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ViaSat, Inc. Dismissal

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Released: March 14, 2013
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554

DA 13-440

March 14, 2013
John P. Janka, Esq.
Latham & Watkins LLP
555 Eleventh Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, D.C. 20004
Re: ViaSat, Inc.
IBFS File No. SAT-LOI-20121226-00225
Call Sign: S2891
Dear Mr. Janka:
On December 26, 2012, ViaSat, Inc. (“ViaSat”) filed a Letter of Intent seeking to use the planned
ViaSat-2 space station that will operate under the authority of the United Kingdom to access the United
States using the 18.3-19.3 GHz (space-to-Earth), 19.7-20.2 GHz (space-to-Earth), 28.1-29.1 GHz (Earth-
to-space), and 29.5-30.0 GHz (Earth-to-space) frequency bands at the 69.9° W.L. orbital location. For the
reason set forth below, we dismiss ViaSat’s application, without prejudice to refiling.
Section 25.112 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 25.112, requires the Commission to
return, as unacceptable for filing, any space station application that is not substantially complete, contains
internal inconsistencies, or does not substantially comply with the Commission’s rules or other
requirements. In a 2004 Public Notice, the International Bureau provided a list of orbital locations that
are not available for commercial space station operations in the United States in the 17.8-20.2 GHz
frequency band (Ka-band) because the Federal Government has authorized a Ka-band satellite to operate
at that location.1 The Public Notice further states that orbital locations that are less than two degrees
away from a location listed as “unavailable” are also unavailable for U.S. operations.2 The Public Notice
lists the 69° W.L. orbital location as unavailable.
As a result, the 69.9° W.L. orbital location from which ViaSat seeks to serve the U.S. market is
not available for Ka-band commercial operations in the United States. Consequently, ViaSat’s request for
U.S. market access from a Ka-band satellite located at the 69.9° W.L. orbital location does not comply
with the Commission’s requirements and we therefore dismiss it.
In addition, although not a ground for dismissal, we note that Section 25.137(c) of the
Commission’s rules requires operators of non-U.S.-licensed geostationary orbit (GSO)-like satellite
systems seeking market access to demonstrate that the satellite is in-orbit and operating, or that the system


1 Public Notice, Ka-Band Licenses Surrendered: Current List of Orbital Locations Not Available for Licensing in
Portions of the Ka-Band, Report No. SPB-208 (Jul. 23, 2004).
2 Id.

Federal Communications Commission DA 13-440

has a license from another administration, or that the system has been submitted for coordination to the
International Telecommunication Union (ITU). In its application, ViaSat states that the ViaSat-2 space
station will operate under the “authority of the government of the United Kingdom,” and that the
“satellite’s authorization from the United Kingdom is held by ViaSat Satellite Holding, Ltd.,” a subsidiary
of ViaSat.3 ViaSat does not provide specific information with respect to the authorization held by
ViaSat’s subsidiary, nor does it indicate whether the United Kingdom has submitted filings on its behalf
to the ITU. If ViaSat files another request for U.S. market access from ViaSat-2, it should address in
greater detail the status of its U.K. authorization. In particular, ViaSat should indicate whether it has
obtained launch and space operations licenses for the ViaSat-2 satellite under the U.K. Outer Space Act.
If not, ViaSat should provide a statement detailing the status of the application process for such licenses
and an assessment of whether, by virtue of its wholly owned subsidiary and any other factors considered
relevant under the U.K. Outer Space Act, it has sufficient ties to the United Kingdom to provide the basis
for issuing such authorizations. In providing this assessment, ViaSat should identify the specific
provisions of the U.K. Outer Space Act and the Space Agency’s implementing guidance on which it is
relying. ViaSat should also indicate whether filings have been submitted to the ITU on its behalf and
provide confirming documentation of any such filings.
Accordingly, pursuant to Section 25.112(a)(1) of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §
25.112(a)(1), and Section 0.261 of the Commission’s rules on delegations of authority, 47 C.F.R. § 0.261,
we dismiss ViaSat’s Letter of Intent without prejudice to refiling.
Sincerely,
Fern J. Jarmulnek
Acting Chief, Satellite Division
International Bureau


3 ViaSat, Inc. Letter of Intent, IBFS File No. SAT-LOI-20121226-00225, Exh. A at 3, 8.
2

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