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FCC Grants SDARS Repeater STAs

FCC Grants SDARS Repeater STAs

The FCC has issued Special Temporary Authority to both Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio to operate their terrestrial repeater networks before the commission issues final repeater rules. NAB and several wireless companies fought the STAs but the commission found them to be in the public interest.
Several restrictions apply, including: “The repeaters of both companies are restricted to the simultaneous retransmission of the complete programming, and only that programming, transmitted by the satellite directly to subscriber’s receivers.”
NAB has been worried about the repeaters being used in the future for local programming, should the business models of XM and Sirius fail.
NAB President/CEO Eddie Fritts stated, “We’re pleased the FCC has explicitly barred satellite radio companies from using their extensive high-powered terrestrial repeater
network from originating local programming. We expect the final FCC rules
authorizing this service will keep this prohibition in place.”
The STAs will expire on March 18, 2002 or on the date permanent repeater rules are issued, whichever occurs first.