Sunday, December 24, 2006

XM Files Two Supplements Regarding Repeater Network

XM, at the request of the FCC, filed two supplements analyzing 130 markets in addition to the 4 markets covered in the original memorandum regarding their modified repeater network. XM again makes the point that they are currently authorized to build a more extensive, more powerful network more prone to cause interference than the network of repeaters currently proposed. If the WCS Coalition is truly concerned about interference, they should embrace XM's proposed network with open arms. One has to wonder what their motives are for opposing it. It is clearly to their advantage.

Clearly there were variances to the original repeater networks, mostly pragmatic adjustments to theoretical networks. There is no reason to punish XM nor Sirius for accurate reporting. In fact, they deserve credit for doing so. The satellite radio providers are not the criminals that some make them out to be. Quite the contrary. Clearly, there are ulterior motives involved. It is disappointing to see the FCC used as their tool, rather than competing openly. Hopefully, with GM, Honda, Toyota, and Pioneer entering the fray, the political clout of the AT&T-BellSouth behemoth can be neutralized. It has been brought up by one of the WiMax groups before that perhaps AT&T and BellSouth should have to sell off their WCS licenses as a condition of the proposed merger. Originally, the WCS licenses were held mostly by smaller players. One by one, most have fallen in the hands of AT&T or BellSouth. Today, AT&T-BellSouth combo is the single largest holder of these licenses. AT&T-BellSouth is the major player in the WCS Coalition, the group behind much of the opposition to the satellite radio networks. If there were no satellite radio repeaters, they would have 30 MHz of unencumbered spectrum in which to operate WiMax services, which would be worth billions--many billions. And if satellite radio weren't there, that would add another 25 MHz. They paid fractional pennies per MHz/Pop for this spectrum and have mostly warehoused this spectrum, yet it is satellite radio that hangs in the balance. Something just doesn't seem right.

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