FCC ruling clears way for Northpoint


After next week, federal judges will be free to take up Northpoint
Technology's plea to stop a Federal Communications Commission auction of
spectrum designated for a new terrestrial microwave pay TV competitor to direct-broadcast satellite and

The Federal Appeals Court in Washington, D.C., has been holding the case in abeyance
pending FCC reconsideration of several technical rules for the service.

Those issues are now slated for a commission vote April 23.

Northpoint -- which, on its own initiative and expense, proved that the service was
feasible -- argued that it is entitled to the spectrum free-of-charge.

The FCC countered that it is bound by law to solicit bids for the frequencies,
located on the same spectrum band as DBS.

The auction is slated for June 25.