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22 January 20242 minute read

FCC Space Bureau hosts panel on earth station licensing process: Top points

On January 10, 2024, the FCC Space Bureau (SB), as part of its Transparency Initiative, hosted a panel discussion regarding its earth station licensing process.  

The panel covered topics such as common mistakes in applications, including failing to identify the mission operator or a point of contact and not specifying the duration of a request for a Special Temporary Authority (STA).  The SB also raised concerns about STA applications that seek license terms of 180 days and subsequently request further extensions.  The SB cautioned that STAs are supposed to be for a limited duration and should not be used to bypass a regular satellite authorization.  

Further, the SB described issues that could lead to delays in the review process.  For example, submitting a modification application without identifying and explaining the changes to the licensed parameters may slow the overall process.

The SB plans to host another open house in February, covering orbital debris, and expects to release new webpages focusing on (i) confidentiality requests, (ii) ICFS tutorials, (iii) coordination, (iv) orbital debris templates and examples, and (v) experimental licensing and the STA process.

If you have questions about the SB’s licensing process or its Transparency Initiative, please contact the Telecommunications team at DLA Piper.