Three Important Facts to Know About the FCC Licensing Process


Filing a license application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a fixed earth station can be a tricky process – exactly why Link Up Communications offers to prepare and file FCC licenses for each new customer.

What’s so difficult about the process? Essential, precise information must be correctly completed on the form for your project to move forward. If you’re not familiar with the appropriate forms and calculations, your application will be rejected – leaving you to start the process over again. For folks needing satellite, this delay can cost you precious time and money.

Whether you currently have a satellite uplink, or you are weighing the pros and cons of installation, here are three important facts everyone should know about the licensing and renewal process:

Know the ins and outs. If completed correctly, the KU-Band license application takes 45-60 days from filing to assigning. It does not require extensive frequency coordination and searches, though it does require the correct form, accurate calculations, and a precise geo-coordinate location.

The C-Band license is a totally different beast. Expect to complete three months of detailed interference analysis and frequency coordination before you file the license. Then, the FCC typically takes another three months for processing for a total of six months from beginning to end.

Experience is critical. Here’s where having someone who is familiar with the FCC process complete the application for you is essential. The math is “unique”, and not for the faint of heart. You are calculating things like antenna gain and RF emissions. And it’s critical that these calculations are correct.

Don’t stick it in a drawer and forget about it. The FCC won’t. Just ask the radio ministry in Texas, cited in the link below. For allowing their license to expire, the FCC slapped the group with a $16,000 fine. FCC Fines KSBJ for Unlicensed Uplink Operation. All changes – like the name of your company or your physical address – must be accurately reflected on your license.

Whether a broadcaster or a content provider, remember that – when dealing with the FCC – details matter. Mistakes are expensive. The fine levied on the Texas radio ministry cost the organization 10X more than the price of a typical KU-Band license application with Link Up. Arming yourself with basic knowledge about the process and letting the experts file FOR you, can save you – literally. Oh, and so can circling that ever important renewal date on the calendar!