FCC Acts on EchoStar DBS Satellite Applications

The FCC returned EchoStar's applications for authority to construct, launch and operate geostationary satellites using the extended Ku-band at the 109 degrees West Longitude. The FCC said the 10.9-11.2 GHz and 11.45-11.7 GHz bands that EchoStar proposed to use are limited to international service. In the U.S., the frequency bands are also allocated to the terrestrial wireless service. "Accordingly, a U.S.-licensed satellite may provide downlink service into the United States and its Possessions in the 10.95 -11.2 GHz and 11.45 -11.7 GHz frequency bands only if the uplink originates outside of the United States and its Possessions. Therefore, any use of these frequencies by an FSS system to provide domestic service, whether or not also used to provide international service, would require waivers of NG104 and footnote 2 of Section 25.202(a)(1)."

The FCC said the applications were being returned "without prejudice to re-filing." Additional information is available in the FCC letter to EchoStar, DA 03-3893.

In FCC Satellite Policy Branch Report SAT-00181, the FCC acted on several other applications from EchoStar. In addition to the satellite at 109 degrees WL mentioned earlier, the FCC also dismissed EchoStar applications for extended Ku-band satellites at 83 degrees WL and 121 degrees WL.

EchoStar was granted authority to launch and operate Ka-band satellite EchoStar 123W at 123 degrees West Longitude (WL). A STA request was granted allowing EchoStar to operate on channels 1, 7 and 11 at 157 degrees WL.