Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (MVDDS) supports broadband communication services that include local television programming and high-speed Internet access in the 12-GHz band. This is the same band used by Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS). The FCC adopted MVDDS service and technical rules that permit MVDDS operators to share the 12-GHz band with DBS on a coprimary basis subject to the condition that they do not cause impermissible interference to the DBS service.
Specifically, the FCC adopted equivalent power flux density (EPFD) limits for MVDDS to protect DBS subscribers from interference. MVDDS operators are required to ensure that the adopted EPFD limits are not exceeded at any existing DBS customer location. If the EPFD limits are exceeded, the MVDDS operator will be required to discontinue service until the limits can be met. MVDDS power flux density limits, MVDDS spacing rules, and coordination requirements are intended to facilitate mutual sharing of the 12-GHz band.
A“safety valve” allows individual DBS licensees or distributors to present evidence that the appropriate EPFD for a given service area should be different from the EPFD applicable in that zone. With MVDDS, the FCC adopted a geographic licensing scheme and, in the event mutually exclusive applications are filed, will assign licenses via competitive bidding.
A licensing system based on component economic areas (CEAs) will be used with one spectrum block of 500 MHz available per CEA. In setting up the rules for MVDDS, the FCC restricted dominant cable operators from acquiring an interest in an MVDDS license for a service area where significant overlap is present. There is no restriction on DBS providers from acquiring MVDDS licenses.
MVDDS providers will share the 12-GHz band with incumbent Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) providers on a coprimary, non-harmful interference basis. The objective of this arrangement is to accommodate the introduction of innovative services and to facilitate the sharing and efficient use of spectrum. Furthermore, the FCC believes that this service will facilitate the delivery of communications services, such as video and broadband services, to various populations, including those deemed to be unserved or underserved.