Wednesday, January 17, 2007

XM Files Second Application for Very Low Power Repeaters and Signal Boosters

On December 19, 2006, the FCC granted XM 30 day authority to operate very low powered powered repeaters and signal boosters at tradeshows. Today, XM applied for a second 30 day authority. When XM applied for the original 30 authority, they also applied for a 180 day authority, which the FCC has yet to rule on.

The news here is not the second application. It is how the FCC is dragging its feet on all satellite radio applications--XM's and Sirius'. XM and Sirius have been reduced to groveling before the WCS Coalition and the FCC every 3o days for applications that used to be automatic. It is evident that the FCC is either trying to punish satellite radio or is trying to disrupt its business. There are much more important applications out there, especially the ones for repeaters, that the FCC is dragging its feet on. The FCC decisions have the ability to destroy satellite radio. The FCC has been dragging its feet for years in establishing permanent rules for repeaters. There used to be some degree of uncertainty from one six month period to another. Now it is complete uncertainty from one 3o day period to the next. XM and Sirius can't do anything without first getting approval from the WCS Coalition (effectively AT&T). What's their motivation? Without satellite radio, they would have 30 MHz of unobstructed spectrum, spectrum they paid almost nothing for (55 MHz if you include the spectrum of satellite radio). It is sad to see the FCC influenced so much by the WCS Coalition. It is at the expense of the satellite radio subscriber. If they had this spectrum, it would be worth billions to the WiMax industry. Who knows; maybe AT&T will buy satellite radio.

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