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GAO Finds Demand, Bandwidth Availability Increase Satellite Costs

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A spike in satellite costs during the previous decade was not caused by industry consolidation, according to a General Accountability Office report.

Rather, costs went up because of other market factors such as demand and availability of bandwidth. The length of task orders also helped to drive up prices.

In its 53-page report, GAO found costs of satellite services increased 30 percent between fiscal years 2003 and 2010.

Strategic Command officials told GAO the amount of bandwidth purchased, contract length, frequency band purchased, geographic location of coverage and bandwidth capacity all played large roles in driving up prices.

GAO made no recommendations in its report.

Two primary operators — Intelsat and SES — provide satellite services to the federal government.

Click here to read the full report.

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