Communications Satellites: Global Change Agents

By Joseph N. Pelton; Robert J. Oslund et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
Benefits of Satellite Telecommunications
Dr. Norman C. Lerner
Transcomm, Inc.

Where There Is No Vision, The People Perish.

—Old Testament, Proverbs, XXIX, 18

Satellite telecommunications systems and services have provided substantial socioeconomic benefits worldwide for nearly four decades, and this impact likely will only continue to grow. However, the distribution of these benefits are not spread evenly throughout the world, nor is there any assurance that they have necessarily gone to those most “deserving. ” Moreover, there is little agreement to date on how to categorize or even accurately measure those benefits.

The following analysis seeks to identify the incidence and magnitude of these socioeconomic benefits, as well as consider the associated problems that these gains have created. To accomplish these objectives, the following analysis presents a structure for categorizing and evaluating the benefits derived from satellite communications. The approach utilized here develops a hierarchy of beneficiaries related to representative satellite systems, specific services and their economic contribution at different levels of commercial enterprise, and different geographic categories within this structure.

This analytic process allows the benefits to be quantified by using relevant proxy economic and financial data. This approach seeks to separate, as far as possible, the specific gains that satellite communications services and products have produced, as distinct from those gains associated with the benefits of telecommunications in general.

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