Earth Station Licensing Rules Streamlined

As part of the 14 item consent agenda for its meeting last Thursday, the FCC further streamlined satellite earth station licensing. The two Orders and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking outlining the changes have not been released, but an FCC news release said the new rules would reduce the review time for non-routine earth station applications. These non-routine earth stations, which may have higher power or smaller antenna diameters than those specified in Part 25 of the FCC rules, are often used to provide satellite based broadband Internet access.

Two new procedures were mentioned in the news release Commission Further Streamlines Satellite Earth Station Licensing to Facilitate Swift Deployment of Broadband Services to Consumers:

"1. Certification Procedure: Applicants can provide certifications of prior coordination with satellite operators that ensure that proposed stations will not cause unacceptable interference to their operations.

"2. Power Reduction: Applicants can file applications and specify that they will operate at a lower enough power level to prevent interference."

Similar procedures were adopted for earth stations with higher-than-routine power. Rules for VSAT networks using CDMA were updated to make requirements consistent in difference frequency bands.