Please contact us with any
questions you may have!

E-mail: info@sbca.org

Phone: (800) 541-5981

Visit Member companies of the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association

SBCA APPLAUDS COMMERCE COMMITTEE'S EFFORTS TO PROTECT CONSUMERS

ALEXANDRIA, VA, March 30, 2000 - Today, the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) issued the following statement regarding the House Commerce Committee's decision to direct the Federal Communications Commission to conduct independent testing of Northpoint Technology to determine if the system causes harmful interference:

"The SBCA applauds the House Commerce Committee for acknowledging the serious threat to the Direct Broadcast Satellite industry's 12 million current subscribers, and its millions of future subscribers, that would result if the FCC allows Northpoint Technology to operate a terrestrial microwave service in the frequency band allocated for DBS services. The Committee's decision to prohibit the Commission from granting Northpoint a license until independent testing can determine the level of interference that would be caused by this unprecedented proposal is an important step forward in our efforts to protect consumers from ruinous interference," SBCA President Chuck Hewitt said.

"The Northpoint proposal threatens the benefits of increased competition to cable --including a real chance to constrain skyrocketing cable rates, that consumers have gained as a result of the long, difficult battle in Congress that resulted in passage of last year's Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act. Clearly the House Commerce Committee does not want interference from Northpoint to stop that progress in its tracks," Hewitt continued. 

The amendment passed by the Committee directs the FCC to refrain from allocating spectrum for, or licensing, Northpoint unless and until it determines, after a review of technical demonstrations conducted by and analyses prepared by an engineering firm or other qualified entity independent of any party and subject to notice and comment procedures, that Northpoint's proposed operations will not cause any harmful interference to existing or future DBS consumers.

"During last night's debate Congressman Mike Oxley - the Amendment's sponsor - and House Telecommunications Subcommittee Chairman Billy Tauzin called on the FCC not to wait for final passage of the bill, but to call the parties in and begin independent testing now. SBCA appreciates their efforts and stands ready to cooperate immediately with that request," Hewitt concluded.

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association of America (SBCA) is the national trade organization representing all segments of the satellite industry. It is committed to expanding the utilization of satellite technology for the broadcast delivery of video, data and voice services. The SBCA is composed of DBS and other satellite service providers, programmers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies.

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association of America (SBCA) is the national trade organization representing all segments of the satellite industry. It is committed to expanding the utilization of satellite technology for the broadcast delivery of video, data and voice services. The SBCA is composed of DBS and other satellite service providers, programmers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies.