Advanced Television

Intelsat rejects ITSO claim

June 9, 2020

Last month it was reported how the organisation which supervises Intelsat’s public service obligations, the International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation (ITSO), had complained to Intelsat’s bankruptcy court that Intelsat had not been paying its dues to ITSO.

ITSU had asked the court to authorise a special payment to fund its costs and services.

Intelsat responded ahead of a today’s [June 9th] court hearing on the matter and firmly rejects the ITSO claim saying that ITSO’s budget has been padded with unnecessary costs and questionable expenses.

In a 56-page filing to the court, Intelsat says “Respectfully, ITSO’s demand do not make sense” [and] “the claim is without merit and should be denied”.

Intelsat admits that ITSO exists to perform certain narrowly prescribed supervisory functions. The two elements had previously agreed funding levels from 2001 and by the end of 2019 ITSO had accumulated more than $800,000 in reserves out of a $1.8 million annual funding cap. ITSO had also during this period sponsored educational forums, attending the World Economic Forum and provided online courses to ITSO staff. These were unrelated to its core obligation.

“Remarkably,” says Intelsat, ITSO’s proposed budget nevertheless includes items such as:
– $1,000,000 in salaries and benefits for unnecessary staff, including an in-house legal advisor and technical director;
– $200,000 for additional outside consultants, including duplicative legal and technical advisors;
– $24,720 for “automobile”;
– $36,000 for “legal services”;
– $10,000 for “studies”;
– $56,000 for “specialist advice and consultancy services in relation to financials and policies”;
– $100,000 for bonuses;
– $500 for “charitable contributions”;
– and, $144,000 for “airfare”.

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