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An equivalent lossy wire model is introduced for the analysis of electromagnetic scattering from a long lossy tether structure, which is used to suspend a satellite from a shuttle in free space. The equivalent model incorporates the electrical characteristics of the uniform TM01 mode of a coated wire configuration and the geometrical properties of a lossy wire configuration. By considering residue contributions and the resulting surface wave quantities alone, and by adopting two additional simplifications in the calculation of induced currents and scattered field, the equivalent lossy wire model is used to determine the effect of a long, lossy tether on communications between its two ends. It is shown that for tether lengths of up to 30 km with the primary source being located close to one end of a lossy, straight tether, the presence of the tether does not have a significant effect on the near-zone fields in the neighborhood of its `receiving end'