European Conference on Satellite Communications

1963 - 1970
Parallel forms of name

Conférence européenne pour les télécommunications par satellites

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Historical Notes

After the United States' proposal for the creation of a world telecommunications system, Intelsat (International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation), the European countries established an institution dealing specifically with satellite communications, namely the European Conference on Satellite Communications (ECSC). The purpose of this conference was to draw up a common European policy for the impending negotiations with the United States, and the other member countries of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT). Although ECSC was not institutionalised by any legal act, it was at first very active: August 1964 saw the signing of the Interim Agreement to form the International Satellite Consortium, which would become Intelsat. The period 1964-71 was devoted to negotiation of the agreements on the final form of Intelsat which entered into force on 12 February 1973. However, the analysis of the institutional, technical and economical implications of the project led the European Space Conference, at its meeting of October 1968 in Bad Godesberg to take the matter of a European communication satellite programme out of ECSC's hands and refer it to European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) and European Organisation for the Development and Construction of Space Vehicle Launchers (ELDO). Consequently ECSC, having lost its "raison d'être", ceased all activity in 1970.

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