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ALEXANDRIA, VA, October 26, 2001 – The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) today issued a statement applauding the Bush Administration “Statement of Administration Policy” (SAP) that expresses firm opposition to an effort by Northpoint Technology, Ltd. to persuade Members of Congress to add an extremely controversial amendment to an Appropriations bill.  In the SAP, issued October 25, the Bush Administration states:

“The Administration would strongly oppose any amendment that would restrict the FCC’s ability to assign, via competitive bidding, spectrum licenses that could be used by terrestrial (i.e., non-satellite) services.  Such a provision would interfere with the efficient allocation of Federal spectrum licenses, provide a windfall to certain users, and reduce Federal revenues.”

In response, the SBCA released the following statement:

“There is no public policy or legal justification for Congress to accept Northpoint’s outrageous proposal to change current law and give Northpoint the use of this spectrum for free,” said SBCA Acting President Andy Wright.  “We are gratified that the Bush Administration has joined SBCA, the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), and the many others who oppose Northpoint’s latest and perhaps most outrageous proposal.” 

“Giving Northpoint this valuable public resource would give it an unfair and indefensible advantage over those who have already invested billions of dollars to obtain spectrum and provide service in the market in which Northpoint hopes to compete.  This proposal would limit competition and would cost the U.S. Treasury an estimated $1 billion over five years,” Wright continued.

“If, despite overwhelming proof of interference from Northpoint’s proposed wireless cable system to millions of DBS subscribers, the FCC allows terrestrial users in the DBS spectrum band, the FCC should follow the law.  That means that it must open a filing window to determine whether there are mutually exclusive applications to provide service in the band.  If mutually exclusive applications are present, the FCC must proceed with its normal competitive bidding procedure, and hold an auction for the use of the spectrum,” Wright concluded. 

The FCC is currently considering whether to reallocate the spectrum band that has been set aside for the operation of Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) service to allow a terrestrial wireless cable system, like the one proposed by Northpoint, to operate in the spectrum.  Northpoint is asking Members of Congress to change the law and permit Northpoint to receive use of this valuable public resource for free, should the Commission ultimately decide to reallocate the spectrum.  

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