Advanced Television

Israel, Spacecom object to Intelsat coordination deal

May 27, 2021

Spacecom (under its official Space Communication Ltd name) as well as the State of Israel are objecting to any rejection of the Spacecom/Intelsat frequency coordination agreements between the parties. Intelsat is now in the second year of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reconstruction.

Spacecom, in a filing to Intelsat’s bankruptcy court, says Intelsat and Spacecom entered into the Spacecom Agreements to coordinate the use of certain satellite frequencies.

“The continuation of the terms of these agreements is critical to the success of both parties and Intelsat should not be permitted to reject [the agreements] in these Chapter 11 proceedings,” notes the filing.

Spacecom explained to the court that in August 2013 it launched its AMOS-4 satellite and established its orbital location at 65 degrees East. Intelsat operated satellites at 62, 64, 66 and 68.5 degrees East. The two operators coordinated their frequencies (in June 2013) and footprints to allow for transmission and coverage rights.

Intelsat agreed to pay Spacecom $650,000 annually as a coordination fee. That agreement is in place until the 15th Anniversary of the Amos launch (the end of 2028).

Spacecom has subsequently entered into contracts with clients worth $18 million annually, and with a current backlog of $70 million.

Intelsat, via a Rejection Notice entered into by the court on September 1st 2020, and formally on May 10th this year, sought to reject the Spacecom agreement.

This, states the Spacecom filing, would cause “Harm to Spacecom and [other] Third Parties [and] far outweighs any claimed benefit to [Intelsat].

The State of Israel, in its filing, argues that there would be “irreparable harm” to the State of Israel because of the use of AMOS-4 by the government and associated agencies. The State of Israel, in a letter to the FCC’s acting chair Jessica Rosenworcel and copied to the ITU as well as to Intelsat itself, asks for the Intelsat rejection of the coordination agreement to be reversed. “The Administration of the State of Israel kindly asks the assistance of the FCC in retaining the 2013 Agreement in full force and effect and protecting the ongoing operation of the AMOS-4 satellite, which is an important national asset for the Government of the State of Israel.”

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