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International Telecommunications Satellite Organization

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The International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO) is the world's largest commercial satellite communications services provider. It is an international consortium that owns and manages a constellation of communications satellites (Intelsats) to provide international broadcast services. Ownership and investment in ITSO (measured in shares) is distributed among ITSO members according to their respective use of services. Investment shares determine each member's percentage of the total contribution needed to finance capital expenditures. The organization's primary source of revenue comes from satellite usage fees which, after deduction of operating costs, are redistributed to ITSO members in proportion to their shares as repayment of capital and compensation for use of capital. Satellite services are available to any organization (both ITSO members and non-members), and all users pay the same rates.

The consortium began on August 20, 1964 as the International Telecommunications Satellite Consortium with 11 participating countries. In 1973, the name was changed and there were 80 signatories. ITSO currently has over 100 members and provides service to over 600 Earth stations in more than 149 countries, territories and dependencies. Intelsat maintains it headquarters in Washington, DC.

Spacecraft operations are controlled through ground stations in Fucino, Italy[?], Clarksburg, Maryland (USA), Beijing, China, Raisting, Germany[?], Perth, Australia, and Paumalu, Hawaii[?] (USA).

Since its inception, ITSO has used several versions (blocks) of its dedicated Intelsat satellites. ITSO competes each block of spacecraft independently, leading to a variety of contractors over the years.

(cut'n'paste from http://jpl.nasa.gov/msl/Programs/intelsat)



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