“Milestone” For Bermuda’s Primary Space Asset

February 16, 2014

In the  House of Assembly on Friday, Education and Economic Development Minister Dr Grant Gibbons said recent developments represent a “significant milestone in the decade long quest to develop Bermuda’s primary space asset while also playing a role in diversifying our economy.”

Dr. Gibbons said, “BemudaSat-1 commenced operations on April 13th 2013, two days in advance of the formal regulatory deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union [ITU].

“EchoStar-6, a satellite owned and operated by EchoStar Satellite Operating Company, was successfully moved into Bermuda’s orbital slot which is located at 96.2˚ West Longitude.”

He said that although BermudaSat-1 had commenced operations, it had to fulfil a mandatory 90 waiting period before it could officially be ‘brought into use’, which has now taken place.

Dr. Gibbons said he has now issued to SES Satellites (Bermuda) Limited, [SESB] the designated operator for the BermudaSat-1 satellite network, the third and final certificate.

“SESB, having met the prerequisites for a full operating licence, was therefore issued the Licence, authorizing them to operate a space station in our satellite network,” said Dr. Gibbons.

” I am delighted to inform this Honourable House that the culmination of the issuance of the three Certificates and the Licence is the execution of an agreement between the Government of Bermuda and SES Bermuda Limited.

“Cabinet has authorized the execution of the Orbital Resource Use Agreement, between these parties which grants SESB the exclusive right to commercially develop the satellite orbital resource located at 96.2˚WL.

“This agreement is an exclusive commercial agreement between the Government of Bermuda and SESB Ltd. It is designed to ensure that Bermuda’s rights are protected and that the orbital resource is optimally developed.”

“I am pleased to report that this Agreement represents a significant milestone in the decade long quest to develop Bermuda’s primary space asset while also playing a role in diversifying our economy,” added Dr. Gibbons.

According to the EchoStar website, the satellite is fully leased to DISH Network Corporation.

Minister Gibbons’s full statement follows below:

Mr Speaker, on May 31st 2013, I provided an update to this Honourable House on the progress made with respect to creating Bermuda’s planned satellite network, BermudaSat-1.

I rise today to provide the House with a further update and more good news on Bermuda’s Space Programme.

Mr Speaker, this House will recall that BemudaSat-1 commenced operations on April 13th 2013, two days in advance of the formal regulatory deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union [ITU]. EchoStar-6, a satellite owned and operated by EchoStar Satellite Operating Company, was successfully moved into Bermuda’s orbital slot which is located at 96.2˚ West Longitude.

Mr Speaker, this House will also recall my statement that although BermudaSat-1 had commenced operations, it had to fulfil a mandatory 90 waiting period before it could officially be ‘brought into use’. I am happy to report that Ofcom, the UK regulator, confirmed to the ITU that BermudaSat-1 was deployed and maintained at 96.2˚WL for the required period of ninety days and had therefore had been bought into use, one week before the August 19th 2013 deadline set by the ITU.

Mr Speaker, as the Minister with responsibility for Telecommunications, I am guided by the licensing regime for satellite networks as defined by the Satellite Network Notification and Coordination Regulations 2007. As per these Regulations, I have now issued to SES Satellites (Bermuda) Limited, (SESB) the designated operator for the BermudaSat-1 satellite network, the third and finalcertificate, namely, the Certificate of Coordination.

This Honourable House will recall that I issued SESB with the first two Certificates, the Certificate of Compliance and the Certificate of Competence to Engage in Coordination in March of 2013.

Mr Speaker, SESB, having met the prerequisites for a full operating licence, was therefore issued the Licence, authorizing them to operate a space station in our satellite network.

Mr Speaker, I am delighted to inform this Honourable House that the culmination of the issuance of the three Certificates and the Licence is the execution of an agreement between the Government of Bermuda and SES Bermuda Limited.

Cabinet has authorized the execution of the Orbital Resource Use Agreement, between these parties which grants SESB the exclusive right to commercially develop the satellite orbital resource located at 96.2˚WL.

This agreement is an exclusive commercial agreement between the Government of Bermuda and SESB Ltd. It is designed to ensure that Bermuda’s rights are protected and that the orbital resource is optimally developed.

Mr Speaker, the need for exclusivity is a practical requirement to ensure that, should it be commercially and technically viable to host multiple satellite networks in the same orbital location, all of these networks are under the operational control of the same operator.

This agreement is for a 15 year period and is subject to renewal by mutual agreement provided that SESB is in full compliance with the terms and conditions of the aforementioned Licence.

Mr Speaker, this Orbital Resource Agreement is the first of its kind in Bermuda and has enlisted the cooperative efforts of experienced resources from both the satellite industry and the legal profession. I note that these experienced resources were available to the Ministry through personnel already under contract with this Government.

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to report that this Agreement represents a significant milestone in the decade long quest to develop Bermuda’s primary space asset while also playing a role in diversifying our economy.

Mr Speaker,I reiterate my sincere thanks for the stellar efforts made by the Assistant Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for Policy, our consultants, SESand colleagues in the Ministry of Education and Economic Development in helping to achieve the vision of the late Member of Parliament,Dr John Stubbs.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

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Comments (5)

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  1. ABM says:

    Now this is news!!! Well done!!!

    Too bad all the other readers are more concerned with the bad rather than the good!!

  2. sage says:

    No mention of projected income?

  3. I heart 441 says:

    So true ABM.
    I’m obsessed with good news.

  4. Two Bermudas says:

    Like sage said above. Projected income? Revenue? Employment? Anything?