Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Review of Licensing And Operating Rules For Satellite Services

Download Options

Released: September 28, 2012


News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830

Federal Communications Commission

TTY 202/418-2555


445 12th Street, S.W.

Washington, D. C. 20554

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



September 28, 2012

Neil Grace (202) 418-0506



Washington, D.C. – For the first time since 1996, the Federal Communications Commission today initiated a
wholesale review of its rules, also known as Part 25, governing licensing and operation of space stations and
earth stations, which transmit radio frequency signals between the ground and satellites. The action
continues the FCC’s efforts to update and streamline regulatory requirements across the agency.
This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) would eliminate unnecessary technical and information filing
requirements, update rules to better accommodate evolving technology, and simplify existing requirements.
In proposing extensive changes to over 100 rule sections and subsections in Part 25, the Commission aims to
give satellite licensees the flexibility to provide innovative services while ensuring an operating environment
free from harmful interference.
The NPRM includes proposals that would:
Shift from a “tell us how you built it” approach to a “tell us how you avoid interference with your
neighbors” approach;
Eliminate filing requirements that are no longer needed;
Increase the number of earth station applications eligible for routine and streamlined processing;
Amend the information requirements for space and earth station applications to reflect evolving
Provide greater flexibility to earth station applicants in verifying antenna performance;
Reinforce emergency contact reporting requirements while consolidating requirements for annual
reporting and removing unnecessary reporting rules; and
Consolidate, clarify, and request comment on milestone requirements for space stations.
In a companion Report and Order adopted on Monday, the Commission made several non-substantive
changes to Part 25. See 2006 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Revision of Part 25, IB Docket No. 06-154,
Report and Order, FCC 12-116 (rel. Sept. 28, 2012) (Housekeeping Order). The clarifying rule changes
adopted in the Housekeeping Order will facilitate preparation of license applications for earth stations and
space stations and promote compliance with the Commission’s operating rules.

Together, both items will unleash more rapid deployment of innovative services to the public and foster
greater investment by removing unnecessary regulations and easing administrative burdens for applicants,
licensees, and the Commission.
Comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register; reply
comments are due 30 days thereafter.
Action by the Commission September 28, 2012, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 12-117). Chairman
Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai. Separate statements issued by
Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai.
IB Docket No. 12-267
– FCC –
For more news and information about the FCC please visit:

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.


You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.