Thursday, September 14, 2006

Blame It on Satellite Radio

Yesterday, September 13, 2006, Cellutec, a WCS license holder, filed for an extension of time to build out their system. The deadline for substantial service is July 2007. The reasons cited are as follows:

This request stems from and is necessitated by documented findings that DARS repeaters operating with an EIRP above 2kW cause blanketing interference to WCS facilities. Until the Commission decides the technical parameters within which DARS terrestrial repeaters may operate, the technical development of WCS facilities cannot be completed. Therefore, until the DARS repeater matter is resolved, WCS licensees with authorization to serve the continental United States are effectively unable to construct their facilities and implement their licensed services.

The interesting part is that Cellutec operates out of Guam. This is almost comical. And then they throw in that it is a small, woman owned business. It is difficult to grasp the relevance there, but I have to give them credit for trying.

They do recognize later in the document that there are no repeaters there, but since rules regarding satellite radio repeaters have hindered the development of equipment useful for this spectrum, they should be given a break.

Nearly all the WCS license holders have filed for an extension. Even WCS Wireless has filed for an extension, the company that XM attempted to acquire. They all complain about the rules regarding repeaters. Both XM and Sirius have tried to initiate discussions on the subject in the past. None of the WCS license holders has ever--to our knowledge--participated in these discussions. XM complained about this at one time. Just about one month ago, XM and Sirius attempted to start the discussions again. There has not been one word from any of the WCS license holders.

The WCS license holders got their license for almost nothing. They have warehoused these licenses for nearly 10 years. XM offered WCS Wireless multiples of the amount of money that the WCS licenses holders paid. XM and Sirius have created great value to the public with the spectrum they acquired and did so at an enormous price. The WCS license holders have created nothing of value. The public has been cheated by the WCS license holders. It is time for the FCC to say, "Use it or lose it."

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