Tuesday, August 15, 2006

XM and Sirius Propose Rules for Repeaters

Yesterday, XM and Sirius jointly proposed principles to the FCC for establishing the final rules for satellite radio repeaters and WCS transmitters. They proposed the following:

  1. New satellite radio repeaters and WCS transmissions "shall not exceed an average level of -44 dBm (100 dBuV/m)".
  2. No change in the existing satellite radio and WCS rules.
  3. Existing sites to be grandfathered in.
  4. Co-location of satellite radio repeaters and WCS sites are permitted as long as the interference is within acceptable limits.
You can read more about the development of rules regarding satellite radio by going here and typing 95-91 in the "Proceeding" field. If you want to understand the history of the development of satellite radio, this is a great place to start.

The most interesting battle going on with regard to satellite radio is the petition filed by the WCS license holders to extend the buildout date for the wcs services. Presently, the deadline is July 2007. If they don't get the extension, many if not all of them could lose their licenses. The WCS band is the 30 MHz of frequency on either side of that set aside for satellite radio. One of the major reasons given for the request for the extension is the absence of final rules regarding satellite radio repeaters. XM and Sirius are trying to take this excuse away from them by re-kindling the debate now rather than later. Previously, the WCS licensees didn't show much interest. Obviously, satellite radio has a vested interest in persuading the FCC to deny the extension. This is prime spectrum for satellite radio and the only additional spectrum that they can use directly with the existing satellites. XM and Sirius both could double their bandwidth with the WCS spectrum. Read more by going here and typing 06-102 in the "Proceeding" field.

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