Congress plans to pass a bill that would require the FCC to test
whether Northpoint Technology's spectrum-sharing proposal would interfere with
services on the 12 GHz spectrum band. The measure is sponsored by Rep. Mike
Oxley (R-Ohio) and has been shepherded through Congress by House Majority
Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas). Northpoint had opposed the measure, both because
it didn't want tests to cause any more licensing delays and because the bill
would have made Northpoint a secondary service to other non-DBS services
planned by Alcatel-backed Skybridge and Boeing.
While the bill still requires testing, it no longer requires the FCC
to consider Northpoint a secondary service. The measure will be attached to a
larger bill that grants $1.25 billion in federal loan guarantees to help local
TV signals be delivered to rural households.