The International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT), the 109-nation cooperative responsible for the vast majority of international satellite service, was recently presented with what may be its greatest challenge since its inception over twenty years ago. The consortium, hailed by many as a model among international organizations, faces possible competition from five American companies (Applicants) that have applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to launch and operate satellites independent of the INTELSAT system. This Note begins with a brief look at the laws applicable to international satellite communications. The various interpretations given those laws will be set forth, along with policy and other reasons for approving or not approving the applications. Among the views considered are those of the Applicants, the President of the United States, the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, the Communications Satellite Corporation (Comsat), and the FCC. An analysis of the conflicting views follows. From this analysis, it is concluded that the President's endorsement of limited competition is a reasonable stand, because it enables the United States to meet its international obligations, while furthering the national interest.
Bypassing Intelsat: Fair Competition or Violation of the Intelsat Agreement?,
8 Fordham Int'l L.J. 479
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol8/iss3/5