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FCC OK Needed?

Commenting on the recent interoperability agreement between Sirius and XM Satellite Radio, an FCC official said the commission “is pleased” with the agreement but noted that, “In my opinion, they’ll have to talk to us and file something” to allow for first-generation radios that aren’t interoperable.

“My position has been that if you can’t do it [in the first generation], you must come in to talk to us,” the official said. So far, however, the FCC “has never been asked in the form of a waiver request” to “specify what our ruling [on interoperable radios] means.”

A spokesman for one of the satellite companies, however, noted that his company has “definitely informed the FCC of what’s going on” and that if the commission were upset, it could object. At that point, “we’d have to prove we have done all that we could have done.” He added, “It’s difficult to imagine the FCC would have a problem.”