Satellite technology provides telecommunications service throughout the nation and the world. Because satellites orbit far above the Earth, their footprint, or service area, covers nearly every part of the United States, providing instant, ubiquitous and reliable coverage. Satellite technology is used to provide satellite television, audio, data and voice services, among other things.
The Communications Act requires a license for any commercial communications transmitted via satellite to, from and within the United States. Satellite transmission involves both a space station and an earth station to complete the transmission link. Thus, the commission licenses both space stations and earth stations.