Satellite Update

The FCC granted SES Americom authorization to launch and operate the AMC-21 Ku-band satellite at 125 degrees west longitude for Direct-to-Home (DTH) fixed satellite services. For more information see FCC Report SAT-00320.

The FCC also modified the authorizations for three PanAmSat in-orbit satellites - PAS-1R, Galaxy !!, and PAS-23. Note that the PanAmSat has renamed PAS-23 to PAS-9, but in the Order and Authorization (DA 05-2444) the FCC continues to refer to it as PAS-23. The modification allows PanAmSat to permit service between U.S. domestic points using frequencies in the extended Ku-band (10.95-11.2 GHz and 11.45-11.7 GHz) on an unprotected, non-interference basis relative to fixed stations, subject to certain conditions. The FCC Order said, "Grant of these applications will serve the public interest by enabling PanAmSat to make additional FSS capacity available for U.S. domestic use, including the delivery of high-definition television and local-into-local programming, thereby enhancing consumer choice in space radiocommunication providers and services."

One of the conditions the FCC imposed on PanAmSat was a requirement that it "inform its
customers, in writing, including end-users receiving service from resellers accessing capacity on the PAS-1R, Galaxy 11, and PAS-23 satellites, that the service in the 10.95-11.2 GHz and 11.45-11.7 GHz bands with regards to domestic service is being provided on an uncoordinated basis, and that the potential exists that future-licensed fixed stations may cause harmful interference to these unprotected earth stations."

The Order and Authorization (DA 05-2444) has additional information on the grant and the background behind the decision.