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FCC RIN: 3060-AH98 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Space Station Licensing Reform (IB Docket No. 02-34) 

The Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to streamline its procedures for reviewing satellite license applications. Before 2003, the Commission used processing rounds to review those applications. In a processing round, when an application is filed, the International Bureau (Bureau) issued a Public Notice establishing a cutoff date for other mutually exclusive satellite applications, and then considered all those applications together. In cases where sufficient spectrum to accommodate all the applications was not available, the Bureau directed the applicants to negotiate a mutually agreeable solution. Those negotiations took a long time, and delayed provision of satellite services to the public. The NPRM invited comment on two alternatives for expediting the satellite application process. One alternative was to replace the processing round procedure with a "first-come, first-served" procedure that would allow the Bureau to issue a satellite license to the first party filing a complete, acceptable application. The other alternative was to streamline the processing round procedure by adopting one or more of the following proposals: (1) place a time limit on negotiations; (2) establish criteria to select among competing applicants; (3) divide the available spectrum evenly among the applicants. In the First Report and Order in this proceeding, the Commission determined that different procedures were better suited for different kinds of satellite applications. For most geostationary orbit (GSO) satellite applications, the Commission adopted a first-come, first-served approach. For most non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellite applications, the Commission adopted a procedure in which the available spectrum is divided evenly among the qualified applicants. The Commission also adopted measures to discourage applicants from filing speculative applications, including a bond requirement, payable if a licensee misses a milestone. The bond amounts originally were $5 million for each GSO satellite, and $7.5 million for each NGSO satellite system. These were interim amounts. Concurrently with the First Report and Order, the Commission adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) to determine whether to revise the bond amounts on a long-term basis. In the Second Report and Order, the Commission adopted a streamlined procedure for certain kinds of satellite license modification requests. In the Third Report and Order, the Commission adopted a standardized application form for satellite licenses, and adopted a mandatory electronic filing requirement for certain satellite applications. In the Fourth Report and Order, the Commission revised the bond amounts based on the record developed in response to FNPRM. The bond amounts were changed to $3 million for each GSO satellite, and $5 million for each NGSO satellite system.

Agency: Federal Communications Commission(FCC)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 47 CFR 25.114    47 CFR 25.137    47 CFR 25.157 and 25.158   
Legal Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154(i)    47 U.S.C. 157    47 U.S.C. 303(c)    47 U.S.C. 303(g)   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  03/19/2002  67 FR 12498   
NPRM Comment Period End  07/02/2002    
Second R&O   11/03/2003  68 FR 62247   
Second FNPRM   09/12/2003  68 FR 53702   
Third R&O   11/12/2003  68 FR 63994   
FNPRM  08/27/2003  68 FR 51546   
First R&O  08/27/2003  68 FR 51499   
FNPRM Comment Period End  10/27/2003    
Fourth R&O   08/06/2004  69 FR 47790   
Fifth R&O, First Order on Reconsideration  08/20/2004  69 FR 51586   
2nd Order on Reconsideration  12/00/2016 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Clay DeCell
Attorney Advisor
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW,
Washington, DC 20554
Phone:202 418-0803