FCC Ruling Gives Satellite Firm Time to Order Spare Satellite

January 26, 2009 at 10:58 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From Space News:

Ruling Gives Satellite Firm Time to Order Spare Satellite

By Peter B. de Selding
Space News Staff Writer

PARIS – Mobile satellite services operator ICO Global’s success in getting U.S. regulators to loosen a requirement for having a spare satellite available before rolling out a ground-repeater network will buy the start-up operator badly needed time before it must find fresh cash for the planned satellite’s construction but has some industry officials guessing about ICO’s strategy.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in one of its last rulings before Chairman Kevin J. Martin left his job, granted ICO a license Jan. 15 to build a network of ground-based signal repeaters that will use the same frequencies as ICO’s orbiting satellite.

The ground network, called an Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC), is viewed as critical by mobile satellite services companies insofar as it will allow their systems to provide customer links in areas beyond the reach of a satellite – indoors and in tunnels and urban canyons, for example. . . .[Full Story]

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