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Tauzin, Green Press FCC on XM Repeaters

Tauzin, Green Press FCC on XM Repeaters

NAB’s efforts to focus legislators on XM Satellite Radio over the repeater issue seem to be paying off.
House Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., and Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, have restated concerns – first expressed a year ago – suggesting that XM disclose its plans for offering localized programming in markets where it wants permanent terrestrial repeater licenses.
“Our concern regarding permanent licenses has significantly increased with the recent announcement by XM of a new service that would transmit localized weather programming to marine, aviation, and emergency subscribers,” state the lawmakers in a letter to FCC Chairman Powell.
“It is clear that nothing now stops XM from taking this a step further and offering local programming in the terrestrial radio market to hundreds of thousands of automobile subscribers.”
Tauzin and Green believe the final repeater licenses should prohibit XM from using the devices to carry local programming, as the STAs do.
NAB has expressed its concern over XM’s plans. But the satellite company says the weather service is national and the satcaster continues to comply with FCC rules.
The Next Generation Radar Weather Information Service is available for about $49 per month (separate from am XM subscription). It’s marketed to pilots, boaters or emergency personnel, who can load the weather program on their laptops and carry the devices with them, so they can see weather graphics and receive regional information, a spokesman said.