FCC Seeks Comment on Satellite-Based Services for Ships, Vehicles
Thursday, November 15, 2018 | Comments

The FCC took steps to facilitate the continued deployment of earth stations used to provide satellite-based services on ships, airplanes and vehicles by advancing proposals to create a regulatory framework for non-geostationary orbit satellites (NGSOs) to communicate with these earth stations.

The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) seeks comment on a regulatory framework that would expand the commission’s rules for Earth stations in motion (ESIMs) to cover communications with NGSO satellites operating in the fixed-satellite service (FSS) and would be similar to the regime the FCC recently adopted for ESIMs communicating with geostationary-orbit FSS satellites. A framework covering such communications would provide certainty for both NGSO FSS operators and their customers.

The NPRM, among other things, seeks comment on allowing ESIMs to communicate with NGSO FSS satellites in many of the same frequency bands — conventional Ku-band, extended Ku-band and Ka-band — permitted for communications with GSO FSS satellites. It also seeks comment on extending blanket earth station licensing, available to ESIMs communicating with GSO FSS satellites in certain frequency bands, to ESIMs communicating with NGSO FSS satellites.

This action is designed to promote innovative and flexible use of satellite technology, as well as regulatory equity between different types of satellite systems.

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