House Lawmakers Draft Legislation to Modernize FCC Regulations on Satellite Communications

House lawmakers have teamed on two bipartisan bills that would "promote competition, innovation, national security, the interests of consumers, and American leadership in the thriving commercial satellite communications industry." The discussion drafts of the bills work toward modernizing the Federal Communications Commission’s satellite licensing rules and authorities under the Communications Act, with the goal of promoting responsible space management, incentivizing investment and innovation, and advancing US leadership in next-generation, satellite communications networks.  The Satellite and Telecommunications Streamlining Act would require the FCC to come up with performance requirements, space safety and orbital debris requirements for satellite licenses, give the FCC a year deadline to act on an application for a constellation of satellites and earth stations and 180 days to act on a renewal. The Secure Space Act addresses national security issues. It would amend the Secure Trusted Communications Networks Act to prohibit the FCC from granting a license for satellite constellations "if the license or grant of market access would be held or controlled by an entity that produces or provides any covered communications equipment or service or an affiliate of such an entity, and for other purposes." Covered communications or services -- particularly tech tied to Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei -- are ones the government has determined pose a threat to the supply chain and national security.

New Bipartisan E&C Draft Legislation Will Secure American Leadership in Satellite Communications Bills Introduced To Streamline Satellite Broadband (Multichannel News)