All Eyes on MVDDS Amendment, Auction


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Sep 8, 2003
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Congress will return from Thanksgiving break to pass omnibus appropriations legislation.

It's unclear whether the legislation will include a controversial amendment that would restrict the Federal Communications Commission's ability to auction spectrum for the Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (MVDDS). Northpoint Technology, the Washington, D.C.,-based firm that's at the center of the MVDDS debate, has been lobbying for the amendment.

According to sources, the House will take up appropriations omnibus legislation Dec. 8. The Senate may approve the bill Dec. 9, though there may be some controversial provisions in the bill that need to be worked out before approval.

Satellite interests have been closely watching MVDDS developments in Washington, D.C., worried that the spectrum-sharing wireless technology will interfere with satellite TV signals. The FCC's MVDDS auction is scheduled for January.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the FCC's Wireless Bureau released the names of six applicants deemed acceptable for its MVDDS auction: Winstar, Moontime Wireless, MDS Operations, DTV Norwich, Cass Cable TV, and Council Tree Wireless. There were 21 applicants that were not accepted, among them were Capitol Broadcasting, Satellite Receivers Ltd., and WCS Communications.

Northpoint has said it didn't apply to participate in the MVDDS auction.

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