Okay, I received a copy of the 30 day compliance report from EchoStar Communications, along with a petition for reconsideration. This was a result of the FCC ruling on April 4th about second dishes for receiving locals. If you are searching the FCC archives, it is docket 00-96, in response to order DA 02-765, with a code of CSR-5865-Z. When I checked Sunday night, it wasn't up on the web site.
So here goes. The filing is written by lawyers who tend to take something that can be explained in two lines into two pages. I will follow the format that was laid out.
A. Compliance Team Assembled After the April 4th ruling, a meeting was held at E* consisting of the senior technology, marketing, and legal executives to develop a compliance plan. The compliance process began on April 6th.
B. Status of Local-Into-Local Markets as of May 3rd E* offers local-in-local in 36 markets. Five of these markets are currently served by the single dish solution, while the rest have one or more stations on side satellites. (A footnote says that Philadelphia stations are being served by 129 satellite.) As of May 3rd, E* was reveiewing data from in-orbit testing of E*7.
C. Status of Installations and Timetables As of the filing, there were 12,942 requests for a second dish, with 11,841 installations completed. The average turnaround was 8.1 days, however a footnote says that two-thirds of the installs were completed less than eight days, and fifty percent of the installs were completed in less than four days. One puzzling thing: "There is an average of 1.7 days from the original scheduled date to the date the work order is completed."
II. COMPLIANCE PLAN SPECIFICS
A. Comsumer Education Echostar is proceeding with several initiatives to educate the consumer. This include:
a. Letter to all existing customers This is a letter that we all received at the beginning of the month. There are two versions of this letter: One for most of the markets (Exhibit 1 had a sample letter for the Denver market), and one for the Philadelphia market (Exhibit 2). The Philadelphia letter includes note about equipment replacement.
b. CSR Education CSRs have been trained and clarified on the second dish, and scripts have been rewritten/
c. Changes to advertising materials Advertising materials have been altered to better clarify the locals. The following paragraph now part of the materials: "Channels may vary by market. Some channels may require the installation of a second dish antenna free of any charges at the time of your original installation. Local Broadcast Networks by satellite are only available to customers who reside in the specified local Designated Market Area (DMA). Cities subject to change without notice and customers may be eligible for only one city package." Exhibit 3 had a copy of the brochure.
d. Training of and Materials for Installers and Retailers Self-explanatory. New materials being provided.
e. Website The website has been modified so that i) In each market, all local stations are listed on the same page, ii) The websites states that a second dish is required, and lists the stations which require the second dish, and how to get the dish, and iii) Lists the stations with call letters, affiliation, logo (when clearance is obtained), and eventually a description of the channel. A sample was enclosed in the form of Exhibit 4.
f. Other publicity A FYI spot has been produced to inform the customers. This spot would run with the same frequency as any other spot, and will run approximately 1,500 times per week (on a total of 77 networks). Exhibit 5 contained a copy of the FYI script.
B.Continguous Channel Placement and Listing on Electronic programming guides The FCC ruled that Echostar violated the contiguous channel requirement by not listing the stations available on the side satellites if the second dish wasn't installed. Echostar is working on upgrading the firmware on the receivers so that all local stations for a local-in-local market will be listed in the guide, and if a customer selects a station which requires a second dish, they will get a display informing that a second dish is required. This is a major effort, and they are starting with the 301s and 501s, then working their way down the models based upon popularity. This is a in-progress project. Because of the scale, E* expects full deployment by July 31st.
III. CONCLUSION E* doesn't believe that it violated the law. If E* isn't permitted to complete the compliance plan as set forth, the only alternative would be to shut down local-in-local service until all subscribers were converted. Not only would it be contrary to public interest, but would violate the April 4th order which specifically indicated that "the action taken here is intended to address the violations without resulting in a loss of service to any existing subscribers." In addition, E* believes that it had no notice prior to April 4th that additional steps would be needed.
WHEW! The actual order is 15 pages long, not counting cover sheet or exhibits. Remember, this is issued by Echostar/Dish Network, and I don't work for them, just a subscriber. All typos are mine. No doubt that there will be a significant change in average turnaround time especially due to a shortage of dishes that are being reported by forum members.