Submarine Cables

Submarine cables provide the primary means of connectivity – voice, data and Internet – between the United States and the rest of the world as well as connectivity between the mainland United States and consumers in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and various agencies are involved in the oversight of the submarine cables and/or other undersea activities that may impact submarine cable infrastructure. The FCC’s International Bureau grants licenses authorizing cable landing license applicants to own and operate submarine cables and associated landing stations in the United States.

Commission’s Role

International Bureau

To land or operate a submarine cable in the United States, submarine cable operators must obtain a cable landing license from the FCC. The FCC’s International Bureau, Telecommunications and Analysis Division (TAD) issues licenses to own and operate submarine cables and associated landing stations in the United States pursuant to the Commission’s authority under the Cable Landing Licensing Act of 1921 and Executive Order No. 10530. The Division also authorizes modifications and transfers or assignments of existing cable landing licenses. Before granting the application, the FCC coordinates with the Department of State and any other agencies, as needed.

International Bureau Contacts

For submarine cable licensing matters, please contact:

  • David Krech, Associate Division Chief, Telecommunications & Analysis Division, International Bureau at (202) 418-7443
  • Jodi Cooper, Attorney Advisor, Telecommunications & Analysis Division, International Bureau at (202) 418-2064
  • Cara Grayer, Attorney Advisor, Telecommunications & Analysis Division, International Bureau at (202) 418-296
  • Arthur Lechtman, Attorney Advisor, Telecommunications & Analysis Division, International Bureau at (202) 418-1465

For matters related to interagency submarine coordination, please contact

  • Denise Coca, Division Chief, Telecommunications & Analysis Division, International Bureau at (202) 418-0574
  • Gabrielle Kim, Attorney Advisor, Telecommunications & Analysis Division, International Bureau at (202) 418-0730

For matters related to circuit capacity reporting, please contact:

  • Lindsay Tello, Economics Research Assistant, Telecommunications & Analysis Division, International Bureau at (202) 418-1536
 

International Bureau Related Links

Other Agencies' Roles

Activities Related to Undersea Cables

Undersea Cable Mapping Sources

Related Links

 

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