Two companies are raising objections to proposed changes to satellite broadcasting spectrum that would make it more difficult and more expensive to use. Telesat Canada and U.S.-based Air TV Ltd. are concerned that Industry Canada’s proposal (DGTP-012-04) could in effect give fixed service (FS) priority over certain fixed satellite services (FSS), thus making it more difficult for satellite broadcasting services to be deployed using the 17.8 GHz to 18.4 GHz spectrum. (For more on Air TV Ltd.’s concerns, see the Newsmakers column on page 8.) Telesat doesn’t object to the soft segmentation approach adopted by the department to protect each service from interfering with the other, but is concerned that adoption of the rules as they stand would effectively make FSS secondary to FS. Bringing into effect the proposal set out by Industry Canada "would unduly and unnecessarily constrain essential flexibility for the growth of the BSS in Canada for the foreseeable future. Telesat believes that the proposed change would effectively downgrade the FSS (Earth-to-space) allocation in this band to an equivalent secondary allocation," writes the company.  Arguments don’t justify changes: Telesat Industry Canada bases its argument for adopting modifications to the rules – they were only ratified in October 2004 – on four elements: lack of filings at International Telecommunication Union for FSS uplinks; lack of similar allocations in the United States; to date implementation of BSS feeder links have been in the 17.3-17.8 GHz band; and technical feasibility of locating bi-directional satellites at very close orbital separations to provide sufficient discrimination to allow bidirectional use of the band.  Telesat doesn’t disagree with any of the arguments, but submits this doesn’t justify the proposed changes. Recognizing points one and three, the company indicates, demonstrates for example the BSS fleet in Canada is relatively new and BSS can’t be brought into service until 2007. The fact that spectrum transition from 17.3-17.8 GHz to 17.8-18.3 GHz has yet to materialize, combined with there not being any planned transition in the near future, doesn’t mean this spectrum can’t be used by satellite operators. "Historically bands shared by the satellite services and the terrestrial services are almost always exploited first by the terrestrial services. This, of course, does not justify precluding subsequent use by the satellite services," the company argues.  The satellite operator notes in its comments that growth of the Canadian satellite industry has been made possible and economical through the use of multi-band payloads on satellites. "This approach enables the satellite operator to introduce new service in a new band without risking the entire capital cost of satellite construction, launch and insurance on an unproven band," Telesat writes.  Adopting the department’s proposal would limit future Canadian satellite industry growth, the company adds.