SBCA PRESIDENT ANDREW WRIGHT TESTIFIES
BEFORE SENATE COMMUNICATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
WASHINGTON, May 22, 2003 – SBCA President Andrew S. Wright told the Senate Subcommittee on Communications today that permitting a terrestrial wireless cable service to operate in spectrum band set aside for direct broadcast services poses a significant threat of ruinous interference to millions of DBS current and future subscribers. The hearing was led by the Subcommittee Chairman Conrad Burns (R-MT).
“The ability of DBS to offer subscribers a competitive alternative to wireline technology would be greatly diminished if the satellite signals that carry DBS services to the American public are subjected to interference from other technologies operating in the spectrum that was allocated for DBS’s primary use,” Wright said.
Wright continued: “As Members of Congress you should be extremely concerned by any proposal that would jeopardize the benefits of increased competition that your constituents now enjoy. A third ubiquitous consumer service should not be shoehorned into the DBS spectrum band at the cost of harming the competition in the multichannel video marketplace that Congress and the Commission have worked for over a decade to foster.”
Wright also affirmed the DBS industry’s commitment to rural Americans and the competition providers offer for video – including HDTV – broadband Internet access and interactive services. “To threaten technical integrity and picture quality of a proven service with guaranteed interference would harm rural consumers,” he said.
“Our greatest concern with this matter is protecting DBS customers from harmful interference. However, we feel strongly that should the FCC’s spectrum-sharing decision ultimately be upheld, Northpoint should not be granted its request for a free, nationwide exclusive license. There is no legal or public policy justification to grant that request. Indeed, the Bush Administration has issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing the Northpoint spectrum grab,” Wright said.
The SBCA and DBS providers have an appeal pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit of the Federal Communication Commission’s decision to introduce a terrestrial service into the DBS spectrum band.
The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (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, music, voice, interactive and broadband services. The SBCA is composed of DBS, C-band, broadband, satellite radio, and other satellite service and launch vehicle providers, content providers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies that make up the satellite services industry.