|TRAFICANT, James A., Jr.,|
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6, 1998
Washington, D.C. – The House today adopted an amendment offered by U. S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D–OH) requiring the federal government to report annually to Congress on the impact the privatization of international satellite services is having on the U.S. economy, U.S. jobs and the ability of U.S. communications companies to compete globally. The amendment was offered to legislation being debated today by the House to encourage the privatization of international satellite services.
The House is today debating the "Communications Satellite Competition
& Privatization Act." The bill establishes a time line and conditions
for the privatization of the International Telecommunications Satellite
Organization (INTELSAT) and the Inter- national Maritime Satellite Organization
(Inmarsat) by 2002 and 2001, respectively.
INTELSAT was formed in the 1960s by a consortium of nations to provide worldwide telephone and other services. In 1973, it was converted into an international treaty organization. Inmarsat was created in 1979 to provide satellite services for maritime communication needs, including maritime safety and rescue at sea. It has since renamed the International Mobile Satellite Organization.
Since the U.S. government has no direct control over INTELSAT or Inmarsat, the bill is intended to encourage the member nations of both organizations to agree to privatize them in a pro-competitive manner, or face sharply restricted access to the lucrative U.S. satellite market.
One of the many provisions of the bill requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to report annually to Congress on the status of INTELSAT and Inmarsat privatization efforts. Traficant's amendment, which the House unanimously adopted on a voice vote, requires the FCC to include in its annual report to Congress the impact privatization has had on U.S. industry and jobs, as well as U.S. industry's access to the global marketplace. The House is expected to complete work on the bill later today. 2009