United States: The Federal Communications Commission has simplified and streamlined the regulatory approval process for satellite licenses. The rulemaking is one of the key reforms under the Commission’s process reform initiative.
The changes will facilitate the international coordination of proposed satellite networks by permitting submissions of advanced publication and coordination requests by the FCC to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) before a full license application is filed at the Commission.
They will eliminate interim satellite milestone implementation requirements and deter spectrum warehousing by creating a post-licensing bond requirement that increases in value over time, providing an incentive for licensees to surrender their authorizations early if business plans change.
Finally, the new rules refine the “two-degree” orbital spacing requirements to better accommodate the use of small antennas, and expand options for simplified routine earth station licensing.