After more than one year under the Chapter 11 process, beleaguered
satellite-broadband provider StarBand Communications Inc. has filed its
reorganization plan and hopes to emerge from the process by year’s end.
The McLean, Va.-based provider -- which has only attracted about 40,000
customers since its launch in November 2000 -- filed for reorganization in U.S.
Bankruptcy Court in Delaware in May 2002.
Company officials expect the plan to be approved by the end of 2003.
So far, the company has managed to improve its financial standing, converting
some $113 million in bank debt into equity. Another $90 million owed to parent
Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. will be converted with a $14 million note planned
once the company emerges from bankruptcy.
StarBand has also forged a new $7 million technology and hardware-supply
agreement with Gilat to provide additional financing.
And the company created a new nationwide sales channel with more than 2,400
independent dealers -- replacing the network it had before severing its
relationship with direct-broadcast satellite provider EchoStar Communications
Corp. -- and launched its fourth-generation product line, the "StarBand 480
The 480 Pro kicks up the throughput to 1 megabit per second downstream and
100 kilobits per second upstream and adds a four-port Ethernet router for
connection to other computer devices.