Satellite industry sends Congress signals


The satellite industry took the results of independently performed interference tests to Capitol Hill this week, sending a letter to all lawmakers.

"Make no mistake," wrote SBCA President Charles Hewitt, DirecTV Global Chairman Eddy Hartenstein and EchoStar Communications Chairman Charlie Ergen. "Despite what you may be hearing from Northpoint, the results of this independent test are devastating to its case for terrestrial sharing of the DBS band." The letter cites the executive summary of the report conducted by independent FCC contractor Mitre Corp., which found that "multichannel video and data distribution system (MVDDS) sharing of the 12.2-12.7 gigahertz band currently reserved for direct broadcast satellite poses a significant interference threat to DBS operation in many realistic operational siutations."

"There should be no more disputes as to whether or not interference from Northpoint poses a major problem for many of the 40 million DBS viewers. It does. Period," the satellite industry executives wrote.

Northpoint, which says it is the only proposed MVDDS service that provided testing equipment to Mitre, disagrees that this is the result of the report. "The DBS industry has severely misrepresented the report's contents and conclusions," Northpoint executives told members of Congress on Monday. "The most egregious assertion is that Mitre concluded Northpoint's patented system poses a significant threat of interference."
- Paige Albiniak