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DirecTV is fighting SES Americom's effort at the Federal Communications Commission to deliver a DBS service via a foreign satellite slot at 105.5 degrees, a location between two slots used by the satellite TV provider.

On Tuesday, DirecTV President Roxanne Austin said SES Americom is "trying to sneak in the back door" by using a license granted by the Government of Gibraltar at 105.5 degrees. "Our opposition to SES Americom's FCC petition is not about competition - we welcome the competition - it's about interference," she said.

"A DBS service delivered from a satellite at the 105.5 degree orbital slot would cause our customers to suffer significant service interruptions and impede our ability to deliver local broadcast channels," Austin said.

The 105.5 degree orbital position is 4.5 degrees from DirecTV's satellites at 101 degrees and 110 degrees. DirecTV said that violates the principle of nine-degree spacing established by the International Telecommunications Union, which is used by all DBS systems in the Western Hemisphere.

Austin said, "It's clear that in making this proposal, SES Americom has shown no regard for the millions of satisfied DBS customers who have chosen the only true competitive alternative to cable."

On another DirecTV note, the company's newest satellite - DirecTV 5 - went into service Monday night.

DirecTV 5 is the seventh satellite in the company's in-orbit fleet. It launched May 7 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and is positioned at the 119-degree orbital slot. The bird will deliver additional services, including new local TV markets.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
 
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