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Pegasus Granted Ka-Band Orbital Slots By FCC

Pegasus Communications was among 11 second-round applicants for Ka-band satellite orbital slots that were granted authorizations by the International Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission.

Hughes Communications, PanAmSat, Lockheed Martin, Loral CyberStar and TRW were also granted Ka-band authorizations by the FCC.

According to the FCC, Pegasus’ full-Conus Ka-Band slots are located at the 117-degree and 107-degree orbital positions, which are positioned in the middle of the arc of the nation’s high-power DBS satellites carrying DirecTV and DISH Network television services.

Pegasus was also awarded Ka-Band spectrum at three non-Conus slots at 28 and 107.5 degrees East and 43 degrees West longitude.

Mark Pagon, Pegasus chairman, said the slots would be used to provide a range of digital services, from broadband Internet access to additional television services, to supplement DBS programming, including the possibility of carriage of local-into-local television stations and interactive TV services.

Pagon addressed the SBCA convention in a second-day opening ceremony by stating that Pegasus was in the satellite industry to stay, now that it has the ability to build its own satellites and offer its own programming services.

Pagon said he was still unclear about the specifics of the FCC order, including his timetable for utilization of the slots. But he said he would look to use some of the new spectrum to better service rural American territories, which represent the bulk of his company’s DBS-distribution base.

He said satellite would continue to be important in remote areas of the country, and will eventually overtake cable in areas without access to over-the-air television.

Pagon, whose company also operates some independent television broadcasting stations, called on the satellite industry to drop its constitutional challenge of must-carry rules for satellite.