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logo for the Federal Communications CommissionAll FCC accomplishments in space during FY 2000 were related to communications and Earth observation satellites. The FCC formulates rules to facilitate and regulate the U.S. domestic satellite industry and the licensing of all stations and satellite launches. Internationally, the FCC continued to coordinate satellite placement with other countries. FCC’s specific accomplishments are outlined for FY 2000.

In the area of satellite authorizations and launches, the FCC authorized a number of launches of communications satellites. On August 8, 2000, the FCC authorized licensing of the entire Intelsat constellation upon Intelsat’s privatization. Upon its privatization, Intelsat will be a U.S. licensee with 17 satellites in orbit and authorizations for 10 additional launches. The FCC authorized E-SAT to launch and operate six nonvoice, Nongeostationary orbit (NGSO) mobile satellites in low-Earth orbit. On June 28, 2000, E-SAT successfully launched its first satellite, and on August 17, 2000, the satellite was brought into operation. The FCC also authorized Space Imaging, Inc., to launch and operate two satellites in low-Earth orbit to provide Earth exploration satellite services. On December 15, 1999, Space Imaging successfully brought into operation its first satellite. On October 18, 1999, Globalstar launched four satellites in NGSO orbit. On each of two more occasions, it also launched four satellites on November 22, 1999, and on February 8, 2000. This brought the Globalstar constellation up to 28 satellites in orbit with 24 operational and 4 spares.

On December 4, 1999, ORBCOMM launched 7 satellites into NGSO orbit, which brought the ORBCOMM constellation up to 35 satellites in orbit. On November 30, 1999, the FCC granted SatCom Systems, Inc., a U.S. company, and TMI Communications and Company, L.P., a Canadian company, authority to operate mobile Earth terminals to provide mobile satellite service in the United States via a Canadian-licensed satellite, MSAT-1. Sirius Satellite Radio launched two NGSO Digital Audio Radio Service (DARS) satellites during FY 2000. The launches, authorized by a special temporary authority issued on December 20, 1999, took place on July 1, 2000, and September 5, 2000. During FY 2000, there were also seven C/Ku-band satellite launches: Loral TELSTAR-12 on October 19, 1999; PanAmSat PAS-9 on July 28, 2000; Galaxy XR on January 24, 2000; Galaxy IVR on April 18, 2000; Galaxy XI on December 21, 1999; GE Americom GE-7 on September 14, 2000; and GE-4 on November 13, 1999.

During FY 2000, the FCC was also active in international satellite coordination. On July 27, 2000, the United States and Mexico signed an agreement on the implementation and operation of the Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service. Both countries may now implement DARS systems in the 2310—2360 MHz band. In October 1999, December 1999, February 2000, July 2000, and August 2000 the FCC held satellite network coordination meetings with the Administrations of the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, India, and Malaysia, respectively.

In December 1999, U.S. and French negotiators finalized a coordination agreement on behalf of EUTELSAT for certain satellites. Similarly, in February and April 2000, INTELSAT negotiators finalized coordination agreements for certain satellites.


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