FCC Proposes to Make Spectrum Available for Satellite Downlinks in 17 GHz Band

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to make spectrum available for geostationary orbit fixed-satellite downlink operations, subject to technical rules that would prevent harmful interference, in the 17 GHz band (17.3-17.8 GHz).  This rulemaking was partially in response to a petition for rulemaking submitted by SES Americom, Inc requesting that the Commission authorize use of satellite downlinks in the 17 GHz band.  The Commission seeks comment on expanding the frequency bands defined as “extended Ka-band” to include bands above 17 GHz in order to permit greater operational flexibility for satellite communications while also protecting existing services.  It also seeks comment on establishing uplink off-axis power limits to facilitate more streamlined licensing.

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