From our friends at SkyReport.com
A newsletter distributed around Capitol Hill recently took aim at Northpoint Technology and its efforts to gain exclusive licenses for the Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (MVDDS), the controversial spectrum-sharing wireless technology.
In September, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment, tied to an appropriations bill, favoring Northpoint and its efforts to avoid an auction for MVDDS licenses. In a newsletter distributed by Republican staff of the Senate Budget Committee, critics said the amendment "would so narrowly limit the eligibility for the particular spectrum license that it would most likely have the result that the FCC would not conduct the scheduled auction, and that ultimately Northpoint would acquire the licenses for free."
The "Budget Bulletin" said the Congressional Budget Office has estimated a MVDDS auction would generate $60 million for the Treasury. The Senate amendment, however, "is equivalent to appropriating $60 million for one company – Northpoint – and letting them use those taxpayer funds to 'win' the spectrum at an 'auction' of one bidder," stated the newsletter.
The Bulletin added, "If the Administration’s resolve is not sufficient to prevent this amendment from being enacted, the amendment would effectively kill the spectrum auction program for 2004 - as the Northpoint auction is the only significant one scheduled for the upcoming year - and foretells the demise of this successful program."
Satellite TV interests have been fighting MVDDS, worried that the spectrum-sharing technology will interfere with DBS signals.