FCC Proposes New Satellite Service

At the recent Open Commission Meeting, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing a new satellite broadcasting service for the United States using 17.3 GHz to 17.7 GHz for space-to-Earth and 24.75 GHz to 25.25 GHz for Earth-to-space communications. The FCC said, "The 17/24 GHz BSS service holds the potential of bringing a new generation of innovative satellite services to American consumers -- providing a mix of video, audio, data and multimedia services to residential and business subscribers."

The NPRM seeks comments in a number of areas, including the appropriate method for processing applications, public service obligations, geographic service and emergency alert system requirements, use of spectrum allocated internationally but not domestically by receiving earth stations outside the U.S. and orbital spacing and antenna performance standards.

The FCC also requests comments on inter- and intra-service sharing and other technical requirements, such as reverse band operation, license terms, replacement satellites, access to the U.S. market from non-U.S. satellites, and milestone requirements.

The full text of the NPRM was released this week and there will be more details on the technical aspects of the NPRM in next week's RF Report.