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USIMTA TO CHALLENGE FCC'S WIRELESS CABLE APPLICATION RULING IN COURT OF APPEALS

 USIMTA TO CHALLENGE FCC'S WIRELESS CABLE APPLICATION RULING
 IN COURT OF APPEALS
 WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Independent Microwave Television Association (USIMTA) today filed an appeal to strike a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling which limits the application period for multichannel multipoint distribution service or "wireless cable" television licenses to one day.
 The appeal was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington. The USIMTA appeal seeks to overturn the FCC's "Same Day" rule and re-instate the former procedure which provided the public with notice of the filing of any wireless cable application and a reasonable opportunity to compete for the license.
 "Through its adoption of the Same Day Filing rule, the FCC has slammed the door to competition," said USIMTA Executive Director Stephanie Breslin. "The intent of this ruling," added Breslin, "is to close this fledgling industry to new entrants, largely limiting competition in wireless cable to an old-boy network of wireless cable operators."
 Microwave, or wireless cable, television is similar to conventional cable services in that it provides multi-channel video programming to consumers on a subscription basis. Instead of using a coaxial cable, however, it uses microwave radio frequencies to transmit its programming. Operating licenses for microwave television systems are awarded by the FCC.
 In October of 1990, the FCC modified the application process for wireless cable licenses, narrowing the filing period from 60 days to the same day on which the first qualified application for a particular market is filed. The new rule allows a single applicant to lock-out others from filing competing applications without regard to issues of diversification, minority enhancement, public comment, or notification, and represents a substantial departure from the basic tenets of the Communications Act of 1934, the First Amendment, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the spirit and mandate of Congress when it authorizes both lotteries and social incentive enhancements for new entrants and minorities seeking mass media licenses.
 In December of 1990, USIMTA challenged the FCC's adoption of the Samey? ruling. In October of this year, the FCC rejected the USIMTA petition.
 "Microwave delivery television systems will provide quality programming options to millions of rural and uncabled households," Breslin said. "The membership of USIMTA will not sit idle as our industry goes the way of the cable industry." Breslin added, "We have seen what limited competition has done to that industry -- and ultimately to cable subscribers. Now the FCC wants to restrict competition in the wireless industry as well."
 USIMTA was founded in 1990 to stimulate growth in the emerging wireless cable industry. The organization's membership is primarily individuals and small businesses including applicants for licenses, wireless system operators and builders, equipment manufacturers, engineers, telecommunications attorneys, application filing companies, and consultants.
 -0- 12/23/91
 /CONTACT: Stephanie Breslin of the United States Independent Microwave Television Association, 714-493-8968, or Charles Miller for USIMTA, 202-289-0800/ CO: United States Independent Microwave Television Association ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:


DC -- DC013 -- 4882 12/23/91 14:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 23, 1991
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