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Satellite Update — July 30, 2009

From FCC Report SAT-00619 [PDF]:

• The FCC denied a request from DirecTV Enterprises LLC to substitute Pegasus Development DBS Corporation as the applicant in DirecTV's pending application for a geostationary 17/24 GHz broadcasting satellite service (BSS) space station at 107 degrees west longitude (WL) location. In the Memorandum Opinion and Order (DA-09-1625) [PDF] the FCC said, "We find that DirecTV's request is inconsistent with Section 25.158(c)1 of the Commission's rules that prohibits an applicant from transferring, assigning or otherwise permitting any other entity to assume its place in the satellite application licensing queue. Although we find no reason to assume that DirecTV and Pegasus designed their proposal for speculative purposes, we find that granting a waiver of Section 25.158(c) would nevertheless undermine the purpose of that rule."

• In a separate Order and Authorization (DA 09-1624) [PDF], the FCC granted DirectTV's application to construct, launch and operate a 17/24 GHz BSS space station at 102.825 degrees WL at a reduced power and without full interference protection. DirecTV is authorized to operate in the 17.3–17.7 GHz (space-to-Earth) and the 24.75–25.15 GHz (Earth-to-space) frequency bands. In the Order and Authorization the FCC said, "We believe that grant of this application will stimulate competition in the United States and provide consumers more alternatives in choosing communications services."

• The FCC granted PanAmSat Licensee Corporation special temporary authority (STA) to drift its C- and Ku-band satellite Intelsat 3R from 43 degrees WL to 43.1 degrees WL and provide fixed satellite service (FSS) in the 3700–4200 MHz (space-to-Earth), 5925–6425 MHz (Earth-to-space), 11.7–12.2 GHz (space-to-Earth) and the 14.0–14.5 GHz (Earth-to-space) frequency bands. PanAmSat is also allowed to use 12.5–12.75 GHz (space-to-Earth) except in Region 2. PanAmSat was also allowed to conduct the space station telemetry, tracking and control operations necessary to effect the drift to and operations at 43.1 degrees WL. The STA is valid for 180 days starting Aug. 1, 2009.

• The FCC International Bureau determined TerreStar Networks Inc. has met the launch and operations milestone associated with the authorization for TerreStar-1 and that TerreStar may release the bond for TerreStar-1.

• The FCC granted a request from Sirius XM Radio Inc. to designate its application for special temporary authority to operate terrestrial repeaters in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as "permit-but-disclose" for the purpose of the FCC's ex parte communications.

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.