The creation of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO), previously known by the acronym, "INTELSAT," resulted from the efforts of a group of nations to join the United States in 1964 to establish a global communications satellite system. The International Telecommunications Satellite Organization is an intergovernmental organization that incorporates the principle set forth in Resolution 1721 (XVI) of the General Assembly of the United Nations, which establishes that communication by means of satellites should be available to the nations of the world as soon as practicable on a global and non-discriminatory basis. It also incorporates the principle embedded in the "Outer Space Treaty," which states that outer space shall be used for the benefit and in the interest of all countries.
The Organization underwent an important restructuring in 2001 in order to secure the long-term viability of its communications system in a market that is characterized by increasing competition, fast-paced innovations and rising capital costs, and in order to attract private investments. The Assembly of Parties, the highest decision-making body of the Organization, in 2000 approved the legal instruments and framework necessary to create a commercial and pro-competitive company named "Intelsat, Ltd.," to operate the satellite system and provide space segment capacity in a manner consistent with the core principles of global coverage and connectivity, lifeline connectivity and non-discriminatory access. For this purpose, ITSO transferred its global satellite system, including the geostationary-orbital locations, "landing rights" and the brand-name of "Intelsat," to Intelsat, Ltd. Since this transfer in 2001, Intelsat has invested US$ 2.6 billion to substantially improve the global connectivity and coverage that it offers. As a result, Intelsat's global communications network, which was composed of 19 satellites in 2001, has expanded to 53 satellites through new launches and acquisitions, while Intelsat simultaneously has expanded its terrestrial facilities, including teleports, points of presence and fiber connectivity.