FCC Releases NPRM on Satellite/Earth Station Application Process

On December 22, 2022, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking comment on changes to the rules, policies, and practices regarding satellite and earth station applications under part 25.  The NPRM was adopted at the December Open Commission Meeting.  The NPRM seeks comment on the following with respect to earth station applications:

  • Potential changes to the acceptability for filing requirements for satellite and earth station applications in order to expedite their processing.
  • Revisiting and revising the process that has developed in recent years where Commission staff assist applicants to correct omissions or inconsistencies for an application to be deemed complete, including whether to simply dismiss such applications without prejudice to refiling, whether to provide additional specificity with regard to filing criteria, and whether to change the application itself to reduce the risk of inconsistency, among other things.
  • Anticipated processing times for straightforward, uncontested satellite and earth station applications, including whether adding points of communication to existing earth station licenses should be considered straight forward and whether deadlines to determine acceptability for filing would shorten processing times, among other things.
  • Whether any rules, policies, or practices applied to other licensing activities at the Commission could helpfully be applied to satellite or earth station application processing.
  • Other process updates, rule changes, or policy reforms the Commission could adopt to help streamline application processing.

Comments will be due 45 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

Reply comments will be due 75 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

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