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CBA partners not agreed on windfall split

August 1, 2019

Eutelsat’s CEO Rodolphe Belmer, speaking to analysts following its results announcement, said there was – as yet – no agreement between the C-Band Alliance (CBA) partners as to how – or how much – cash could be “donated” to the US Treasury as part of the bargaining over the FCC’s decision to permit reallocation of C-band spectrum over the US.

Belmer told analysts that the CBA had audited each of the partner’s 2017 financial reports to determine the precise level of C-band business conducted over the US that year.

The partners in the CBA are Intelsat and SES as major participants and with Eutelsat and Telesat as minor partners. However, there is speculation that despite Eutelsat+Telesat actually only supplying around 10 per cent of the C-band spectrum over the US they might win a greater percentage of the ‘windfall’ because their presence and co-operation to the overall scheme is seen as crucial.

“When it comes to our share of the proceeds, the audit of our actual share of the C-band spectrum in the US is under way,” Belmer said. “It is very late, and we are waiting. The CBA should be in a position to give us our actual share of the proceeds by the end of August. [The CBA] is procrastinating on that.”

Belmer added that there were still some questions on the proposed voluntary contribution that should be made to the American treasury. “The situation is a bit complicated since there is no real agreement on alignment on that question within the CBA, contrary to what has been said in some instances recently.”

Belmer said he was not permitted to comment on the situation, but added: “This voluntary contribution to the US Treasury is not part of the scope of the CBA and it needs to be discussed with all the members of the CBA. For the moment there is no alignment on that.”

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