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Echostar challenges loss of satellite slot

Saying the government misread company plans, EchoStar Communications Corp.
Tuesday said it will appeal the Federal Communications Commission's revocation
of its license to use Ka-band satellite spectrum for data service.

The FCC ruled July 1 that EchoStar failed to meet its Jan. 2002 deadline to
begin construction of the necessary satellite. But the company said not only has
it begun building the bird, but construction is complete and launch scheduled
for fourth quarter 2002.

"We've met all milestones and we're ready to launch," said EchoStar spokesman
Marc Lumpkin.

The FCC based its ruling on company contracts that do not guarantee the
satellite's Ka-band transponders will be operational.

EchoStar plans to generate Ka- and Ku-band transmissions from EchoStar IX,
which will operate at 121-degrees west.

"No one is using the Ka-band and we want to be a pioneer," Lumpkin