47 U.S. Code § 342 - Process for issuing qualified carrier certification

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(a) Certification
The Commission shall issue a certification for the purposes of section 119 (g)(3)(A)(iii) of title 17 if the Commission determines that—
(1) a satellite carrier is providing local service pursuant to the statutory license under section 122 of such title in each designated market area; and
(2) with respect to each designated market area in which such satellite carrier was not providing such local service as of the date of enactment of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010—
(A) the satellite carrier’s satellite beams are designed, and predicted by the satellite manufacturer’s pre-launch test data, to provide a good quality satellite signal to at least 90 percent of the households in each such designated market area based on the most recent census data released by the United States Census Bureau; and
(B) there is no material evidence that there has been a satellite or sub-system failure subsequent to the satellite’s launch that precludes the ability of the satellite carrier to satisfy the requirements of subparagraph (A).
(b) Information required
Any entity seeking the certification provided for in subsection (a) shall submit to the Commission the following information:
(1) An affidavit stating that, to the best of the affiant’s knowledge, the satellite carrier provides local service in all designated market areas pursuant to the statutory license provided for in section 122 of title 17 and listing those designated market areas in which local service was provided as of the date of enactment of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010.
(2) For each designated market area not listed in paragraph (1):
(A) Identification of each such designated market area and the location of its local receive facility.
(B) Data showing the number of households, and maps showing the geographic distribution thereof, in each such designated market area based on the most recent census data released by the United States Census Bureau.
(C) Maps, with superimposed effective isotropically radiated power predictions obtained in the satellite manufacturer’s pre-launch tests, showing that the contours of the carrier’s satellite beams as designed and the geographic area that the carrier’s satellite beams are designed to cover are predicted to provide a good quality satellite signal to at least 90 percent of the households in such designated market area based on the most recent census data released by the United States Census Bureau.
(D) For any satellite relied upon for certification under this section, an affidavit stating that, to the best of the affiant’s knowledge, there have been no satellite or sub-system failures subsequent to the satellite’s launch that would degrade the design performance to such a degree that a satellite transponder used to provide local service to any such designated market area is precluded from delivering a good quality satellite signal to at least 90 percent of the households in such designated market area based on the most recent census data released by the United States Census Bureau.
(E) Any additional engineering, designated market area, or other information the Commission considers necessary to determine whether the Commission shall grant a certification under this section.
(c) Certification issuance
(1) Public comment
The Commission shall provide 30 days for public comment on a request for certification under this section.
(2) Deadline for decision
The Commission shall grant or deny a request for certification within 90 days after the date on which such request is filed.
(d) Subsequent affirmation
An entity granted qualified carrier status pursuant to section 119 (g) of title 17 shall file an affidavit with the Commission 30 months after such status was granted stating that, to the best of the affiant’s knowledge, it is in compliance with the requirements for a qualified carrier.
(e) Definitions
For the purposes of this section:
(1) Designated market area
The term “designated market area” has the meaning given such term in section 122 (j)(2)(C) of title 17.
(2) Good quality satellite signal
(A) In general
The term “good quality satellite signal” means—
(i) a satellite signal whose power level as designed shall achieve reception and demodulation of the signal at an availability level of at least 99.7 percent using—
(I) models of satellite antennas normally used by the satellite carrier’s subscribers; and
(II) the same calculation methodology used by the satellite carrier to determine predicted signal availability in the top 100 designated market areas; and
(ii) taking into account whether a signal is in standard definition format or high definition format, compression methodology, modulation, error correction, power level, and utilization of advances in technology that do not circumvent the intent of this section to provide for non-discriminatory treatment with respect to any comparable television broadcast station signal, a video signal transmitted by a satellite carrier such that—
(I) the satellite carrier treats all television broadcast stations’ signals the same with respect to statistical multiplexer prioritization; and
(II) the number of video signals in the relevant satellite transponder is not more than the then current greatest number of video signals carried on any equivalent transponder serving the top 100 designated market areas.
(B) Determination
For the purposes of subparagraph (A), the top 100 designated market areas shall be as determined by Nielsen Media Research and published in the Nielsen Station Index Directory and Nielsen Station Index United States Television Household Estimates or any successor publication as of the date of a satellite carrier’s application for certification under this section.

Source

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, § 342, as added Pub. L. 111–175, title II, § 206,May 27, 2010, 124 Stat. 1250.)
References in Text

The date of enactment of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010, referred to in subsecs. (a)(2) and (b)(1), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 111–175, which shall be deemed to refer to Feb. 27, 2010, see section 307(a) ofPub. L. 111–175, set out as an Effective Date of 2010 Amendment note under section 111 of Title 17, Copyrights.
Effective Date

Section effective Feb. 27, 2010, see section 307(a) ofPub. L. 111–175, set out as an Effective Date of 2010 Amendment note under section 111 of Title 17, Copyrights.

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