May 19, 1999
May 19, 1999
|Re:||Application of MCI Telecommunications Corporation and EchoStar 110 Corporation for Consent to Assignment of Authorization to Construct, Launch, and Operate a Direct Broadcast Satellite System Using 28 Frequency Channels at the 110° W.L. Orbital Location|
DBS provides a valuable service to the American public, and its benefits should extend to all geographic areas of our country.
When the Commission licensed EchoStar in 1996, it required EchoStar to provide service to Hawaii and Alaska from 148° W.L. As the Commission stated then, "[W]e will expect Echostar to provide DBS service to Hawaii and Alaska in accordance with Commission rules and policies." Although EchoStar's original plans to serve Hawaii and Alaska have been somewhat delayed due to technical problems with its satellite, Echostar has made interim arrangements, and is now providing alternate service to both states. Nothing in the order we adopt today will relieve Echostar of this continuing geographic service requirement.
In addition, in 1996, when we authorized MCI to provide service at 110° W.L., the Commission also required MCI to comply with our geographic service rules. In acquiring MCI's DBS license, EchoStar assumes this obligation for this additional orbital location and is subject to the Commission's rules. I expect EchoStar to fulfill its commitment to serve these non-contiguous areas.
Thus, I reiterate my commitment to making DBS service available to all geographic areas throughout the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska.