The Federal Communications Commission should reverse a decision allowing
EchoStar Communications Corp. to direct one spot beam on its "EchoStar 7" satellite toward Mexico City
rather than toward a U.S. market, Northpoint Technology Ltd. said Tuesday.
Approval of EchoStar 7's launch was granted Jan. 15.
Despite opposition from Northpoint and the National Association of
Broadcasters, the FCC accepted EchoStar's argument that directing the Mexico
City beam to a U.S. market would create harmful interference with the 12 other
spot beams on the satellite that are being directed to domestic markets.
Northpoint said EchoStar failed to provide any evidence that the Mexico City
beam would create interference to the other directed transmissions and pointed
out that DirecTV Inc.'s similar "DirecTV4S" satellite will aim more than 25 spots at U.S.
Spot-beam transmissions are necessary for satellite distributors to offer
local broadcast channels in their home markets.
The NAB did not join in asking the FCC to reconsider its order.
Northpoint is seeking FCC permission to build a terrestrially delivered
multichannel system that will compete with direct-broadcast satellite.
Northpoint's system is opposed by EchoStar.