Northpoint Seeking Congressional Help


After a setback at the Federal Communications Commission, Northpoint
Technology Ltd. is turning to Congress for help in obtaining spectrum without
paying for it at auction.

The Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association sent all members
of the U.S. Senate a letter Sept. 5 protesting Northpoint's latest lobbying
moves, which called for adding favorable language to pending homeland-security

The SBCA said Northpoint is incorrectly asserting that if it could obtain the
spectrum free-of-charge, it would be in position bolster the nation's broadcast
emergency-alert system.

'This argument is false. EAS warnings, as required by law, are available to
everyone in the country from local broadcast stations,' the SBCA said in the

A few months ago, the FCC ruled that direct-broadcast satellite spectrum
could be shared by companies like Northpoint that plan to provide video and data
services using terrestrial transmitters. Northpoint was bitterly disappointed,
however, when the agency ruled that it would auction the terrestrial

A Northpoint source confirmed the Capitol Hill lobbying effort Monday, saying
that the company is working with Sens. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) and Mary Landrieu

The SBCA opposed the FCC's spectrum-sharing rules, claiming that Northpoint's
service would interfere with reception in millions of DBS homes.

Both the SBCA and Northpoint have sued the FCC in federal