FCC Issues Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft Order

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The Federal Communications Commission has released a Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration for Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft (ESAA). ESAAs receive from, and transmit to, a geostationary orbit (GSO) Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS) satellite. ESAAs, when combined with technologies such as Wi-Fi inside the aircraft hull, offer broadband services for in-flight passengers and crew aboard commercial and private aircraft. The Report and Order will promote regulatory parity by adopting a primary allocation for ESAA in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band. The Order on Reconsideration clarifies some ESAA rules, a result of a petition for reconsideration and clarification filed by The Boeing Company. These changes will promote regulatory and operational certainty for ESAA systems sharing spectrum with other applications in the FSS.

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