WASHINGTON, DC NAB filed comments late yesterday with the Federal Communications Commission regarding rules governing the operation of satellite radio terrestrial repeaters.
NAB noted numerous violations incurred by XM and Sirius Satellite Radio with respect to the companies' operation of terrestrial repeaters.
In the 14-page filing, NAB noted that, among other violations, XM has admitted:
-- 19 repeaters were never authorized at all.
-- 142 repeaters (almost 20 percent of its total number of repeaters) were deployed at locations that differ by at least five seconds from their FCC authorized locations.
-- At least 221 repeaters (almost 28 percent of XM's total) have been operating at power levels that exceed authorized levels.
-- At 21 repeater stations, XM has installed a second or third unauthorized antenna, and at 79 repeater locations, it has installed antennas at heights that exceed authorized levels.
NAB also noted Sirius's repeater violations, pointing out that the company revealed problems with 11 of its terrestrial repeaters. Of the 11 repeaters in question, NAB noted that eight are located at least 1.4 miles away from their authorized locations, four are placed at least five miles from their reported locations, and one in Lansing, Michigan was deployed 67 miles away from its FCC-authorized location.
With regard to local programming origination from satellite radio terrestrial repeaters, NAB recommended that the Commission codify language previously recommended by both XM and NAB, which reads:
"SDARS repeaters are restricted to the simultaneous retransmission of the complete programming, and only that programming, transmitted by the satellite directly to the SDARS subscribers' receivers, and may not be used to distribute any information not also transmitted to all subscribers' receivers."
"The only caveat," NAB requested, would be that "the Commission assure the public that it will carefully monitor and enforce the SDARS licensees' compliance with this and all final repeater rules, especially given their historical pattern and practice of violating the terms and conditions of the STAs governing their terrestrial repeaters," read the filing.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.