DirecTV, EchoStar unite against MDS America


DirecTV and EchoStar asked the FCC late Monday to stop MDS America from conducting any experiments on its service.

MDS's service allegedy can share direct broadcast satellite spectrum to deliver multichannel video and data services terrestrially without causing interference. The FCC in May gave MDS an experimental license to test its technology in Florida.

The move puts the two DBS companies in a strange alliance with arch-enemy Northpoint Technology, which also wants the FCC to stop the testing, but for different reasons. DirecTV and EchoStar don't want any new company-including and specifically Northpoint-to use the spectrum the FCC allocated for DBS use, while Northpoints wants exclusive terrestrial use of the spectrum to offer video and data services across the country.

DirecTV and EchoStar asked the FCC to freeze new testing on DBS spectrum by any provider. - Paige Albiniak