FCC Approves Additional Terrestrial Repeaters for Satellite Radio

Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS) operators XM Radio, Inc. and Sirius have found they need to operate terrestrial repeaters to fill in gaps in satellite coverage. XM Radio requested special temporary authority (STA) to operate an additional 49 terrestrial repeaters. Sirius requested an STA to change the technical parameters of its 16 existing terrestrial repeaters to "improve the quality of its service to the public and to implement transmit diversity."

As described in the FCC's Order and Authorization, the FCC approved these STAs, with several conditions, including "Operation of all SDARS repeaters authorized pursuant to this STA is on a non-interference basis with respect to all permanently authorized radiocommunication facilities," and "Any actions taken as a result of this STA are solely at the applicants' own risk. This STA shall not prejudice the outcome of the final rules adopted by the Commission in IB Docket No. 95-91." Wireless Communication Service (WCS) licensees are concerned about potential interference to their facilities for operation of SDARS repeaters on adjacent bands.

Out of band emissions are limited to 75+log(EIRP) less than the transmitter EIRP. The STA expires after 180 days or on the date permanent rules governing repeater operations becomes effective, whichever occurs first.

For details, refer to the Order and Authorization.