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Loss of Intelsat bird affects some StarBand subs

Mon, 11/29/2004 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

The permanent loss of the Intelsat Ltd. Americas-7 (IA-7) satellite to a "sudden and unexpected electrical distribution anomaly" early Sunday morning also unplugged several thousand StarBand customers.

The loss reportedly impacted 20,000 StarBand customers. Officials with StarBand, which was trying to restore service to those customers, were not immediately available Tuesday for further comment. StarBand also leases capacity on SES Americom 's AMC-4 satellite, which resides at 101 degrees West.

Intelsat said it has made alternative capacity available to most of its IA-7 customers, and noted that many of them have already had their services restored. Intelsat said it is working with Space Systems/Loral, the manufacturer of IA-7, to identify the cause of the problem.

Intelsat hopes to mitigate the loss of IA-7 with IA-8, a 36-transponder Ku-band and 24-transponder C-band satellite set to launch on Dec. 17.

Intelsat launched the IA-7 bird in Sept. 1999. It operated at 129 degrees West and covered the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Central America, and parts of South America.

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