FCC Streamlines Satellite Licensing Process

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has adopted a Report and Order (Order) that streamlines the satellite licensing process and increases operational flexibility for satellite operators while also eliminating unnecessary reporting requirements.  Under the current rules, the FCC is required to issue separate licenses for earth and space stations based on different application requirements.  The Order adopts an optional unified licensing framework for space stations and blanket-licensed earth stations in a satellite system operating above 10 GHz.  Each earth station applicant may certify that they comply with the license terms and conditions for the space station without providing redundant technical demonstrations.  The Order also aligns the build-out periods of earth stations and their communicating satellites and eliminates overly burdensome reporting requirements that require operators to notify the Commission of minor changes to earth stations.

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