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Satellite Repeater Rules Fiercely Debated

Satellite Repeater Rules Fiercely Debated

NAB is fighting to get the FCC to require Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio publicize the location and power levels of their terrestrial repeaters to prevent interference to all licensees, not just those who paid for their spectrum. In reply comments filed with the commission on the proposed rules governing the terrestrial repeaters, NAB compared Sirius and XM to pirate radio operators “who believed they had the right to transmit without a license and without public disclosure.” The FCC has spent several years litigating against such pirates, NAB stated.
Sirius has suggested that it puts its repeater information on its Web site. Not good enough, says NAB. “A licensee who may be experiencing interference from an unknown source should be able to check the FCC database to pinpoint the cause of the interference,” stated NAB in its comments.
XM supports the FCC’s proposal to require SDARS licensees to provide notice and technical parameters to Wireless Communications Services licensees, Multipoint Distribution Service licensees and Instructional Television Fixed Service licensees. The point is to prevent interference to such services.
In earlier comments on the issue, NAB said the commission should adopt clear language in the service rules to ensure that the same programming is being transmitted at the same time throughout the repeater networks. Although the FCC has said it will prohibit local program origination for the repeaters, at issue is how to craft the rules to say that.