SES AMERICOM Files at FCC in Support of Satellite TV Viewers; Reply Comments Emphasiz (1 Viewer)

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PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 17, 2004--SES AMERICOM, an SES GLOBAL Company (Luxembourg and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges:SESG), filed reply comments on February 13, 2004 at the Federal Communications Commission in support of permitting reduced orbital spacing between DBS satellites serving the United States. Such DBS spacing would allow US television viewers to receive many more channels of high definition TV, local television, and other services not available today. SES AMERICOM's comments demonstrate how new DBS satellites operating within 4.5 degrees of other DBS spacecraft can be authorized to ensure quality service in accordance with existing FCC and international procedures.


Characterizing a rulemaking proposal (by entrenched incumbent DBS operator DirecTV) as unnecessary and a source of delay, SES AMERICOM encouraged the FCC to promote the use of good-faith technical coordination among operators as the most effective method to introduce new DBS satellites. Coordination is already prescribed in both international and FCC rules for accommodating new DBS satellites, and has been successfully used across many satellite bands for decades. By allowing operators to employ techniques best suited to their specific satellites and services, coordination is the method most likely to achieve technical compatibility of proposed new satellites with neighboring satellites.

The technical feasibility of DBS spacecraft operating in a 4.5 degree environment has been successfully demonstrated in other global regions, such as Europe. Moreover, extensive technical analysis made available to the FCC by EchoStar, one of largest providers of DBS services in the U.S., clearly demonstrates the feasibility of using coordination to mitigate any issues arising between adjacent satellites, permitting operation at 4.5 degree spacing.

Commenting on the FCC proceeding, Dean Olmstead, President & CEO of SES AMERICOM, said: "Additional satellite capacity is desperately needed to enable the delivery of local broadcast channels and next generation services. The benefits of this programming to the American public should not be constrained when a viable solution -- DBS spacecraft operating at reduced spacing -- is within our reach. We have every expectation that the FCC will agree with AMERICOM that additional regulatory obstacles, which are entirely unnecessary to protect existing systems, will hinder the expansion of DBS service to the American consumer."

SES AMERICOM intends to offer capacity for DBS services from a satellite at 105.5 degrees, licensed by the Government of Gibraltar. This capacity will be part of a platform - named AMERICOM2Home(SM) - of television and broadband Internet services employing multiple satellites at or near the 105.5 degree orbital location licensed to SES AMERICOM and its affiliates. The 105.5 degree slot is 4.5 degrees from orbital locations used by DirecTV and EchoStar.

About SES AMERICOM

The largest supplier of satellite services in the U.S., SES AMERICOM, Inc. is recognized as a pioneer of global satellite communications services. Established in 1973 with its first satellite circuit for the U.S. Department of Defense, the company currently operates a fleet of 11 spacecraft in orbital positions providing service throughout the Americas. As a member of the SES GLOBAL family (Luxembourg and Frankfurt exchanges:SESG), AMERICOM is able to provide end-to-end telecommunications solutions to any region in the world. In 2001 the company established AMERICOM Government Services, a wholly owned subsidiary dedicated to providing satellite-based communications solutions to both civilian and defense agencies of the U.S. Government. In 2003, SES AMERICOM formed WORLDSAT, a wholly owned subsidiary with satellites operating in 5 orbital positions covering Asia, and the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean regions, and connecting premier regional satellite fleets. With its combined operations, SES AMERICOM serves broadcasters, cable programmers, aeronautical and maritime communications integrators, Internet service providers, mobile communications networks, government agencies, educational institutions, carriers and secure global data networks with efficient communication and content distribution solutions. SES AMERICOM key customers include ABC Radio Networks, Antrix Corporation Ltd., AT&T Alascom, British Telecom, Connexion by Boeing, Deutsche Welle, Discovery, EchoStar, Fox, Gannett, TV Guide/Gemstar, Globecomm Systems, HBO, Hughes Network Systems, JSAT, Korea Telecom, MCI, NBC, The New York Times, NHK, PaxNet, PBS, PCCW, SCC, TELE Greenland, TV Europa, TimeWarner, Unitel Hellas, Viacom, and various agencies of the U.S. government.
 

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