A joint filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this week by SES and Telesat criticised Intelsat for giving the FCC “false characterisations of the C-Band Alliance, and [Intelsat’s] misleading attempts to distance itself from the CBA”.
The letter added that the CBA itself hoped to be appointed by the FCC to coordinate the complete transfer and implementation of the FCC’s expected 0rder.
The filing reminds the FCC as to how the CBA was formed: “The CBA’s purpose is not nearly as narrow as Intelsat now would like the Commission to believe—a fact confirmed by Intelsat’s and the CBA’s own actions,” says the filing, adding: “It is no secret that the CBA preferred and strenuously advocated for a private auction solution to the C-Band transition, as evidenced by the 2018 filings cited by Intelsat in its submission. But regardless of the type of auction used to reallocate the spectrum for flexible use, the CBA continued to tirelessly develop the detailed technical plans and technology needed to effect the required spectrum clearing. The ongoing relevance of this work, as noted above, is confirmed by Intelsat’s own filings.”
The SES/Telesat submission added: “Through the CBA, Intelsat, SES and Telesat made more than 25 joint Commission filings and issued nearly two dozen press releases in support of the C-Band transition between November 2019, when the public auction was announced, and February 2020, right before the Draft Report and Order was released. In particular, a joint filing was submitted on February 4, 2020 concerning the distribution of proceeds among the eligible satellite operators, in which Intelsat voiced no objection to the continued relevance of the CBA.”
“This history is consistent with the fact that (unlike Eutelsat or Telesat) neither Intelsat nor SES has the contractual right to leave the CBA unilaterally. Intelsat’s assertion that the CBA is somehow defunct is thus legally indefensible. From the beginning, both Intelsat and SES have regarded each other as indispensable to the accelerated clearing, a fact the Commission itself recognised in adopting the 80 per cent election requirement for the accelerated relocation clearing payments,” stated the SES/Telesat filing.
The FCC will vote on its draft proposals on February 28th.