ICO Loses Judicial Review Against Ofcom; May Lose Spectrum Assignments
[Satellite TODAY 08-04-10] ICO Global Communications has lost its judicial review action against the U.K. Office of Communications regulator Ofcom, which the company filed in 2009 after Ofcom announced its intent to request that the ITU remove ICO’s global medium-Earth orbit satellite system from the Master International Frequency Register.
The court ruling allows Ofcom to move forward with its request.
While the decision is not binding with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the outcome may increase the likelihood that the ITU will follow through with initial proceedings to cancel ICO’s MIFR assignments, which it threatened to do in February 2009.
ICO has had several recent regulatory battles with Ofcom. In June 2009, Ofcom notified ICO that the satellite operator has to show progress toward the launch of its ICO-P mobile satellite system by the end of that month or face loss of its spectrum assignment. ICO plans to use a constellation of 12 satellites to provide mobile satellite services but has not placed a satellite in orbit since the 2001 launch of ICO-P F2.
Ofcom is responsible for ICO’s spectrum assignments because it is the ITU representative for the Cayman Islands, where ICO is based.