Tuning in EU Space Radio Law

There's never a quiet moment in the satellite radio industry.

Last month we listened as
Gerry Oberst of Hogan & Hartson's Brussel's office tuned in to the regulatory and legal implications of a United Kingdom plan to take spectrum away from satellite radio in Europe.

This month's treat, hard-rockin', hard-working space law LL.M. student D.J. Den Herder spins his dial to
Regulation of Satellite Digital Audio in the European Union. D.J. prepared this draft paper in June 2006 at Leiden University's International Institute of Air & Space Law, in The Netherlands for Professor Dr. P.P.C. Haanappel's EU Aerospace Law class. D.J. scrutinizes Europe's "multi-tiered regulatory framework" and lays out the EU set-up which includes the regulatory hurdle of "pan-European spectrum allocation" -- one more layer than the the US satellite digital audio legal framework of national and ITU regulation.

Speaking of the US approach, D.J. briefly overviews satellite radio in this country, beginning in 1995 when the FCC allocated 50 megahertz of electromagnetic spectrum (in the 2310 - 2360 MHz band) for satellite digital audio services, and in 1997, licensed XM and Sirius. He writes, "The subscription-based satellite digital audio service was marketed as an alternative to so- called 'terrestrial radio' - traditional analogue broadcasts (in the 86 - 108 MHz band,) which had always been free of cost to the end user, but were limited in terms of audio quality (owing to lower frequency bandwidth,) content (owing to federal regulation of content and incessant on-air advertising) and range (owing to federal restrictions on transmission power, which limited broadcasts to various regional markets.)"

And in case you missed the buzz over on the satellite radio investing street this summer, the always noisy
Jim Cramer had been voicing his opinion that it was time for Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin to make a bid for XM Satellite Radio. Although now, Cramer's saying the window of opp is quickly closing on the potential deal.

(According to Cramer, if XM and Sirius merge, Sirius stock will go from $4 to $8. This blog is not Space Stock Probe, but I happen to own Sirius which I bought at $4 and already watched hit around $8 then drop. As an investor, I have no argument with smart Mr. Cramer. Although as a consumer of satellite radio, I'm not sure I like what a merger will no doubt do to my subcription fees....)

* * *
"So you had better do as you are told.
You better listen to the radio."
--Radio Radio, Elvis Costello

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