Florida Firm Gears for MVDDS Auction

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A Florida consultant said he has put together a company that would like to
bid for spectrum no longer exclusively reserved for the direct-broadcast
satellite industry.

The Federal Communications Commission in April opened up DBS airwaves for
sharing with ground-based transmitters. The agency plans to put hundreds of
licenses up for auction Feb. 12.

The agency's name for the service is multichannel-video distribution and data
services.

Michael J. Paolini, president of newly formed Wireless CATV Systems Inc.,
based in Boca Raton, said his company plans to go it alone or partner with
deep-pocketed investors to grab some of the licenses.

'This is no game for widows and orphans,' he added. 'This would be a natural
for the power companies.'

Paolini said Thursday that the spectrum is ideal for providing wireless-cable
services that could carry 300 channels -- a huge improvement in channel capacity
for fixed-wireless players trying to compete with cable operators and DBS
carriers.

The FCC is hopeful that MVDDS players will offer high-speed Internet service,
as well.

Northpoint Technology Ltd. is a spectrum-sharing pioneer that failed to
persuade the commission that it should be awarded all of the MVDDS licenses
free-of-charge.

Northpoint officials have promised to protect their patents in court against
auction winners that infringe on them.

'We are not going to use Northpoint technology in my system,' Paolini
said.

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