Archive for January, 2010

More Spectrum, Please

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010


In an Ex Parte Submission yesterday, the Justice Department is asking the FCC to allocate more spectrum for wireless broadband:

Reallocating spectrum that is being underutilized would encourage the deployment of wireless services and could help to make such services more competitive with wireline offerings. First, an increase in the amount of spectrum that firms could devote to broadband would lower the cost of providing wireless broadband services and encourage entry. Second, more spectrum would allow providers to increase the capacity and reliability of their offerings, thereby bringing them closer to cable modem and fiber-based broadband. Third, the increased capacity in the systems would help support new applications. We urge the Commission to give priority to making more spectrum available to wireless broadband providers so as to maximize their potential to compete against the established wireline ones. According to the FCC Broadband Status Report, there is no time to spare, given the exploding demand for broadband mobile use, the long lags historically experienced in allocating spectrum to new uses, and the danger that "the spectrum pipeline is drying up."

We’re all for it here. Good luck in getting the DoD to surrender some of its spectrum. We have a better chance is getting of that "white space" made available by the digital transition by broadcasters.

The DoJ is correct in citing direct-broadcast satellite’s introduction as bringing true competition to the video marketplace, and making more spectrum available to wireless broadband services will likely have the same effect.

 U.S. Frequency Allocation Chart

More HD for DirecTV

Monday, January 4th, 2010


Beautiful launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome last week, putting DirecTV 12 into orbit:

The new satellite will boost DIRECTV’s High-Definition capacity by 50 percent, to more than 200 HD channels, increase the number of local HD markets DIRECTV will serve and significantly expand movie choices on the DIRECTV CINEMA™ and DIRECTV on DEMAND services. DIRECTV offers more than 130 HD channels today and delivers local HD programming to 138 markets, representing 92 percent of U.S. TV households. Click here to see which HD channels DIRECTV currently carries.

D12, a Boeing 702 model satellite, lifted off on an International Launch Services Proton Breeze M vehicle at 4:22 p.m. PT yesterday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Controllers at the ground station in Hartebeesthoek, South Africa, have made contact with the satellite and confirmed that all systems are functioning properly. 


Here’s the integration work…


…and the traditional 6:30 a.m. roll-out (yeah, it was cold) …


…and finally, the launch itself…