COMMISSIONER ROBERT M. McDOWELLRe:
Comprehensive Review of Licensing and Operating Rules for Satellite Services,
IB Docket No. 12-267
I am pleased to vote to approve today’s notice of proposed rulemaking to streamline our
licensing and operating rules for satellite service providers. At the outset, I congratulate and thank the
team in the International Bureau for your dedication and creativity.
Satellite technology plays an important role in meeting the communications needs of public
safety entities, energy and enterprise businesses, and retail consumers. Even in places where terrestrial
wireless coverage is abundant, some consumers may remain unreachable due to challenging terrain,
insularity or both. Satellite service providers, on the other hand, have the technical capability to connect
to consumers in these areas. Given satellite technology’s growing significance in the communications
marketplace, I expect that interested parties will greatly appreciate the fresh look and common sense
approach we propose here.
In addition to seeking comment on issues of general interest, including reporting requirements,
forms and rain fade compensation, the notice literally sets forth in numerical order the proposed Part 25
licensing and technical rule changes and asks valuable questions about each one.
One proposal is particularly noteworthy. In seeking to modernize Section 25.114 of our rules, we
acknowledge that today’s state-of-the-art satellites employ spot-beams. Specifically, we propose to
streamline our current rule to allow applicants for space stations with large numbers of identical spot
beams to supply antenna gain contour diagrams for one transmit and one receive antenna beam only. The
good news is that this idea is a win-win-win. Such a change will greatly reduce the burden on our FCC
staff, as well as the license applicants. The resulting double efficiency will reduce costs for both
taxpayers and regulatees alike. Ultimately, these cost savings are passed on to consumers of satellite
Thank you also to Chairman Genachowski for bringing this notice forward. I also acknowledge
the interested parties that assisted the IB team with this effort. I am eager to engage and to learn more in
the coming months
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