Friday, June 11, 2010

FCC Adopts Rules Governing WCS and Satellite Radio

The saga appears to be over. On May 20, 2010, the FCC issued its Report and Order and Second Report and Order on the rules governing the Wireless Communication Services (WCS) and the Rules and Policies for Satellite Radio. We noticed today that Sirius XM has withdraw its applications for repeaters. Presumably, this is because it now has (or will soon have) the coveted blanket authority to set up repeaters up to 12 KW. That means that within the parameters of the report and order, Sirius XM is now free to establish repeaters wherever it wants without the burden of having the FCC approve each application. It still has to fill out the applications and state the maximum number of repeaters, and the FCC still has the discretion to disallow the maximum number of repeaters, so the authority is not unlimited.

It does mean, however, that the WCS will be operating around the satellite radio band and there could be some interference. Neither side seems to be particularly happy, so the rules must be reasonably balanced between allowing WCS to operate their services and satellite radio to tolerate some interference.

The rules are to take effect 30 days after publication in the federal register.

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