Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023
The FCC Approves New Rules to Accelerate Processing of Satellite and Earth Station Applications

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved new rules to expedite the processing of satellite and Earth station applications. The aim is to keep up with the growing demands of the commercial space industry. The report and order issued by the commission establish specific timeframes for issuing public comment notices for such applications. It also allows applicants to seek authorization to operate in frequencies within bands where there are no international frequency allocations.
One key aspect of the new rules is the effort to speed up the processing of requests to add Earth stations as points of communication. The rules also provide flexibility for operators to have more than one unbuilt non-geostationary orbit system without the risk of having their applications dismissed.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel commented, “It is a new era, so we eliminate old rules that no longer meet the moment and establish clear timeframes for placing space and earth station applications on public notice.” She added that the new rules make the process easier to understand for existing players as well as new entrants in the industry.
The adoption of these rules is part of the FCC’s Space Innovation agenda and supports the Space Bureau’s Transparency Initiative. The initiative aims to reduce administrative burden by providing potential applicants with information and guidance as they work towards authorizations for their satellites and Earth stations.
The FCC continues to gather public feedback on proposals that aim to streamline the processing of applications. This includes eliminating the need for printing and keeping a paper copy of a license, as well as changing the default status of such applications from “restricted” to “permit-but-disclose” proceedings.