Space

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued new guidance and adopted new rules intended to expedite the processing of satellite and earth station license applications.  In a corresponding move, the agency adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”) seeking comment on additional policy changes concerning satellite and earth station licensing.  These actions, which are part of the FCC’s new Space Innovation agenda, highlight the agency’s ongoing commitment to increasing its role in the regulation of a growing commercial space economy. This latest space-related FCC action consists of two parts: (1) a Report and Order (“R&O”) issuing new guidance and adopting new rules concerning the Space Bureau’s processing of satellite and earth station license applications, and (2) an FNPRM proposing further policy changes. 

This latest space-related FCC action consists of two parts: (1) a Report and Order (“R&O”) issuing new guidance and adopting new rules concerning the Space Bureau’s processing of satellite and earth station license applications, and (2) an FNPRM proposing further policy changes. Continue Reading FCC Takes Action to Expedite Satellite Licensing as Part of Agency’s Space Innovation Agenda

Updated April 12, 2023. Originally posted March 23, 2023.

In March, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks public comment on a proposed licensing framework that would enable multiple satellite operators to supplement the network coverage of terrestrial wireless service providers.  Termed “Supplemental Coverage from Space” (SCS), this service would authorize certain satellite systems to use spectrum licensed to a terrestrial network provider partner to provide expanded coverage to the provider’s wireless customers, even in remote areas. Comments on the NPRM, which appeared in today’s Federal Register, are due Friday, May 12, with reply comments due the following month, on Monday, June 12.Continue Reading FCC Seeks Comment on “Supplemental Coverage from Space” Rules, Responding to Growing Trend towards Partnerships between Satellite Operators and Wireless Network Providers

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that the agency will officially establish a new Space Bureau with a kickoff event scheduled for Tuesday, April 11.  The announcement, though largely a symbolic move (it likely will take additional time for the actual reorganization to occur), highlights the agency’s commitment to increasing its role in regulating a fast-growing space economy. 

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in November announced plans to form the new Space Bureau, which will be spun off from the agency’s International Bureau, the bureau currently responsible for satellite and earth station licensing matters.  A new Office of International Affairs will take over the non-space-related duties currently handled by the International Bureau, which will cease to exist following the reorganization.Continue Reading FCC Announces Launch of New Space Bureau, Advancing Plans for Increased Regulatory Role in Growing Space Economy

Yesterday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a Request for Comment that seeks input on a “National Spectrum Strategy,” which would include a plan to study federal spectrum usage to identify spectrum that could be reallocated or repurposed to commercial or shared federal/commercial use. This National Spectrum Strategy also would include a process for identifying the spectrum bands best suited for repurposing (a “Spectrum Pipeline”).  NTIA seeks input in creating a Spectrum Pipeline for the next decade, with the goal of identifying at least 1,500 megahertz of spectrum to study for potential repurposing to meet the future requirements of both commercial and federal users.  Continue Reading NTIA Seeks Public Comment on the Development of a National Spectrum Strategy and Spectrum-Sharing “Pipeline”

Last week, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced plans to reorganize the agency’s International Bureau by creating a new Space Bureau and a standalone Office of International Affairs.  The announcement, which marks the latest in a string of space-focused actions over the last several months, is a further indication of the FCC’s commitment to leadership in the growing space economy.Continue Reading FCC Positions Itself for Expanding Space Industry