SES — have both announced they’ve completed the transition of all their C-band users.

Though a guard band between 5G broadband and C-band users will be helpful, the potential for 5G interference is so great that new filters are considered a must-have for any C-band users staying on the Mid-band spectrum.


If your network antennas are located in rural America, there’s a good chance those specific antennas will not need a 5G filter.

But, on the other hand, we are already seeing 5G interference popping up in all sorts of strange places, like a mountain top in rural Kentucky at a cable headend near a very small community.

So perhaps it’s better to be safe than sorry.
No matter what market you are in, if you have a C-band antenna and have NOT BOUGHT a filter as yet, you need to do so now, and install it before the December 5th compliancy deadline imposed by the FCC.