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ManSat CEO Looking Forward from Legal Victory

By | August 25, 2008
      [Satellite News 08-25-08] ManSat and the Office of Communications (Ofcom), an independent regulator and competition authority for the U.K. communications industries won a favorable ruling Aug. 13 in the High Court of London over a long running dispute with Bermuda.
          CEO of ManSat Chris Stott commented on the ruling in an interview with Satellite News.
          “It is always a great shame when something has to go to the courts,” said Stott. “Obviously, we are delighted by the results. However, we should be cooperating with other British jurisdictions and not competing.”
          ManSat filed a slot application for a specific orbital slot via Ofcom, who processed the application and submitted to the International Telecommunication Union in 2003. Bermuda objected to the filing and argued that the satellite would interfere with a pre-existing frequency assignment relating to Bermuda. ManSat was unable to reach an agreement with Bermuda on the interference issue and legal action was pursued.
          The court awarded costs of litigation to both Ofcom and the Isle of Man and refused Bermuda permission to appeal.
          In a statement to the press, the Isle of Man’s treasury minister Allan Bell said that he believed the ruling would further strengthen the Island’s standing in the satellite industry.
          “We hope in the future we can have excellent relations with Bermuda,” added Stott. “The satellite industry is a very small industry. I am sure we will be seeing each other again.”
          Stott said his company is moving on from the legal disputes. He hopes that future projects will bring the country and its industries more positive attention.
          “We will be working with the International Space University (ISU) in Strasbourg in opening the first of their new institutes on Oct. 4. The government has just put up 1 million pounds of support behind it and several corporate players, who will be announced in due time, have also come in,” said Stott.
          The country also saw a boost from a couple of successful launches. The AMC-21 satellite, procured by SES Satellite Leasing Ltd. located in the Isle of Man, successfully launched into space on Aug. 15. This was the third satellite involving facilities from the Isle of Man to be launched since November 2006, following AMC-18 and Sirius 4.
          According to ManSat, AMC-21 will be establishing a new Ku-band enterprise and broadcast neighborhood in the North American arc at 125° West. The Public Broadcasting Service and several of their local broadcast affiliates will be anchoring the service. The satellite will also be used for maritime mobile broadband.
          The successful launch of the 4 F3 satellite procured by Inmarsat Launch Co. Ltd., also in the Isle of Man, bringing the number of satellites procured through Isle of Man companies since November 2006 to four.

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