There is a growing need for more commo birds. Between 2000 and 2002, Department of Defense satellite bandwidth doubled, and more than doubled every 18 months after that. Back in 2000, some 60 percent of Department of Defense satellite capacity had to be leased from commercial firms. While the Department of Defense had its own communications satellite network (MILSAT), it underestimated the growth of demand. Greater use of the internet and reconnaissance aircraft and UAVs using video cameras quickly used up MILSAT's capacity and forced the military to lease capacity on commercial satellites. This was done on the "spot market," meaning the Department of Defense had to pay whatever the market would bear at that moment.
Do read it all. It is easy to overlook this basis for the images we see of our troops using high tech equipment.
But I'm an old signal guy. So it is interesting to me.