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MDS America, Northpoint go toe-to-toe

MDS America is loudly opposing Northpoint Technnology's efforts to add to a larger spending bill an amendment that would forbid the FCC from auctioning the licenses Northpoint wants.

"Please oppose this last-minute attempt by Northpoint to use the appropriations process to enrich itself at the great expense of the American taxpayer," wrote MDS America President Kirk Kirkpatrick to Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

MDS is not the only organization opposing Northpoint's legislative gambit. SBCA is fighting it, as well as the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA). CTIA says it opposes Northpoint's efforts to get the licenses for free on principal, although it is not specifically opposed to Northpoint.

Northpoint and MDS both want the FCC to grant them licenses that would allow them to use direct broadcast satellite spectrum to deliver multichannel services to subscribers.
- Paige Albiniak