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Court prevents local Justice from Amazonas deciding on Brazilian satellite

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An injunction granted by the Federal Regional Court of the First Region (TRF-1) prevents the Federal Justice of the Amazon from taking any further decision regarding the imbroglio of the Brazilian satellite. The decision was made in a lawsuit filed by Viasat, a US company that has signed a contract with Telebras to provide the internet from the state-owned satellite.

The request was judged by the federal adjudicator of TRF-1, Daniele Maranhão. The judge did not rescind an injunction from the Federal Court of the Amazon that led to the immediate disconnection of the Internet signal, but prohibited the making of new decisions until the TRF-1 decides if Manaus is the appropriate forum to try the case.

“For this reason, and in the face of the evident procedural losses arising from the processing of the case in a judgment that, to the extent that can be inferred at present, is not the competent one for its judgment, I partially grant the injunction required to determine the suspension of the proceeding , until further judicial deliberation, without prejudice to the acts already practiced, as well as of its possible review at the recursional seat by the appointed rapporteur, “says the order of the federal adjudicator Daniele Maranhao.

The decision was given in a security order filed by Viasat, which questioned the jurisdiction of the Federal Justice of the Amazon to make decisions regarding the case. Viasat is a North American company based in Carlsbad, United States, while Telebras is based in Brasilia. Therefore, the company asks that the lawsuit be tried in the federal capital.

In a statement, Viasat said it was confident that the TRF-1 ruling cleared the way for the case to be tried in Brasilia. “We remain confident that, once our case is reviewed on the basis of due facts and merits, the Brazilian people will benefit.” Viasat is eager to resume work and help our partner, Telebras, offer world-class connectivity to all corners of Brazil, “the company said.

Telebras celebrated the decision and said it hoped that the court would consolidate its partnership with Viasat. “Telebras will continue to contribute to all judicial instances and believes that it will soon be able to start installing connection points in schools, health units, rural areas throughout Brazil through the Internet for All program,” said the company.

An injunction granted by the Federal Court of Amazonas complied with a request from Via Direta Telecomunicacoes e Internet, which operates in Manaus and claims to have been prejudiced by the agreement entered into between Telebras and Viasat for the exploitation of the satellite. The injunction led to the disconnection of the internet signal in Pacaraima, in Roraima.

The Brazilian satellite was launched in orbit a year ago, on May 4th, with investments of R $ 2.8 billion. It has two bands: one is for military use only, already in use; another for civil use, for satellite internet. It has been in operation since January, but it is necessary to build antennas and infrastructure on land to provide signals to thousands of localities in the country, such as schools, public entities and also commercial clients.

The hiring of Viasat was made after a public call made by Telebras to explore the satellite, which had no interested parties. The company then used the “associative contract” modality provided for in the new State Law, which allowed the transfer of part of the satellite capacity to Viasat.

Via Direct questioned this hiring, and the judicial decisions ended up leading to the disconnection of the signal. Telebras claims that, without use, the satellite generates daily loss of R $ 800 thousand. The case reached the Federal Supreme Court (STF), but the minister Carmen Lúcia saw no risk to national sovereignty and sent the case back to the first court. Now both Viasat and Telebras have gone to court to bring the case to Brasilia.