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NTIA Letter to FCC:
National Space Policy Supports NTIA's Rulemaking on Federal Earth Stations

Kevin J. Martin
Chairman
Federal Communications Commission
445 Twelfth Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554

RE: In the Matter of Amendment to the National Table of Frequency Allocations to Provide Allocation Status for Federal Earth Stations Communicating with Non-Federal Satellites, Petition for Rulemaking by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, RM-11341

Dear Chairman Martin:

            On August 4, 2006, NTIA filed a Petition for Rule Making (Petition) requesting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initiate a rulemaking to amend the National Table of Frequency Allocations to allow Federal earth station to operate with non-federal satellites on a co-primary basis consistent with the regulatory status afforded commercial operations.  On August 31, 2006, the President released a new national space policy establishing overarching national policy governing the conduct of U.S. space activities. [ 1 ] . The Space Policy sets forth the United States’ commitment to encourage and facilitate a growing and entrepreneurial U.S. commercial space sector.  Towards that end, the Space Policy states that the United States Government will use U.S. commercial space capabilities to the maximum practical extent.  To accomplish this objective, the Space Policy provides that the United States will seek spectrum regulatory status under U.S. domestic regulations for government owned and operated earth stations operating through commercial satellites consistent with the regulatory status afforded commercial operations and with the allocation status of the satellite service.

            The principles, goals and guidelines embodied in the Space Policy is consistent with the concerns addressed in the Petition.  In view of the recent Space Policy, I urge the FCC to expedite the necessary action to provide certainty to Federal earth stations.  NTIA is committed to working with the FCC as well as the satellite industry to develop appropriate allocation language to permit the continued growth of Federal investment and the use of commercial services. 


                                                             Sincerely,

                                                              John M.R. Kneuer
                                                              Acting Assistant Secretary for
                                                              Communication and Information

                                                           

  [ 1 ] The U.S. National Space Policy (Space Policy) is provided as an attachment to this letter.  It is also posted on the Office of Science and Technology homepage at http://www.ostp.gov/html/US%20National%20Space%20Policy.pdf.



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