NAB: Repeater nets a racket


The National Association of Broadcasters is concerned that extensive repeater networks being set up by new satellite radio companies will provide direct competition with local radio services.

"The time for subterfuge by XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Radio is over," said NAB President Eddie Fritts. "These companies must come clean with regulators and the American people on their true intentions for making satellite radio a viable business."

XM Satellite Radio has asked the FCC for temporary authority to set up some 1,500 repeaters throughout the country, but particularly in the country's 70 largest urban areas. Sirius Satellite Radio plans to build less repeaters, but run them at higher power at 105 sites in 46 cities, according to FCC filings.

NAB is worried that XM and Sirius are going to use the repeaters to build services that include local radio programming, something satellite radio providers thus far have said they didn't have plans to do. And NAB isn't the only group with concerns. Many wireless telephone companies-such as Verizon, AT&T Wireless and BellSouth-are worried that the repeaters will interfere with their phone networks. - Paige Albiniak