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Space

Lawmakers Introduce Draft Bills to Support Licensing of Non-Geostationary Orbit Satellites

Satellite regulation

Lawmakers Introduce Draft Bills to Support Licensing of Non-Geostationary Orbit Satellites

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Pallone and committee ranking member Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers have introduced two draft bills to update licensing rules for satellites.

According to the lawmakers, the pieces of legislation will help the Federal Communications Commission regulate the influx of non-geostationary orbit satellites and will be the first step in changing satellite licensing rules and authorities. The bills are titled the Satellite and Telecommunications Streamlining Act and the Secure Space Act, SpaceNews reported.

George John, a senior associate at law firm Hogan Lovells, said the Satellite and Telecommunications Streamlining Act would give the FCC deadlines for processing new satellite license applications and require the agency to move on an initial license application in a year from the date of submission. It also states that modification for existing authorization must be done within six months or under three months if the request qualifies for an expedited process.

The Secure Space Act would prevent the FCC from granting licenses to foreign entities that are perceived as threats to the United States’ supply chain or national security.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel welcomed the draft bills.

The proposals come amid a rise in NGSO applications, multiple processing rounds and staff shortages, all of which have put a strain on licensing timelines. The House committee leaders said changes in satellite licensing are necessary to prevent adversaries from dominating the space industry and ensure that regulations pertaining to the industry protect the public.

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Category: Space

Tags: Cathy McMorris Rodgers Federal Communications Commission Frank Pallone Jessica Rosenworcel non-geostationary orbit satellite Satellite and Telecommunications Streamlining Act satellite licensing Secure Space Act space SpaceNews