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Satellite Update

The FCC International Bureau’s Satellite Division has determined that New ICO Satellite Services G.P. has met the launch and operation milestones associated with its reservation of 2 GHz spectrum for the ICO-G1 satellite. ICO-G1 reached its intended orbit on April 25, 2008. ICO is one of the two satellite companies that will be occupying spectrum formerly allocated to the Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS). ICO selected 2010-2020 MHz and 2180-2190 MHz as its “Selected Assignment.” The 2010-2020 MHz segment occupies most of the old BAS ENG channel 2.

While broadcasters in some markets have moved to the new BAS band plan using narrower channels starting at 2025 MHz, in most markets 2 GHz channel 2 is still being used for TV electronic news gathering (ENG) operations. Many markets will not vacate 1990-2025 MHz until 2009. It does not appear there is any easy way for ICO and broadcasters to share spectrum in a market. The data was derived from FCC Report SAT-00526.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.