Commission may accelerate MVDDS build-out regulations

With the Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (MVDDS) spectrum auction set for June 25, the FCC has indicated a willingness to accelerate build-out requirements for winning licensees that offer competition with cable and satellite TV services.

Last week, the commission raised the question of whether a mandate to provide "substantial" service to license areas within 10 years should be coupled with a less restrictive five-year build-out goal.

MVDDS is a new ground-based video and broadband communications service that can deliver television programming and high-speed Internet connections in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band. The spectrum is shared by the DBS service and the non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) fixed-satellite service (FSS).

The FCC adopted MVDDS service and technical rules that permit operators to share the 12 GHz band with DBS and NGSO FSS operators on a co-primary basis, subject to the condition that they do not cause impermissible interference to the DBS service.

MDS American and Northpoint Technology, both expected bidders in the auction, have told the FCC that a quicker build-out is needed to insure a timely rollout of services and to prevent auction winners from sitting on the spectrum.

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