FCC streamlines Part 25 satellite service rules

The FCC adopted comprehensive changes to rules governing satellite communications Aug. 9 aimed at streamlining licensing of both earth stations and satellites.

According to the agency, the changes to Part 25 of the agency’s rules represent the most wide-ranging review of FCC rules and policies in more than 15 years. The goal of the Report and Order is to spur investment and innovation in satellite communications by doing away with unnecessary regulations.

In general, the Report and Order eliminates unneeded technical and information filing requirements, updates rules to accommodate evolving technology, and simplifies existing requirements. Specific changes include:

  • A re-orientation in how the agency approaches licensing that emphasizes interference protection vs. how an earth station or satellite is built;
  • Providing for alternative methods for submitting antenna contour diagrams;
  • Increasing the number of earth station applications eligible for routine and streamlined processing
  • Allowing more flexibility for earth station applicants to verify antenna performance;
  • Consolidation of annual reporting requirements, elimination of unnecessary reporting rules and reinforcement of emergency contact reporting requirements; and
  • Clarification of milestone requirements for space stations