Sunday, December 31, 2006

WCS Coalition Opposes Sirius' 30 Day Request to Operate Repeater

It was reported earlier that the WCS Coalition had opposed Sirius' 180 day request to operate a replacement repeater for the one formerly located at the StarDust Hotel in Las Vegas. Recently, its opposition to Sirius' second 30 day request surfaced on the FCC International Bureau website. It takes a while before the Ex Parte filings make their way to public access. Many of the filings appear on the WCA website well before they ever appear at the International Bureau. This particular one did not appear on the WCA website.

The Coalition opposes Sirius' request on the grounds that Sirius did not demonstrate extraordinary circumstances or that it was in the public interest. And, of course, they object to it being above 2,000 EIRP and complain because Sirius did not specify whether it was peak or average, even though they are required to specify it as peak. The Coalition also objects by trying to paint this as a new repeater, not a replacement, saying that Sirius already has permission to operate a repeater at the StarDust Hotel. Oh, and once again, the Coalition points out that the FCC made an error in granting Sirius' first 30 day request (good to see that they know the FCC's business better than the FCC itself...NOT). It describes Sirius' omission of why they can't simply deploy several repeaters operating at or below 2,000 EIRP as startling.

First of all, it must be recognized that there are NO WCS operations with which the repeater could possibly interfere. Nor will any WCS operator build anything in the next 30 days. And if the impossible were to occur, the repeater would be operated on a non-interference basis, so Sirius would have to take action if any interference did occur. Seeing that they haven't built anything out in the last ten years, they aren't likely to do anything in the next 30 days.

As for extraordinary circumstances, the Hotel is being razed to the ground and Sirius was requested to remove the repeater by December 15, 2006. If this is not an extraordinary circumstance, we implore the Coalition to tell us what they consider extraordinary. It is doubtful that if Nevada were to fall into the ocean due to an earthquake that this would be considered extraordinary. The Coalition is being disingenious here. They say that Sirius already has permission to operate a repeater at the StarDust Hotel and they don't need a new repeater, even though they know the Hotel will soon be destroyed. The Coalition played this game with XM as well. There were minor differences in the locations where repeaters were originally approved. It's response was that XM could simply relocate its repeaters to the original location, completely ignoring the fact that the differences reported were due to typos, towers being destroyed, leases running out, etc. It is a silly argument and they know it. As far as the public interest goes, being able to receive the entertainment, Amber alerts, traffic information, etc., certainly out-weighs any theoretical inferfence with non-existant WCS operations.

It is a replacement repeater, pure and simple, and the FCC should recognize it as such, just as they did for the first application. It is in no way a new repeater. There is NO reason why Sirius should have to go to the extraordinary circumstance of replacing one repeater already approved by the FCC with 8 or 9 repeaters or more just to avoid theoretical interference with non-existant operations for the next 30 days.

As far as wheter it is average or peak power, the FCC should recognize this argument for what it is--stupidity and/or ignorance.

We think that the FCC should show that it knows its business quite well and should grant Sirius' second request as expediously as it did the first request.


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