SIA Supports Phased-In HD Carriage Proposal

While broadcasters stated their position on the carry-one, carry-all locals debate, satellite TV interests won support from another group for its approach to the must-carry proposal.

In a letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission this week, the Satellite Industry Association and its President Patricia Cooper told the agency that it should consider the four-year, phased-in proposal offered by DBS companies for any HD must carry requirement.

"Satellite companies provide services using finite satellite allocations and spacecraft. Both DBS providers, and the satellite industry generally, maximize their available capacity to compete with terrestrial and other service providers," the Cooper/SIA letter stated.

"In order to satisfy HD must carry requirements, satellite operators must use and have access to additional spectrum resources and construct new spacecraft."

Cooper said satellite construction is a time consuming and resource-intensive process. "From start to finish, a state-of-the-art spot beam satellite takes approximately four years to plan, contract for, design, construct and launch," the letter said. "In all, it costs on average $350 million per DBS satellite."

Also, Cooper said new spectrum resources would be necessary to satisfy a new DBS carriage obligation. "Incorporating and integrating such new spectrum resources into an existing satellite fleet, consumer dish configurations, and ground infrastructure is also a resource-intensive process," her letter stated.