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The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

If You Plan to Take the Lump Sum

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[August 2020] The FCC released its plans for reimbursements to users of satellite receive dishes that have been registered with the agency’s database. For some, it looks like a lot of money, and an incentive to take the “lump sum.” Mark Johnson notes some potential issues that should be considered.

There are more than a couple of critical points from the Public Notice regarding DA 20-8021 that are going to make filing with the FCC for reimbursements more complicated or leave stations hanging.

Checklist

Here are some of the things you should carefully consider:

  • That the information contained in the lump sum election is true and accurate to the best of the incumbent earth station owner (if an individual) or duly authorized representative knowledge
  • That all earth stations for which the lump sum is being elected will not have ceased operation more than 90 days before the deadline for the lump sum election
  • That, if the incumbent earth station owner intends to continue to receive content from a satellite operator after the transition at any of its earth station antennas, it accepts responsibility for undertaking the necessary transition actions in accordance with the timelines set forth in the satellite operators’ Transition Plans
  • That the incumbent earth station owner agrees to coordinate with the relevant space station operator as necessary to complete the transition
  • An irrevocable release of claims for reimbursement for actual reasonable relocation costs from the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse, eligible satellite operators, or video programmers
  • An irrevocable release of claims against the payor and/or Commission with respect to any dispute about the amount received.
  • It will be important that stations have to be sure complete all of this paperwork correctly
  • And, finally, if they have multiple downlinks or polarities but only registered one antenna, they may only get $8,950 for all downlinks at their location.

At this time, we are trying to work with a group to come up with a “One Stop” solution if someone chooses the “Lump Sum” option.

Feel free to contact us with any questions about this process.

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Mark Johnson is co-owner of LinkUp Communications, a broadcast integration company based in Panama City, Florida, and specializing in satellite technology.

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