Satellite failure hits U.S. broadband services
StarBand Communications' Intelsat Americas-7 died yesterday morning
IDG News Service - The failure of a communications satellite yesterday knocked out broadband services supplied by StarBand Communications Inc., according to a statement on the company's Web site.
The irreparable failure of Intelsat Americas-7 at 2:30 a.m. EST yesterday is forcing StarBand to move customers to a different satellite. Meanwhile, the company is attempting to provide temporary dial-up service to customers who were affected.
The satellite owner, Intelsat Inc., said that the craft suffered a sudden and unexplained electrical anomaly and that it was permanently lost. The satellite was built by Space/Systems Loral and launched in September 1999. From its orbital position at 129 degrees west, it covered North America, Central America and parts of South America. The satellite was self-insured by Intelsat, according to the company.
StarBand didn't say how many subscribers were affected.
StarBand serves residential customers at download speeds of 150Kbit/sec. to 500Kbit/sec. and small business customers at speeds up to 1Mbit/sec. Its services are available throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Subscribers use a 90-centimeter satellite dish to send and receive signals.
Intelsat said its IA-8 satellite, scheduled for a Dec. 17 launch, may take over some of the lost services. The IA-8 will provide 36 Ku-band and 24 C-band transponders, according to the company.
The loss of the satellite could affect plans to sell the company, Intelsat said. A consortium led by Zeus Holdings Ltd. has bid for the company, but under an agreement with Intelsat, the total loss of the IA-7 satellite gives Zeus the right to cancel the deal. Zeus has advised Intelsat that it is evaluating the impact of the IA-7 failure, according to Intelsat.
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