Thursday, February 15, 2007

Repeaters in Alaska and Hawaii

Tomorrow, the FCC will designate Sirius' application for repeaters in Alaska and Hawaii as "permit-but-disclose". Basically, the FCC will solicit comment on the application. The NAB wins another one. This is a typical delay tactic. It will be a while before one sees repeaters in Alaska or Hawaii, if ever. This application has been out there since November 07, 2006.

Also tomorrow, the FCC will put Sirius' application to add 15 low powered repeaters on public notice. This application has been in limbo since December 07 (there will be an error in the notice). At least now it will get some attention.

Sirius' second 30 day application filed December 08 to replace its repeater previously located at the StarDust Hotel is still in limbo. The FCC expeditiously granted the first 30 day application. After complaints by the WCS Coalition, the FCC has been sitting on the second application. The Coalition continues to have influence on the FCC.

Edit February 16, 2007
It has been widely reported that Sirius was granted authority to put repeaters in Alaska and Hawaii. The FCC notice today was mis-interpreted by these sources. The application unequivocally has NOT been granted. The application is now is a comment period where the interested parties can present the merits of the application to the FCC. Authority will NOT be granted anytime soon. Careful reading of the notice clearly indicates that the application was NOT granted today. This was taken from the notice today:

SAT-STA-20061107-00131 E

Special Temporary Authority

Date Filed: 11/07/2006 20:09:02:56600

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.

On November 7, 2006, Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. ("Sirius") filed a request for special temporary authority (STA) to operate four satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) terrestrial repeaters in Alaska and in Hawaii with power levels below 2000 watts. The repeaters would operate at the locations, and with the technical characteristics, set forth in Sirius' application. Sirius states that grant of its STA request is necessary to allow it to provide high quality commercial SDARS programming in Alaska and Hawaii. Sirius also states that the terrestrial repeaters will be used to overcome the effects of satellite signal blockage and multipath interference. This application has been designated "permit-but-disclose" for the purposes of the Commission's rules governing ex parte communications. See Policy Branch Information: Actions Taken, Report SAT-00409, DA 06-2575 (released December 22, 2006).

This is similar to the public notice issued on December 22, 2006.

Ex Parte Presentation

Any communication addressing the merits or outcome of a particular proceeding made to decision-making personnel (or in some proceedings, from the decision-making personnel), which, (1) if written, is not served on the parties to the proceeding, or (2) if oral, is made without opportunity for the parties to the proceeding to be present.


Rules requiring that summaries of such (ex parte) presentations be placed in the record. In other words, the parties are allowed to present their case to FCC without the other parties present, but they must file a summary of the presentation to the public record for all to see.

For more information, see the FCC fact sheet on Ex Parte rules.

Edit February 17, 2007
In case there are still doubters, the status below was taken directly from the FCC International Bureau website. Notice the status date and the Grant Date. Click to enlarge.

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Ex-Sirius sub said...

Wouldn't one think that Sirius would fight to get their repeater(s) up and running again in Harrisburg? There's a lot of unhappy subs in the Harrisburg area. Then again if they subbed with XM there would be no problem. I finally made the jump XM and have no regrets dumping Sirius.

Bert said...

See the previous post. Harrisburg is one of the 11 repeaters that Sirius shut down and is now pressing the FCC to allow them to bring the repeater back online. There are other areas where there are unhappy XM subscribers. The WCS Coalition (AT&T more or less) and NAB are lobbying the FCC to prevent these repeaters, both for XM and Sirius, from coming back on line. In the case of NAB, it is a matter of inflicting damage to its competitor. For the Coalition, they want to clear up the spectrum as much as possible to make room for their WiMax operations. Both of these groups have a lot of influence on the FCC.

Malu said...

For the Coalition, they want to clear up the spectrum as much as possible to make room for their WiMax operations.