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Mr. ROBACK. What really is the responsibility of the Secretary in this case? He asked for an opportunity finally to review it. When he gave approval to Mr. Webb to go ahead and make his negotiations with Comsat he said, “Before you sign a piece of paper"
Mr. HORWITZ. That is right.
Now, outside of curiosity in the matter and a certain amount of responsibility, what could he do to hold it up?
Mr. HORWITZ. Well, he could say, “I don't think this is the right thing to do,” in which event an appeal could be taken to the President for a final determination by the President.
Mr. ROBACK. The fact is, of course, that he did not hold it up.
Mr. ROBACK. There was an exchange of correspondence on the matter.
Mr. HORWITZ. That is right.
Mr. ROBACK. Now, we had printed in our last hearings in January 1966, all the correspondence up to the time in October of 1965, when Mr. McNamara, in effect, said, “Go ahead.”
Since that time there was an exchange of additional correspondence. On March 18, 1966, Mr. Webb submits his proposal for review-that is a March 18 letter by Webb to McNamara followed by a May 16 letter from Vance to Webb.
Is there any reason why these should not be put in the record? Do you have any objections?
General STARBIRD. They are not classified.
Washington, D.C., March 18, 1966.
DEAR BoB: In your letter of October 5, 1965, you requested that NASA, acting as representative of the Executive Agent, NCS, proceed immediately to conduct negotiations with the Communications Satellite Corporation (Comsat), concerning the terms under which Comsat would furnish satellite communications services to meet requirements in support of NCS/NASCOM. You also requested that upon completion of such negotiations, and prior to the execution of any contract, NASA submit a statement of its final requirements for communications sertices, and the estimated cost of meeting them, to you for review. This letter is in fulfillment of the latter request.
In beginning immediate negotiations, it was NASA's intention and expectation that it would deal solely with Comsat for all elements of the services required, and that Comsat would in turn contract with the three foreign telecommunications companies involved for the portions of the services each would furnish. However, two of the three companies. Cable and Wireless, Ltd. (C&W), and the Australian Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC(A)), refused to participate on this basis, and insisted that NASA should enter into separate contracts with them for the services each would furnish. With the concurrence of Comsat, which considered that NASA had no alternative. NASA ultimately agreei to negotiate separate contracts with C&W for the Ascension Island portion of the
total services (which includes the circuits to the satellite), with OTC(A) for the Carnarvon portion, with Compania Telefonica Nacional de Espana (CTNE) for the Canary Islands portion, and with Comsat for the remainder of the total services.
Negotiations with the three foreign carriers were deferred until the negotiations with Comsat had been completed, in order that NASA could propose terms which were substantially the same as those agreed upon with Comsat. The negotiations with Comsat were completed in all essential respects in midJanuary, and NASA has since been negotiating with the three other carriers, on a separate but concurrent basis.
Because of the situation described above, NASA's negotiations for the communications services have taken considerably longer than had been anticipated. However, although our negotiations with the three foreign carriers are still going on, we consider that we have now reached the point that it is possible to comply with your request for a statement of the final NCS/NASCOM require ments and the estimated costs of meeting them.
The NCS/NASCOM requirements have not changed in any material respect from the manner in which they were described in Mr. Horwitz's letter to the Comsat Corporation dated July 26, 1965, on the basis of which Comsat subunitted a proposal, dated August 26, 1965, for meeting them. However, for your convenience, I am attaching to this letter (Tab A) a detailed description of the total services which will be provided by the four carriers involved.
With respect to the estimated costs of the services, the original Comsat proposal indicated, entirely as a planning estimate, that the cost of furnishing the total services (excluding the cost of ship conversion), for the ten year period between September 1966 and August 1976, would be in the range of $79.3 million, of which approximately $14.1 million would have been chargeable to the first three years of service. In negotiating with Comsat and the three other carriers, NASA has dealt only in terms of these first three years of services, which are scheduled to begin by October 1, 1966. This three-year period was selected as the term of the initial contracts because three years is the planned life of the HS-303A satellites that will be employed in the system. If the satellites should prove to have a longer lifetime, and if the NCS/NASCOM requirements continue beyond September 1969, as anticipated, the charges made for continued services will be negotiated in 1969, and will presumably be lower because a major portion of the capital costs of the space segment, which includes satellites and launching costs, will have been amortized during the first three-year period.
The estimated cost of the total services from the four carriers involved in furnishing them is $13.458 million a year, or $40.374 million for the three-year period covered by the four contracts. A detailed summary of these costs is attached as Tab B to this letter.
In connection with Comsat's charge for furnishing services, which in the estimates given is indicated as $9.264 million a year, I should make it clear that NASA has not actually agreed to this amount as the rate which will be charged. Our contract with Comsat will provide that the rates applicable to these services shall be as set forth in a tariff which has been established under FCC procedures. Comsat has indicated, however, and this will also be set forth in the NASA contract, that the tariff it intends to file with the FCC will call for rates which will produce the annual return of $9.264 million referred to above. The FCC is, of course, the final arbiter as to whether these rates will go into effect. In this connection, I might add that NASA sought the advice of the FCC staff on several occasions as to how the matter of charges should be treated under the contract.
With respect to the charges to be made by the three foreign carriers, the amounts shown in Tab B are the quotations furnished by the respective companies. C&W and OTC(A) have consistently declined to furnish any additional information concerning the basis on which the proposed charges were determined. However, comparison of these charges with Comsat's proposed rates, for which NASA has been furnished a detailed cost breakdown, indicates that C&W's proposed charge of $165,000 a year per voice circuit is reasonably in line with what Comsat would charge for similar service. Nevertheless, NASA has not indicated to C&W its final acceptance of this charge. OTC(A)'s proposed «harge of $236,000 a year per voice circuit appears somewhat high, especially when con
sidered in relation to the C&IV rate, and NASA intends to continue its efforts to negotiate it downwards.
CTNE has furnished some details as to ground segment and earth segment costs, and a breakdown, under broad headings, of the basis for its proposed charge of $221,428. a year per voice circuit. This charge is also considered to be high, particularly in view of the fact that in December 1965, CTNE quoted a charge of approximately $154,000 a year per voice channel to the Comsat Corporation. With the assistance of Comsat, NASA is presently seeking further information from CTNE in explanation of the substantial difference between the two quotations, and it is anticipated that some reduction of the proposed CTNE rate will be achieved through further negotiation. Therefore, the figure shown in Tab B may be viewed as the maximum charge which might be made by CTNE.
NASA plans to pursue the negotiations with the three foreign carriers on an expedited basis, since it has become an urgent matter that the contracts be signed at as early a date as possible. In connection with your review, NASA will be prepared to furnish any additional information that you may desire. Sincerely yours,
JAMES E. WEBB,
DESCRIPTION OF STATEMENT OF SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES TO MEET
REQUIREMENTS IN SUPPORT OF NCS/NASCOM
1. GENERAL DESCRIPTION
The services described will be carried by two U.S. interface centers, two U.S. earth stations, two communications satellites which provide for the communications services, and by the six remote satellite fixed and mobile stations identified in Paragraph 2 below. Simultaneous access to any two of four remote stations through a satellite above the Atlantic Ocean and to two stations through a satellite above the Pacific Ocean will be provided. The services will be for continuous use.
Each U.S. interface will receive twelve voice circuits and four teletypewriter circuits at all times and the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT) will provide the coordination required to facilitate switching between the various remote stations.
2. POINTS OF SERVICE
(A) Services will be provided from an Eastern Continental United States Interface via an Atlantic satellite to the remote stations listed below. The Atlantic Ocean satellite sub-orbital point shall be maintained within 76° great circle distance from a point at 62° E. longitude and 28° S. latitude and within 76° great circle distance from the Eastern Continental United States earth station (approximately 5° W. longitude at the Equator).
1. Either or both of two suitability equipped instrumentation ships located anywhere between 37° N. latitude and 37° S. latitude and within a great circle distance of 76° from the satellite sub-orbital point.
2. A Grand Canary Island station located at 15° W. longitude and 27° N. latitude.
3. An Ascension Island station located 14° W. longitude and 8° S. latitude. Services will be provided simultaneously to any two of the above four stations.
(B) Services will be provided from a Western Continental United States interface via a Pacific satellite to the remote stations listed below. The Pacific Ocean satellite sub-orbital point shall be maintained within 76° great circle distance from the primary Western United States earth station and within 76° great circle distance from the Carnarvon, Australia, earth station (approximately 176° E. longitude at the Equator).
1. A Carnarvon, Australia, station located at 114° E. longitude and 25° S. latitude.
2. A suitably equipped instrumentation ship located anywhere between 37° N. latitude and 37° S. latitude and within a great circle distance of 76° from the satellite sub-orbital point.
(C) The services shall be continuous with the exception of scheduled mainteDance periods.
(D) NASA will keep COMSAT advised as to the type of traffic (voice or data) to be carried by individual channels.
3. SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED
(A) Total communications capacity to be provided will consist of 24 voice/ data circuits and 8 teletypewriter circuits to remote earth stations. The technical characteristics of these circuits are described in Tables I and II, appended hereto.
The Eastern United States Interface Center will carry simultaneously to each of two remote stations, six voice/data circuits and two teletypewriter circuits. The Western United States Interface Center will carry simultaneously to each of two remote stations, six voice/data circuits and two teletypewriter circuits. COMSAT will provide at the U.S. Interface Centers the equipment required to multiplex the individual channel signals into a broadband signal and to separate the broadband multiplex signal into individual channels. Data modems if required will be furnished by NASA and will operate on the NASA side of the interface.
(B) As manager of the space segment, COMSAT will provide the network coordination required to assure proper spacecraft operating parameters and timely switching between remote stations.
4. DEFINITION OF INTERFACE
(A) The domestic interface between COMSAT and NASA shall be at the individual channel level in the 0 to 4000 c/s band and in conformance with the technical characteristics of the channels, as described in Tables I and II.
Two U.S. interfaces shall be established, one in the Eastern and one in the Western Continental United States. NASA will designate a domestic communications common carrier to participate in this interface and COMSAT will arrange with the designated carrier to resolve technical details of such interfaces.
(B) The interfaces between COMSAT and the earth terminals at all remote locations shall actually take place at the microwave inputs and outputs of the satellites as viewed from the remote location. However, in order to permit assessment of circuit performance, measurements may be made as if the interfaces existed at the individual channels at the output of the remote stations, as described in Paragraph 5 below.
(C) The interface between the remote earth stations and NASA will be at the main distribution frame of the earth stations, except for the Carnarvon, Australia, station which will be at the main distribution frame of the NASA station.
5. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION Performance evaluation is based on a two-step process of system calculations and comparison measurements.
(A) System Calculations.—The method of calculation used to define system performance will be agreed upon by COMSAT and NASA prior to April 1, 1966. To the extent possible, this method will take into account anticipated signal loading and operating parameters. The earth station and shipborne station characteristics used for these calculations are given in Tables III and IV appended hereto. The method of calculations used to define system performance for the remote earth station will be agreed upon by the remote earth station owners, COMSAT, and NASA prior to June 1, 1966.
(B) Comparison Measurements.-Periodic measurements of circuit characteristics will be made at single channel level at the U.S. earth station output. The specific parameters to be measured are as follows:
1. Frequency response
These comparison measurements will form the basis for evaluation of performance trends.
Outage time is defined as that time for which the channel does not meet required technical characteristics and excluding scheduled maintenance periods. However, qualification of performance will be based on useability to NASA even though the performance may not meet the characteristics specified in Tables I and II.
The reliability objective for a single month is 99.8%. This reliability is measured according to the following:
7. OPERATIONAL COORDINATION AND CONTROL
(A) Operational Coordination.
1. COMSAT will act as technical coordinator during the construction phase of the system through the organizational mechanism established for this purpose i.e, the Earth Station Owners Working Committee for NASA Communications Services Via INTELSTAT II. When the system becomes operational, operational coordination of communications satellite services will be in accordance with International Common Carrier Practices, as appropriate.
(B) Operational Control Provided by COMSAT.
1. Control and direction of earth station and communications satellite operation functions will be the sole responsibility of COMSAT and the cooperating earth station owners. In the case of shipborne earth stations, NASA agrees that such stations will respond to the communication operational instructions of COMSAT control or its designated agent iusofar as its interface with the communications satellite is concerned, or as overall communications service performance is affected. Should operating conditions aboard shipborne stations result in periods of actual performance below calculated performance, COMSAT agrees only to take all reasonable operational measures with respect to the satellite communications system to provide a service performance which will permit the transmission of the required NASA traffic.
2. COMSAT will assist NASA in making adequate utilization of the communications satellite network through reasonable and appropriate operational control response and the furnishing of operational and technical advice and counsel.
TABLE I.-Technical Characteristics of Voice/Data Circuits The characteristics of each Voice/Data circuit measured between the earth station/NASA interface and the remote station are based on the Type 4B Schedule.
The technical characteristics of the remote station to satellite to earth station link in clear weather will be a modified Type 4B Schedule as described below:
Mode of Operation : Full Duplex.
8dbm0 for comp. data signal; 8 VU for voice. Attenuation measured between 600 ohm impedance at lineup: 8 db + 1 db. @ 1000 cps. Expected max. var. of Net Loss:
Short term + 3 db.
Long term + 4 db. Frequency response: Frequency Range Loss Var. -db. 300-499
2 to +6 500-2800
1 to +3 2800-3000
2 to +6