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FCC Empowers Deployment of Next-Generation Satellites by Adopting New Licensing Framework

Jericho Casper

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

November 20, 2020 — During the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Commission Meeting on Wednesday, members of the agency voted to adopt two changes supporting the deployment of satellite-based broadband services, attempting to empower next-generation satellites to help bridge the digital divide.

The agency adopted a new framework to streamline satellite licensing processes and approved a rulemaking to allow geostationary satellite downlink operations in the 17 GigaHertz band.

“Consumers stand to benefit from expanded use of the 17.3–17.8 GigaHertz band and the routine processing of applications for licenses,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

“The satellite industry is expected to continue growing at a record-setting pace, and the commission’s proposed changes will help operators to hit the ground running with greater spectrum flexibility and a streamlined licensing process, that is focused on getting Americans connected at greater speeds and lower costs.”

Under previous rules, the FCC was required to issue separate licenses for each of the earth stations and space stations, relaying signals to one another, within a satellite system.

However, with the adoption of the agency’s new, unified licensing framework, space stations and earth stations in a single satellite system will be able to be authorized under a sole license.

“Today, we continue our efforts to streamline rules by harmonizing the licensing process for many classes of satellite space stations and earth stations,” said Pai. “These changes will end the need to make unnecessary or duplicate filings with the Commission, getting rid of some of the revelatory red tape standing in the way of satellite-based services.”

The licensing framework promises to eliminate redundancies, accelerate the deployment of new earth stations, and in turn, fast-track the availability of services to the public.

According to Pai, the framework was necessary, as the technology backing next-generation, low earth orbit satellites is wholly different than the tech utilized by traditional, geostationary satellites.

“We created the new regulatory framework for small satellites, in order to encourage space-based communications startups,” said Pai. “There is no reason why a satellite the size of a shoebox with the life expectancy of a guinea pig should be regulated the same way as a satellite the size of a school bus, that will stay in orbit for centuries.”

The FCC also adopted a rulemaking which allows geostationary satellite downlink operations in the 17 GigaHertz band. According to Commissioners, permitting such operations will both increase efficient use of the band and provide additional downlink capacity for new, high-throughput satellites.

Pai acknowledged the adverse effect the increased deployment of low earth orbit technology may have on the environment, during Wednesday’s meeting, saying the agency “recognizes the need to protect against the potential hazards posed by the increasingly populated low earth orbit environment.”

According to Pai, the FCC is attempting to alleviate environmental risks by adopting robust rules to mitigate orbital debris. The agency further sought comments on ways to ensure they are being responsible stewards of the extraterrestrial environment, earlier this year.

FCC

FCC’s Ruling Modernizing the 5.9 GigaHertz Band for Commercial Use Met With Unanimous Support

Jericho Casper

Published

on

Screenshot from the FCC November meeting

November 20, 2020 — During the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Commission Meeting on Wednesday, members of the agency voted to adopt two changes supporting the deployment of satellite-based broadband services, attempting to empower next-generation satellites to help bridge the digital divide.

The agency adopted a new framework to streamline satellite licensing processes and approved a rulemaking to allow geostationary satellite downlink operations in the 17 GigaHertz band.

“Consumers stand to benefit from expanded use of the 17.3–17.8 GigaHertz band and the routine processing of applications for licenses,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

“The satellite industry is expected to continue growing at a record-setting pace, and the commission’s proposed changes will help operators to hit the ground running with greater spectrum flexibility and a streamlined licensing process, that is focused on getting Americans connected at greater speeds and lower costs.”

Under previous rules, the FCC was required to issue separate licenses for each of the earth stations and space stations, relaying signals to one another, within a satellite system.

However, with the adoption of the agency’s new, unified licensing framework, space stations and earth stations in a single satellite system will be able to be authorized under a sole license.

“Today, we continue our efforts to streamline rules by harmonizing the licensing process for many classes of satellite space stations and earth stations,” said Pai. “These changes will end the need to make unnecessary or duplicate filings with the Commission, getting rid of some of the revelatory red tape standing in the way of satellite-based services.”

The licensing framework promises to eliminate redundancies, accelerate the deployment of new earth stations, and in turn, fast-track the availability of services to the public.

According to Pai, the framework was necessary, as the technology backing next-generation, low earth orbit satellites is wholly different than the tech utilized by traditional, geostationary satellites.

“We created the new regulatory framework for small satellites, in order to encourage space-based communications startups,” said Pai. “There is no reason why a satellite the size of a shoebox with the life expectancy of a guinea pig should be regulated the same way as a satellite the size of a school bus, that will stay in orbit for centuries.”

The FCC also adopted a rulemaking which allows geostationary satellite downlink operations in the 17 GigaHertz band. According to Commissioners, permitting such operations will both increase efficient use of the band and provide additional downlink capacity for new, high-throughput satellites.

Pai acknowledged the adverse effect the increased deployment of low earth orbit technology may have on the environment, during Wednesday’s meeting, saying the agency “recognizes the need to protect against the potential hazards posed by the increasingly populated low earth orbit environment.”

According to Pai, the FCC is attempting to alleviate environmental risks by adopting robust rules to mitigate orbital debris. The agency further sought comments on ways to ensure they are being responsible stewards of the extraterrestrial environment, earlier this year.

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FCC

INCOMPAS Predicts Prompt Action on Net Neutrality

Liana Sowa

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on

Screenshot from the webinar

November 20, 2020 — During the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Commission Meeting on Wednesday, members of the agency voted to adopt two changes supporting the deployment of satellite-based broadband services, attempting to empower next-generation satellites to help bridge the digital divide.

The agency adopted a new framework to streamline satellite licensing processes and approved a rulemaking to allow geostationary satellite downlink operations in the 17 GigaHertz band.

“Consumers stand to benefit from expanded use of the 17.3–17.8 GigaHertz band and the routine processing of applications for licenses,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

“The satellite industry is expected to continue growing at a record-setting pace, and the commission’s proposed changes will help operators to hit the ground running with greater spectrum flexibility and a streamlined licensing process, that is focused on getting Americans connected at greater speeds and lower costs.”

Under previous rules, the FCC was required to issue separate licenses for each of the earth stations and space stations, relaying signals to one another, within a satellite system.

However, with the adoption of the agency’s new, unified licensing framework, space stations and earth stations in a single satellite system will be able to be authorized under a sole license.

“Today, we continue our efforts to streamline rules by harmonizing the licensing process for many classes of satellite space stations and earth stations,” said Pai. “These changes will end the need to make unnecessary or duplicate filings with the Commission, getting rid of some of the revelatory red tape standing in the way of satellite-based services.”

The licensing framework promises to eliminate redundancies, accelerate the deployment of new earth stations, and in turn, fast-track the availability of services to the public.

According to Pai, the framework was necessary, as the technology backing next-generation, low earth orbit satellites is wholly different than the tech utilized by traditional, geostationary satellites.

“We created the new regulatory framework for small satellites, in order to encourage space-based communications startups,” said Pai. “There is no reason why a satellite the size of a shoebox with the life expectancy of a guinea pig should be regulated the same way as a satellite the size of a school bus, that will stay in orbit for centuries.”

The FCC also adopted a rulemaking which allows geostationary satellite downlink operations in the 17 GigaHertz band. According to Commissioners, permitting such operations will both increase efficient use of the band and provide additional downlink capacity for new, high-throughput satellites.

Pai acknowledged the adverse effect the increased deployment of low earth orbit technology may have on the environment, during Wednesday’s meeting, saying the agency “recognizes the need to protect against the potential hazards posed by the increasingly populated low earth orbit environment.”

According to Pai, the FCC is attempting to alleviate environmental risks by adopting robust rules to mitigate orbital debris. The agency further sought comments on ways to ensure they are being responsible stewards of the extraterrestrial environment, earlier this year.

Continue Reading

FCC

Federal Communications Commission Vote on Net Neutrality Reprises Deep Partisan Divisions

Jericho Casper

Published

on

Screenshot from the FCC October meeting

November 20, 2020 — During the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Commission Meeting on Wednesday, members of the agency voted to adopt two changes supporting the deployment of satellite-based broadband services, attempting to empower next-generation satellites to help bridge the digital divide.

The agency adopted a new framework to streamline satellite licensing processes and approved a rulemaking to allow geostationary satellite downlink operations in the 17 GigaHertz band.

“Consumers stand to benefit from expanded use of the 17.3–17.8 GigaHertz band and the routine processing of applications for licenses,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

“The satellite industry is expected to continue growing at a record-setting pace, and the commission’s proposed changes will help operators to hit the ground running with greater spectrum flexibility and a streamlined licensing process, that is focused on getting Americans connected at greater speeds and lower costs.”

Under previous rules, the FCC was required to issue separate licenses for each of the earth stations and space stations, relaying signals to one another, within a satellite system.

However, with the adoption of the agency’s new, unified licensing framework, space stations and earth stations in a single satellite system will be able to be authorized under a sole license.

“Today, we continue our efforts to streamline rules by harmonizing the licensing process for many classes of satellite space stations and earth stations,” said Pai. “These changes will end the need to make unnecessary or duplicate filings with the Commission, getting rid of some of the revelatory red tape standing in the way of satellite-based services.”

The licensing framework promises to eliminate redundancies, accelerate the deployment of new earth stations, and in turn, fast-track the availability of services to the public.

According to Pai, the framework was necessary, as the technology backing next-generation, low earth orbit satellites is wholly different than the tech utilized by traditional, geostationary satellites.

“We created the new regulatory framework for small satellites, in order to encourage space-based communications startups,” said Pai. “There is no reason why a satellite the size of a shoebox with the life expectancy of a guinea pig should be regulated the same way as a satellite the size of a school bus, that will stay in orbit for centuries.”

The FCC also adopted a rulemaking which allows geostationary satellite downlink operations in the 17 GigaHertz band. According to Commissioners, permitting such operations will both increase efficient use of the band and provide additional downlink capacity for new, high-throughput satellites.

Pai acknowledged the adverse effect the increased deployment of low earth orbit technology may have on the environment, during Wednesday’s meeting, saying the agency “recognizes the need to protect against the potential hazards posed by the increasingly populated low earth orbit environment.”

According to Pai, the FCC is attempting to alleviate environmental risks by adopting robust rules to mitigate orbital debris. The agency further sought comments on ways to ensure they are being responsible stewards of the extraterrestrial environment, earlier this year.

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