Sirius XM Not Happy With The FCC, Again

from the irony dept

Satellite-radio company Sirius XM has never been the best of friends with the FCC, thanks largely to the molasses-like speed with which the Commission moved to approve the Sirius-XM merger and the silly restrictions it attached to its approval — measures which helped push the company into bankruptcy. The animosity is bubbling up again, as Sirius XM isn’t happy that the FCC may soon allow some radio spectrum that’s near the company’s spectrum to be used for wireless broadband services. The spectrum in question is in the 2.3 GHz range. One chunk of it was auctioned off to telcos in 1997, and it’s since been used for fixed backhaul transmissions for their networks, but the FCC (and the telcos) would like to see it used for wireless broadband services like WiMAX. An adjoining chunk is used by Sirius XM’s network of terrestrial repeaters that complement its satellite signal coverage, and the company is concerned about those repeaters being overpowered and interfered with. This is the typical sort of posturing that comes out of any company who has spectrum that’s “threatened” — like broadcasters seeking to use regulation to stifle any competition from new technologies. The interference issues are important, but the FCC knows that, and typically works to ensure that they aren’t a problem. What makes this objection from Sirius XM a little bit ironic, though, is that the the two companies have been cited in the past by the FCC because their terrestrial repeaters violated interference rules. Rules that allow for the more flexible use of spectrum — while respecting interference — are the best way forward for everyone, and like the NAB’s spurious arguments against the Sirius-XM merger, the satellite company’s objections should be rejected here.

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Companies: fcc, sirius xm

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Comments on “Sirius XM Not Happy With The FCC, Again”

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tracker1 (profile) says:

I dropped XM last year...

I had three radios on the service, and only wanted to drop one. (Similar experience recently canceling an order from Dell) I had to make three phone calls. Each time, I got a customer service rep within 5 minutes on hold. They then had to transfer me to the cancellation queue where I was on hold for no less than 45 minutes. The first two times my call was mysteriously dropped a few seconds in after turning down their offers. “I no longer have this radio.” wasn’t understandable enough apparently. By the third call, I dropped the entire account. I hope they all rot in hell, just like AOL and their horrible customer service.

When I scaled back after a layoff a few years back, I dropped my Netflix. Simple couple clicks and I was done. One email every few months (not several a month) after that as a service reminder/advert. Last year, I started up again, because I appreciated the service. If Sirius/XM could figure that one out, I’d probably come back. I also had numerous billing issues with XM, and each time I called they tried to sell me a new radio or upgraded service.

Dear Sirius/XM: First: make it easier to cancel a portion of service (only would have lost one of my three radios). Second: when you have a customer calling because their billing is messed up, don’t try to sell them crap, they’re already pissed off enough. Third: take a queue from Netflix, let your service speak for itself, people will grow your service.

Tlm 1941 (profile) says:

Sirius not happy with FCC

Read Mike Masnik’s column and you’ll know why.

First, “Net neutrality” is a euphemism for “Fairness Doctrine”. “Fairness Doctrine” is a euphemism for Government control of content. Control is what this FCC is all about.

They are going beyond what those who would be using this bandwidth allocation asked for. That’s what Mel Karmazin is rightly concerned about. The government just can’t stand the idea that some part of the spectrum–and more importantly–its content is not under their control.

If you value your internet freedom, run as fast as you can from being sucked in by those pushing “Net Neutrality”.

Those who value that freedom can only hope that when the issue of the FCC’s authority over the net gets before the Supreme Court, that it won’t be under the total spell of a court dedicated unleashing an even more controlling government.

Anonymous Coward says:

I decided to drop my XM service a few years ago because of false advertising. They claimed CD quality, but only a handful of stations even came close to the quality of old fashioned FM radio. Most of the stations were compressed to the point that it was painful to listen to, comparable to listening to an AM transistor radio. Also the programing was bland and uninteresting.

Frank says:

The NFL will not allow

Unless they’ve changed it in the last year, the live NFL channels were not available online either. The NFL will not allow anybody to broadcast games online. (They don’t want to lose subscriptions to their own online service.) That’s the one reason I wouldn’t have canceled my service. I’m not in my car as much as I used to be, and the only reason I would have kept it would be if I could listen to Cowboys games that weren’t on TV in the Connecticut market. Unless I wanted to sit in my car to listen to it(I did one game) I couldn’t use sirius for NFL games and had to pay for’s service.

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