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The FCC vs. XM and Sirius

The FCC vs. XM and Sirius

Whenever I see the word drama in the same context as digital music or the products associated with it--especially satellite radio lately--I just automatically assume that the RIAA is involved. It appears, however, that I jumped the gun this time. The drama at hand involves the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a bureaucratic institution that--in my opinion--doesn't always make the best decisions (anyone else feel like the airwaves are almost entirely dominated by Clear Channel Communications broadcasts?). In this case, I suppose I can see where the FCC is coming from. The commission is putting several companies--including XM and Sirius--through an ongoing certification process to ensure that certain devices are in strict compliance with FCC regulations. The devices in question are those with built-in FM transmitters, which allow content to be wirelessly streamed from the device to any open FM frequency on a nearby radio. While the companies work to become compliant, Sirius has instructed manufacturers to stop producing the related devices, the Sirius ST2 and the Sirius S50. No word on whether XM intends to halt production of its Delphi XM SkyFi2 and the Audiovox Xpress.

Source: Digital Music News
Related story: SkyFi2's FM transmitter may be too strong