FCC Seeks Comment on Expanded Federal Use of the Non-Federal FSS and MSS Bands

The Federal Communications Commission's Office of Engineering and Technology opened a new docket seeking comment on ways to potentially expand Federal access to non-Federal—including commercial—satellite services. In recent years, the commercial satellite industry has undergone tremendous growth and innovation. Federal government agencies have increasingly sought to meet their satellite communications needs by using commercial satellite services. However, most spectrum used by commercial satellite systems is not allocated for Federal fixed satellite service (FSS) or mobile satellite service (MSS). The FCC’s rules provide that Federal agencies’ earth stations communicating with commercial satellite systems in such spectrum must operate on a non-interference basis and do not receive protection from harmful interference. To address this concern, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in 2006 requested that the FCC initiate a rulemaking to seek comment on granting NTIA-authorized Federal earth stations that are communicating with non-Federal satellites, primary status in some of the bands that are used for commercial satellite services which do not currently have primary Federal FSS or MSS allocations. The FCC invites comments on possible mechanisms to expand Federal use of the bands used by commercial satellite networks that are not currently allocated for Federal FSS and MSS. [ET Docket No. 24-121]

Office of Engineering and Technology Seeks Comment on Expanded Federal Use of the Non-Federal FSS and MSS Bands