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SBCA NATIONAL STANDARDS AND TESTING PROGRAM (NSTP) ROLLS OUT NEW SATELLITE RADIO CERTIFICATION

  -- SBCA 2002 To Serve as Launch Site for New Satellite Radio Installation Training and Testing --

ALEXANDRIA, VA, July 17, 2002 – The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) announced today that the SBCA 2002 Annual Satellite Conference and Expo would serve as the launch site for its new Satellite Radio Installation Certification Training and Testing Module, the newest addition to its highly-successful National Standards and Testing Program (NSTP).  In addition, the SBCA’s new Commercial Satellite Installation Certification program will also be launched at SBCA 2002.

“Consumer interest in satellite radio is absolutely skyrocketing,” said SBCA President Andy Wright.  “The reason for this extraordinary interest is the quality of the product that both Sirius and XM deliver to consumers.  The NSTP Satellite Radio Installation Certification training and testing is designed to ensure that the quality of the satellite radio installation matches the quality of the satellite radio product.  Both XM and Sirius have recognized the importance of the DBS distribution network, and we agree that the SBCA 2002 show is the perfect venue for rolling out such a promising program for retailers looking to expand their revenue streams.”

The NSTP Satellite Radio Installation Certification will encompass every aspect of a mobile satellite radio installation including: the installation of the antenna, tuner, and radio frequency (RF) modulator or stereo head-unit (or deck).

The National Standards and Testing program was established by the SBCA, the Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) platform providers (DIRECTV and EchoStar), and several national distributors, and the SBCA Retail Council, to create an industry-endorsed benchmark of knowledge for the installation of satellite products and services.  The program was unveiled in August of 2001 at the SBCA’s annual convention.                                              

The satellite industry’s National Standards and Testing Program currently conducts testing on Small Dish Installation, Multiple Satellite Antenna Installation, and Commercial Satellite Installation.  The program intends to expand its testing to incorporate each and every installation scenario, and hopes to expand its scope into other areas of testing.  Certification is a continuous process of training and testing, where installers/technicians can gain higher levels of certification through additional testing.  Certification is valid for two years, after which time the installer must be re-certified.  SBCA’s NSTP currently has an 80.2 percent pass rate.

In addition to EchoStar and DIRECTV, companies agreeing to the standards and participating in the program currently include: All Systems Distributing, Apex Digital, Circuit City, CVS Systems, DigiVision, Dow Electronics, DSI Systems, JVI Parts, Metron North America, the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC), O’Rourke Bros., Perfect-10, Pegasus Communications, Radio Shack Installation Services, Saturn Distributing, Sirius Satellite Radio, XM Satellite Radio, and numerous independent retailers.

Additional information about the National Standards and Testing Program, and a full schedule of certification and testing dates can be accessed at www.sbca.com, or at www.satelliteretailers.com.

About SBCA

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association of America (www.sbca.com) 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, audio, data, interactive and broadband services.  The SBCA is composed of DBS, C-band, broadband, satellite radio, and other consumer satellite service providers, content providers, equipment manufacturers, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies, that make up the consumer satellite services industry.