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RealTime IT News

Starband Sues EchoStar

Two-way, high speed satellite Internet provider StarBand has filed a lawsuit against EchoStar Communications seeking a restraining order and injunction against EchoStar to transfer back StarBand's customer base and cease operating as StarBand's billing agent. The suit also requests the court to prohibit EchoStar from collecting fees from StarBand customers. The McLean, Va.-based StarBand is seeking damages for EchoStar's alleged failure to pay "millions of dollars rightfully owed StarBand."

In the suit filed Thursday, StarBand charges that EchoStar has not forwarded any of the millions of dollars in fees it has collected and is collecting as its billing agent. Starband claims that as a result of EchoStar's continued delay of the customer base transition, StarBand will be denied another month of service fees and has requested injunctive relief and damages from EchoStar.

"We look forward to a quick resolution on this matter," said StarBand President and Chief Marketing Officer David Trachtenberg. "With an immediate transition of our customer base, StarBand will be able to move forward growing our business and continuing to serve customers with the kind of service and support they've come to expect and deserve from us."

StarBand delivers its two-way satellite Internet service through small antennas on roofs, walls or poles of consumer homes for residential service or commercial buildings for small office customers. The StarBand Model 360 high-speed satellite modem is connected to a customer's computer. When a customer accesses StarBand Internet service, the signal travels over inside wiring to the rooftop antenna. The antenna then relays the data signals to a satellite. The StarBand antenna accommodates both StarBand high-speed Internet service and satellite TV programming.

"The lawsuit against EchoStar is unfortunate but also unavoidable," said Trachtenberg. "As a growing business, we couldn't financially wait any longer to receive payments for the services we provide."