Thursday, May 3, 2007

FCC Adopts Rules for the Broadcasting-Satellite Services

The FCC adopted rules for the 17/24 GHz Broadcasting-Satellite Service (BSS), which is expected to deliver a mix of local and domestic video, audio, data, video-on-demand, and multi-media services to U.S. consumers, including Alaska and Hawaii. In some cases, these services will complement existing Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) services.

The FCC is implementing a first-come, first-served licensing procedure for the 17/24 GHz BSS, as well as various safeguards, reporting requirements, and licensee obligations. It is also establishing rules and requirements for orbital spacing, minimum antenna diameter, and antenna performance standards. The new rules detail limits for uplink and downlink power levels to minimize the possibility of harmful interference. The new rules also stipulate criteria to facilitate sharing in the 24 GHz and 17 GHz bands.

DIRECTV, Pegasus Development DBS Corp., EchoStar, and Intelsat North America have filed applications for 17/24 GHz BSS space station licenses. These applications represent a wide range of system designs and business plans, from complementing existing DBS services to providing a new suite of services which will include standard-definition and high-definition formats.

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