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FCC Proposes to Support Commercial Space Launches

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Released: May 9, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-65

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission’s Rules
)
for Federal Earth Stations Communicating with
)
ET Docket No. 13-115
Non-Federal Fixed Satellite Service Space
)
Stations;
)
RM-11341
)
Federal Space Station Use of the 399.9-400.05
)
MHz Band; and
)
)
Allocation of Spectrum for Non-Federal Space
)
Launch Operations
)

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

AND NOTICE OF INQUIRY

Adopted: May 9, 2013

Released: May 9, 2013

Comment Date: (60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)
Reply Date: (90 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)

By the Commission: Chairman Genachowski , Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, and Pai issuing
separate statements. Commissioner McDowell not participating,

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading
Paragraph #
I. INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................................. 1
II. BACKGROUND.................................................................................................................................... 8
A. Expanded Federal Use of the non-Federal FSS and MSS Bands..................................................... 8
B. Spectrum Access for Commercial Space Operators ...................................................................... 16
III. NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING ........................................................................................ 19
A. Expanded Federal Use of the non-Federal FSS and MSS bands ................................................... 19
1. Frequency Band Allocation..................................................................................................... 25
2. Rule Changes........................................................................................................................... 35
B. Federal Space Stations in 399.9-400.05 MHz MSS Band ............................................................. 59
C. Spectrum Access for Commercial Space Operators ...................................................................... 65
IV. NOTICE OF INQUIRY........................................................................................................................ 88
V. PROCEDURAL MATTERS................................................................................................................ 91
VI. ORDERING CLAUSES....................................................................................................................... 96
APPENDIX A - Proposed Rules
APPENDIX B - Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

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I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
The National Space Policy recognizes that “[a] robust and competitive commercial space
sector is vital to continued progress in space.”1 In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) we
address the spectrum needs of two separate, but closely related portions of the commercial space sector:
the commercial communications satellite industry and the commercial space launch industry. It is our
expectation that, if adopted, these proposals would advance the commercial space industry and the
important role it will play in our nation’s economy and technological innovation now and in the future.
2.
The communications satellite industry has grown from a handful of communications
satellites in the 1960s to a vibrant industry that today provides a variety of communications services to
consumers, businesses, and governments around the world. The technological breakthroughs that enabled
the growth of the communication satellite industry have been made in partnership between the United
States government and the private sector. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA);
the Advanced Research Projects Agency; and companies such as AT&T, Hughes, and RCA developed the
early communications satellites.2 The satellite technology developed from this collaboration between
government and the private sector led to the emergence of a vibrant commercial communications satellite
industry in the 1970s and 1980s. Later, in 1993 NASA, in the Advanced Communications Technology
Satellite (ACTS) program, developed advanced satellite technologies such as dynamic hopping spot
beams and advanced onboard switching and processing that are now commonly used in communication
satellites.3 The elaborate spot beam technology has increased the spectral efficiency of communication
satellites and facilitated the development of a Mobile-Satellite Service (MSS) capable of serving handheld
radios. To promote a robust domestic commercial space industry, the National Space Policy directs that
federal departments and agencies purchase and use commercial space capabilities and services to the
maximum practical extent possible when they are available in the marketplace and meet United States
Government requirements.4 The National Space Policy also provides that the United States Government
shall seek appropriate regulatory approval under U.S. domestic regulations for United States Government
earth stations operating with commercially owned satellites, consistent with the regulatory approval
granted to analogous commercial earth stations.5 In the NPRM we propose to take steps that will facilitate
the use of commercial satellite networks by government agencies on an equal basis with the private
sector.
3.
The United States space launch industry is in a transformational stage. The end of NASA’s
space shuttle program has required the development of a new era of cargo delivery and manned space
travel initiatives that promise to continue the U.S. legacy of exploration, education and discovery.
Several private companies are competing to take cargo and, in the future, people into space to support the
International Space Station (ISS) and other NASA initiatives. Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX)
has recently accomplished three successful missions to the ISS and Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital
Sciences) is expected to undertake a mission to the ISS in 2013. Other companies are developing the

1 National Space Policy of the United States of America (June 28, 2010) at 3, available at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/national_space_policy_6-28-10.pdf. The National Space Policy
expresses the President’s direction for the nation’s space activities.
2 Scientific and Technical Information Division, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Significant
Achievement in Space Communications and Navigation 1958-1964
, 15-29 (1966), available at
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19660009169_1966009169.pdf; Stephen J. Lukasik, DARPA,
The Froehlich/Kent Encyclopedia of Telecommunications, Vol. 5, 75-77 (Fritz Froehlich and Allen Kent Marcel
eds. 1993).
3 About ACTS, NASA, available at https://acts.grc.nasa.gov/about/index.shtml.
4 National Space Policy at 10.
5 Id. at 9.
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FCC 13-65

capability to take tourists on suborbital forays into space. To support the nascent private launch industry,
a number of non-Federal government owned space ports have been established. The Commission’s
allocation and service rules must evolve to support the communications needs of the developing private
space launch industry.6 In the NPRM we consider several options to provide spectrum for
communications during commercial space launches. The Notice of Inquiry (NOI) explores how the FCC
can support the future communications needs of the commercial space industry.
4.
To advance the goals of the National Space Policy, we present two alternative proposals in
the NPRM to provide Federal earth stations that communicate with non-Federal Fixed-Satellite Service
(FSS) and Mobile-Satellite Service (MSS) space stations interference protection identical to that afforded
to non-Federal earth stations communicating with the same FSS and MSS space stations. Under the first
proposal we propose to modify the Allocation Table in Section 2.106 of our rules to add a Federal
allocation for the FSS bands, along with a footnote restricting Federal use to earth stations
communicating with non-Federal space stations. In the second proposal we propose to place a footnote in
the Allocation Table in the FSS bands that provides that Federal earth stations that communicate with
non-Federal FSS and MSS space stations would receive interference protection identical to that afforded
to non-Federal earth stations communicating with the same FSS and MSS space stations.
5.
We also propose in the NPRM to amend a footnote to the Allocation Table to permit a
Federal MSS system to operate in the 399.9-400.05 MHz MSS band. This action would allow traffic to
be migrated from Argos, the existing Federal MSS system, to a new Federal satellite, thereby resulting in
less interference and improved service and reliability for users of both the existing and new Federal MSS
systems. No Federal or non-Federal MSS systems have been deployed in this band since it was allocated
for MSS in 1993, and this proposed Federal allocation will permit long-vacant spectrum to be put to an
important use.
6.
Finally, in the NPRM we propose several alternatives for providing spectrum for use during
commercial space launches, thereby providing launch vehicles7 with interference protection. During
launches, spectrum in the 420-430 MHz, 2200-2290 MHz, and 5650-5925 MHz bands is typically used to
send a self-destruct signal to the launch vehicle (if needed) and information from the launch vehicle to
controllers on ground, as well as to track the launch vehicle by radar. Because these frequency bands are
allocated only to Federal use for these purposes, the Commission may not issue licenses for these bands
that provide interference protection to commercial space launch operators.8 We seek comment on two
possible options to support commercial space launches by either adding a co-primary non-Federal
allocation to these bands or by providing an Allocation Table footnote to allow non-Federal use of these
bands to provide commercial entities access to these important spectrum resources. We also seek
comment on ways to ensure the long term sustainability of the commercial launch industry by exploring
other alternatives to use of these bands as more commercial launches are conducted and more private
spaceports are established.
7.
In the NOI we seek comment broadly on the future spectrum needs of the commercial
space sector. We ask whether access to other frequency bands will be required and whether amendments
to the Commission’s rules will be needed. We also inquire into the communication needs of suborbital
space flights and commercial space stations.

6 See infra paragraph 71.
7 A launch vehicle is a rocket used to send a payload, such as a communications satellite, into space. See infra
paragraph 67.
8 The Commission has granted special temporary authority under the Part 5 experimental licensing rules to allow
non-interference operation in the 2200-2290 MHz and 5650-5925MHz bands for commercial launches. See infra
paragraph 70.
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II.

BACKGROUND

A.

Expanded Federal Use of the non-Federal FSS and MSS Bands

8.
Section 301 of the Communications Act gives the Commission licensing authority over
non-Federal stations,9 and Section 305(a) of the Communications Act authorizes the President to assign
frequencies to Federal stations.10 The authority under Section 305(a) has been delegated to the Assistant
Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, who also serves as the Administrator of the
NTIA.11
9.
The Allocation Table in the Commission’s rules12 is divided into the International Table of
Frequency Allocations (International Table) and the United States Table of Frequency Allocations
(U.S. Table). The U.S. Table is the roadmap by which the Commission and the NTIA share
responsibilities for managing the nation’s spectrum resources. The U.S. Table allocates specific
frequency bands for use by one or more radio services13 on either a primary or secondary basis.14
Because both NTIA and the Commission have the authority to authorize spectrum use within the United
States — NTIA authorizes Federal stations and the Commission issues licenses to non-Federal stations —
the U.S. Table is further divided into the Federal Table of Frequency Allocations (Federal Table) and the
non-Federal Table of Frequency Allocations (non-Federal Table). This subdivision creates three
categories of allocations: frequency bands allocated for exclusive Federal use, frequency bands allocated
for exclusive non-Federal use, and frequency bands allocated for shared Federal/non-Federal use.15 These
categories guide how NTIA and the Commission regulate radio services and authorize frequency use in
this shared national resource.
10.
Generally, under established policies of particular relevance to this proceeding, if there is
no radio service allocation for a frequency band in the non-Federal Table, non-Federal stations may not
operate in that band. The same holds true for Federal stations when there is no radio service allocation for
a frequency band in the Federal Table. Nonetheless, the Commission and NTIA can accommodate non-
allocated uses in other ways. For example, in frequency bands allocated for non-Federal use, Federal
agencies may apply to NTIA to receive authority to operate a station in the band on a non-interference
basis—that is, they may not cause interference to and must accept interference from non-Federal stations
in the band. If a Federal station operating in one of these bands causes interference to a non-Federal
station, the Federal station must correct the interference or cease operating. In addition, the rule applies
even if the Federal station was in operation before the non-Federal station began operations. As an
alternative to non-interference operation, a Federal agency can enter into a contractual agreement with an
FCC licensee whose station is entitled to interference protection. In effect, the Federal agency would
lease communications services from a Commission licensee in the same way that non-Federal entities
would, and that service would be protected from interference.

9 47 U.S.C. § 301.
10 47 U.S.C. § 305(a).
11 See 47 U.S.C. § 902(b)(2)(A).
12 47 C.F.R. §2.106.
13 The U.S. Table also includes various footnotes which denote “stipulations” applicable to radio services provided
by Federal and non-Federal operators (“US” designations), non-Federal operators (“NG” designations), and Federal
operators (“G” designations).
14 Secondary service cannot cause interference to and must accept interference from primary services, even if the
primary service station commences operation after the secondary service station has begun operation. 47 C.F.R.
§2.105(c)(2).
15 In the case of shared use, the type of service(s) permitted need not be the same. 47 C.F.R. § 2.105(b).
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11.
For many decades, the FCC and NTIA (and predecessor organizations) have worked
together to ensure that spectrum policy and management decisions promote efficient use of the spectrum
consistent with both commercial economic interests and national security. This cooperative relationship
has been formalized in interagency agreements dating back to October 1940 and is supported and
enhanced through regular meetings, staff-level interactions and other joint coordination procedures.16 In
frequency bands allocated for shared Federal/non-Federal use, the Commission develops regulations for
those services in which it may license non-Federal stations, and NTIA develops regulations for those
services in which it may authorize Federal stations to prevent interference between Commission-licensed
stations and Federal stations.17 An established set of procedures guides this interaction both for
developing regulations for the radio services in the shared bands and for authorizing frequency use by
Federal agencies and Commission licensees. Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between
NTIA and the Commission, the Commission and NTIA endeavor to give notice to each other of “all
proposed actions that could potentially cause interference” to non-Federal and Federal operations,
respectively.18
12.
In August 2006, NTIA filed a petition requesting that the Commission initiate a rulemaking
to permit Federal earth stations that are authorized by NTIA and that operate with non-Federal satellites to
have primary status in a number of frequency bands currently allocated for non-Federal FSS and
non-Federal MSS on a primary basis.19 Earth stations authorized by NTIA must now operate on a non-
interference basis. Alternatively, Federal agencies may lease services from a licensee of an FCC-
authorized earth station to operate with interference protection. NTIA requests that the Federal Table be
modified to add a primary FSS allocation along with a footnote that would restrict primary Federal use of
these bands to Federal earth stations accessing non-Federal satellites.20 The NTIA petition outlines a
means for Federal agencies to deploy their own earth stations to overcome the uncertainties associated
with operating on a non-interference basis and the limitations of leasing services through a third party
operator. Such a modification would turn certain exclusive non-Federal use frequency bands into shared
Federal/non-Federal spectrum, although use of these bands by Federal agencies would be limited by the
terms of the footnote. The allocation and footnote that NTIA requests would mirror an existing Federal
allocation for a number of MSS bands. These MSS bands have co-primary Federal and non-Federal

16 See, e.g., “Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Communications Commission and the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration, January 31, 2003 (MOU), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-230835A2.pdf; see also FCC News Release, “FCC and
NTIA Sign New Memorandum of Understanding on Spectrum Coordination,” (Jan. 31, 2003), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-230835A1.pdf.
17 The “Manual of Regulations and Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency Management,” May 2012 Revision of
the January 2008 Edition (NTIA Manual) describes technical requirements for Federal radio services. The NTIA
Manual
is available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/redbook/redbook.html.
18 MOU at 2-3.
19 Petition for Rulemaking of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, RM-11341, filed
Aug. 4, 2006 (NTIA Petition). On August 17, 2006, the Commission sought comment on the petition. Consumer
and Government Affairs Bureau Reference Information Center Petition for Rulemaking Filed, Public Notice, Report
No. 2789, RM-11341, Aug. 17, 2006.
20 NTIA seeks an allocation status for Federal users that is equal to the primary status held by non-Federal earth
station licensees. Accordingly, its petition is couched as seeking a “primary” or “co-primary” allocation. NTIA
suggests that the footnote simply state that in certain specified bands, “…Government stations operating in the
fixed-satellite service shall be limited to earth stations operating with non-Government satellites.” See NTIA
Petition
at Appendix A.
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allocations along with footnote US319, which restricts Federal MSS earth stations in the bands to
operating with non-Federal space stations.21
13.
NTIA’s petition identifies 13.275 gigahertz of spectrum in ten frequency bands for which it
seeks primary status. As background, spectrum used for satellite communications is divided into different
frequency bands which are referred to with letter designations, such as the C-band, Ku-band, or Ka-band.
The spectrum which the NTIA petition identifies falls into parts of four of these lettered satellite bands:
3.6-4.2 GHz and 5.85-6.725 GHz (in the C-band); 10.7-12.2 GHz, 12.7-13.25 GHz, and 13.75-14.5 GHz
(in the Ku-band); 18.3-19.3 GHz, 19.7-20.2 GHz, and 27.5-30 GHz (in the Ka-band); and 37.5-39.5 GHz
and 47.2-50.2 GHz (in the V-band). While we analyze these bands in greater detail below, we note that
all of the bands addressed in the NTIA petition are allocated for the FSS. In the FSS, earth stations in
stationary locations communicate with space stations (i.e. satellites).22 In addition, a portion of the
Ka-band from 19.7-20.2 GHz and 29.5-30.0 GHz is also allocated on a primary basis to the MSS with
MSS use for most of this spectrum restricted to satellite systems that are also in the FSS.23 In the MSS
mobile earth stations communicate with space stations. In most of the NTIA-listed FSS spectrum bands,
the satellites are in a geostationary orbit (GSO) with a separation of 2 degrees.24 The earth stations and
satellites use directional antennas which, along with the separation between the satellites, prevent
interference with earth stations communicating with adjacent satellites. In this way, multiple commercial
satellite licensees can share the same spectrum band.25

21 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote US319. These MSS bands are 137-138 MHz, 148-150.05 MHz, 399.9-400.05 MHz,
400.15-401 MHz, 1610-1626.5 MHz, and 2483.5-2500 MHz.
22 While the great majority of FSS earth stations are in stationary locations, there are three exceptions. FSS earth
stations can be licensed for use on board ships, on moving vehicles, and on aircraft. In all of these cases, directional
antennas or lower power operations are used to avoid causing interference to other satellites. Procedures to Govern
the Use of Satellite Earth Stations on Board Vessels in the 5925-6425 MHz/3700-4200 MHz Bands and 14.0-14.5
GHz/11.7-12.2 GHz Bands, IB Docket No. 02-10, Report and Order, 20 FCC Rcd 674 (2004); Amendment of Parts
2 and 25 of the Commission’s Rules to Allocate Spectrum and Adopt Service Rules and Procedures to Govern the
Use of Vehicle-Mounted Earth Stations in Certain Frequency Bands Allocated to the Fixed-Satellite Service, IB
Docket No. 07-101, Report and Order, 24 FCC Rcd 10414 (2009); Revisions to Parts 2 and 25 of the Commission’s
Rules to Govern the Use of Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft Communicating with Fixed-Satellite Service
Geostationary-Orbit Space Stations Operating in the 10.95-11.2 GHz, 11.45-11.7 GHz, 11.7-12.2 GHz and 14.0-
14.5 GHz Frequency Bands, IB Docket Nos. 05-20, 12-376, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Report and Order,
27 FCC Rcd 16510 (2012).
23 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote 5.529. The use of the bands 19.7-20.1 MHz and 29.5-29.9 by the MSS is limited to
satellite networks that are in both the FSS and MSS.
24 See Licensing of Space Stations in the Domestic Fixed-Satellite Service and Related Revisions of Part 25 of the
Rules and Regulations, CC Docket No. 81-704, Report and Order, FCC 83-184, 54 Rad. Reg. 2d (P & F) 577 paras.
43, 49 (1983); summary printed in Licensing of Space Stations in the Domestic Fixed-Satellite Service and Related
Revisions, 48 Fed. Reg. 40,233 (Sept. 6, 1983), on reconsideration, Licensing of Space Stations in the Domestic
Fixed-Satellite Service and Related Revisions of Part 25 of the Rules and Regulations, CC Docket No. 81-704,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, FCC 84-487, 99 FCC 2d 737 (1984). While certain FSS spectrum has been
designated for non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellites, the use of such spectrum is currently limited to feeder
links for MSS NGSO systems.
25 This is in contrast to the MSS, where the spectrum is generally licensed exclusively to a single licensee. The earth
stations in the MSS often use omni-directional antennas on portable devices which makes it extremely difficult to
avoid causing interference to other satellites sharing the same spectrum. Stations operating in the FSS are able to
reuse frequencies by using highly directional antennas and orbital separation between space stations.
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14.
Comments received in response to NTIA’s petition were generally supportive but did
express a number of specific reservations.26 For example, the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) stated
that non-Federal commercial and experimental license applicants should not face delays because of the
need for the Commission to coordinate applications with NTIA.27 The Fixed Wireless Communications
Coalition commented that Federal earth stations should be required to conduct coordination with
terrestrial stations sharing the same band prior to applying for a license as is required for non-Federal
earth station applicants.28 SIA, Hispasat, and Lockheed Martin believe that Federal earth stations should
be subject to the Commission’s technical and enforcement rules, which is not normally the case for
Federal agencies.29
15.
More recently, NTIA also requested a change to a footnote in the Allocation Table to allow
Federal space stations to operate in the 399.9-400.05 MHz MSS bands.30 As mentioned above, footnote
US319 restricts Federal earth stations in a number of MSS bands to communicate only with non-Federal
space stations. NTIA requests that this restriction be removed for the 399.9-400.05 MHz MSS band.
According to NTIA, the allocation change will allow some applications to be shifted from the Argos
satellite system operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the 399.9-
400.05 MHz band. NTIA claims that this will result in lower interference, higher capacity, and improved
reliability and service for both the applications that continue to use Argos as well as the applications on
the new satellite network to be deployed in the 399.9-400.05 MHz spectrum. NTIA notes that the
Commission has never licensed any operations in this MSS band so there should be no impact to non-
Federal licensees.

B.

Spectrum Access for Commercial Space Operators

16.
Federal agencies such as the Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA undertook the early
development of launch vehicles capable of reaching outer space. The first commercial GSO
communications satellite was launched in 1965.31 While numerous commercial launches have occurred
since then, most launches in the United States have been conducted from government owned spaceports
such as Cape Canaveral or Vandenberg Air Force Base. In addition, both government and the private
sector have been actively involved in the development of space technology, including the International
Space Station (ISS) and the Space Shuttle. In recent years there has been increased development of space
technology by private companies. The U.S. National Space Policy requires that Federal agencies
purchase space services from commercial enterprises to the maximum practical extent.32 With the end of
the space shuttle program in 2011, NASA awarded contracts to two companies, Space Exploration
Technologies (SpaceX) and Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital Sciences), for cargo services to support

26 Comments on NTIA’s petition were filed by the Satellite Industry Association (SIA), Hispasat, Lockheed Martin
Corp. (Lockheed), and the Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition (FWCC).
27 SIA Comments, RM-11341, filed Sept. 18, 2006, at 5-6.
28 FWCC Reply Comments, RM-11341, filed Oct. 3, 2006, at 2.
29 SIA Comments, RM-11341, filed Sept. 18, 2006, at 4-5; Hispasat Comments, RM-11341, filed Sept. 15, 2006, at
4-5; Lockheed Comments, RM-11341, filed Sept. 18, 2006, at 3. The Commission’s rules apply only to
Commission licensed stations and not to Federal stations. NTIA adopts spectrum use policies that apply solely to
Federal agencies.
30 See Letter from Karl B. Nebbia, Associate Administrator, Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA,
U.S. Department of Commerce, to Julius P. Knapp, Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, July 10, 2012, ET
Docket 13-115 (NTIA US319 Letter).
31 See Harold A. Rosen, Syncom and its Successors, 72 Proceedings of the IEEE 1429, 1431 (1984); Bruno Pattan,
Satellite Systems: Principles and Technologies, 12 (1993).
32 See National Space Policy at 10.
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the ISS.33 In May 2012, October 2012, and March 2013, SpaceX successfully launched spacecraft34 that
docked with the ISS.35 A number of companies such as Virgin Galactic and XCOR Aerospace are
developing craft that will take paying commercial customers on suborbital spaceflights.36 The Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) has licensed a number of non-Federal spaceports from which commercial
launches can be made.37
17.
A number of frequency bands are needed to connect the space launch vehicle with the
controllers on the ground and to track the launch vehicle. The 420-430 MHz band is used for sending
self-destruct commands to the launch vehicle if necessary during the launch. The 2200-2290 MHz band
is used to send performance data from the launch vehicle to the controllers on the ground. The 5650-5925
MHz band is used for radar transponders that track the launch vehicle. The 420-430 MHz and 2200-2290
MHz frequency bands are allocated on a primary basis for Federal use only. The 420-430 MHz band is
also allocated to the Amateur Radio Service on a secondary basis. The 5650-5935 MHz band is allocated
on a primary basis for Federal use only except for a portion that has non-Federal FSS and mobile service
allocations. Because these frequency bands have no non-Federal allocation for space launch purposes, the
Commission does not license commercial entities to use these bands on an interference protected basis.
18.
The Commission recently granted SpaceX and Orbital Sciences special temporary authority
(STA) under the Part 5 experimental licensing rules to use the 2200-2290 MHz and 5650-5925 MHz
bands during launches on a non-interference basis.38 Because 2200-2290 MHz and 5650-5925 MHz are
Federal bands, the Commission coordinated the grant of these experimental STAs with the NTIA. Each
of these experimental STAs was limited to a single launch. Each experimental STA contained the
condition that future launches would be considered on a case-by-case basis and that there shall be no
expectation that spectrum for future launches will be approved. SpaceX used STAs for successful
launches on May 22, 2012, October 7, 2012, and March 1, 2013.39

33 NASA Awards Space Station Commercial Resupply Services Contracts, (Dec. 23, 2008), available at
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/dec/HQ_C08-069_ISS_Resupply.html.
34 A spacecraft is a vehicle that travels through space. It is usually launched into space using a launch vehicle.
35 SpaceX Dragon Attached to Space Station in Spaceflight First (May 25, 2012), available at
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/cargo/spacex_attach.html; Station Welcomes First Commercial
Resupply Mission
(Oct. 10, 2012), available at
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition33/dragon_arrives.html; Dragon Arrives With
Treasure Trove of Science
(March 3, 2013),
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition34/dragon_arrives.html.
36 See Virgin Galactic, http://www.virgingalactic.com; XCOR Aerospace, http://www.xcor.com/.
37 See Launch Data and Information, FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation, available at
http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/launch_license/active_licenses/.
38 See infra note 141. An experimental STA allows operation only on a non-interference basis. Stations operating
on a non-interference basis have no protection from and must not cause interference to stations operating under a
primary or secondary allocation. See Guidance on Obtaining Experimental Authorizations for Commercial Space
Launch Activities, Public Notice, DA 13-446 (rel. March 15, 2013).
39 Kenneth Chang, Big Day for Entrepreneur Who Promises More, N.Y. Times, May 23, 2012, at A13; Kenneth
Chang, Group Sends First Rocket Under Deal with NASA, N.Y. Times, October 8, 2012, at A16; Marcia Dunn,
Enter the Dragon, After Glitch in Orbit, Wash. Post, March 4, 2013, at A4.
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III.

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

A.

Expanded Federal Use of the non-Federal FSS and MSS bands

19.
The FSS is the backbone of the U.S. commercial satellite industry and is widely used to
provide a variety of commercial services domestically and internationally. For example, the FSS supports
video distribution both on a point-to-point basis (e.g., transmission of media content from point of
origination to point of production by teleport operators, broadcast networks, and news reporting
organizations) and on a point-to-multipoint basis (e.g., transmission from point of production to affiliated
broadcast stations and cable headends).40 The FSS also provides network services consisting of
“backbone” capacity for point-to-point trunking for voice, data or Internet traffic; “backhaul” of
communications services; communications to ships; and redundancy and restoration of communications
services when other primary technologies fail.41 Further, the FSS is used to provide corporate,
government, and military voice and data communications, as well as broadband and video services
directly to the home.
20.
Satellite communications also are vital for Federal agencies to accomplish their missions —
both for critical public safety, military, and emergency response communications, and for day-to-day
operations. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation uses commercial satellites to link field
offices,42 the FAA uses commercial satellites to provide safety of flight communication services in
Alaska,43 and the Department of Defense uses commercial satellites for more than 80 percent of its
satellite communication bandwidth.44 Under existing policy, Federal agencies are required to use
commercial satellite systems unless specific mission requirements cannot be met.45 However, the current
allocation scheme for the FSS—which is primary non-Federal in many frequency bands—and the current
system under which the Commission and the NTIA authorize earth stations pose challenges for Federal
agencies in meeting this objective and satisfying their mission requirements.
21.
We seek comments generally on the benefits of greater Federal use of commercial satellite
networks. For example, would Federal agencies increase their use of commercial satellite networks to
accomplish their missions with greater efficiency and reduced costs while meeting the national policy
objective requiring the use of commercial satellite systems? Would increased Federal use of commercial
satellites serve to strengthen the commercial satellite industry — a vital component of the economy and
an important driver of United States productivity?
22.
The FSS has operated under a regulatory framework in which the Commission establishes
the technical and licensing rules for space stations and earth stations operating as integrated systems,
thereby enabling many earth stations to be authorized and operate independently of each other with little
risk of interference even if they communicate with the same space station. NTIA requests that Federal

40 See Second Annual Report and Analysis of Competitive Market Conditions with Respect to Domestic and
International Satellite Communications Services, IB Docket No. 07-252, FCC 08-247, Second Report, 23 FCC Rcd
15170, 15174-75 paras. 15-17 (2008).
41 Id. at 15175 para. 18. We define “backbone” as referring to use on major routes with large volumes of traffic in
regions, such as East Coast to West Coast. We define “backhaul” as transmitting from a remote site or network to a
central or main site, usually over a high capacity line and for purposes of efficient network management.
42 Letter from Vance E. Hitch, U.S. Department of Justice, to Michael Gallagher, NTIA, Appendix B of NTIA
Petition
.
43 Letter from Steve Zaidman, FAA, to Michael Gallagher, NTIA, Appendix B of NTIA Petition.
44 Keith Norton, Commercial Satcom Remains Vital to Military Ops, Defense Systems, Aug. 22, 2011, available at
http://defensesystems.com/articles/2011/08/08/industry-perspective-commercial-satellite-communications.aspx.
45 See NTIA Manual, § 2.3.3.
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earth stations it authorizes be allowed to operate with the same regulatory status as non-Federal earth
stations in the same frequency band. In order to accomplish this objective, it requests a modification of
the Federal Table to include a co-primary FSS allocation in certain frequency bands for Federal earth
stations communicating with commercial satellites. This allocation approach would increase uncertainty
over who is the regulator of the satellite systems that operate in these bands. NTIA states that the
Commission would not be required to consult with NTIA or other Federal agencies regarding these bands
any more than they currently coordinate, NTIA would utilize the current FCC processes as much as
possible, and the current FCC process would remain as it is today for non-Federal earth station
applications.46
23.
Based on our experience in spectrum management in conjunction with NTIA, and in
consideration of the goals of the National Space Policy as well as the comments we received in response
to the Public Notice that the Commission issued subsequent to receiving NTIA’s petition,47 we recognize
that a policy guiding Federal use of commercial satellite networks can be successful only if it provides a
clear method for establishing and enforcing operational rights and responsibilities that can be applied
consistently regardless of whether the user is licensed by the Commission or authorized by NTIA. We
identify and seek comment on the following four key objectives, which we believe best express this
intent:
 To ensure parity between Federal and non-Federal earth stations;
 To provide certainty that the Commission retains regulatory oversight of the satellite
network and the FSS even though the Commission would license non-Federal earth
stations, and NTIA would authorize Federal earth stations;
 To ensure that the rules and procedures do not hinder the Commission’s rulemaking
processes or delay the issuance of Commission licenses and coordination in the affected
bands; and
 To establish procedures to ensure that both Federal and non-Federal earth stations comply
with the Commission’s rules for operating in the frequency bands.
24.
We seek comment on the means by which we can provide interference protection to
Federal earth stations used to access commercial satellite networks. First, we address the commercial
satellite frequency bands where NTIA has requested that we should place Federal earth stations on an
equal footing with non-Federal earth stations. We then outline two proposals for providing Federal
agencies with interference-protected access to these frequency bands. The first proposal follows NTIA’s
suggested approach by adding a co-primary Federal FSS and MSS allocation to the Federal Table as well
as a footnote that limits primary Federal use of the bands to earth stations communicating with non-
Federal satellites. The second approach retains the existing non-Federal allocation structure in those
satellite bands, but adds a footnote to the U.S. Table that recognizes the interference protection status for
certain Federal earth stations in communication with non-Federal space stations.
1.

Frequency Band Allocation

25.
As discussed above, the NTIA petition addresses spectrum in parts of four distinct satellite
bands: the C-band, the Ku-band, the Ka-band and the V-band. These bands are summarized in the
following table:

46 See Letter from Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and
Administrator, NTIA, U.S. Department of Commerce, to Julius Genachowski, Chairman, Federal Communications
Commission, May 3, 2013, ET Docket 13-115.
47 Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau Reference Information Center Petition for Rulemaking Filed, Public
Notice
, Report No. 2789 (Aug. 7, 2006).
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Table 1: NTIA Requests Primary Status in 13.275 MHz of Non-Federal Spectrum

Common Name
Frequency Band
Amount of Spectrum
Directional Indicator
C-band
3600-4200 MHz
600 MHz
space-to-Earth
5850-6725 MHz
875 MHz
Earth-to-space
Ku-band
10.7-12.2 GHz
1,500 MHz
space-to-Earth
12.7-13.25 GHz
550 MHz
Earth-to-space
13.75-14.5 GHz
750 MHz
Earth-to-space
Ka-band
18.3-19.3 GHz
1,000 MHz
space-to-Earth
19.7-20.2 GHz
500 MHz
space-to-Earth
27.5-30.0 GHz
2,500 MHz
Earth-to-space
V-band
37.5-39.5 GHz
2,000 MHz
space-to-Earth
47.2-50.2 GHz
3,000 MHz
Earth-to-space
26.
The C-band is divided into a heavily-used “conventional” segment (3700-4200 MHz
downlink and 5925-6425 MHz uplink) and a lightly-used “extended” segment (3600-3700 MHz downlink
and 5850-5925 MHz + 6425-7075 MHz uplink). Similarly, the Ku-band is split between a heavily-used
“conventional” segment (11.7-12.2 GHz downlink and 14-14.5 GHz uplink) and a lightly-used
“extended” segment (10.7-11.7 GHz downlink and 12.7-13.25 GHz + 13.75-14.0 GHz uplink). As
described below, certain of these bands are heavily used by commercial satellite providers while other
bands currently have seen little FSS usage. Similarly, the degree to which Federal agencies make use of
satellite services varies among the different frequency bands.
27.
The conventional C-band FSS allocation is heavily used for commercial satellite
operations. Services available from C-band satellite operators include delivery of television programming
to cable headends and corporate data networks. The Fixed Service (terrestrial) is also allocated on a co-
primary basis in the conventional C-band. FCC staff surveys of available records in the Government
Master File (GMF), an NTIA-administered database that lists Federal frequency use authorizations, found
that Federal use of the C-band is overwhelmingly concentrated in the conventional C-band.
28.
The conventional Ku-band FSS allocation is also heavily used by many satellite operators
and commercial service providers.48 Blanket licenses are available for large networks of small antenna
earth stations operating in this band.49 These earth station networks, commonly called VSAT (very small
aperture terminals) networks, do not share primary allocation status with other services, do not need to be

48 Within the conventional Ku-band, the 14.0-14.2 GHz band is shared with the Federal space research service,
which operates on a secondary basis; and the 14.4-14.5 GHz band is shared with the Federal fixed and mobile
services, which operate on a secondary basis. 47 C.F.R. § 2.106. Radio astronomy observations are conducted
within the 14.47-14.5 GHz band, even though there is no allocation for the radio astronomy service. 47 C.F.R.
§ 2.106 footnotes US203 and US342.
49 47 C.F.R. § 25.134; Routine Licensing of Large Networks of Small Antenna Earth Stations Operating in the 12/14
GHz Frequency Bands, Declaratory Order, 1986 WL 291567 para. 6 (CCB Released April 9, 1986); CC Docket
No. 90-219, Report and Order, 6 FCC Rcd. 7372 (1991); 2000 Biennial Regulatory Review—Streamlining and
Other Revisions of Part 25 of the Commission’s Rules Governing the Licensing of, and Spectrum Usage by,
Satellite Network Earth Stations and Space Stations, Fifth Report and Order in IB Docket No. 00-248 and Third
Report and Order in CC Docket No. 86-496
, 20 FCC Rcd 5666 (2005); 2000 Biennial Regulatory Review—
Streamlining and Other Revisions of Part 25 of the Commission’s Rules Governing the Licensing of, and Spectrum
Usage by, Satellite Network Earth Stations and Space Stations, IB Docket No. 00-248, Sixth Report and Order and
Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
, 20 FCC Rcd 5593, 5614-21 paras. 51-70 (2005). Blanket licensing
is feasible in the conventional Ku-band because no other services are co-primary with the FSS and the VSAT
technical specifications are designed to prevent interference from occurring.
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coordinated, and do not require individual licenses. As long as VSATs operate under a blanket license
and comply with the technical rules, such as for transmitted power density and antenna size, they may be
placed anywhere within the area of operations specified in the license.50 Authorized Federal earth
stations51 are already able to operate with what effectively amounts to equal status to non-Federal earth
stations because the only primary services in the band are FSS and those operations are coordinated by
satellite operators, without distinguishing between customers based on whether the ultimate end user is
Federal or non-Federal.52 However, we also recognize that the Commission licenses non-standard earth
stations in the Ku-band that do not comply with the VSAT technical specifications. We grant such
licenses after a determination that the earth stations will not cause interference. FCC staff surveys of
available records in the GMF found that Federal use of the Ku-band is overwhelmingly concentrated in
the conventional Ku-band.
29.
The extended C-band is shared with other services on a co-primary basis and is used for
commercial satellite services to a lesser extent than the conventional C-band. This is because terrestrial
services make heavier use of this spectrum than the conventional C-band. Moreover, the 3650-3700 MHz
portion of the extended C-band has been reallocated for terrestrial fixed services.53 Because 3650-3700
MHz has been allocated for terrestrial services, we do not propose changes to the Allocation Table to
provide interference protection for Federal earth stations in this portion of the extended C-band. In 2011
NTIA recommended that the Commission make the 3600-3650 MHz portion of the extended C-band
available for wireless broadband and the Commission has recently initiated a proceeding to make this
band available for wireless broadband.54 Consequently, we tentatively conclude to not change the
Allocation Table for the 3600-3650 MHz portion of the extended C-band. Given that the Commission is
considering the transition of the extended C-band downlink away from satellite use, we expect that future
Federal use of the C-band will continue to be overwhelmingly in the conventional C-band.
30.
The extended Ku-band is used to a lesser extent than the conventional Ku-band for satellite
communications. The non-Federal Table limits use of a majority of the uplink and the entire downlink

50 A typical VSAT network consists of a main earth station that communicates via satellite with a large number of
identical VSAT terminals at remote locations.
51 Section 7.23 of the NTIA Manual permits Federal agencies to use radio devices with commercial systems licensed
by the Commission such as cellular phones, pagers, MSS radios, and FSS earth stations that are operating under a
blanket license in the Ku-band without applying for authorization from NTIA. The NTIA Manual permits this when
the operation of the radio device is under the control of the Commission licensee and in accordance with the
Commission’s rules governing the specific service. In effect, Federal agencies make use of these radio devices in
the same manner as non-Federal entities by contracting with a Commission licensee for the frequency band.
52 The non-interference basis status of Federal VSAT stations does not alter this outcome.
53 Amendment of the Commission’s Rules With Regard to the 3650-3700 MHz Government Transfer Band,
ET Docket No. 98-237, WT Docket No. 00-32, First Report and Order and Second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,
15 FCC Rcd 20488, 20495, 20497 paras. 13, 18 (2000). Preexisting earth stations continue to have primary status.
Id. at 20500 para. 24.
54 Letter from Karl B. Nebbia, Associate Administrator, Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA, U.S. Department
of Commerce, to Julius P. Knapp, Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, Jan 19, 2011, available at
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/legacy/filings/2011/NTIA_FCC_Letter_115%20MHz_01192011.pdf; See “Plan and
Timetable to Make Available 500 MHz of Spectrum for Wireless Broadband, U.S. Department of Commerce, Oct.
29, 2010, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/tenyearplan_11152010.pdf; An Assessment of
the Near-Term Viability of Accommodating Wireless Broadband Systems in the 1675-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz,
3500-3650 MHz, 4200-4220 MHz, and 4380-4400 MHz Bands, U.S. Department of Commerce, Oct. 15, 2010,
available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/reports/2010/FastTrackEvaluation_11152010.pdf. Amendment of the
Commission’s Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the 3550-3650 MHz Band, GN Docket No. 12-354,
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 15594 (2012).
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band to international satellite systems.55 There is extensive terrestrial use within the extended Ku-band.
The 10.7-11.7 GHz extended Ku-band downlink is heavily used for terrestrial services such as fixed
point-to-point microwave links.56 The 12.7-13.25 GHz extended Ku-band uplink is used by the Broadcast
Auxiliary Service (BAS) for electronic news gathering and point-to-point transmission of television
signals as well as by fixed point-to-point microwave links.57 The 13.75-14.0 GHz extended Ku-band
uplink is shared with Federal radars,58 and NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.59 Because
the terrestrial services heavily use the extended Ku-band and because of the international satellite system
limitation, we do not anticipate that the band will be heavily used by Federal agencies.
31.
The Ka-band (18.3-19.3 GHz and 19.7-20.2 GHz downlink, and 27.5-30.0 GHz uplink) is
moderately used for commercial satellite service, supporting mostly consumer-oriented applications (e.g.
home Internet and television).60 Several companies are also proposing more extensive use of these bands
for broadband services.61 There are overlapping FSS, MSS, Mobile Service (MS), and FS allocations in
the Ka-band.62 The Commission has designated the 18.3-18.8 GHz and 19.7-20.2 GHz portions of the
Ka-band downlink and the 28.35-28.6 GHz and 29.25-30 GHz portions of the Ka-band uplink for use
with GSO satellites with blanket licensing available in most of the spectrum.63 The 18.8-19.3 GHz

55 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote NG52.
56 See generally 47 C.F.R. § 2.106. A search of the Commission’s licensing database shows over 21,000 Fixed
Service (FS) call signs in the 10.7-11.7 GHz band.
57 47 C.F.R. § 74.602(a).
58 The Table includes additional limitations on FSS antenna size and power levels in this band. 47 C.F.R. § 2.106
footnote US356.
59 See Reply Comments of NASA, RM-11351, filed Jan. 17, 2007, 4-5; Amendment of Parts 2 and 25 of the
Commission's Rules to Permit Operation of NGSO FSS Systems Co-Frequency with GSO and Terrestrial Systems in the
Ku-Band Frequency Range and Amendment of the Commission's Rules to Authorize Subsidiary Terrestrial Use of the
12.2-12.7 GHz Band by Direct Broadcast Satellite Licensees and Their Affiliates, ET Docket No. 98-206, Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking
, 14 FCC Rcd 1131, 1151-52 para. 38 (1998).
60 Companies such as ViaSat have satellites in the Ka-band. See High-Capacity Satellite System and ViaSat-1,
available at http://www.viasat.com/broadband-satellite-networks/high-capacity-satellite-system.
61 See, e.g., O3B US Market Access Application, IBFS File No. SES-LIC-20100723-00952. Inmarsat plans to offer
commercial satellite service in the Ka-band in 2014. Inmarsat Group Ltd. Condensed Consolidated Financial
Results for Three and Nine Months Ended 30 Sept. 1012 (unaudited), 1 available at
http://www.inmarsat.com/cs/groups/inmarsat/documents/assets/018494.pdf.
62 47 C.F.R. § 2.106. The Commission has designated discrete sub-bands within the Ka-band uplink for particular
types of terrestrial and satellite services. Rulemaking to Amend Parts 1, 2, 21 and 25 of the Commission’s Rules to
Redesignate the 27.5-29.5 GHz Frequency Band, to Reallocate the 29.5-30.0 GHz Frequency Band, to Establish
Rules and Policies for Local Multipoint Distribution Service and for Fixed Satellite Services, CC Docket No.
92-297, First Report and Order and Fourth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 11 FCC Rcd 19005, 19024 paras.
42-44 (1996) (28 GHz R&O). The designated services will have licensing priority in the portion of the Ka-band
uplink that is designated for their use over other allocated services.
63 Redesignation of the 17.7-19.7 GHz Frequency Band, Blanket Licensing of Satellite Earth Stations in the
17.7-20.2 GHz and 27.5-30.0 GHz Frequency Bands, and the Allocation of Additional Spectrum in the 17.3-17.8
GHz and 24.75-25.25 GHz Frequency Bands for Broadcast Satellite-Service Use, IB Docket No. 98-172, Report and
Order
, 15 FCC Rcd 13430, 13443-44, 13471 paras. 28-30, 87 (2000) (18 GHz R&O); Second Order on
Reconsideration
, 17 FCC Rcd 24248, 24251-56 paras. 9-19 (2002); 28 GHz R&O at 19029 para. 57; 47 C.F.R. §§
25.115(e), 25.138, 25.145(b). Note that the 29.25-29.5 GHz portion of the spectrum designated for GSO use is also
designated for MSS feederlinks. The Federal Earth Exploration-Satellite Service and Space Research Service are
co-primary with the FSS in the 18.6-18.8 GHz band. NGSO FSS may operate on a secondary basis in the 28.35-28.6
GHz and 29.5-30.0 GHz GSO designated spectrum. The 27.5-28.35 GHz band is designated for the Local
(continued….)
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portion of the Ka-band downlink and the 28.6-29.1 GHz portion of the Ka-band uplink are designated for
non-NGSO (NGSO) satellites, but there are no active NGSO commercial systems in this band and several
GSO systems are authorized to operate on a non-interference basis using this spectrum.64 The MSS and
FSS share Federal primary allocations in the 19.7-20.2 GHz downlink and 29.5-30.0 GHz uplink of the
Ka-band, but MSS use of most of this spectrum is limited to satellite systems that are in the FSS.65 The
entire Ka-band downlink (18.3-20.2 GHz) also has a Federal co-primary FSS allocation, with Federal FSS
use of the band restricted to earth stations in three locations.66 An FCC staff analysis indicates that
Federal agencies make limited use of the Ka-band for communication with commercial satellite services.
Moreover, the prevalence of blanket licensing in the band — where earth stations that meet the criteria for
blanket licensing are specifically designed not to cause interference — means that Federal agencies are
already able to engage in communications with these commercial satellites on what effectively amounts to
an equal basis with Commission licensees under our current rules. Because a Federal user operating
under the blanket licensing rules would use equipment that is designed not to cause interference,
including the Ka-band in the footnote would serve no practical benefit. This is evidenced by the fact that
NTIA already allows federal agencies to use commercial satellite services operating under FCC blanket
licenses without any specific authorization by NTIA.67
32.
While there are currently no commercial satellites operating in the V-band (37-42 GHz
downlink and 45.5-50.5 GHz uplink), Hughes Network Systems has been authorized to operate two
satellites using V-band spectrum.68 Moreover, the Commission has designated portions of the V-band for
wireless terrestrial use.69 In addition, primary Federal FSS allocations already exist in portions of the
V-band at 40-41 GHz and 48.2-50.2 GHz.
(Continued from previous page)
Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) on a primary basis with FSS licensees permitted to operate on a
non-interference basis to LMDS licensees. 28 GHz R&O at 19025 para. 45.
64 28 GHz R&O at 19030 para. 59; 18 GHz R&O at 13455-56 para. 52. The Commission has received one
application for a NGSO Ka-band license from O3B. While the Commission has decided in general to allow blanket
licensing in the NGSO designated sub-band, it has not adopted specific rules for blanket licensing earth stations. 18
GHz R&O
at 13475 para. 95. GSO satellites are able to use the 28.6-29.1 GHz NGSO designated spectrum on a
secondary basis.
65 See supra note 23.
66 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.924(e), 2.106 footnote US334, 74.32, 78.19(f). The restriction of Federal FSS earth stations to
three locations is per an agreement with NTIA and is not included in the Table. We recently proposed to amend
footnote US334. Amendment of Parts 1, 2, 15, 74, 78, 87, 90, and 97 of the Commission’s Rules Regarding
Implementation of the Final Acts of the World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2007) (WRC-07), Other
Allocation Issues, and Related Rule Updates, ET Docket No. 12-338, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order, 27
FCC Rcd 14598 ( 2012).
67 See NTIA Manual at 7.23. This section authorizes agencies to operate various commercial telecommunication
systems without an allocation or even a specific authorization by NTIA. Other examples of such systems are
cellular, personal communication service (PCS), wireless communications service (WCS), etc.
68 Application of Hughes Network Systems, IBFS File No. SAT-LOI-20111220-00242, Call Sign S2849, Grant;
Application of Hughes Network Systems, IBFS File No. SAT-LOI-20111223-00248, Call Sign S2852, Grant.
69 See Allocation and Designation of Spectrum for Fixed-Satellite Services in the 37.5-38.5 GHz, 40.5-41.5 GHz
and 48.2-50.2 GHz Frequency Bands; Allocation of Spectrum to Upgrade Fixed and Mobile Allocations in the 40.5-
42.5 GHz Frequency Band; Allocation of Spectrum in the 46.9-47.0 GHz Frequency Band for Wireless Services;
and Allocation of Spectrum in the 37.0-38.0 GHz and 40.0-40.5 GHz for Government Operations, IB Docket No.
97-95, Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 25428, 25434 para. 14 (2003); Report and Order, 13 FCC Rcd
24649, 24668 para. 35 (1998) (designating the 37-40 GHz, 42-42.5 GHz, 46.9-47.0 GHz, 47.2-48.2 GHz, and 50.4-
51.4 GHz bands for terrestrial wireless services).
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33.
We propose to modify the U.S. Table using one of the approaches discussed below to
provide Federal earth stations interference protection in the frequency bands proposed by NTIA with the
exception of 3600-3700 MHz as discussed above. We seek comment generally on this proposal. We
recognize that use of some of these bands for commercial satellite services has evolved since the NTIA
petition was filed, that Federal agency use of the commercial satellite services may vary among the
different frequency bands, and that in some bands Federal access may not be needed at all. We thus seek
comment on whether Federal access should be added for those frequency bands discussed above that are
most likely to meet the needs of Federal earth station users.
34.
In a number of the NTIA requested bands, the FSS shares spectrum with terrestrial
services. These include the C-band and the extended Ku-band. In bands shared between terrestrial and
satellite users, coordination between terrestrial licensees and earth stations is required to prevent
interference. Should the complexity that this coordination adds to licensing of earth stations in these
bands affect our decision to add a co-primary Federal allocation to these bands? In addition, portions of
the Ka-band and V-band have been designated for terrestrial use.70 Should we consider modifying the
Allocation Table to provide protection to Federal earth stations in the portions of these bands designated
for terrestrial services?
2.

Rule Changes

35.
Below we propose two approaches, either of which would achieve the purpose of providing
interference protection to Federal earth stations operating with commercial fixed satellites. We first
describe a proposal to add a co-primary Federal FSS and/or MSS allocation entry to the Federal Table for
the selected bands. We then describe an alternate proposal to add a footnote to the Allocation Table that
provides that Federal earth stations receive interference protection equivalent to non-Federal earth stations
in the selected bands.
36.
Allocation Approach: We seek comment on whether we should amend the Federal Table to
add a co-primary Federal FSS or MSS allocation to the selected bands. Under this proposal (the
“allocation approach”), we would also add a footnote to the Federal Table restricting primary use of
Federal earth stations in these bands to communication with non-Federal space stations.71 Under the
allocation approach, Federal agencies authorized by NTIA to operate earth stations in these bands would
have co-primary status with Commission-licensed non-Federal earth stations. The allocation approach
mirrors NTIA’s request.
37.
Successful implementation of the allocation approach will require agreement by NTIA and
the Commission on coordination procedures that Federal agencies would follow for authorizing Federal
earth stations. We propose that Federal users would follow a process similar to that used by Commission
applicants to obtain approval to use earth stations in the FSS bands, as described below. This process is
especially important for preventing interference where the FSS shares the band with terrestrial services,
such as the C-band and extended Ku-band.72 Interference between earth stations communicating with
different space stations is largely avoided because the Commission’s rules require that earth stations use
directional antennas and that space stations are separated by 2 degrees in the orbital arc. To avoid
interference between terrestrial stations and earth stations sharing the same band, the Commission’s rules
rely on coordination between operators of these stations prior to issuance of a license. The Commission’s
rules require an applicant for an FSS earth station license in bands shared with terrestrial services to

70 See supra notes 62, 63, and 69.
71 The proposed footnote does not permit any Federal space stations to operate in the selected bands except for those
permitted under footnote US334.
72 Portions of the Ka-band and V-band are also shared with terrestrial stations.
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conduct a frequency coordination analysis prior to filing an application.73 This frequency coordination
analysis requires the applicant to perform an interference analysis for each “close by” terrestrial station
for which a license or construction permit has been granted or an application has been filed.74 The
applicant must provide the interference analysis and technical information about the earth station to each
of these terrestrial station licensees, permittees, or applicants. The terrestrial station licensee, permittee,
or applicant then responds to the earth station applicant if it has an interference concern. The parties may
resolve potential interference by an agreement that is filed with the application.75 Applicants for fixed
point-to-point microwave licenses in bands shared with the FSS must coordinate their proposed links with
nearby earth stations prior to filing their applications using a similar process.76 In addition to the
coordination requirements for terrestrial stations, the Commission’s rules also impose coordination
requirements on earth stations with antennas that do not meet specified off-axis EIRP envelopes.77 These
earth stations, called non-conforming earth stations, must be coordinated with satellites within a 6 degree
orbital separation of the satellite the earth station will be communicating with.78 A statement that this
coordination has been conducted must be included in the application for the earth station.
38.
We propose the following procedures to be agreed to and followed by the Commission and
NTIA to ensure parity between Federal and non-Federal earth stations. The Federal agency would request
approval from NTIA to deploy and operate an earth station.79 In bands shared with terrestrial users such
as the C-band and extended Ku-band, either NTIA or the Federal agency would coordinate with terrestrial
stations as required by the Commission’s rules.80 For non-conforming earth stations in any satellite band,
either NTIA or the Federal agency would coordinate the proposed earth stations with other satellites as
required by the Commission’s rules.81 After such coordination, NTIA would send the request to the
Commission, providing all technical information that would be provided by a non-Federal applicant, such
as station location and basic technical characteristics. The Commission would process the request in the
same way as it would process applications for Commission licenses. The Commission would place the
request on public notice. Following the public notice period, if the Commission determines that the
request meets all technical criteria for licensing (i.e., that the application would be granted if it were
submitted by a non-Federal entity), the Commission would notify NTIA and make an entry in the
Commission’s database indicating the technical characteristics of the station and its protected status. The
Commission’s database entries will facilitate future coordination with terrestrial operations sharing the
satellite bands. In bands where there are no terrestrial stations or where the earth stations are conforming,
there will be no need to coordinate the earth station application prior to NTIA filing a request with the

73 47 C.F.R. § 25.130(b).
74 47 C.F.R. §§ 25.203(c); 25.251. The earth station applicant calculates a “great circle coordination distance
contour” in accordance with the Commission’s rules to determine which terrestrial stations are close enough to
require an interference analysis. 47 C.F.R. § 25.203(b).
75 47 C.F.R. § 25.203(c)(4).
76 47 C.F.R. §§ 101.21(f), 101.103.
77 47 C.F.R. §§ 25.218, 25.220(a)(1).
78 47 C.F.R. § 25.220(d)(1)(ii).
79 According to NTIA’s petition, the footnote we add to the Table should be patterned after an existing footnote for a
number of shared MSS bands where Federal earth stations are limited to operating with non-Federal space stations.
NTIA Petition at 3; 47 C.F.R. § 106 footnote US319. We note that very few authorizations for Federal earth stations
for these MSS bands have been processed through the FAS. Either Federal agencies do not use these MSS bands or
they utilize these bands on an unprotected basis.
80 47 C.F.R. §§ 25.130(b), 25.203(b), 25.203(c).
81 47 C.F.R. § 25.220(d).
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FCC. In that case, NTIA would file a request with the FCC providing all technical information that
would be provided by a non-Federal applicant, such as station location and basic technical
characteristics.82 The Commission would place the request on public notice. Following the public notice
period, if the Commission determines that the request meets all technical criteria, the Commission would
notify NTIA and make an entry in the Commission’s database indicating the technical characteristics of
the station and its protected status.83 We seek comment on these coordination procedures.
39.
Under the proposed allocation approach, these FSS bands would be shared Federal/non-
Federal FSS bands. Under existing coordination procedures the Commission routinely coordinates
license applications for bands shared with Federal stations with NTIA.84 We believe that the addition of
the Federal earth stations should not require any additional coordination procedures for non-Federal
applicants. Accordingly, we propose that applications for Commission licenses using frequencies
currently allocated for exclusive non-Federal use not be coordinated with NTIA . To enable protection of
government FSS earth station operations in these new bands, we propose that the Federal agencies or
NTIA monitor Commission public notices regarding filed earth station applications85 to determine
whether proposed non-Federal terrestrial stations raise any interference concerns to existing Federal earth
stations.86 If a proposed non-Federal station will cause interference to an existing Federal earth station,
NTIA could file an opposition to the earth station application in accordance with established Commission
procedure.87 The Commission will consider any such opposition in the same manner as oppositions filed
by other parties. We seek comment on these proposals, as well as any other considerations that may
impact the process currently used by FCC and NTIA for frequency coordination. For parties proposing
additional coordination approaches, we ask that they also include an analysis on timing and cost of such
an approach.
40.
Under our existing procedures under the MOU, the Commission and NTIA coordinate
proposed actions that could potentially cause interference to Federal operations, including changes to our
technical or service rules in shared Federal/non-Federal bands.88 The Commission’s ex parte rules
generally exempt presentations by NTIA in matters over which NTIA and the Commission share
jurisdiction.89 Thus, Federal agencies may be afforded an opportunity to participate, through NTIA, in

82 In the case of a VSAT network, the hub station location is specified, but the remotes could be located anywhere.
47 C.F.R. § 25.134.
83 Because we are proposing that Federal agencies would follow the same technical requirements and procedures as
Commission licensees in obtaining authorization to operate earth stations, we believe there would be no negative
effect on emergency response communications. We seek comment on this proposal.
84 Commission license applications in the shared bands are prior coordinated with NTIA through the Frequency
Assignment Subcommittee (FAS) of the IRAC, and proposed government use of shared bands is coordinated by
NTIA with the Commission using the same FAS procedures.
85 The Commission regularly issues public notices regarding earth station applications. 47 C.F.R. § 25.151.
86 NTIA and the Federal agencies would be treated the same as Non-Federal licensees in this respect. NTIA or the
Federal agency may monitor the Commission public notices themselves or contract this responsibility to another
party. The earth station technical rules are designed so that such interference concerns should rarely if ever actually
arise.
87 47 C.F.R. § 25.154. These oppositions will be publicly disclosed by the Commission.
88 See supra paragraph 11.
89 47 C.F.R. § 1.1204(a)(5). The Commission must make public any new factual information from NTIA that it
relies upon no later than the time of release of the decision document if such information is not otherwise submitted
for the record. Id.; See also Amendment of 47 C.F.R. § 1.1200 et seq. Concerning Ex Parte Presentations in
Commission Proceedings, GC Docket No. 95-21, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 7348, 7368 para. 62 (1997)
(continued….)
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rulemakings in a manner unavailable to non-Federal licensees.90 We invite comment on how we might
continue to protect against harmful interference to or from Federal earth station operations in a manner
that is consistent with the coordination practice as set forth in the MOU, while at the same time ensuring
transparency, fairness, and integrity in the Commission’s decision making process.
41.
We believe that under an allocation approach, we would need to include in the footnote that
we propose to add to the Federal Table a requirement that Federal earth stations in these bands comply
with Part 25 of the Commission’s rules. Are there other ways that we could ensure that Federal agencies
exercise only the same rights and obligations that are afforded similarly situated non-Federal entities?91
For example, if Federal agencies are not required to follow the Commission’s technical rules, including
coordination procedures, what rules should they follow? We also seek comment on how to treat Federal
agencies operating under a direct allocation but that are not in compliance with the footnote. If
interference occurs between Federal earth stations and non-Federal stations, how should it be resolved?
42.
The Commission’s Part 25 rules permit operation of Vehicle Mounted Earth Stations
(VMES), Earth Stations on Vessels (ESV), and Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft (ESAA) in a number of
FSS bands. VMES are earth stations operating from a motorized vehicle that travels primarily on land,
receives from and transmits to GSO FSS space stations, and operates within the United States.92 An ESV
is an earth station onboard a craft designed for traveling on water receiving from and transmitting to FSS
space stations.93 ESAA are earth stations operating from an aircraft that receive from and transmit to
GSO FSS space stations and operate within the United States.94 VMES, ESV, and ESAA may have either
primary or secondary status depending on the particular FSS band or on whether the ESV or VMES is in
motion. A number of footnotes in the Allocation Table define the status of VMES, ESV, and ESAA.95
For example, in the 3700-4200 MHz band an ESV in motion operates on a secondary basis while in the
(Continued from previous page)
(recognizing that “communications between the FCC and, for example, NTIA, may involve matters that are
predecisional with respect to that agency or otherwise privileged or sensitive” and codifying the FCC’s informal
practice “that information will be relied on and disclosure will be made of presentations under the shared jurisdiction
exemption only after advance coordination with the other agency . . . to ensure that the other agency retains control
over the timing and extent of any disclosure that may have an impact on that agency's jurisdictional
responsibilities.”); 47 C.F.R. § 1.1204(a) (Note 1 to paragraph ( a )).
90 By statute, NTIA has the responsibility to ensure that the views of the executive branch on telecommunications
matters are effectively presented to the Commission. See 47 U.S.C. § 902(b)(2)(J). The purpose of the ex parte rules
is to ensure the fairness and integrity of the Commission’s decision-making. 47 C.F.R. § 1.1200(a). Non-Federal
licensees and other parties are permitted to make ex parte presentations to Commission decision-making personnel
in “permit-but-disclose” proceedings such as rulemakings, but such presentations must be disclosed. 47 C.F.R. §
1.1206. The Commission and its staff retain the discretion to modify the applicable ex parte rules by order, letter, or
public notice in a particular proceeding. 47 C.F.R. § 1.1200(a).
91 See NTIA Petition at 2.
92 47 C.F.R. § 25.201; Amendment of Parts 2 and 25 of the Commission’s Rules to Allocate Spectrum and Adopt
Service Rules and Procedures to Govern the Use of Vehicle-Mounted Earth Stations in Certain Frequency Bands
Allocated to the Fixed-Satellite Service, IB Docket No. 07-101, Report and Order, 24 FCC Rcd 10414 (2009).
93 47 C.F.R. § 25.201; Procedures to Govern the Use of Satellite Earth Stations on Board Vessels in the 5925-6425
MHz/ 3700-4200 MHz Bands and 14.0-14.5 GHz/11.7-12.2 GHz Bands, IB Docket No. 02-10, Report and Order,
20 FCC Rcd 674 (2004); Order on Reconsideration, 24 FCC Rcd 10369 (2009); Second Order on Reconsideration,
27 FCC Rcd 8555 (2012).
94 47 C.F.R. § 25.201; Revisions to Parts 2 and 25 of the Commission’s Rules to Govern the Use of Earth Stations
Aboard Aircraft Communicating with Fixed-Satellite Service Geostationary-Orbit Space Stations Operating in the
10.95-11.2 GHz, 11.45-11.7 GHz, 11.7-12.2 GHz and 14.0-14.5 GHz Frequency Bands, IB Docket Nos. 05-20, 12-
376, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 16510 (2012).
95 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnotes NG52, NG54, NG55, NG180, NG181, NG183, NG187, US133.
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10.95-11.2 GHz and 11.45-11.7 GHz bands ESV, VMES, or ESAA must accept interference from the
fixed service.96 We note that under the allocation approach NTIA would be able to authorize Federal
agencies to operate VMES, ESV, and ESAA in the bands to which we are adding a Federal FSS
allocation to the same extent and with the same restrictions as Commission licensees. Federal agencies
would be expected to comply with all of the Part 25 rules pertaining to VMES, ESV, and ESAA and with
the footnotes to the Allocation Table regarding VMES, ESV, and ESAA.97 We seek comment on this
proposal.
43.
Under the allocation approach, we propose to amend the Federal Table by adding the
following primary allocations: 1) “FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)” to the 3700-4200 MHz,
10.7-12.2 GHz, and 37.5-39.5 GHz bands; 2) “FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)” to the 5850-6725
MHz, 12.7-13.25 GHz, 13.75-14.5 GHz, 27.5-30 GHz, and 47.2-48.2 GHz bands; 3) “MOBILE-
SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)” to the 19.7-20.2 GHz band; and 4) “MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-
space)” to the 29.5-30 GHz band. We also propose to add new footnote US107 to the Allocation Table
that would restrict Federal stations in the FSS to earth stations operating with non-Federal space stations
in these ten frequency bands, with the exception of Federal earth stations in three locations that operate in
the 18.3-19.3 GHz and 19.7-20.2 GHz bands.98 In addition, we propose to amend US319 by adding the
19.7-20.2 GHz (space-to-Earth) and 29.5-30 GHz (Earth-to-space) bands, thereby restricting Federal MSS
stations in those bands to earth stations operating with non-Federal space stations.99 We also take this
opportunity to propose to revise the text of US319 so that it parallels the text of proposed footnote US107
and to renumber footnote US319 in frequency order as footnote US46.100 We seek comment on these
proposals.
44.
Further, if we adopt the allocation approach, we propose to reclassify all non-Federal
footnotes that apply to the non-Federal FSS allocations in the proposed frequency bands (NG52, NG53,
NG54, NG55, NG143, NG164, NG165, NG166, NG180, NG181, NG183, NG185, NG187) as U.S.
footnotes. In particular, we note that seven of these non-Federal footnotes (NG52, NG54, NG55, NG180,
NG181, NG183, NG187) authorize mobile applications (i.e., ESV, VMES, and ESAA) in the fixed-
satellite service.101 We seek comment on this proposal.
45.
Finally, we propose to add all international and U.S. footnotes that apply to the non-Federal
FSS and MSS allocations in the requested bands to the Federal Table. We request comment on this
proposal.
46.
In seeking comment on our proposal to add a primary Federal allocation to the Allocation
Table for these satellite bands, we urge commenters to discuss how implementation of the allocation

96 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnotes NG52, NG180.
97 47 C.F.R. §§ 25.202(a)(8), 25.202(a)(10), 25.202(a)(11), 25.204(h), 25.204(i), 25.204(j), 25.204(k), 25.205(b),
25.205(c), 25.205(d), 25.209(f), 25.221, 25.222, 25.226, 25.227.
98 See supra paragraph 31. 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote US334.
99 In paragraphs 59-64, infra, we address NTIA’s request that US319 be amended by removing the 399.9-400.05
MHz band.
100 See Appendix A for the proposed additions to the Allocation Table and for the text of proposed footnotes US46
and US107.
101 The ESAA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes to revise footnote NG55 and to remove footnotes NG54,
NG183, and NG187. Revisions to Parts 2 and 25 of the Commission’s Rules to Govern the Use of Earth Stations
Aboard Aircraft Communicating with Fixed-Satellite Service Geostationary-Orbit Space Stations Operating in the
10.95-11.2 GHz, 11.45-11.7 GHz, 11.7-12.2 GHz and 14.0-14.5 GHz Frequency Bands, IB Docket Nos. 05-20, 12-
376, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 16510, 16564-65 para. 142 (2012).
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approach can satisfy the four key objectives that we have defined above. We likewise seek comment on
the process we propose for Federal users to obtain approval to operate earth stations in these satellite
bands. Can the allocation approach sufficiently protect the interests of non-Federal licensees in both the
FSS and other services operating in these bands? Would the approach provide the flexibility needed for
Federal users to effectively make use of the commercial satellite services? Are there additional steps we
should take to ensure that non-Federal users are protected from harmful interference from Federal earth
stations? How could NTIA’s “treat the same” request be most effectively realized and how could the
concerns that commenters have raised regarding NTIA’s petition be addressed?102 We also seek comment
on the costs and benefits of the allocation approach.
47.
Interference Protection Approach: Under our second proposal we would add the following
U.S. footnote to both the Federal Table and non-Federal Table for each of the FSS bands included in
NTIA’s petition:
USxxx The following provisions shall apply to Federal earth stations that operate with non-Federal
space stations in the fixed-satellite service (FSS), and in the bands 19.7-20.2 GHz and 29.5-30 GHz, the
mobile-satellite service (MSS), in accordance with the Commission’s rules and regulations (see in
particular the technical requirements of 47 CFR part 25) and that are authorized by NTIA:
(a) Federal earth stations that receive signals in the bands 3700-4200 MHz, 10.7-12.2 GHz, and 37.5-
39.5 GHz can claim protection from harmful interference from non-Federal stations to which these
frequencies are assigned at a later date even though there are no Federal FSS or MSS allocations in these
bands.
(b) Federal earth stations that receive signals in the bands 18.3-19.3 GHz and 19.7-20.2 GHz from
non-Federal space stations in the FSS can claim protection from harmful interference from non-Federal
stations to which these frequencies are assigned at a later date.
(c) Non-Federal stations cannot claim protection from harmful interference from Federal earth
stations to which frequencies in the bands 5850-6725 MHz, 12.7-13.25 GHz, 13.75-14.5 GHz, 27.5-30
GHz, and 47.2-48.2 GHz have previously been assigned even though there are no Federal FSS or MSS
allocations in these bands.
(d) Mobile applications in the non-Federal FSS. Federal Earth Stations on Vessels (ESVs), Vehicle
Mounted Earth Stations (VMES), and Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft (ESAA) may also operate in
accordance with footnotes NG52, NG54, NG55, NG180, NG181, NG183, NG187, and US133.
48.
Under this proposal we would not place Federal FSS and MSS allocations in the Federal
Table as shown in Appendix A. The footnote we propose to add to the Table of Allocations under this
approach (the “interference protection approach”) would permit Federal earth stations in communication
with non-Federal space stations to receive interference protection equivalent to that afforded non-Federal
earth stations in the commercial satellite bands requested by NTIA. In addition to restricting Federal
earth stations to operating with non-Federal satellites as the allocation approach does, this footnote would
provide interference protection to the Federal earth stations under the condition that they comply with the
Commission’s technical rules. Under the interference protection approach the bands will not contain a
Federal FSS or MSS allocation in the Federal Table and would not be considered shared Federal/non-
Federal bands. Federal agencies authorized by NTIA to operate earth stations in these bands would
operate on the same basis as Commission-licensed non-Federal earth stations, so long as the Federal
agency’s operations are consistent with Part 25 of the Commission’s rules. Federal agencies would, for
example, have interference protection against later-entering FCC licensees that they do not currently
enjoy. As discussed below, the interference protection approach would entail coordination procedures
similar to those proposed under the allocation approach but, under either approach, we seek to ensure
parity in the context of future rulemaking proceedings affecting these bands. We seek comment below on
these aspects of the proposed approaches.

102 See supra paragraph 14 for a description of the commenters’ concerns.
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49.
As with the allocation approach described above, successful implementation of the
interference protection approach will require agreement by NTIA and the Commission on coordination
procedures that Federal agencies would follow for authorizing Federal earth stations. We seek comment
on whether the process described above with regard to the allocation approach should be followed for
Federal agencies to obtain approval to use an earth station in these bands.103 This process would require
Federal agencies to request approval from NTIA to set up an earth station, NTIA or the Federal agency to
coordinate the earth station in bands shared with terrestrial users and for non-conforming earth stations,
NTIA to send the request to the Commission, and the Commission to place the request on public notice.
We seek comment on the use of these procedures in association with the interference protection
approach.104
50.
While we recognize that the interference protection approach differs from the plan
suggested in the NTIA petition, we also believe that it will meet the objective of the NTIA petition — to
provide interference protection to Federal earth stations and to place Federal earth stations on an equal
footing with earth stations licensed by the Commission. Moreover, we believe that the interference
protection approach is well suited to meeting the four objectives we believe are necessary for the success
of any policy guiding Federal use of commercial satellite networks and we seek comment on this tentative
conclusion.
51.
Because Federal and non-Federal earth station operators will be communicating with the
same Commission-approved space stations,105 we seek to ensure parity between Federal and non-Federal
earth stations. The technical and coordination requirements contained in Part 25 of the Commission’s
rules are designed to prevent interference between users of the satellite bands and should apply to all earth
station users, both Federal and non-Federal. To facilitate the harmonious sharing of the bands among all
users, the proposed footnote explicitly conditions protected operation of Federal earth stations in these
bands on the earth stations complying with Part 25 of the Commission’s rules.106 We seek comment on
this approach.
52.
Under the interference protection approach, no Federal allocation would be added to the
satellite bands, and thus those satellite frequency bands that are currently exclusively non-Federal would
not become shared Federal/non-Federal spectrum. Because the Federal and non-Federal earth stations
both communicate with the same commercial satellites, it is important that the satellite network as a
whole remain under the Commission’s oversight, even when the authority to operate the Federal and non-
Federal earth stations is granted by different entities. This approach would continue to ensure the
effective regulation by the Commission of the space and earth segments provided by commercial space
stations. We seek comment on this view.

103 See supra paragraph 38.
104 A similar process has been used to provide protection to FAA earth stations in the conventional C-band. The
Commission has placed FAA earth stations located in Alaska and Oklahoma in the Commission database of FSS
earth stations. Because the earth stations are listed in the Commission database they will receive interference
protection from future Commission terrestrial and earth station licensees despite the lack of a Federal FSS allocation
for the conventional C-band. Letter from Scott Kotler, Chief, Systems Analysis Branch, Satellite Division,
International Bureau, FCC, to Dr. Abdul Rana, dated June 15, 2006, IBFS File No. SES-ASG-20051109-01546, 21
FCC Rcd 6627 (IB, 2006) (DA 06-1282). Database Entry, IBFS File No. SES-DBE-20120820-00763, granted Nov.
2, 2012.
105 A space station can be approved either by obtaining a U.S. license or through the market access procedures for
non-U.S. licensed satellites. 47 C.F.R. § 25.137.
106 FSS earth stations that qualify as “portable devices” may also be subject to equipment authorization requirements
under Part 2, Subpart J of the rules. 47 C.F.R. §§ 2.1093, 25.129.
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53.
As discussed above, under our ex parte rules, presentations by NTIA are normally exempt
from ex parte restrictions in matters involving shared jurisdiction.107 Unlike other parties, NTIA is able to
make presentations to the Commission in its role as a co-regulator without disclosing the content of the
presentations on the record at the time it makes each presentation. Even when the Commission makes
NTIA materials public, other parties may not have the opportunity to respond to the presentation’s content
prior to adoption of the Commission’s rulemaking action unless NTIA submits the information into the
record beforehand.108 If we adopt the interference protection approach we would not add a Federal
allocation to these bands, but Federal agencies would be on an equal footing with non-Federal users. To
ensure this parity in the context of rulemaking proceedings affecting these bands, we seek comment on
whether the exemption from ex parte disclosure requirements should apply to any presentations made by
NTIA on behalf of Federal agencies using or seeking to use earth stations under our proposed rules
herein.
54.
The interference protection approach would avoid subjecting non-Federal earth station
applicants to new licensing procedures, such as additional approval and coordination requirements.109 As
discussed above, license applications in bands shared with Federal users are, in general, coordinated with
NTIA.110 Under the interference protection approach, the satellite bands that are exclusively non-Federal
would not acquire a Federal allocation and therefore will not become shared Federal/non-Federal bands.
As a result, we propose not to coordinate license applications with NTIA in these bands. Rather, we
propose that Federal earth stations listed in the Commission’s publicly-available database will be
protected from interference in the same manner as non-Federal stations.111 We seek comment on this
approach.
55.
As we noted above, there are a number of bands allocated for the FSS included in the NTIA
petition that have Federal allocations.112 For example, the 13.75-14 GHz portion of the extended Ku-band
is shared with Federal radars and NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. The Ka-band
downlink has a Federal co-primary FSS allocation that is restricted to use at three earth station locations.
The 48.2-50.2 GHz portion of the V-band has a primary Federal FSS allocation. We are not proposing
under the interference protection approach to change the application of the coordination process with
NTIA with regard to these and other shared bands with Federal and non-Federal allocations.
56.
We believe that the interference protection approach can provide assurance that the
Commission’s rules and practices will be applied in a consistent manner regardless of whether the
applicant is a Federal agency or a non-Federal entity that owns and operates the earth station
communicating with a non-Federal space station.113 Our proposed footnote would condition protected
operation of Federal earth stations in these bands on conformance with Part 25 of the Commission’s rules.

107 47 C.F.R. § 1.1204(a)(5). The ex parte rules are codified at 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200-1.1216.
108 For example, when it relies upon that information to support a particular decision, the Commission might not
place information from NTIA into the record until the order is released. 47 C.F.R. § 1.1204(a)(5).
109 SIA expressed concern that commercial and experimental earth station applicants not face any additional delays.
SIA Comments, RM-11341, filed Sept. 18, 2006, 6.
110 See supra paragraph 39.
111 For example, applicants for terrestrial licenses in the conventional C-band will have to coordinate with nearby
Federal earth stations prior to applying for a license. This prior coordination will be made possible by having the
Federal earth station information publicly available in the Commission database.
112 See supra paragraphs 30-32.
113 SIA requests that Federal earth stations operating in these commercial satellite bands be subject to the
Commission’s enforcement procedures. SIA Comments, at 5.
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If a Federal agency obtains approval from NTIA to operate an earth station in these bands and the earth
station does not operate in conformance with our rules, we would remove it from our database. These
non-compliant stations would operate on a non-interference basis and would have to accept any
interference from non-Federal stations — just as is the case today. This will provide an incentive for
Federal earth stations to comply with the Commission’s rules to mitigate the interference potential to both
Federal and non-Federal stations.114 We seek comment on additional actions the Commission can take to
provide assurance that Federal agencies will comply with the Commission’s rules when using earth
stations in these bands.
57.
As mentioned above, the Commission’s Part 25 rules permit operation of VMES, ESV, and
ESAA in a number of FSS bands. The footnote we propose under the interference protection approach
would allow Federal agencies to operate VMES, ESV, and ESAA on an interference protected basis to the
same extent as non-Federal licensees.115 Federal agencies would be expected to comply with all of the
Part 25 rules pertaining to VMES, ESV and ESAA and with the footnotes to the Allocation Table
regarding VMES, ESV, and ESAA. We seek comment on this proposal.
58.
We seek comment on the costs and benefits of the interference protection approach. Do
commenters agree with our observation that this interference protection approach would satisfy the four --
--key objectives we believe are necessary to the establishment of a successful policy guiding Federal use
of commercial satellite networks? Would this approach meet the needs of Federal users for protected
access to the commercial satellite bands? We likewise seek comment on the process we propose for
Federal users to obtain approval to operate earth stations in these satellite bands. Would the process
sufficiently protect the interest of non-Federal licensees in both the FSS and other services operating in
these bands? Would the process provide the flexibility needed for Federal users to effectively make use
of the commercial satellite services? Should the Commission take additional steps to ensure that non-
Federal users are protected from harmful interference from Federal earth stations? Are there economic
costs associated with the interference protection approach which should be considered?

B.

Federal Space Stations in 399.9-400.05 MHz MSS Band

59.
NTIA has requested that the Commission modify footnote US319 of the Allocation Table
to allow Federal space stations (i.e. satellites) to operate in the 399.9-400.05 MHz band.116 This band is
allocated to the MSS and the Radionavigation-Satellite Service on a primary basis in both the Federal and
non-Federal Table. Footnote US319 states:
In the bands 137-138 MHz, 148-149.9 MHz, 149.9-150.05 MHz, 399.9-400.05 MHz,
400.15-401 MHz, 1610-1626.5 MHz, and 2483.5-2500 MHz, Federal stations in the
mobile-satellite service shall be limited to earth stations operating with non-Federal space
stations.117

114 See SIA Comments at 4-5.
115 See supra paragraph 47.
116 See NTIA US319 Letter at footnote 30, supra. Under the allocation approach, we propose in para. 43, supra, to
revise footnote US319 and to renumber this U.S. footnote as US46.
117 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote US319.
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60.
US319 prevents Federal space stations from operating in these bands even though there is a
co-primary Federal MSS allocation for this band. NTIA requests that the footnote be modified to delete
the 399.9-400.05 MHz band thereby allowing Federal satellites to operate in this band.118
61.
NTIA proposes that the 399.9-400.05 MHz band be used for a new satellite system that will
assume some of the traffic currently handled by the Argos satellite system. Argos is a satellite system
that was established by the French Space Agency, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA).119 Argos is used for a large number of applications such as monitoring the
oceans at thousands of fixed and drifting buoys, tracking the movements of wildlife, relaying information
by humanitarian agencies from remote areas, monitoring water resources, and tracking the locations of
ships.120 According to NTIA, establishing a new satellite system in the 399.9-400.05 MHz band would
allow non-environmental applications to be removed from the Argos system which will result in lower
interference, higher capacity, and improved reliability and service for both the environmental applications
remaining on Argos and the non-environmental applications moved to the new system.121
62.
The Commission allocated the 399.9-400.05 MHz band along with three other frequency
bands to the MSS in 1993.122 At that time the 399.9-400.05 MHz band was used by the Transit-SAT
Radionavigation satellite system operated by the United States Navy.123 Transit-SAT was discontinued in
1996. The Commission made the allocation of these MSS bands to allow deployment of
non-geosynchronous low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite systems, called “Little LEO” systems, to provide
non-voice services such as data messaging and position determination.124 At the 1992 World
Administrative Radio Conference (“WARC-92”) the Little LEO bands, except for the 399.9-400.05 MHz
band, had been allocated to the MSS on a worldwide shared basis.125 Later, the 1995 World Radio
Conference (“WRC-95”) added a worldwide MSS allocation for the 399.9-400.05 MHz band.126 There
are currently no Commission licensees or applicants for this band.127

118 We note as a procedural matter that NTIA’s request does not meet the formal requirements of a petition for
rulemaking. See 47 C.F.R. § 1.401(c). Accordingly, we will commence a rulemaking proceeding on our own
motion. See 47 C.F.R. § 1.411.
119 See Argos History, available at http://www.argos-system.org/web/en/66-history.php.
120 See Argos Applications, available at http://www.argos-system.org/web/en/44-applications.php.
121 See NTIA US319 Letter at footnote 30, supra.
122 Amendment of Section 2.106 of the Commission’s Rules to Allocate Spectrum to the Fixed-Satellite Service and
the Mobile-Satellite service for Low-Earth Orbit Satellites, ET Docket No. 91-280, Report and Order, 8 FCC Rcd
1812, 1813 para. 12 (1993). The 137-138, 148-150.05, and 400.15-401 MHz bands were also allocated for MSS.
123 Id. at 1816 para. 24.
124 Id. at 1813 para. 7. The Little LEO band is distinct from the “Big LEO” MSS band at 1610-1626.5 MHz and
2483.5-2500 MHz. The Little LEO MSS is officially known as the non-voice, non-geostationary (NVNG) mobile-
satellite service
125 Id. at 1813 para. 5; Amendment of Part 25 of the Commission’s Rules to Establish Rules and Policies Pertaining
to the Second Processing Round of the Non-Voice, Non-Geostationary Mobile Satellite Service, IB Docket No.
96-220, Report and Order, 13 FCC Rcd 9111, 9114 para. 5 (1997) (Little LEO 2nd Round R&O).
126 Little LEO 2nd Round R&O at 9120 para 22. WRC-95 also allocated 455-456 MHz and 459-460 MHz for MSS
in Region 2. The Commission has declined to adopt these allocations. Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission's
Rules to Allocate the 455-456 MHz and 459-460 MHz bands to the Mobile-Satellite Service, ET Docket No. 97-214,
Order, 17 FCC Rcd 8899, 8899 para. 1 (2002).
127 A spectrum sharing plan proposed by five Little LEO applicants did not include use of the 399.9-400.05 MHz
band, and, consequently, the Commission did not assign this band to any of the Little LEO licensees. Little LEO 2nd
(continued….)
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63.
We propose to modify US319 and to renumber this footnote in frequency order as US46.128
No MSS systems have been deployed or authorized in the 399.9-400.05 MHz band since the allocation
was made almost twenty years ago and there are no pending applications or other proposed uses for this
band. Given that the band has only a 150 kilohertz bandwidth, the band is not suitable for mobile
broadband or most other applications. Rather than have the band lie fallow, we tentatively conclude that
the public interest is best served by allowing a Federal satellite system to be operated in this band so that
the spectrum does not lay fallow. We seek comment on this proposal.
64.
We seek comment on the cost and benefits of making this amendment to US319. While no
MSS systems currently operate in the 399.9-400.05 MHz band, other parties may have interest in
operating satellite systems in this band in the future. Given this possibility, we seek comment on whether
operation of a Federal MSS system in this band would preclude operation of non-Federal MSS systems in
the band in the future. We also recognize that interference may occur from a Federal MSS system
operating in 399.9-400.05 MHz to other nearby frequency bands. The 400.15-401 MHz band is also
allocated for MSS while the 335.4-399.9 MHz band has a Federal fixed and mobile allocation. NTIA
would be responsible for ensuring that any new Federal space stations authorized in the 399.9-400.05
MHz band will not cause harmful interference to Federal systems operating in Federal allocations. We
seek comment on whether a Federal MSS system operating in the 399.9-400.05 MHz band would cause
harmful interference to systems operating in frequency bands allocated for use by non-Federal systems
and, if so, what mitigation techniques are possible.

C.

Spectrum Access for Commercial Space Operators

65.
Three frequency bands are commonly used by Federal agencies for communications with
and tracking of space launch vehicles: 420-430 MHz, 2200-2290 MHz, and 5650-5925 MHz. These
bands currently have Federal, but no non-Federal, allocations supporting launches. Non-Federal use of
these bands has been possible by granting Special Temporary Authorizations (STAs) for use of these
bands when launches occur at Federal facilities. In this NPRM we broadly seek comment on the
spectrum requirements to support development of the commercial launch sector.
66.
We could take a number of different regulatory approaches to address the spectrum
requirements of the commercial space sector. For example, we could modify the Allocation Table to
include a non-Federal co-primary allocation for the 2200-2290 MHz and 5650-5925 MHz bands with a
footnote providing for coordination with Federal operations in these bands for communications and
tracking during launches. Alternatively, we could add a footnote to the Allocation Table to allow non-
Federal use of certain Federal bands when supporting Federal launch missions or when conducting
launches from Federal facilities. We could also look to the 2360-2395 MHz band to satisfy the
commercial launch sector spectrum requirements as this spectrum is currently shared on a co-equal basis
for Federal and non-Federal aeronautical mobile telemetry uses.129 We seek comment on the relative
merits of each of these approaches. We also seek comment on whether a non-Federal allocation in the
420-430 MHz band is necessary to support commercial launches. We believe this action is necessary to
(Continued from previous page)
Round R&O at 9120-21 para 22. Only Orbcomm has constructed a Little LEO system and Orbcomm did not
include the 399.9-400.05 MHz band when later requesting additional spectrum for use by a second generation Little
LEO system. Orbcomm did state that it may seek authority to operate in the 399.9-401 MHz band at a later date.
Applications by Orbcomm License Corp. for Authority to Modify its Non-Voice, Non-Geostationary Satellite
System, IBFS File No. SAT-MOD-20070531-00076, SAT-AMD-20071116-00161, Order and Authorization, 23
FCC Rcd 4804, 4807-08 para. 10 (IB 2008); Modification Application of Orbcomm License Corp., Narrative
Description, IBFS File No. SAT-MOD-20070531-00076, filed May 30, 2007 at 1, 11.
128 The revised footnote is included in Appendix A.
129 47 C.F.R. §§ 2.106 footnote US276, 87.303(d)(1).
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support the forecasted increase in the number of commercial launches in the future. We seek comment on
these views.
67.
A launch vehicle is a rocket used to send a payload into space. The payload may be a
satellite130 that remains in orbit or a spacecraft131 that transports cargo or people or travels beyond Earth’s
atmosphere to collect scientific data. Launch vehicles oftentimes have multiple stages. A first stage
initially propels the launch vehicle until its fuel is exhausted and then separates from the rest of the launch
vehicle to allow the next stage to propel the launch vehicle. Many launch vehicles separate from the
payload after reaching space and fall back to Earth.132 However, some launch vehicles, such as the space
shuttle, are spacecraft that transport cargo and people to and from space.
68.
We note that the Commission has long regulated communication involving satellites.133 As
part of regulating satellites’ use of radio spectrum,134 the Commission has required applicants to provide
additional information, such as design and operational strategies for mitigating orbital debris.135 For
purposes of this portion of the NPRM, however, our scope is limited to spectrum used during launches.
69.
Historically, NASA was responsible for launching both Federal and non-Federal payloads
into space. However, in 1986 the President announced that NASA would no longer be responsible for

130 See 47 C.F.R. § 2.1.
131 The Commission’s rules define spacecraft as “a man-made vehicle which is intended to go beyond the major
portion of the Earth’s atmosphere.” Id. A spacecraft may be a launch vehicle as well as a payload that is carried on
top of a launch vehicle, such as a communications satellite or a capsule that is used to transport cargo and crew into
space.
132 It may take days, months, or even years for a launch vehicle to fall back to Earth. Stephen Clark, Private Falcon
9 Rocket Meets Fiery End after 3 Weeks in Space
, Space.com (June 29, 2010) available at
http://www.space.com/8681-private-falcon-9-rocket-meets-fiery-3-weeks-space.html; John Mason and Howard
Miles, Reentry of ‘Cosmos 749’ Rocket on 1980 December 25, 91 J. of British Astronomical Ass’n 561, 565 (1981);
Reentry Predictions, The Aerospace Corp., available at http://www.aerospace.org/cords/reentry-predictions/past-
reentries-2012/1978-020b/ (Atlas F rocket body 1978-020B launched Feb. 22, 1978 with reentry on Aug. 11, 2012).
133 The FAA has the primary role in regulating commercial launches within the United States and abroad by U. S.
entities. A license from the FAA is required for non-Federal launches and reentry – i.e. the spacecraft returns from
Earth orbit or outer space to Earth, substantially intact. 51 U.S.C. §§ 50902(16), 50904(a); 14 C.F.R. §§ 413.3(b),
415.9(b).
134 47 C.F.R. § 25.113(g). We require technical information such as frequencies to be used, bandwidth, predicted
receiver and transmitter filter responses to be used, receiving system noise temperature, the power flux density
levels within each coverage area, and the gain of each transponder channel. 47 C.F.R. § 25.114 (c).
135 47 C.F.R. § 25.114(c)(14). See also Mitigation of Orbital Debris, IB Docket No. 02-54, Second Report and
Order
, 19 FCC Rcd 11567, 11613-14 para. 111 (2004); Northrop Grumman Space & Mission Systems Corporation,
IBFS File Nos. SAT-LOA-19970904-00080, SAT-AMD-19971222-00219, SAT-AMD-20031104-00324, SAT-
AMD-20040312-00030, Call sign S2254, Order and Authorization, 24 FCC Rcd 2330, 2363-64 para. 102 (IB 2009)
(Commission anticipates that modification to application for satellite license will involve insurance policies listing
the United States as an additional insured party.); Letter to Walter Sonnenfeldt and Stephen L. Goodman, IBFS File
No. SAT-MOD-20110801-00141, Call Sign: S2103, 26 FCC Rcd 12706, 12708 (IB Sat. Div. 2011) (Applicant may
want to discuss possible insurance arrangements in connection with reentry of satellites.); Application of Virtual
Geosatellite LLC, IBFS No. SAT-LOA-19990108-00007, SAT-AMD-20020916-00173, Call Sign S2366, Order
and Authorization
, 21 FCC Rcd 14687, 14708 para. 68 (IB 2006) (Commission anticipates that satellite end-of-life
disposal plan will involve insurance policies listing the United States as an additional insured party).
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launching commercial payloads into space.136 When NASA conducted all launches, Federal spectrum
was used for launch related communications purposes. Anticipating the need for non-Federal spectrum
for communications for commercial launches, the Commission in 1990 set aside spectrum in the 2310-
2390 MHz band for telemetry and telecommand use during commercial launches.137 Telemetry is
diagnostic information transmitted from the launch vehicle to ground controllers during the flight which
allows the controllers to track the performance of the launch vehicle. Telecommand is the transmission of
signals to initiate, modify or terminate functions of equipment at a distance.138 In the intervening years
the Commission has not authorized use of this spectrum for launches. Instead, commercial launches in
the United States have continued to rely on Federal spectrum authorized by NTIA.
70.
Recently, two launch vehicle manufacturers have applied to the Commission for access to
Federal spectrum during commercial launches. The Commission is able to grant special temporary
authority (STA) under the Part 5 experimental licensing rules to commercial entities to operate in these
Federal bands on a non-interference basis139 for a maximum of six months.140 This means that the
experimental STA grantees are not allowed to cause interference to and must accept interference from
Federal users of the band that are operating with authorizations. Because these bands have a Federal
allocation, the Commission coordinates these experimental STAs with NTIA. Once these STAs have
been coordinated with NTIA, the potential for interference to or from Federal systems to commercial
launch operations is minimized. The Commission recently granted both SpaceX and Orbital Sciences
experimental STAs to use frequencies in the 2200-2290 MHz and 5650-5925 bands during their
launches.141 These experimental STAs were valid for a single launch and were issued with the condition
that any future launches by the grantees would be considered on a case-by-case basis and no expectation
that experimental STAs for future launches would be approved.
71.
The frequency of commercial launches in the United States is expected to increase in the
future. According to the National Space Policy, Federal agencies should purchase commercial space
capabilities and services to the maximum extent possible.142 The National Space Policy requires that
NASA seek partnerships with the private sector to enable cost-effective commercial spaceflight

136 Amendment of the Frequency Allocation and Aviation Services Rules (Parts 2 and 87) to Provide Frequencies
for Use by Commercial Space Launch Vehicles, GEN Docket No. 89-16, RM-6423, Report and Order, 5 FCC Rcd
493, 493 para. 2 (1990) (Space Launch R&O).
137 Id. at 495 para. 15.
138 47 C.F.R. § 2.1(c).
139 47 C.F.R. §§ 2.102(b)(3), 5.85(c).
140 47 C.F.R. §, 5.61(a). As an alternative to an experimental STA the Commission may issue experimental licenses
that are valid for up to five years. 47 C.F.R. § 5.71. Experimental licenses permit operation only on a non-
interference basis.
141 Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), Special Temporary Authorization, OET Experimental
Licensing System File Nos. 0301-EX-ST-2012, 0334-EX-ST-2012, 0691-EX-ST-2012, 0692-EX-ST-2012, 0071-
EX-ST-2013, 0072-EX-ST-2013; Orbital Sciences Corp., Special Temporary Authorization, OET Experimental
Licensing System File Nos. 0136-EX-ST-2012, 0139-EX-ST-2012, 0611-EX-ST-2012 (available at
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/index.cfm). SpaceX and Orbital Sciences did not apply for STAs for the 420-430 MHz
band. SpaceX and Orbital Sciences have also obtained longer term experimental licenses for ground testing of their
launch vehicles. Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), Radio Construction Permit and License, OET
Experimental Licensing System File Nos. 0394-EX-PL-2011, 0380-EX-PL-2012; Orbital Sciences Corp., Radio
Station Construction Permit and License, OET Experimental Licensing System File Nos. 0524-EX-PL-2011, 0022-
EX-ML-2012.
142 See National Space Policy at 10.
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capabilities to transport cargo and crew to the ISS.143 NASA has contracted with SpaceX for twelve
supply flights to the ISS and with Orbital Sciences for eight supply flights.144 Several companies are
expected to eventually develop the capability to transport astronauts to the ISS.145 Given this expected
increase in commercial space flights, the continued use of experimental STAs for the radio spectrum
needed for launches may create uncertainty.146 Because there is no non-Federal allocation allowing the
use of these frequencies, each request to operate on these frequencies must be evaluated on a case-by-case
basis, with no guarantee that one can be granted for any given launch. However, given that the Federal
agencies have been supportive of the commercial launch sector in carrying out the President’s National
Space Policy objectives, all STAs related to commercial launches to date have been approved. Given that
a single launch can cost millions of dollars, commercial launch providers should not have to assume the
risk that launches may have to be postponed or cancelled if an experimental STA is not timely granted.
Even if an experimental STA is granted, the grantee must contend with the uncertainty of
non-interference status. Communications links that operate on a non-interference basis are not likely to
be acceptable from a safety standpoint for future manned spaceflights. The experimental STA process
also increases the burden on commercial launch providers’ time and expense, since each is evaluated on a
case by case basis. Allocation status for commercial launch providers would enable the Commission to
develop service rules for issuing authorizations using well-defined application and coordination
processes. We seek comment on these tentative conclusions as well as the cost to the space launch
industry of not having a non-Federal allocation in these bands. Consequently, we are proposing, and
seeking comment as discussed below, on adding non-Federal allocations to these three bands to allow
Commission licensees to operate in these bands on an interference protected basis. We seek comment on
possible approaches we could take to provide non-Federal entities with interference protection in these
bands, such as adding a non-Federal allocation to the bands or the addition of a footnote to the Allocation
Table that provides non-Federal entities with interference protection. We note that even these approaches
require coordination with the Federal incumbents in the band.
72.
We recognize that identifying the non-Federal spectrum needs associated with launch of a
launch vehicle necessarily raises larger questions about the respective roles of the FCC and NTIA in
future launch scenarios. At the most basic level, whether access to spectrum for use during a launch
requires authorization from NTIA or a license from the Commission will depend on whether the radio
transmitters belong to and are operated by the U.S. government.147 Making this determination is not
always straightforward. As a practical matter, all launch vehicles launched in the past several decades
have been built with substantial private company involvement. All regular commercial launches within
the United States have been conducted from launch facilities owned by the Federal Government.148
Payloads launched from Federal launch facilities have included commercial communications satellites

143 Id. at 11.
144 NASA Awards Space Station Commercial Resupply Services Contract, Dec. 23, 2008, available at
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/dec/HQ_C08-069_ISS_Resupply.html.
145 NASA Announces Next Steps in Effort to Launch Americans from U.S. Soil, Aug. 3, 2012, available at
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/releases/2012/release-20120803.html; Commercial Crew and Cargo,
available at http://www.nasa.gov/offices/c3po/partners/ccdev_info.html; NASA Partner Sierra Nevada Completes
Preliminary Design Review of Dream Chaser Vehicle to Transport Astronauts
, June 6, 2012, available at
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/releases/2012/release-20120606.html.
146 The Commission has recently issued a Public Notice on obtaining experimental STAs for launches. Guidance on
Obtaining Experimental Authorizations for Commercial Space Launch Activities, Public Notice, DA 13-446 (rel.
March 15, 2013).
147 47 U.S.C. § 305(a).
148 The New Mexico state government has established Spaceport America located near Las Cruces New Mexico as a
commercial spaceport.
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and satellites owned and operated by Federal agencies such as the Department of Defense and NOAA.
Because multiple satellites can be launched into space on a single launch vehicle, both government and
non-government payloads have been included on the same launch.149 There have also been several
instances of Federal Government-owned equipment or sensors on commercial communications
satellites.150 Given that Federal agencies are required to use commercial space services where possible,
we believe that there will be increasing Federal reliance on non-Federal operations.
73.
We seek comment on how to determine whether a given launch is non-Federal or Federal
for purposes of licensing spectrum for use during a launch. According to the Communications Act, the
Commission has authority to license radio stations except those “belonging to and operated by the United
States.”151 Spectrum use by radio equipment belonging to or operated by Federal agencies is authorized
by NTIA instead of licensed by the Commission. How easy or difficult has it been in practice to
determine whether use of spectrum during launches should be licensed by the Commission or authorized
by NTIA? How should factors such as the nature of the payload, the location of the launch, the provider
of the launch vehicle and whether the FAA classifies the launch as commercial be taken into account in
making this determination?
74.
Making non-governmental allocations within the 420-430 MHz, 2200-2290 MHz, and
5650-5925 MHz bands would be a first step to issuing licenses to commercial operators for use during
launches. After the allocations are adopted, the Commission would have to open a proceeding to create
service rules for non-Federal launches. We recognize the critical nature of some of the Federal operations
performed using these frequency bands, and realize that service rules would have to be carefully crafted
to ensure that the commercial space launch operations do not interfere with the important Federal
operations in these bands, particularly as the commercial launch sector expands. Accordingly, any
service rules would be developed in close coordination with NTIA and the Department of Defense to
assure the continued certainty that this spectrum remains available for priority use by critical systems.
The FCC is committed to ensuring that our rules would require technical specifications, eligibility
requirements, and coordination procedures necessary to preserve the nation’s defense capabilities.
Adoption of these service rules will allow the Commission to issue licenses to commercial launch
operators for spectrum for use during launches without the uncertainty of operating on a non-interference
basis. Because the bands would be shared Federal/non-Federal bands, use of spectrum for commercial
space launches would be coordinated with the NTIA. In the short term, because the commercial launches
will occur at relatively few locations and will not be an everyday occurrence, we believe that service rules
and coordination procedures can be adopted that will prevent harmful interference from occurring to the
Federal services in these bands or the commercial launch operators. In adopting service and licensing
rules for these bands we must make sure that Federal operations are protected. We seek comment on
these assumptions. Furthermore, we seek comment on whether the existing Federal bands are able to

149 This has become increasingly common with the launch of small satellites as secondary payloads. For example,
the October 2011 launch of NOAA’s Suomi weather satellite also deployed several non-Federal satellites. NASA
Readies New Type of Earth-Observing Satellite for Launch
, Oct. 12, 2011, available at
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/NPP/news/launch-prep.html; NASA Transfers Operational Contol of
Environmental Satellite
, March 3, 2013, available at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/NPP/news/control-
transfer.html. The September 2012 launch of a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office also deployed 11
small satellites for both Federal and non-Federal groups. NRO 2012 Launch Campaign Completed with Sucessful
Atlas V Rocket Launch
, National Reconnaissance Office, Press Release #11-12, Sept. 13, 2012, available at
http://www.nro.gov/news/press/2012/2012-11.pdf.
150 This arrangement is often referred to as a hosted payload. See Hosted Payloads, Department of Commerce,
available at http://www.space.commerce.gov/general/commercialpurchase/hostedpayloads.shtml; After Hosted
Payload Success, U.S. Air Force Plans Follow-on
, Space News, April 13, 2012, available at
http://www.spacenews.com/military/120413-hosted-success-af-plans-follow-on.html.
151 47 U.S.C. § 305(a).
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sustain the anticipated growth of the commercial launch sector. Are there alternatives to use of these
bands that may satisfy the commercial launch requirements?
75.
What would be the costs and benefits of providing non-governmental access within the
420-430 MHz, 2200-2290 MHz, and 5650-5925 MHz bands? Would having access to portions of these
bands meet the needs of commercial launch operators? What costs would be imposed on Federal
agencies to coordinate use of the spectrum with commercial launch operators? Would having access to
portions of these bands allow commercial launch operators to incur lower development costs because they
will be able to use the same communications systems for both Federal and non-Federal launches? How
would the costs and benefits of having access to portions of these bands compare with other spectrum
bands that could be used instead of these bands? How can we best ensure that the anticipated growth of
the commercial launch industry is sustained in the longer term?
76.
420-430 MHz. The 420-430 MHz band is used to transmit a self-destruct signal from
ground controllers to a launch vehicle during launch.152 This signal causes the launch vehicle to
self-destruct if it goes off course and would pose a danger to a populated area. For safety reasons this
communications link must be extremely reliable. NTIA has authorized a number of frequencies
throughout the 420-430 MHz band for self-destruct signals at different Federal launch facilities.
77.
The 420-430 MHz band is allocated on a primary basis for Federal radiolocation and on a
secondary basis for the non-Federal amateur service.153 Federal radiolocation use of the band is restricted
to the military services.154 Portions of the band are also allocated on a primary basis for the non-Federal
land mobile service at three locations.155 The band may also be used for low power Federal radio control
operations.156 The International Table contains primary fixed and mobile, except aeronautical mobile,
allocations and a secondary radiolocation allocation. Because the only non-Federal allocation for the
420-430 MHz band is for secondary amateur operations, the Commission cannot issue licenses that
provide interference protection to commercial entities to use this band for self-destruct signals during
launches. Commercial entities have not requested experimental STAs or licenses from the Commission
for self-destruct signals in the 420-430 MHz band to date. In this regard, we seek comment on the
requirements associated with command and destruct communications for commercial launch vehicles and
whether access to the 420-430 MHz band is necessary. The commercial launch vehicle has only a
receiver for the self-destruct signal and therefore does not require a license to transmit. If the self-destruct
signal is being transmitted from a government owned facility using equipment under the control of
Federal Government employees, no license from the Commission would be required. Instead, an
authorization from NTIA would be needed.
78.
We seek comment on whether we should make a co-primary non-Federal aeronautical
mobile allocation for the 420-430 MHz band for use for self-destruct signals during commercial launches.
In addition, we seek comment on whether we should add a footnote to the Allocation Table restricting use
of this non-Federal allocation to self-destruct signals during launches. Given that no one has requested an
experimental STA from the Commission for this band for self-destruct signals, is there a need for access
to the 420-430 MHz band for self-destruct signals and would the current STA process be sufficient to

152 See NTIA Manual, § 8.2.54 (Policy on the Use of the Frequency Bands Between 406.1 and 450 MHz by Range
Safety Operations).
153 47 C.F.R. § 2.106.
154 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote G2. Non-Federal radiolocations systems may also use the band on a secondary basis
with certain restrictions. 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote US269.
155 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote US230.
156 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote G8.
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satisfy this need? As private spaceports are developed, use of Federal authorizations for this purpose may
no longer be sufficient. Even when launches are conducted from Federal facilities, commercial entities
conducting launches may want to use their own equipment for the self-destruct communications link and
therefore would need a license from the Commission. Given the necessity of a reliable self-destruct
communications link for the safety of the public, the use of a non-interference basis experimental STA
would be problematic. We acknowledge that use of this band for non-Federal space activities will require
coordination with NTIA and Federal users of the band. We propose that any non-Federal use of the
allocation should be limited to commercial launch activities. We seek comment on this proposal as well
as alternative bands that may be used for this purpose by the commercial launch sector.
79.
2200-2290 MHz. The 2200-2290 MHz band is used for launch telemetry - i.e. the sending
of information from the launch vehicle to ground controllers during the launch. We propose two
alternative approaches that would provide commercial launch operators access to spectrum in the 2200-
2290 MHz band for launch telemetry. As a first alternative, we propose to add a footnote to the
Allocation Table providing primary non-Federal space operation service allocations to portions of the
2200-2290 MHz band for launch telemetry. This footnote would require successful coordination of the
assignment and use of the band for space launches with NTIA, would restrict non-Federal use of the band
to pre-launch testing and to use at Federal ranges, would limit non-Federal use of the band to the 2207-
2219 MHz, 2270.5-2274.5 MHz, and 2285-2290 MHz portions of the band, and would limit non-Federal
use of the band to channels with bandwidth of less than 5 MHz based on our understanding of current
usage. As a second alternative we propose to amend the Allocation Table to add a non-Federal Space
Operations allocation to the 2200-2290 MHz band. This allocation would be accompanied by a footnote
to the Allocation Table with the same restrictions specified in the footnote proposed in the first
alternative. We seek comment on these two alternative proposals. Which alternative would be better
suited to meeting our goal of providing access to spectrum during launches for launch telemetry?
80.
The 2200-2290 MHz band is allocated on a primary basis for the Federal space operation,
Earth exploration-satellite, fixed, mobile, and space research services.157 The fixed and mobile
allocations are limited to line-of-sight operations only. There are no non-Federal allocations for this
band, although certain non-Federal space stations may use the 2285-2290 MHz portion of the band to
communicate with NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.158 The International Table
contains allocations for the space operation, Earth exploration-satellite, fixed, mobile, and space research
services. Because the 2200-2290 MHz band has no non-Federal allocation, the Commission does not
license frequencies except on a non-interference basis. The primary Federal space operation service
allocation enables NTIA to assign frequencies in the 2200-2290 MHz band to Federal agencies for
telemetry during launches.
81.
The 2200-2290 MHz band is heavily used by Federal agencies. We seek comment on
whether there is sufficient spectrum available in this band for use during commercial launches, and, in
particular, whether the use of this band could sustain the anticipated growth of the commercial launch
sector. Using the same frequencies for Federal and non-Federal launches has distinct advantages for the
commercial space industry. The equipment used for communications during launches has been developed
and is reliable. Launch communications have successfully shared this band with the other services
present for numerous launches through coordination of the various operations. Many commercial
launches will occur from facilities co-located with Federal launch sites such as Cape Canaveral or
Vandenberg Air Force Base where this sharing has been accomplished. In the future, the same companies
will likely conduct launches for both Federal agencies and private entities and eventually likely transition

157 47 C.F.R. § 2.106.
158 This is limited to non-Federal space stations in the space research, space operation, and Earth exploration-
satellite services. 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote US303.
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to commercial space ports that are completely independent of Federal operations. We seek comment on
whether requiring industry to have the capability to conduct communications in different bands depending
on whether the launch is considered Federal or non-Federal would place an expensive burden on these
companies.159 Providing access to spectrum that can sustain the short and long term needs of the
commercial launch industry is in accordance with the policy of the United States government to develop a
vibrant commercial space industry.160
82.
In both of the alternative proposals we have proposed that non-Federal use of the bands for
space launches be limited to the 2207-2219 MHz, 2270.5-2274.5 MHz, and 2285-2290 MHz portions of
the band. We have proposed this limitation based on our understanding of current usage. We seek
comment on limiting non-Federal use to these portions of the band for space launches. Can limiting non-
Federal use to this portion of the band support the expected growth of the commercial launch industry?
We have also proposed to limit non-Federal use of these bands to communication channels with
bandwidths of less than 5 megahertz based on our understanding of current usage. We seek comment on
this limitation. In addition, we have proposed to limit non-Federal use of this band for space launches to
pre-launch testing and for launches conducted at Federal ranges. We propose this restriction to limit the
potential for interference to Federal operations to a few locations. As the commercial space ports are
established that are independent of Federal operations would this restriction unduly limit the future
growth of the commercial space launch industry?
83.
As mentioned above, in 1990 the Commission made six frequencies in the 2310-2390 MHz
band available for both Federal and non-Federal use for telemetry and telecommand of launch and reentry
vehicles.161 The Commission later reduced these to three frequencies in the 2360-2395 MHz band.162
The 2360-2395 MHz band is primarily used for aeronautical telemetry and telecommand operations for
flight testing of aircraft and missiles.163 We seek comment generally on the use of these frequencies as an
alternative to the heavily used 2200-2290 MHz band for communications during launches. In the time
since the Commission made this spectrum available for launch telemetry, the intensity of use of this band

159 Space Launch R&O at 494 para. 10.
160 See National Space Policy at 3 (stating that the “United States is committed to encouraging and facilitating the
growth of a U.S. commercial space sector that supports U.S. needs, is globally competitive, and advances U.S.
leadership in the generation of new markets and innovation-driven entrepreneurship”).
161 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote US276; 47 C.F.R. § 87.303(d)(1); Space Launch R&O at 495 para. 15.
162 In 1997 and 2003 these six frequencies were reduced to three after a portion of the band was reallocated for
Satellite Digital Audio Radio (SDARS) and the Wireless Communications Service (WCS). Establishment of Rules and
Policies for the Digital Audio Radio Service in the 2310-2360 MHz Frequency Band, IB Docket No. 97-91, GEN
Docket No. 90-357, Report and Order, Memorandum Opinion and Order, and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking,
12 FCC Rcd 5754, 5805-06 paras. 124-126 (1997); Amendment of Parts 2, 25, and 87 of the
Commission's Rules to Implement Decisions from World Radiocommunication Conferences Concerning Frequency
Bands Between 28 MHz and 36 GHz and to Otherwise Update the Rules in this Frequency Range, ET Docket No. 02-
305, Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 23426, 23441-43 paras. 37-40 (2003). The Commission has recently proposed in
a pending proceeding to remove outdated references to two of these frequencies from the Allocation Table. See
Amendment of Parts 1, 2, 15, 74, 78, 87, 90, and 97 of the Commission’s Rules Regarding Implementation of the
Final Acts of the World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2007) (WRC-07), Other Allocation Issues, and
Related Rule Updates, ET Docket No. 12-338, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 14598,
14623 para. 57 (2012).
163 The entire 2360-2395 MHz band may be used for telemetry and telecommand of launch vehicles undergoing
flight test. 47 C.F.R. § 87.303(d)(1). The 2360-2395 MHz band is also used on a secondary basis for Medical Body
Area Network (MBAN) devices. 47 C.F.R. §§ 2.106 footnote US101, 95.628(a)(2), 95.1211(c); Amendment of the
Commission’s Rules to Provide Spectrum for the Operation of Medical Body Area Networks, ET Docket No. 08-59,
First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 6422 (2012)
32

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FCC 13-65

for aeronautical telemetry for flight testing may have significantly changed. Does the current and
expected future use of the 2360-2395 MHz band for aeronautical telemetry for flight testing make it
unsuitable for communications associated with launch activity? What are the impediments to use of this
band for commercial launches in the future? What are the spectrum requirements of the commercial
launch sector in the short and long term and are the available frequencies in this band sufficient to meet,
at least in part, these requirements? Because the number of frequencies available for launch vehicle
telemetry and telecommand has been halved, would the needed data capacity be available for telemetry
and telecommand during commercial launches? Should the Commission make the entire 2360-2395 MHz
band available for telemetry and telecommand during commercial launches? Will the development of
communications equipment for use on launch vehicles for this band place a significant economic burden
on the commercial space industry? Prior to the Commission making frequencies in the 2310-2395 MHz
band available for space launch telemetry, several commenters stated that it would be more cost efficient
to use the same frequencies for both Federal and non-Federal launches and that the band should not be
used until all Federal launch facilities had transitioned to the band. 164 We seek comment on whether these
concerns are still valid. Are there other reasons why the 2360-2395 MHz band is not a viable alternative
to the 2200-2290 MHz band for telemetry during launches?
84.
Looking beyond the 2360-2395 MHz band, we seek comment on alternatives to the use of
the 2200-2290 MHz band for launch communications. We realize that as the demand for spectrum has
increased, finding spectrum for new applications has become more difficult. That is especially the case
for an application such as the space operation service, which involves transmitting high powered signals
from high altitudes that may result in interference over a large area. Because these communications will
take place from space, must the spectrum used be internationally allocated to the space operation service
(space-to-Earth)? There is meager spectrum allocated for this purpose.165 Assuming that another suitable
frequency band could be identified, would obtaining an international space allocation be a long process
with uncertain success?
85.
5650-5925 MHz. The 5650-5925 MHz band is used for radar tracking of a launch vehicle
during launch.166 Tracking of a launch vehicle may involve use of a transponder that is placed on the
launch vehicle. The transponder transmits a signal in response to a radar signal received from a ground-
based tracking station thus allowing the launch vehicle to be more accurately tracked. Both SpaceX and
Orbital Sciences have obtained experimental STAs in the 5650-5925 MHz band for use during
launches.167
86.
The 5650-5925 MHz band is allocated on a primary basis for Federal radiolocation and on
a secondary basis for the non-Federal amateur service.168 The 5650-5850 MHz portion of the band is also
allocated on a secondary basis to the non-Federal amateur satellite service. The 5850-5925 MHz portion
of the band contains a non-Federal primary FSS allocation which is limited to use with international

164 Space Launch R&O at 494 para. 10.
165 The 137-138 MHz and 401-402 MHz bands are the only other spectrum bands allocated to the space operation
service (space-to-Earth) on a primary basis for non-Federal use. 47 C.F.R. § 2.106.
166 See, e.g. Application for Special Temporary Authority of Orbital Sciences Corp., OET Experimental Licensing
System File Nos. 0139-EX-ST-2012.
167 Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), Special Temporary Authorization, OET Experimental
Licensing System File Nos. 0334-EX-ST-2012, 0691-EX-ST-2012, 0072-EX-ST-2013; Orbital Sciences Corp.,
Special Temporary Authorization, OET Experimental Licensing System File Nos. 0139-EX-ST-2012, 0611-EX-ST-
2012.
168 47 C.F.R. § 2.106.
33

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FCC 13-65

inter-continental satellite systems subject to a case-by-case electromagnetic compatibility analysis.169
5850-5925 MHz also has a non-Federal mobile primary allocation that is limited to the Intelligent
Transportation System radio service.170 The International Table for Region 2 contains a secondary
amateur allocation throughout the band; a primary radiolocation allocation in the 5650-5830 MHz portion
of the band; a secondary amateur-satellite service allocation in the 5830-5850 MHz portion of the band;
primary fixed, FSS, and mobile service allocations in the 5850-5925 MHz portion of the band; and a
secondary radiolocation allocation in the 5850-5925 MHz portion of the band.171
87.
Because the radiolocation allocation in the 5650-5925 MHz band is Federal, the
Commission can only license commercial entities to use the band to track launch vehicles on a non-
interference basis. Federal radar facilities are able to track launches from government owned launch
facilities under current NTIA authorizations even for commercial launches. However, NTIA may not
authorize radar transponders on commercial launch vehicles. In the future private spaceports may need to
establish non-Federal radar facilities to track commercial launch vehicles or spacecraft. Even for
commercial launches from government run launch sites, the commercial space operator may want to
develop and use its own radar facilities to track the launch vehicle. Given the need for radar transponders
on commercial launch vehicles or for non-government radar tracking of launch vehicles, we make two
alternative proposals for providing non-Federal access to the 5650-5925 MHz band for tracking of launch
vehicles. As a first proposal we propose to add a footnote to the Allocation Table providing primary non-
Federal Radiolocation service allocations to portions of the 2200-2290 MHz band for launch telemetry.
This footnote would require successful coordination of the assignment and use of the band for space
launches with NTIA and would restrict non-Federal Radiolocation use of the band to the tracking of
launch vehicles during launches and for pre-launch testing. The second alternative proposal would add a
non-Federal radiolocation allocation to the 5650-5925 MHz band with footnote containing the same
restrictions. Is only a portion of the band needed for the tracking during launches? What are the
spectrum and operational requirements for radar tracking of commercial launch vehicles in the short and
longer term? Could launch vehicles instead be tracked in other radiolocation bands, whether Federal,
non-Federal, or shared? Would the addition of a non-Federal radiolocation allocation introduce any
compatibility issues with Intelligent Transportation Systems that are significantly different than
compatibility with the existing Federal radiolocation allocation? We also propose to restrict non-Federal
use of this band to use for launch activities. We seek comment on these proposals.

IV.

NOTICE OF INQUIRY

88.
While the commercial space operations portion of the NPRM has focused on use of the
420-430 MHz, 2200-2290 MHz, and 5650-5925 MHz bands during launches, we understand that the
commercial space industry may have additional needs for spectrum in the future. In this Notice of
Inquiry, we launch an inquiry into the future spectrum requirements of the commercial space industry.
We seek comment broadly on what other spectrum needs may be important as the commercial space
sector continues to develop. What spectrum will be required as commercial spaceports are developed
where the established communications infrastructure that is in place at the government-owned launch
facilities is not present? Are there communications needs during other portions of space missions after
the launch such as during re-entry or the “on orbit” phase of a mission that require changes in allocations?
Are there any other frequency bands, whether Federal, non-Federal, or shared that the commercial space
industry will need access to? Can some of the spectrum needs of the commercial space industry be
satisfied by purchasing or leasing spectrum from other licensees? Are there any portions of the
Commission’s rules that will need to be amended to keep pace with this rapidly changing industry?

169 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote US245.
170 47 C.F.R. § 2.106 footnote NG160.
171 47 C.F.R. § 2.106.
34

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89.
While previous commercial launches have been conventional rockets, several companies
plan to take passengers on suborbital spaceflights using spacecraft that have more in common with planes
than rockets.172 For example, Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft will be carried aloft suspended from a plane.173
The spacecraft will then be released by the plane and a rocket engine will be fired to propel it into space.
The spacecraft will then glide back to earth for an unpowered landing in the same manner as NASA’s
space shuttle. XCOR Aerospace’s spacecraft will take off on a horizontal runway like a plane, fire a
rocket engine to propel it into space, and then glide back to earth for a horizontal landing.174 The
spacecraft are only expected to reach altitudes of 100 km as compared to orbits of over 300 km for low
earth orbit satellites and space stations.175 Given the airplane-like qualities of these spacecraft and their
lower maximum altitudes, they may have different communications needs than conventional launches.
Because the spacecraft will glide back to earth will their frequency use have to be coordinated over a
much larger area than conventional launches and reentries? Will access to the spectrum used by
commercial aviation under the Part 87 Aviation Services be more appropriate for all or part of the
spacecraft’s flight? Would we need to initiate a proceeding to modify Part 87 to meet the needs of these
commercial spacecraft? We seek comment generally on the communication needs of these spacecraft.
90.
Bigelow Aerospace has announced plans to have a commercial space station in orbit as
early as 2016.176 Presumably, a space station with human habitation will need reliable communications
with earth based ground stations. We seek comment generally on the communications needs of such a
space station. Will additional allocations of spectrum be necessary to support a commercial space
station? What modifications to the Commission’s rules will be needed to support the communication
needs of the space station?

V.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

91.
Ex Parte Rules. The proceeding this Notice initiates shall be treated as a “permit-but-
disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission’s ex parte rules.177 Persons making ex parte
presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral
presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the
Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda
summarizing the presentation must: (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting
at which the ex parte presentation was made; and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made
during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or
arguments already reflected in the presenter’s written comments, memoranda, or other filings in the
proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments,
memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or
arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given
to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must
be filed consistent with Section 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by Section 1.49(f) or for which the
Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and
memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through

172 See Virgin Galactic, http://www.virgingalactic.com and XCOR Aerospace, http://www.xcor.com/.
173 See Safer by Design, Virgin Galactic, available at http://www.virgingalactic.com/overview/safety/.
174 The Lynx Experience, XCOR Aerospace, available at
http://www.xcor.com/products/vehicles/lynx_flightprofile.html.
175 The ISS has an average orbit of 354 km. See Human Space Flight, NASA, available at
http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/comment.cgi#29.
176 David M. Ewalt, Cosmic Landlord, Forbes, June 27, 2011, at 146.
177 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200 et seq.
35

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FCC 13-65

the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding and must be filed in their native format
(e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with
the Commission’s ex parte rules.
92.
Comments and Reply Comments. Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the
Commission’s rules, 47 CFR §§ 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments
on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using the
Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in
Rulemaking Proceedings
, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.

Paper Filers: Parties that choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing.
If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers
must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.
Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by
first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the
Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary
must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325,
Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries
must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be
disposed of before entering the building.

Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority
Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th
Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.
93.
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with
disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call
the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).
94.
Paperwork Reduction Act. This document does not contain proposed information
collection(s) subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. Therefore, it
does not contain any new or modified “information collection burden for small business concerns with
fewer than 25 employees,” pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law
107-198, see 44 U.S.C. § 3506(c)(4).
95.
Further Information. For further information, contact Nicholas Oros at (202) 418-0636,
Office of Engineering and Technology; or via the Internet at Nicholas.Oros@fcc.gov.

VI.

ORDERING CLAUSES

96.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections 4(i), 301, 303(c), 303(f), and
303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 301, 303(c), 303(f), and
303(r), this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry IS ADOPTED.
97.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs
Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,
including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small
Business Administration.
36

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FCC 13-65

98.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the National Telecommunications and Infrastructure
Administration’s Petition for Rulemaking is GRANTED to the extent described herein.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary
37

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FCC 13-65

APPENDIX A

Proposed Rules Under the Allocation Approach

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend
47 CFR part 2 as follows:

PART 2 – FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS AND RADIO TREATY MATTERS;

GENERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS

1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:
AUTHORITY: 47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, and 336, unless otherwise noted.
2. Section 2.106, the Table of Frequency Allocations, is amended as follows:
a. Pages 21-22, 26, 33-34, 37-38, 40, 42-43, 47-49, 51-52, 54, 56, and 58 are revised.
b. In the list of United States (US) Footnotes, footnotes US46, US107, USyyy, and USzzz are added, and
footnote US319 is removed.
§ 2.106 Table of Frequency Allocations.
The revisions and additions read as follows:
* * * * *
38

Table of Frequency Allocations 137-156.7625 MHz (VHF)
Page 21
International Table
United States Table
FCC Rule Part(s)
Region 1 Table
Region 2 Table
Region 3 Table
Federal Table
Non-Federal Table
137-137.025
137-137.025
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
Satellite Communications (25)
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.208A 5.208B 5.209
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) US46 US320
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
Fixed
Mobile except aeronautical mobile (R)
5.204 5.205 5.206 5.207 5.208
5.208
137.025-137.175
137.025-137.175
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
Fixed
Mobile-satellite (space-to-Earth) US46 US320
Mobile-satellite (space-to-Earth) 5.208A 5.208B 5.209
Mobile except aeronautical mobile (R)
5.204 5.205 5.206 5.207 5.208
5.208
137.175-137.825
137.175-137.825
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.208A 5.208B 5.209
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) US46 US320
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
Fixed
Mobile except aeronautical mobile (R)
5.204 5.205 5.206 5.207 5.208
5.208
137.825-138
137.825-138
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
Fixed
Mobile-satellite (space-to-Earth) US46 US320
Mobile-satellite (space-to-Earth) 5.208A 5.208B 5.209
Mobile except aeronautical mobile (R)
5.204 5.205 5.206 5.207 5.208
5.208
138-143.6
138-143.6
138-143.6
138-144
138-144
AERONAUTICAL MOBILE (OR)
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE
MOBILE
MOBILE
RADIOLOCATION
Space research (space-to-Earth)
5.210 5.211 5.212 5.214
Space research (space-to-Earth)
5.207 5.213
143.6-143.65
143.6-143.65
143.6-143.65
AERONAUTICAL MOBILE (OR)
FIXED
FIXED
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE
MOBILE
RADIOLOCATION
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
5.211 5.212 5.214
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth) 5.207 5.213
143.65-144
143.65-144
143.65-144
AERONAUTICAL MOBILE (OR)
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE
MOBILE
RADIOLOCATION
Space research (space-to-Earth)
5.210 5.211 5.212 5.214
Space research (space-to-Earth)
5.207 5.213
G30
39

144-146
144-148
144-146
AMATEUR
AMATEUR
Amateur Radio (97)
AMATEUR-SATELLITE
AMATEUR-SATELLITE
5.216
146-148
146-148
146-148
146-148
FIXED
AMATEUR
AMATEUR
AMATEUR
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile (R)
FIXED
MOBILE
5.217
5.217
148-149.9
148-149.9
148-149.9
148-149.9
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE-SATELLITE
Satellite Communications (25)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile (R) MOBILE
MOBILE
(Earth-to-space) US46
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.209
MOBILE-SATELLITE
US320 US323 US325
5.209
(Earth-to-space) US46
US320 US323 US325
5.218 5.219 5.221
5.218 5.219 5.221
5.218 5.219 G30
5.218 5.219
149.9-150.05
149.9-150.05
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.209 5.224A
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US46 US320
RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE 5.224B
RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE
5.220 5.222 5.223
5.223
150.05-153
150.05-156.4875
150.05-150.8
150.05-150.8
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
MOBILE
MOBILE
RADIO ASTRONOMY
US73 G30
US73
150.8-152.855
150.8-152.855
FIXED
Public Mobile (22)
LAND MOBILE NG4 NG51
Private Land Mobile (90)
NG112
Personal Radio (95)
US73
US73 NG124
5.149
152.855-156.2475
152.855-154
153-154
LAND MOBILE NG4
Remote Pickup (74D)
FIXED
Private Land Mobile (90)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile (R)
Meteorological aids
NG124
154-156.4875
154-156.2475
FIXED
FIXED
Maritime (80)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile (R)
LAND MOBILE NG112
Private Land Mobile (90)
Personal Radio (95)
5.226 NG117 NG124 NG148
5.226
5.225 5.226
156.2475-156.7625
156.2475-156.7625
156.4875-156.5625
MARITIME MOBILE US106
Maritime (80)
MARITIME MOBILE (distress and calling via DSC)
US226 NG117
Aviation (87)
5.111 5.226 5.227
156.5625-156.7625
156.5625-156.7625
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile (R) MOBILE
5.226
5.225 5.226
US77 US106 US226 US266
US77 US266 NG124
Page 22
40

399.9-400.05
399.9-400.05
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.209 5.224A
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US320
Satellite Communications (25)
RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE 5.222 5.224B 5.260
RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE 5.260
5.220
400.05-400.15
400.05-400.15
STANDARD FREQUENCY AND TIME SIGNAL-SATELLITE (400.1 MHz)
STANDARD FREQUENCY AND TIME SIGNAL-SATELLITE (400.1 MHz)
5.261 5.262
5.261
400.15-401
400.15-401
400.15-401
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
Satellite Communications (25)
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
(radiosonde) US70
(radiosonde) US70
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.208A 5.208B 5.209
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth) 5.263
(space-to-Earth)
Earth) US46 US320 US324
Space operation (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-
SPACE RESEARCH
Earth) US46 US320 US324
(space-to-Earth) 5.263
SPACE RESEARCH
Space operation (space-to-Earth)
(space-to-Earth) 5.263
Space operation (space-to-Earth)
5.262 5.264
5.264
5.264
401-402
401-402
401-402
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
MedRadio (95I)
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
(radiosonde) US70
(radiosonde) US70
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
SPACE OPERATION
SPACE OPERATION
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
(space-to-Earth)
(space-to-Earth)
Fixed
EARTH EXPLORATION-
Earth exploration-satellite
Mobile except aeronautical mobile
SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
(Earth-to-space)
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE
Meteorological-satellite
(Earth-to-space)
(Earth-to-space)
US64 US384
US64 US384
402-403
402-403
402-403
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
(radiosonde) US70
(radiosonde) US70
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
EARTH EXPLORATION-
Earth exploration-satellite
Fixed
SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
(Earth-to-space)
Mobile except aeronautical mobile
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE
Meteorological-satellite
(Earth-to-space)
(Earth-to-space)
US64 US384
US64 US384
403-406
403-406
403-406
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
Fixed
(radiosonde) US70
(radiosonde) US70
Mobile except aeronautical mobile
US64 G6
US64
406-406.1
406-406.1
Maritime (EPIRBs) (80V)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
Aviation (ELTs) (87F)
5.266 5.267
5.266 5.267
Personal Radio (95)
406.1-410
406.1-410
406.1-410
FIXED
FIXED
RADIO ASTRONOMY US74
Private Land Mobile (90)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
MOBILE
RADIO ASTRONOMY
RADIO ASTRONOMY US74
5.149
US13 US117 G5 G6
US13 US117
Page 26
41

Table of Frequency Allocations 1525-1670 MHz (UHF)
Page 33
International Table
United States Table
FCC Rule Part(s)
Region 1 Table
Region 2 Table
Region 3 Table
Federal Table
Non-Federal Table
1492-1518
1492-1518
1492-1518
(see previous page)
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
MOBILE 5.343
MOBILE
5.341 5.342
5.341 5.344
5.341
1518-1525
1518-1525
1518-1525
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
MOBILE 5.343
MOBILE
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
5.348 5.348A 5.348B 5.351A
5.348 5.348A 5.348B 5.351A
5.348 5.348A 5.348B 5.351A
5.341 5.342
5.341 5.344
5.341
1525-1530
1525-1530
1525-1530
1525-1535
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) US315 US380
Satellite Communications (25)
FIXED
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED
Maritime (80)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
5.208B 5.351A
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
5.208B 5.351A
Earth exploration-satellite
5.208B 5.351A
Earth exploration-satellite
Fixed
Earth exploration-satellite
Mobile except aeronautical mobile 5.349 Mobile 5.343
Mobile 5.349
5.341 5.342 5.350 5.351 5.352A
5.354
5.341 5.351 5.354
5.341 5.351 5.352A 5.354
1530-1535
1530-1535
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.208B 5.351A 5.353A
5.208B 5.351A 5.353A
Earth exploration-satellite
Earth exploration-satellite
Fixed
Fixed
Mobile 5.343
Mobile except aeronautical mobile
5.341 5.342 5.351 5.354
5.341 5.351 5.354
5.341 5.351
1535-1559
1535-1559
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.208B 5.351A
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) US308 US309
Satellite Communications (25)
US315 US380
Maritime (80)
Aviation (87)
5.341 5.351 5.353A 5.354 5.355 5.356 5.357 5.357A 5.359 5.362A
5.341 5.351 5.356
1559-1610
1559-1610
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
Aviation (87)
RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) (space-to-space) 5.208B 5.328B 5.329A
RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
(space-to-space)
5.341 5.362B 5.362C
5.341 US208 US260 US343
1610-1610.6
1610-1610.6
1610-1610.6
1610-1610.6
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US46 US380
Satellite Communications (25)
5.351A
5.351A
5.351A
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION US260
Aviation (87)
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
RADIODETERMINATION-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
RADIODETERMINATION-SATELLITE
Radiodetermination-satellite
(Earth-to-space)
(Earth-to-space)
5.341 5.355 5.359 5.364 5.366
5.341 5.364 5.366 5.367 5.368
5.341 5.355 5.359 5.364 5.366
5.367 5.368 5.369 5.371 5.372
5.370 5.372
5.367 5.368 5.369 5.372
5.341 5.364 5.366 5.367 5.368 5.372 US208
42

1610.6-1613.8
1610.6-1613.8
1610.6-1613.8
1610.6-1613.8
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US46 US380
5.351A
5.351A
5.351A
RADIO ASTRONOMY
RADIO ASTRONOMY
RADIO ASTRONOMY
RADIO ASTRONOMY
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION US260
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
RADIODETERMINATION-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
RADIODETERMINATION-
Radiodetermination-satellite
SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
(Earth-to-space)
5.149 5.341 5.355 5.359 5.364
5.149 5.341 5.364 5.366 5.367 5.368 5.149 5.341 5.355 5.359 5.364 5.366
5.366 5.367 5.368 5.369 5.371 5.372 5.370 5.372
5.367 5.368 5.369 5.372
5.341 5.364 5.366 5.367 5.368 5.372 US208 US342
1613.8-1626.5
1613.8-1626.5
1613.8-1626.5
1613.8-1626.5
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US46 US380
5.351A
5.351A
5.351A
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION US260
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
RADIODETERMINATION-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
Mobile-satellite (space-to-Earth) 5.208B RADIODETERMINATION-SATELLITE
Mobile-satellite (space-to-Earth) 5.208B
Mobile-satellite (space-to-Earth)
(Earth-to-space)
Radiodetermination-satellite
Mobile-satellite (space-to-Earth) 5.208B (Earth-to-space)
5.341 5.355 5.359 5.364 5.365
5.341 5.364 5.365 5.366 5.367 5.368 5.341 5.355 5.359 5.364 5.365 5.366
5.366 5.367 5.368 5.369 5.371 5.372 5.370 5.372
5.367 5.368 5.369 5.372
5.341 5.364 5.365 5.366 5.367 5.368 5.372 US208
1626.5-1660
1626.5-1660
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.351A
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US308 US309
Satellite Communications (25)
US315 US380
Maritime (80)
Aviation (87)
5.341 5.351 5.353A 5.354 5.355 5.357A 5.359 5.362A 5.374 5.375 5.376
5.341 5.351 5.375
1660-1660.5
1660-1660.5
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.351A
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US308 US309
Satellite Communications (25)
RADIO ASTRONOMY
US380
Aviation (87)
RADIO ASTRONOMY
5.149 5.341 5.351 5.354 5.362A 5.376A
5.341 5.351 US342
1660.5-1668
1660.5-1668.4
RADIO ASTRONOMY
RADIO ASTRONOMY US74
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
Fixed
Mobile except aeronautical mobile
5.149 5.341 5.379 5.379A
1668-1668.4
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.351A 5.379B 5.379C
RADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
Fixed
Mobile except aeronautical mobile
5.149 5.341 5.379 5.379A
5.341 US246
1668.4-1670
1668.4-1670
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS (radiosonde)
FIXED
RADIO ASTRONOMY US74
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.351A 5.379B 5.379C
RADIO ASTRONOMY
5.149 5.341 5.379D 5.379E
5.341 US99 US342
Page 34
43

Table of Frequency Allocations 2200-2655 MHz (UHF)
Page 37
International Table
United States Table
FCC Rule Part(s)
Region 1 Table
Region 2 Table
Region 3 Table
Federal Table
Non-Federal Table
2200-2290
2200-2290
2200-2290
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth) (space-to-space)
SPACE OPERATION (space-to-Earth)
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) (space-to-space)
(space-to-space)
FIXED
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE
MOBILE 5.391
(space-to-Earth) (space-to-space)
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth) (space-to-space)
FIXED (line-of-sight only)
MOBILE (line-of-sight only including
aeronautical telemetry, but excluding
flight testing of manned aircraft) 5.391
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
(space-to-space)
5.392
5.392 US303 USyyy
US303 USyyy
2290-2300
2290-2300
2290-2300
FIXED
FIXED
SPACE RESEARCH (deep space)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
(space-to-Earth)
SPACE RESEARCH (deep space) (space-to-Earth)
SPACE RESEARCH (deep space)
(space-to-Earth)
2300-2450
2300-2450
2300-2305
2300-2305
FIXED
FIXED
Amateur
Amateur Radio (97)
MOBILE 5.384A
MOBILE 5.384A
G122
Amateur
RADIOLOCATION
2305-2310
2305-2310
Radiolocation
Amateur
FIXED
Wireless
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
Communications (27)
RADIOLOCATION
Amateur Radio (97)
Amateur
US97 G122
US97
2310-2320
2310-2320
Fixed
FIXED
Wireless
Mobile US339
MOBILE US339
Communications (27)
Radiolocation G2
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE
Aviation (87)
RADIOLOCATION
US97 US327
5.396 US97 US327
2320-2345
2320-2345
Fixed
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE
Satellite
Radiolocation G2
Communications (25)
US327
5.396 US327
2345-2360
2345-2360
Fixed
FIXED
Wireless
Mobile US339
MOBILE US339
Communications (27)
Radiolocation G2
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE
Aviation (87)
RADIOLOCATION
US327
5.396 US327
2360-2390
2360-2390
MOBILE US276
MOBILE US276
Aviation (87)
RADIOLOCATION G2 G120
Personal Radio (95)
Fixed
US101
US101
44

US101
US101
Amateur Radio (97)
2395-2400
2395-2400
AMATEUR
Personal Radio (95)
US101 G122
US101
Amateur Radio (97)
2400-2417
2400-2417
AMATEUR
ISM Equipment (18)
5.150 G122
5.150 5.282
Amateur Radio (97)
2417-2450
2417-2450
Radiolocation G2
Amateur
.150 5.282 5.395
5.150 5.282 5.393 5.394 5.396
5.150
5.150 5.282
2450-2483.5
2450-2483.5
2450-2483.5
2450-2483.5
ISM Equipment (18)
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
TV Auxiliary
MOBILE
MOBILE
MOBILE
Broadcasting (74F)
Radiolocation
RADIOLOCATION
Radiolocation
Private Land Mobile (90)
5.150 5.397
5.150
5.150 US41
5.150 US41
Fixed Microwave (101)
2483.5-2500
2483.5-2500
2483.5-2500
2483.5-2500
2483.5-2495
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-
ISM Equipment (18)
MOBILE
MOBILE
MOBILE
Earth) US46 US380 US391
Earth) US46 US380
Satellite
MOBILE-SATELLITE
MOBILE-SATELLITE
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
RADIODETERMINATION-SATELLITE RADIODETERMINATION-SATEL-
Communications (25)
(space-to-Earth) 5.351A
(space-to-Earth) 5.351A
5.351A
(space-to-Earth) 5.398
LITE (space-to-Earth) 5.398
Radiolocation
RADIODETERMINATION-
RADIOLOCATION
5.150 5.402 US41 NG147
SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
Radiodetermination-satellite (space-to-Earth)
2495-2500
5.398
5.398
FIXED
ISM Equipment (18)
RADIOLOCATION
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
Satellite
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-
Communications (25)
Earth) US46 US380
Wireless
RADIODETERMINATION-SATEL-
Communications (27)
LITE (space-to-Earth) 5.398
5.150 5.371 5.397 5.398
5.399 5.400 5.402
5.150 5.402
5.150 5.400 5.402
5.150 5.402 US41
5.150 5.402 US41 US391 NG147
2500-2520
2500-2520
2500-2520
2500-2655
2500-2655
FIXED 5.410
FIXED 5.410
FIXED 5.410
FIXED US205
Wireless
MOBILE except aeronautical
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.415
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
Communications (27)
mobile 5.384A
Earth) 5.415
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile 5.384A
MOBILE except aeronautical
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
mobile 5.384A
5.351A 5.407 5.414 5.414A
5.405 5.412
5.404
5.404 5.415A
2520-2655
2520-2655
2520-2535
FIXED 5.410
FIXED 5.410
FIXED 5.410
MOBILE except aeronautical
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.415
mobile 5.384A
(space-to-Earth) 5.415
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile 5.384A
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE
MOBILE except aeronautical
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE 5.413 5.416
5.413 5.416
mobile 5.384A
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE
5.403 5.414A 5.415A
5.413 5.416
2535-2655
FIXED 5.410
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile 5.384A
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE 5.413 5.416
5.339 5.405 5.412 5.417C
5.339 5.417C 5.417D 5.418B
5.339 5.417A 5.417B 5.417C 5.417D
5.417D 5.418B 5.418C
5.418C
5.418 5.418A 5.418B 5.418C
5.339 US205
5.339
Page 38
45

3300-3400
3300-3400
3300-3400
3300-3500
3300-3500
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION US108 G2
Amateur
Private Land Mobile (90)
Amateur
Amateur
Radiolocation US108
Amateur Radio (97)
Fixed
Mobile
5.149 5.429 5.430
5.149
5.149 5.429
3400-3600
3400-3500
3400-3500
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
Mobile 5.430A
Amateur
Amateur
Radiolocation
Mobile 5.431A
Mobile 5.432B
Radiolocation 5.433
Radiolocation 5.433
5.282
5.282 5.432 5.432A
US342
5.282 US342
3500-3700
3500-3600
3500-3650
3500-3600
FIXED
FIXED
RADIOLOCATION G59
Radiolocation
Private Land Mobile (90)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
AERONAUTICAL
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
RADIONAVIGATION
Radiolocation 5.433
5.433A
(ground-based) G110
5.431
Radiolocation 5.433
3600-4200
3600-3700
3600-3650
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
Satellite
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
(space-to-Earth) US245
Communications (25)
Mobile
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
US245
Radiolocation
Private Land Mobile (90)
Radiolocation 5.433
3650-3700
3650-3700
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
NG169 NG185
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
5.435
US109 US349
US109 US349
3700-4200
3700-4200
3700-4200
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED
Satellite
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
(space-to-Earth) US107
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
Communications (25)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
US107 NG180
Fixed Microwave (101)
4200-4400
4200-4400
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION 5.438
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
Aviation (87)
5.439 5.440
US261
4400-4500
4400-4500
4400-4500
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE 5.440A
MOBILE
4500-4800
4500-4800
4500-4800
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.441
MOBILE
5.441 US245
MOBILE 5.440A
US245
4800-4990
4800-4940
4800-4940
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE 5.440A 5.442
MOBILE
Radio astronomy
US203 US342
US203 US342
5.149 5.339 5.443
Page 40
46

5350-5460
5350-5460
5350-5460
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (active) 5.448B
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
Aviation (87)
SPACE RESEARCH (active) 5.448C
(active) 5.448B
5.449
Private Land Mobile (90)
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION 5.449
SPACE RESEARCH (active)
Earth exploration-satellite (active)
RADIOLOCATION 5.448D
AERONAUTICAL
5.448B
RADIONAVIGATION 5.449
Space research (active)
RADIOLOCATION G56
Radiolocation
US390 G130
US390
5460-5470
5460-5470
5460-5470
RADIONAVIGATION 5.449
RADIONAVIGATION 5.449 US65
RADIONAVIGATION 5.449 US65
Maritime (80)
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (active)
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE
Earth exploration-satellite (active)
Aviation (87)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)
(active)
Space research (active)
Private Land Mobile (90)
RADIOLOCATION 5.448D
SPACE RESEARCH (active)
Radiolocation
RADIOLOCATION G56
5.448B
5.448B US49 G130
5.448B US49
5470-5570
5470-5570
5470-5570
MARITIME RADIONAVIGATION
MARITIME RADIONAVIGATION US65
MARITIME RADIONAVIGATION US65
RF Devices (15)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile 5.446A 5.450A
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE
RADIOLOCATION
Maritime (80)
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (active)
(active)
Earth exploration-satellite (active)
Private Land Mobile (90)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)
Space research (active)
RADIOLOCATION 5.450B
RADIOLOCATION G56
5.448B 5.450 5.451
5.448B US50 G131
US50
5570-5650
5570-5600
5570-5600
MARITIME RADIONAVIGATION
MARITIME RADIONAVIGATION US65
MARITIME RADIONAVIGATION US65
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile 5.446A 5.450A
RADIOLOCATION G56
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION 5.450B
US50 G131
US50
5600-5650
5600-5650
MARITIME RADIONAVIGATION US65
MARITIME RADIONAVIGATION US65
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
RADIOLOCATION G56
RADIOLOCATION
5.450 5.451 5.452
5.452 US50 G131
5.452 US50
5650-5725
5650-5850
5650-5830
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile 5.446A 5.450A
RADIOLOCATION G2
Amateur
RF Devices (15)
RADIOLOCATION
ISM Equipment (18)
Amateur
Amateur Radio (97)
Space research (deep space)
5.282 5.451 5.453 5.454 5.455
5725-5830
5725-5830
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION
Amateur
Amateur
5.150 5.451 5.453 5.455 5.456
5.150 5.453 5.455
5.150 5.282 USzzz
5830-5850
5830-5850
5830-5850
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) RADIOLOCATION
Amateur
RADIOLOCATION
Amateur
Amateur-satellite (space-to-Earth)
Amateur
Amateur-satellite (space-to-Earth)
Amateur-satellite (space-to-Earth)
5.150 5.451 5.453 5.455 5.456
5.150 5.453 5.455
5.150 USzzz
5.150 USzzz
Page 42
47

Table of Frequency Allocations 5850-8025 MHz (SHF)
Page 43
International Table
United States Table
FCC Rule Part(s)
Region 1 Table
Region 2 Table
Region 3 Table
Federal Table
Non-Federal Table
5850-5925
5850-5925
5850-5925
5850-5925
5850-5925
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US107
ISM Equipment (18)
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE
US107 US245
US245
Private Land Mobile (90)
(Earth-to-space)
(Earth-to-space)
(Earth-to-space)
RADIOLOCATION G2
MOBILE NG160
Personal Radio (95)
MOBILE
MOBILE
MOBILE
RADIOLOCATION USzzz
Amateur Radio (97)
Amateur
Radiolocation
Amateur
Radiolocation
5.150
5.150
5.150
5.150 USzzz
5.150
5925-6700
5925-6725
5925-6425
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
FIXED
Satellite Communications (25)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.457A 5.457B
US107
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US107 Fixed Microwave (101)
MOBILE 5.457C
NG181
6425-6525
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US107
TV Broadcast Auxiliary (74F)
MOBILE
Cable TV Relay (78)
5.440 5.458
Fixed Microwave (101)
6525-6700
FIXED
Fixed Microwave (101)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US107
5.149 5.440 5.458
5.458 US342
6700-7075
5.440 5.458 US342
6700-6875
FIXED
6725-7125
FIXED
Satellite Communications (25)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) (space-to-Earth) 5.441
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US107
Fixed Microwave (101)
MOBILE
(space-to-Earth) 5.441
5.458 5.458A 5.458B
6875-7025
FIXED NG118
Satellite Communications (25)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
TV Broadcast Auxiliary (74F)
(space-to-Earth) 5.441
Cable TV Relay (78)
MOBILE NG171
5.458 5.458A 5.458B
7025-7075
FIXED NG118
TV Broadcast Auxiliary (74F)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) NG172
Cable TV Relay (78)
MOBILE NG171
5.458 5.458A 5.458B 5.458C
5.458 5.458A 5.458B
7075-7145
7075-7125
FIXED
FIXED NG118
MOBILE
MOBILE NG171
5.458
5.458
7125-7145
7125-7235
FIXED
5.458 5.459
5.458 G116
48

Table of Frequency Allocations 10-14 GHz (SHF)
Page 47
International Table
United States Table
FCC Rule Part(s)
Region 1 Table
Region 2 Table
Region 3 Table
Federal Table
Non-Federal Table
10-10.45
10-10.45
10-10.45
10-10.5
10-10.45
FIXED
RADIOLOCATION
FIXED
RADIOLOCATION US108 G32
Amateur
Private Land Mobile (90)
MOBILE
Amateur
MOBILE
Radiolocation US108
Amateur Radio (97)
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION
Amateur
Amateur
5.479
5.479 5.480
5.479
5.479 US128 NG50
10.45-10.5
10.45-10.5
RADIOLOCATION
Amateur
Amateur
Amateur-satellite
Amateur-satellite
Radiolocation US108
5.481
5.479 US128
US128 NG50
10.5-10.55
10.5-10.55
10.5-10.55
FIXED
FIXED
RADIOLOCATION US59
Private Land Mobile (90)
MOBILE
MOBILE
Radiolocation
RADIOLOCATION
10.55-10.6
10.55-10.6
10.55-10.6
FIXED
FIXED
Fixed Microwave (101)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
Radiolocation
10.6-10.68
10.6-10.68
10.6-10.68
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (passive)
EARTH EXPLORATION-
EARTH EXPLORATION-
FIXED
SATELLITE (passive)
SATELLITE (passive)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
FIXED US265
RADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
Radiolocation
5.149 5.482 5.482A
US130 US131 US265
US130 US131
10.68-10.7
10.68-10.7
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (passive)
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (passive)
RADIO ASTRONOMY
RADIO ASTRONOMY US74
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
5.340 5.483
US131 US246
10.7-11.7
10.7-11.7
10.7-11.7
10.7-11.7
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED
Satellite Communications (25)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.441 5.484A
(space-to-Earth) 5.441 US107
FIXED-SATELLITE
Fixed Microwave (101)
5.441 5.484A (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
US131 US211
(space-to-Earth) 5.441 US107
5.484
US131 US211 NG52
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
11.7-12.5
11.7-12.1
11.7-12.2
11.7-12.2
11.7-12.2
FIXED
FIXED 5.486
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE
Satellite Communications (25)
MOBILE except aeronautical
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
(space-to-Earth) 5.485 5.488
(space-to-Earth) 5.485 5.488
mobile
5.484A 5.488
BROADCASTING
US107
US107 NG55 NG143 NG183
BROADCASTING
Mobile except aeronautical mobile
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE 5.492
NG187
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE
5.485
5.492
12.1-12.2
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
5.484A 5.488
5.485 5.489
5.487 5.487A
49

12.2-12.7
12.2-12.5
12.2-12.7
12.2-12.7
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
Satellite Communications (25)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE
Fixed Microwave (101)
BROADCASTING
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE 5.492 BROADCASTING
5.487 5.487A
5.484A 5.487
12.5-12.75
5.487A 5.488 5.490
12.5-12.75
5.487A 5.488 5.490
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-
12.7-12.75
FIXED
12.7-13.25
12.7-12.75
Earth) 5.484A (Earth-to-space)
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED NG118
TV Broadcast Auxiliary (74F)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
5.484A
(Earth-to-space) 5.441
FIXED-SATELLITE
Cable TV Relay (78)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
US107
(Earth-to-space) US107
Fixed Microwave (101)
5.494 5.495 5.496
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE 5.493
MOBILE
12.75-13.25
12.75-13.25
FIXED
FIXED NG118
Satellite Communications (25)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.441
FIXED-SATELLITE
TV Broadcast Auxiliary (74F)
MOBILE
(Earth-to space) 5.441
Cable TV Relay (78)
Space research (deep space) (space-to-Earth)
US107 NG52
Fixed Microwave (101)
MOBILE
US251
US251
13.25-13.4
13.25-13.4
13.25-13.4
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (active)
EARTH EXPLORATION-
AERONAUTICAL
Aviation (87)
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION 5.497
SATELLITE (active)
RADIONAVIGATION 5.497
SPACE RESEARCH (active)
AERONAUTICAL
Earth exploration-satellite (active)
RADIONAVIGATION 5.497
Space research (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)
5.498A 5.499
5.498A
13.4-13.75
13.4-13.75
13.4-13.75
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (active)
EARTH EXPLORATION-
Earth exploration-satellite (active)
Private Land Mobile (90)
RADIOLOCATION
SATELLITE (active)
Radiolocation
SPACE RESEARCH 5.501A
RADIOLOCATION G59
Space research
Standard frequency and time signal-satellite (Earth-to-space)
SPACE RESEARCH 5.501A
Standard frequency and time
Standard frequency and time
signal-satellite (Earth-to-space)
signal-satellite (Earth-to-space)
5.499 5.500 5.501 5.501B
5.501B
13.75-14
13.75-14
13.75-14
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.484A
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-
Satellite Communications (25)
RADIOLOCATION
space) US107 US337
space) US107 US337
Private Land Mobile (90)
Earth exploration-satellite
RADIOLOCATION G59
Standard frequency and time
Standard frequency and time signal-satellite (Earth-to-space)
Standard frequency and time
signal-satellite (Earth-to-space)
Space research
signal-satellite (Earth-to-space)
Space research
Space research US337
Radiolocation
5.499 5.500 5.501 5.502 5.503
US356 US357
US356 US357
Page 48
50

Table of Frequency Allocations 14-17.7 GHz (SHF)
Page 49
International Table
United States Table
FCC Rule Part(s)
Region 1 Table
Region 2 Table
Region 3 Table
Federal Table
Non-Federal Table
14-14.25
14-14.2
14-14.2
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.457A 5.457B 5.484A 5.506 5.506B
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
Satellite Communications
RADIONAVIGATION 5.504
(Earth-to-space) US107
US107 NG54 NG183 NG187
(25)
Mobile-satellite (Earth-to-space) 5.504B 5.504C 5.506A
Space research
Mobile-satellite (Earth-to-space)
Space research
Space research
US133
US133
5.504A 5.505
14.2-14.4
14.2-14.47
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
14.25-14.3
(Earth-to-space) US107
US107 NG54 NG183 NG187
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.457A 5.457B 5.484A 5.506 5.506B
Mobile-satellite (Earth-to-space)
RADIONAVIGATION 5.504
Mobile-satellite (Earth-to-space) 5.504B 5.506A 5.508A
Space research
5.504A 5.505 5.508
14.3-14.4
14.3-14.4
14.3-14.4
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
5.457A 5.484A 5.506 5.506B
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
5.457A 5.457B 5.484A 5.506 5.506B
Mobile-satellite (Earth-to-space)
5.457A 5.484A 5.506 5.506B
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
5.506A
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
Mobile-satellite (Earth-to-space) 5.504B
Radionavigation-satellite
Mobile-satellite (Earth-to-space)
5.506A 5.509A
5.504B 5.506A 5.509A
Radionavigation-satellite
Radionavigation-satellite
5.504A
5.504A
5.504A
14.4-14.47
14.4-14.47
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.457A 5.457B 5.484A 5.506 5.506B
(Earth-to-space) US107
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
Fixed
Mobile-satellite (Earth-to-space) 5.504B 5.506A 5.509A
Mobile
Space research (space-to-Earth)
5.504A
14.47-14.5
14.47-14.5
14.47-14.5
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.457A 5.457B 5.484A 5.506 5.506B
(Earth-to-space) US107
US107 NG54 NG183 NG187
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
Fixed
Mobile-satellite (Earth-to-space)
Mobile-satellite (Earth-to-space) 5.504B 5.506A 5.509A
Mobile
Radio astronomy
5.149 5.504A
US203 US133 US342
US203 US133 US342
14.5-14.8
14.5-14.7145
14.5-14.8
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.510
Mobile
MOBILE
Space research
Space research
14.7145-14.8
MOBILE
Fixed
Space research
14.8-15.35
14.8-15.1365
14.8-15.1365
FIXED
MOBILE
MOBILE
SPACE RESEARCH
Space research
Fixed
US310
US310
51

Table of Frequency Allocations 17.7-23.6 GHz (SHF)
Page 51
International Table
United States Table
FCC Rule Part(s)
Region 1 Table
Region 2 Table
Region 3 Table
Federal Table
Non-Federal Table
17.7-18.1
17.7-17.8
17.7-18.1
17.7-17.8
17.7-17.8
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED NG144
Satellite
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE
Communications (25)
5.484A (Earth-to-space) 5.516
5.517 (Earth-to-space) 5.516
5.484A (Earth-to-space) 5.516
(Earth-to-space) US271
TV Broadcast Auxiliary
MOBILE
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE
MOBILE
(74F)
Mobile
Cable TV Relay (78)
5.515
US401 G117
US401
Fixed Microwave (101)
17.8-18.1
17.8-18.3
17.8-18.3
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED NG144
TV Broadcast Auxiliary
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
(space-to-Earth) US334
(74F)
5.484A (Earth-to-space) 5.516
G117
Cable TV Relay (78)
MOBILE
Fixed Microwave (101)
5.519
18.1-18.4
US519
US334 US519
FIXED
18.3-18.6
18.3-18.6
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.484A 5.516B (Earth-to-space) 5.520
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE
Satellite
MOBILE
(space-to-Earth) US107
(space-to-Earth) US107 NG164
Communications (25)
5.519 5.521
US334 G117
18.4-18.6
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.484A 5.516B
MOBILE
US334 NG144
18.6-18.8
18.6-18.8
18.6-18.8
18.6-18.8
18.6-18.8
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATEL-
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE EARTH EXPLORATION-
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE
LITE (passive)
(passive)
(passive)
SATELLITE (passive)
(passive)
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) (space-to-Earth) US107
US107 US255 NG164
5.522B
5.516B 5.522B
5.522B
US255 US334 G117
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
Space research (passive)
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
Space research (passive)
5.522A 5.522C
5.522A
5.522A
US254
US254 US334 NG144
18.8-19.3
18.8-19.3
18.8-19.3
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.516B 5.523A
(space-to-Earth) US107
(space-to-Earth) US107 NG165
MOBILE
US334 G117

US334 NG144
19.3-19.7
19.3-19.7
19.3-19.7
Satellite
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED NG144
Communications (25)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) (Earth-to-space) 5.523B 5.523C 5.523D 5.523E
(space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE
TV Broadc’t Auxiliary (74F)
MOBILE
US334 G117
(space-to-Earth) NG166
Cable TV Relay (78)
Fixed Microwave (101)
US334
19.7-20.1
19.7-20.1
19.7-20.1
19.7-20.2
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) US107
Satellite
5.484A 5.516B
5.484A 5.516B
5.484A 5.516B
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) US46
Communications (25)
Mobile-satellite (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
Mobile-satellite (space-to-Earth)
5.524
5.524 5.525 5.526 5.527 5.528 5.529 5.524
52

20.1-20.2
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.484A 5.516B
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
5.524 5.525 5.526 5.527 5.528
5.525 5.526 5.527 5.528 5.529 US334
20.2-21.2
20.2-21.2
20.2-21.2
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE
Standard frequency and time
MOBILE-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
(space-to-Earth)
signal-satellite (space-to-Earth)
Standard frequency and time signal-satellite (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE-SATELLITE
(space-to-Earth)
Standard frequency and time
signal-satellite (space-to-Earth)
5.524
G117
21.2-21.4
21.2-21.4
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (passive)
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (passive)
Fixed Microwave (101)
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE
MOBILE
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
US263
21.4-22
21.4-22
21.4-22
21.4-22
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE
MOBILE
MOBILE
MOBILE
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE
BROADCASTING-SATELLITE
5.208B 5.530
5.208B 5.530
5.531
22-22.21
22-22.21
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
5.149
US342
22.21-22.5
22.21-22.5
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (passive)
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (passive)
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
RADIO ASTRONOMY
RADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
5.149 5.532
US263 US342
22.5-22.55
22.5-22.55
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE
MOBILE
US211
22.55-23.55
22.55-23.55
FIXED
FIXED
Satellite
INTER-SATELLITE 5.338A
INTER-SATELLITE US278
Communications (25)
MOBILE
MOBILE
Fixed Microwave (101)
5.149
US342
23.55-23.6
23.55-23.6
FIXED
FIXED
Fixed Microwave (101)
MOBILE
MOBILE
Page 52
53

25.5-27
25.5-27
25.5-27
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.536B
EARTH EXPLORATION-
Inter-satellite 5.536
FIXED
SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
Standard frequency and time
INTER-SATELLITE 5.536
FIXED
signal-satellite (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE
INTER-SATELLITE 5.536
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth) 5.536C
MOBILE
Standard frequency and time signal-satellite (Earth-to-space)
SPACE RESEARCH
(space-to-Earth)
Standard frequency and time
signal-satellite (Earth-to-space)
5.536A
5.536A US258
5.536A US258
27-27.5
27-27.5
27-27.5
27-27.5
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
Inter-satellite 5.536
INTER-SATELLITE 5.536
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
INTER-SATELLITE 5.536
MOBILE
INTER-SATELLITE 5.536 5.537
MOBILE
MOBILE
27.5-28.5
27.5-29.5
27.5-29.5
FIXED 5.537A
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED
Satellite Communications (25)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.484A 5.516B 5.539
(Earth-to-space) US107
FIXED-SATELLITE
Fixed Microwave (101)
MOBILE
(Earth-to-space) US107
MOBILE
5.538 5.540
28.5-29.1
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.484A 5.516B 5.523A 5.539
MOBILE
Earth exploration-satellite (Earth-to-space) 5.541
5.540
29.1-29.5
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.516B 5.523C 5.523E 5.535A 5.539 5.541A
MOBILE
Earth exploration-satellite (Earth-to-space) 5.541
5.540
29.5-29.9
29.5-29.9
29.5-29.9
29.5-30
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US107
Satellite Communications (25)
5.484A 5.516B 5.539
5.484A 5.516B 5.539
5.484A 5.516B 5.539
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US46
Earth exploration-satellite
MOBILE-SATELLITE
Earth exploration-satellite
(Earth-to-space) 5.541
(Earth-to-space)
(Earth-to-space) 5.541
Mobile-satellite (Earth-to-space)
Earth exploration-satellite
Mobile-satellite (Earth-to-space)
(Earth-to-space) 5.541
5.525 5.526 5.527 5.529 5.540
5.540 5.542
5.542
5.540 5.542
29.9-30
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.484A 5.516B 5.539
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
Earth exploration-satellite (Earth-to-space) 5.541 5.543
5.525 5.526 5.527 5.538 5.540 5.542
5.525 5.526 5.527 5.529 5.543
Page 54
54

33.4-34.2
33.4-34.2
33.4-34.2
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION
Radiolocation
Private Land Mobile (90)
5.549
US360 G117
US360
34.2-34.7
34.2-34.7
34.2-34.7
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION
Radiolocation
SPACE RESEARCH (deep space) (Earth-to-space)
SPACE RESEARCH (deep space)
Space research (deep space)
(Earth-to-space) US262
(Earth-to-space) US262
5.549
US360 G34 G117
US360
34.7-35.2
34.7-35.5
34.7-35.5
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION
Radiolocation
Space research 5.550
5.549
35.2-35.5
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
RADIOLOCATION
5.549
US360 G117
US360
35.5-36
35.5-36
35.5-36
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE
Earth exploration-satellite (active)
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (active)
(active)
Radiolocation
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION
Space research (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)
5.549 5.549A
US360 G117
US360
36-37
36-37
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (passive)
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (passive)
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE
MOBILE
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
5.149 5.550A
US263 US342
37-37.5
37-37.5
37-37.5
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE
MOBILE
MOBILE
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
5.547
37.5-38
37.5-38
37.5-38.6
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
Satellite Communications (25)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE
US107
US107
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE
MOBILE
Earth exploration-satellite (space-to-Earth)
SPACE RESEARCH (space-to-Earth)
5.547
38-39.5
38-38.6
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE
US107
Earth exploration-satellite (space-to-Earth)
MOBILE
38.6-39.5
38.6-39.5
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED
Satellite Communications (25)
US107
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
Fixed Microwave (101)
US107
5.547
MOBILE NG175
Page 56
55

43.5-47
43.5-45.5
43.5-45.5
MOBILE 5.553
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE-SATELLITE
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
RADIONAVIGATION
RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE
G117
45.5-46.9
MOBILE
RF Devices (15)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE
5.554
46.9-47
46.9-47
MOBILE
FIXED
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) MOBILE
RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE
MOBILE-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
RADIONAVIGATION-SATELLITE
5.554
5.554
5.554
47-47.2
47-47.2
47-47.2
AMATEUR
AMATEUR
Amateur Radio (97)
AMATEUR-SATELLITE
AMATEUR-SATELLITE
47.2-47.5
47.2-48.2
47.2-48.2
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
FIXED
Satellite Communications (25)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.552
US107 US297
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
MOBILE
US107 US297
MOBILE
5.552A
47.5-47.9
47.5-47.9
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.552
5.552 (space-to-Earth) 5.516B
MOBILE
5.554A
MOBILE
47.9-48.2
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.552
MOBILE
5.552A
48.2-48.54
48.2-50.2
48.2-50.2
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) 5.338A 5.516B 5.552
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space) US297
5.552 (space-to-Earth) 5.516B
MOBILE
MOBILE US264
5.554A 5.555B
MOBILE
48.54-49.44
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-to-space)
5.552
MOBILE
5.149 5.340 5.555
5.149 5.340 5.555
5.555 US342
Page 58
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* * * * *

UNITED STATES (US) FOOTNOTES

* * * * *
US46 In the bands 137-138 MHz, 148-150.05 MHz, 400.15-401 MHz, 1610-1626.5 MHz,
2483.5-2500 MHz, 19.7-20.2 GHz, and 29.5-30 GHz, Federal stations in the mobile-satellite service shall
be restricted to earth stations operating with non-Federal space stations and that comply with Part 25 of
the Commission’s rules.
* * * * *
US107 In the bands 3700-4200 MHz, 5850-6725 MHz, 10.7-12.2 GHz, 12.7-13.25 GHz, 13.75-14.5
GHz, 18.3-19.3 GHz (except as provided for in US334), 19.7-20.2 GHz (except as provided for in
US334), 27.5-30 GHz, 37.5-39.5 GHz, and 47.2-48.2 GHz, Federal stations in the fixed-satellite service
shall be restricted to earth stations operating with non-Federal space stations and that comply with Part 25
of the Commission’s rules.
* * * * *
USyyy In the band 2200-2290 MHz, non-Federal stations in the space operation service may also be
authorized on a primary basis and such use shall be:
(a) restricted to transmissions in the sub-bands 2207-2219 MHz, 2270.5-2274.5 MHz, and 2285-2290
MHz (necessary bandwidth shall be contained within these ranges);
(b) limited to no greater than 5 MHz necessary bandwidth per channel by launch vehicles during
pre-launch testing and launches at Federal ranges; and
(c) subject to successful coordination of the assignment and use with Federal operations through
NTIA.
*****
USzzz In the band 5650-5925 MHz, non-Federal stations operating in the radiolocation service may
also be authorized on a primary basis and such use shall be:
(a) restricted to use in the tracking of launch vehicles during launches and pre-launch testing of
launch vehicles subject to; and
(b) subject to successful coordination of the assignment and use with federal operations through
NTIA.
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APPENDIX B

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

1.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA),1 the Commission has prepared this
present Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on
small entities by the policies and rules proposed in this Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM).
Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the
IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments provided on the first page of this NPRM. The
Commission will send a copy of this NPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of
the Small Business Administration (SBA).2 In addition, the NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will
be published in the Federal Register.3

A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules.

2.
The United States government and commercial entities have filled distinct roles in regard to
activities in space. However, in recent years the roles of the Federal Government and private sector have
become blurred. Federal policy directs agencies to use commercial satellite services unless specific
mission requirements cannot be met, and many Federal agencies now rely on commercial communication
satellites for service. NASA has contracted with commercial entities to carry cargo to the International
Space Station (ISS), and in the future commercial spacecraft are expected to carry crew members to the
ISS. Also, several privately owned spaceports have been licensed for future launches. As a result, the
Commission’s rules must evolve to reflect the increased reliance of Federal agencies on commercial space
services and the continued development of the commercial space sector. The Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (NPRM), proposes several modifications to the Table of Frequency Allocations in Section
2.106 of our rules (Allocation Table) to reflect this new reality.
3.
The NPRM makes two alternative proposals to modify the Allocation Table to provide
interference protection for Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS) and Mobile-Satellite Service (MSS) earth
stations operated by Federal agencies under authorizations granted by the National Telecommunications
and Information Administration (NTIA) in certain frequency bands. These frequency bands which are
used to provide commercial satellite service are: 3.6-4.2 GHz, 5.85-6.725 GHz, 10.7-12.2 GHz, 12.7-
13.25 GHz, 13.75-14.5 GHz, 18.3-19.3 GHz, 19.7-20.2 GHz, 27.5-30.0 GHz, 37.5-39.5 GHz and 47.2-
50.2 GHz. Federal agencies are not, for the most part, currently able to operate their own earth stations on
an interference-protected basis in these bands to use commercial satellite services. Under a first proposal,
the Commission would add a co-primary Federal FSS or Federal MSS allocation in the Allocation Table
for these frequency bands. In conjunction with this modification of the Allocation Table, we would add a
footnote to the Allocation Table restricting primary use of Federal earth stations in these bands to
communication with non-Federal satellites. A second alternative proposal would modify the Allocation
Table by adding a footnote that gives Federal earth stations communicating with non-Federal satellites in
these frequency bands interference protection equivalent to that afforded to non-Federal earth stations.
The Federal earth stations will receive interference protection only if they operate in accordance with the
Commission’s rules. Either of these proposals would allow Federal agencies to obtain the same rights to
interference protection accorded to Commission licensees when using earth stations to communicate with
commercial satellite networks.

1 See 5 U.S.C. § 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. § 601 – 612, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Pub. L. No. 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).
2 See 5 U.S.C. § 603(a).
3 See id.
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4.
The NPRM also proposes to amend a footnote to the Allocation Table to permit a Federal
MSS system to operate in the 399.9-400.05 MHz band. Deployment of this Federal system will allow
traffic to be migrated from the existing Argos Federal MSS system, thereby resulting in less interference
and improved service and reliability for users of both the existing Argos and the new Federal MSS
systems. No Federal or non-Federal MSS systems have been deployed in this band since it was allocated
in 1993. This proposed allocation will permit long vacant spectrum to be put to an important use.
5.
The NPRM also makes alternative proposals to modify the Allocation Table to provide
access to spectrum on an interference protected basis to Commission licensees for use during the launch
of launch vehicles (i.e. rockets).4 During launches, spectrum in three frequency bands is typically used to
send information from the launch vehicle to controllers on ground (2200-2290 MHz), send a self-destruct
signal to the launch vehicle if needed (420-430 MHz), and to track the launch vehicle by radar
(5650-5925 MHz). Because all of these frequency bands have only Federal allocations for these
purposes, the Commission can not issue licenses for these bands except on a non-interference basis. As a
result, commercial space launch operators are not allowed to cause interference to and must accept
interference from Federal users in these bands. Under a first proposal, the Commission would add a
footnote to the Allocation Table providing primary non-Federal allocations to the 2200-2290 MHz and
5650-5925 MHz bands. The footnote would restrict the allocations to use during space launches and pre-
launch testing at Federal ranges and would require successful coordination of the assignment and use of
the band for space launches with NTIA. Under a second proposal the Commission would add a non-
Federal allocation to the Allocation Table along with a footnote with the same restrictions as the first
proposal. In addition, the NPRM seeks comment on whether to make a non-Federal allocation for the
420-430 MHz band. Co-primary non-Federal allocations for these bands would allow the Commission to
later adopt service and technical rules that facilitate the issuance of licenses to commercial entities for
these bands that provide them with interference protection. This will provide commercial entities access
to these important spectrum resources as more commercial launches are conducted and private spaceports
are established.

B.

Legal Basis.

6.
The proposed action is authorized under Sections 4(i), 301, 303(c), 303(f), and 303(r) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 301, 303(c), 303(f), and 303(r).

C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which the Proposed

Rules Will Apply.

7.
The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the
number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted.5 The RFA generally
defines the term "small entity" as having the same meaning as the terms "small business," "small
organization," and "small governmental jurisdiction."6 In addition, the term "small business" has the
same meaning as the term "small business concern" under the Small Business Act.7 A small business

4 A launch vehicle is a rocket used to launch a payload into space. See supra paragraph 67.
5 5 U.S.C. § 603(b)(3).
6 5 U.S.C. § 601(6).
7 5 U.S.C. § 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small business concern” in 15 U.S.C. § 632).
Pursuant to the RFA, the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an agency, after consultation with the
Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or
more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in
the Federal Register.” 5 U.S.C. § 601(3).
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concern is one which: (1) is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of
operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.8.
8.

Satellite Telecommunications and All Other Telecommunications

.
Two economic census
categories address the satellite industry. The first category has a small business size standard of $15
million or less in average annual receipts, under SBA rules.9 The second has a size standard of $25
million or less in annual receipts.10
9.
The category of Satellite Telecommunications “comprises establishments primarily
engaged in providing telecommunications services to other establishments in the telecommunications and
broadcasting industries by forwarding and receiving communications signals via a system of satellites or
reselling satellite telecommunications.”11 Census Bureau data for 2007 show that 512 Satellite
Telecommunications firms operated for the entire year.12 Of this total, 464 firms had annual receipts of
under $10 million, and 18 firms had receipts of $10 million to $24,999,999.13 Consequently, the
Commission estimates that the majority of Satellite Telecommunications firms are small entities that
might be affected by our action.
10.
The second category, i.e. “All Other Telecommunications” comprises “establishments
primarily engaged in providing specialized telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking,
communications telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes establishments
primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal stations and associated facilities connected with one or
more terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, and receiving
telecommunications from, satellite systems. Establishments providing Internet services or voice over
Internet protocol (VoIP) services via client-supplied telecommunications connections are also included in
this industry.”14 For this category, Census Bureau data for 2007 shows that there were a total of 2,383
firms that operated for the entire year.15 Of this total, 2,347 firms had annual receipts of under $25
million and 12 firms had annual receipts of $25 million to $49, 999,999.16 Consequently, the
Commission estimates that the majority of All Other Telecommunications firms are small entities that
might be affected by our action.
11.

Commercial Space Transportation.

The North American Industry Classification System
does not have a discrete code for commercial space transportation per se. However, it does have the
following codes that collectively capture entities engaged in commercial space transportation: 336414,
“Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Manufacturing,” 336415, “Guided Missile and Space Vehicle

8 Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. § 632 (1996).
9 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517410.
10 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517919.
11 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 NAICS Definitions, 517410 Satellite Telecommunications.
12 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=900&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ4&;-
_lang=en.
13 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=900&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ4&;-
_lang=en.
14 http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517919&search=2007%20NAICS%20Search.
15 http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=900&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ4&;-
_lang=en.
16 http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-_skip=900&-ds_name=EC0751SSSZ4&;-
_lang=en.
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Propulsion Unit and Parts Manufacturing,” and 336419, “Other Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Parts
and Auxiliary Equipment Manufacturing.” The Small Business Administration (SBA) has defined small
business entities engaged in the aforementioned activities as those employing no more than 1,000
employees.17 Further, the SBA does not apply a size standard based on maximum annual receipts to
define small business entities engaged in the above industries.
12.
The FCC believes that the following business entities are the principle entities currently
comprising the commercial space transportation launch operator industry in the United States: The
Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Space Exploration Technologies, Orbital Sciences
Corporation, and Sea Launch Company, L.L.C. In addition, Virgin Galactic and XCOR Aerospace have
announced plans for suborbital manned space flights.18 NASA has agreements with three companies to
design and develop human space flight capabilities: Sierra Nevada Corporation, Space Exploration
Technologies, and The Boeing Company.19 Because the commercial space industry is a nascent industry,
it is difficult to state whether additional entities will enter the industry and how many and which entities
will succeed. We do not have data on the size of these entities, and consequently, cannot classify them as
large or small entities. We therefore cannot reach definite conclusions as to the number of small entities
that will be affected by the rules proposed in this NPRM and we shall assume that a significant number of
small entities will be affected by these regulations. We request comment on this assumption.

D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance
Requirements

13.
The NPRM proposes no reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

E.

Steps Taken to Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and

Significant Alternatives Considered

14.
The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered
in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others):
(1) the establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into
account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of
compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather
than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small
entities.20
15.
In a first of two alternative proposals, the NPRM proposes to add a co-primary Federal FSS
or Federal MSS allocation in the Table of Frequency Allocations in Section 2.106 of our rules (Allocation
Table) for a number of spectrum bands used for commercial satellite service. In conjunction with this
modification of the Allocation Table, we will add a footnote to the Allocation Table restricting primary
use of Federal earth stations in these bands to communication with non-Federal satellites. This will not
directly change the regulatory burdens on Commission licensees. Commission licensees will continue to
follow the same licensing procedures and be subject to the existing technical rules when operating in
these bands. Because the bands will have a co-primary Federal allocation, under existing coordination
procedures the Commission would be expected to coordinate license applications in these bands with

17 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS codes 336414, 336415, 336419.
18 See Virgin Galactic, http://www.virgingalactic.com; XCOR Aerospace: New Technology for Space,
http://www.xcor.com/.
19 Bob Granath, NASA Takes Strides Forward to Launch Americans from U.S. Soil, Jan. 25, 2013, available at
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/crew/cpc_apollo_5_prt.htm.
20 See 5 U.S.C. § 603(c).
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NTIA. This will result in increased processing time for applications for Commission licenses for these
bands. We are not able to quantify the economic impact this increased processing time will have on small
entities applying for Commission licenses.
16.
Alternatively, the NPRM proposes to modify the Allocation Table by adding a footnote that
gives Federal earth stations communicating with non-Federal satellites in a number of bands used for
commercial satellite service interference protection equivalent to that afforded to non-Federal earth
stations. The Federal earth stations will receive interference protection only if they operate in accordance
with the Commission’s rules. This proposal does not change the regulatory burdens on Commission
licensees. Commission licensees will continue to follow the same licensing procedures and be subject to
the existing technical rules when operating in these bands. Unlike the first proposal, a Federal allocation
will not be added to these bands and there will be no new requirement to coordinate Commission licenses
with NTIA. This alternate proposal should have no significant economic impact on small entities.
17.
The NPRM also proposes to amend a footnote to the Allocation Table to permit a Federal
MSS system to operate in the 399.9-400.05 MHz band. Although this band currently has a non-Federal
MSS allocation and the Commission has adopted service and technical rules for the band, the
Commission has issued no MSS licenses for the band and no one has applied to use this band. While it is
possible that a small entity may apply for a license for this band in the future, considering that it has been
allocated for the MSS since 1993 with no interest from satellite operators we believe it is unlikely.
However, on the chance that a satellite operator may desire to deploy a system in the band in the future
the NPRM does ask whether operation of a Federal MSS system in the band will preclude a non-Federal
MSS system from also being licensed. There is a possibility that a Federal MSS system deployed in the
band may cause harmful interference to Commission licensees in nearby spectrum. The NPRM asks
whether such interference could be an issue. Given the lack of commercial interest in the band we expect
that this proposal shall not have a significant economic impact on any small entity.
18.
The final section of the NPRM makes several proposals to amend the Allocation Table to
provide interference protected access to spectrum for Commission licensees for the launch of launch
vehicles (i.e. rockets). These bands do not currently have a non-Federal allocation for this purpose.
Consequently, the Commission may only issue licenses for these bands on a non-interference basis. A
licensee with non-interference status may not cause interference and must accept interference from those
using the band in accordance with the Allocation Table. Adopting any of these proposals would be only a
first step toward the Commission issuing licenses for these bands because the Commission would later
have to adopt service and technical rules for the bands. However, once the Commission is able to issue
licenses for these bands, small entities who manufacture and/or develop launch vehicles and spacecraft
will benefit because they will be able to obtain licenses for spectrum that provide them with interference
protection during launches. Consequently, we expect that these proposals will provide only a benefit to
small entities and will have no significant harmful economic impact on any small entity.

F.

Federal Rules that May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rule

19.
None.
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STATEMENT OF

CHAIRMAN JULIUS GENACHOWSKI

Re:
Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission's Rules for Federal Earth Stations Communicating with
Non-Federal Fixed Satellite Service Space Stations; Federal Space Station Use of the 399.9-
400.05 MHz band; and Allocation of Spectrum for Non-Federal Space Launch Operations, ET
Docket No. 13-115, RM-11341.

For the record, it’s only coincidence that this is on the agenda the week before the new Star Trek movie –
and that it is my final meeting item.
While we associate rockets and space exploration with TV, movies, and science fiction, the fact is the
economic potential of the commercial space industry is large and real, and today we’re taking a big step
to spur growth in U.S. commercial space launch services and make the U.S. more competitive in this
growing global marketplace.
The commercial space launch industry encompasses human spaceflight, research, education, and so much
more.
Thanks to powerfully innovative American companies like SpaceX, commercial launches are becoming
increasingly common, and are expected to increase significantly over time.
SpaceX, for instance, currently has more than 40 launches on its manifest.
Several billion dollars’ worth of U.S. commercial space launch activity is scheduled, and this industry has
already created thousands of jobs directly, and many more indirect jobs in related industries.
From a global competition standpoint, the U.S. is moving in a strong direction, and rapidly. At the start
of 2012, America’s global share of launches to geosynchronous orbit was zero percent. Within two years,
it’s projected to top 30 percent.
So where does the FCC fit into this equation?
Companies can’t launch or operate space vehicles without spectrum.
Operators need spectrum to communicate with space vehicles, to receive and send data, and to destroy
rockets if necessary.
We have been facilitating commercial launches on an ad hoc basis, as NASA ramps down in this area and
commercial space launches ramp up.
With today’s Notice the U.S. is leading the way in developing transparent rules for commercial space
launches – rules that will provide certainty and predictability for this important and growing industry.
This Notice, along with guidance released earlier this year on how to obtain special temporary authority
for commercial launches, are aimed at streamlining processes, eliminating unnecessary burdens and
increasing predictability for spectrum needed for commercial space launches.
This action will help boost U.S. leadership in the commercial space industry, and make the U.S. more
competitive in the global marketplace for space launch services.
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Specifically, this item will ease access for commercial operators to spectrum used for communications
services to control, monitor, and track launch vehicles.
This is an important first step towards enabling commercial operators to directly obtain licenses needed
for use during launches, using a well-defined application and coordination processes.
The item also seeks input on the long-term communication and spectrum needs of the commercial space
sector.
The item also proposes to better facilitate federal government use of commercial satellite services.
The fixed satellite service is the backbone of the U.S. commercial satellite industry and is widely used for
a variety of commercial and Federal government services.
Today, federal earth stations obtain interference protection only under the umbrella of a commercial
licensee.
The item proposes to provide federal earth stations with interference protection directly when
communicating with commercial satellites.
In addition, the item proposes to make a small amount of spectrum available for a new Federal mobile
satellite system.
The Commission is committed to supporting the commercial launch sector, while working with our
federal partners to successfully share the spectrum required for space launches, and to enable their use of
commercial satellite services.
Thank you to Renee Gregory in my office, and OET, IB, and WTB for your great work on this item.
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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER MIGNON L. CLYBURN

Re:
Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission’s Rules for Federal Earth Stations Communicating with
Non-Federal Fixed Satellite Service Space Stations; Federal Space Station Use of the 399.9
400.05 MHz Band; and Allocation of Spectrum for Non-Federal Space Launch Operations, ET
Docket No. 13-115; RM-11341.

Let me begin by expressing my sincere thanks to Chairman Genachowski for elevating this
agency’s profile and re-energizing the dedicated and talented career staff, here, at the FCC.
This proceeding began with two NTIA requests. First, it asked the Commission to consider rule
changes, which would allow the federal government to use earth stations, in the FSS bands, with more
protection from interference, than they currently have. Second, it requested changes, which would allow
federal agencies to deploy a new satellite system of unused spectrum, in the MSS band. The OET staff
could have presented an item that simply addressed the complex issues necessary to advance these two
requests. Instead, the team took a more ambitious approach, and found a creative way, to also promote
our Nation’s vital interest in communications services during space travel.
For nearly a half a century, space travel and communications industry collaboration has brought
us some of the most exciting scientific breakthroughs. The American public’s first glimpse of this
probably came, on July 20, 1969, with the television broadcast of Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for
mankind. But millions of Americans now enjoy satellite TV and radio services as a result of this
collaboration. It also produced services that save lives, by aiding search and rescue operations, as well as
global access to advanced medicine, geospatial information, and broadband.
Now, our country has reached a point where this collaboration between space aviation and
communications must leap to the next level. The ending of NASA’s space shuttle program means that we
must explore even more innovative ways to continue our Nation’s leadership in space education,
exploration and discovery. That is why, in 2010, President Obama made crystal clear that we should be
“committed to encouraging and facilitating the growth, of a commercial space sector,” that “advances
U.S. leadership, in the generation of new markets.” The good news, here, is that several private
companies have been working for years, and in some cases for decades, to make substantial investments
in companies that can transport cargo, and in the future, our fellow citizens, into space, to support the
International Space Station and other NASA initiatives.
The Commission’s allocation and service rules must support the growing communications needs
of the private space launch industry. To assist prior launches, we issued Special Temporary Authorities,
or STAs, under our Part 5 experimental rules. But these STAs, only allow for non-interference operation.
Given the high cost of launches and the safety concerns of manned spaceflights, relying on non-
interference use of spectrum, is not a practical, long-term solution. Therefore, this NPRM offers well-
defined application and coordination processes, to enable commercial operators, to directly acquire the
optimal type of licenses needed, for communications during space launches. The Notice of Inquiry (NOI)
section of the item properly tries to anticipate other communications needs of commercial space missions,
such as re-entry, or the “on orbit” phase of a mission, that could require changes in spectrum allocations.
I thank Julie Knapp, Mark Settle, and the staff in the Office of Engineering and Technology, for
their outstanding work on this item.
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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL

Re:
Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission’s Rules for Federal Earth Stations Communicating with
Non-Federal Fixed Satellite Service Space Stations; Federal Space Station Use of the 399.9-
400.05 MHz Band; and Allocation of Spectrum for Non-Federal Space Launch Operations
, ET
Docket No. 13-115, RM-11341.

We are in the early stages of a new era in space exploration. What was once just the airy
province of science fiction is now grounded in reality. As our space missions expand, our aerospace
technologies advance, and as a result, a commercial market for space travel is now emerging. Going
forward, access to space will no longer be limited to those few federal workers with the right stuff.
So it is no surprise that the National Space Policy released by President Obama calls for the
government to take steps to develop a robust commercial space industry. Though limited, the
Commission has a role to play in helping achieve this objective for space. In fact, the steps we take in
today’s inquiry and rulemaking will bring us closer to this goal. First, we propose rules that will allow
the commercial space launch industry better access to the 420-430 MHz, 2200-2290 MHz, and 5650-5925
MHz spectrum bands while beginning an inquiry into the industry’s broader spectrum needs. Second, we
propose options to provide improved interference protection for communications between commercial
satellites and federal users on the ground.
Taken together, these efforts are onboard with fulfilling the objectives of the National Space
Policy. I support them, and I thank the Office of Engineering and Technology for their work on these big,
important, and galactic matters.
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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

RE:
Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission’s Rules for Federal Earth Stations Communicating with
Non-Federal Fixed Satellite Service Space Stations; Federal Space Station Use of the 399.9–
400.05 MHz Band; Allocation of Spectrum for Non-Federal Space Launch Operations
, ET
Docket No. 13-115; RM-11341.

50 years ago this month, the last of our country’s pioneering Mercury astronauts went into space.
His name was Gordon Cooper, and his “Faith 7” spacecraft orbited the Earth 22 times. “Gordo” was the
first American to sleep in space, and he would go on to be played memorably on the silver screen by
Dennis Quaid in “The Right Stuff.” Back then, in the 1960s, space was a big deal. The United States
launched rockets and put a man on the moon. Astronauts were our heroes, and space exploration was a
national priority.
Today, space is even more important to the American way of life. Satellites, for example, play a
vital role in connecting remote communications links with the network, whether you’re a consumer
swiping your credit card at a rural gas station or a first responder using a satellite phone to keep working
through a disaster. But we just don’t think about space that much anymore. Space—it may be the
forgotten frontier.
Not after today. With this item, we advance a bevy of proposals with one overarching aim:
ensuring the efficient use of spectrum for space-related communications. For instance, I am excited that
the Notice proposes to let the federal Argos satellite system use the 399.9–400.05 MHz band. Argos
directs its all-seeing eyes on the global ecosystem, and bringing this long-fallow spectrum into use
promises better environmental data for American scientists.
Another part of the Notice arises from a quirk of federal law, which divides authority over
spectrum use between the FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
The Notice proposes amendments to our Table of Allocations in order to provide interference protection
to both federal earth stations operating in commercial spectrum and the commercial space industry
operating in federal spectrum. I look forward to reviewing the record that will be compiled in response.
And as we move forward, I hope all parties will remain open to ways to resolve these matters informally,
perhaps through a Memorandum of Understanding.
I would like to thank Julie Knapp, Geraldine Matisse, Mark Settle, Jamison Prime, and Nick Oros
in the Office of Engineering Technology for their work on this item and their thoughtful approach to these
issues. We should all be thankful that space remains at the forefront of their minds.
67

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