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Teledesic files to surrender spectrum
Posted: Tue, Jul 15, 2003, 9:24 PM ET (0124 GMT)
Teledesic satellite illustration Teledesic, a satellite communications company that once planned a constellation of nearly 1,000 satellites, filed a motion with the Federal Communications Commission to surrender its spectrum, a sign that the company had given up on its plans, Space News reported in its print edition this week. Teledesic, founded in 1991, originally planned to launch 840 satellites to provide broadband communications services worldwide. However, despite the backing of people such as Craig McCaw and Bill Gates, the company ran into financial difficulties and reduced the size of its constellation, first to 288 satellites and eventually to 30. Teledesic signed a contract with Alenia Spazio last January to start construction of the first two satellites, but suspended that contract in September. Teledesic's offer to return the spectrum it won from the FCC in the late 1990s was not prompted by any request by the FCC but instead by the realization that the company would not be able to build its satellites in time to meet the milestones in its license. Space News reported that the FCC has taken no action on Teledesic's request, and could elect to simply let Teledesic's license expire.
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