FCC Mulls DBS Plan to Cut Satellite Spacing

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The Federal Communications Commission is examining direct-broadcast satellite providers’ request to reduce spacing between satellites in order to expand local broadcast channel offerings, HDTV and other services.

EchoStar Communications Corp., DirecTV Inc. and SES Americom have filed separate requests to reduce spacing from the current nine degrees. The FCC wants to know how proposed changes would affect interference, operation flexibility and introduction of new technology.

Suggestions for a new orbital spacing requirement were also solicited. Comments are due Jan. 23; replies Feb. 13.

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