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Contents Intoroduction Preliminaries Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Appendix Index

Before the Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C. 20554, Second Report and Order (Adopted June 16; Released June 16, 1972)

By the Commission: Chairman Burch dissenting and issuing a statement in which Commissioners Reid and Wiley join; Commissioner Johnson concurring and issuing a statement.



This proceeding was instituted by the Commission on March 2, 1966 (Notice of Inquiry, 31 F.R. 3307: Supplemental Notice of Inquiry, October 20, 1966, 31 F.R. 13763) to explore various legal, technical and policy questions associated with the possible authorization of domestic communications satellite facilities to nongovernmental entities. On March 24, 1970, the Commission issued a first Report and Order (1970 Report) inviting the submission of applications to assist our determinations (22 FCC 2d 86, 35 F.R. 3356), and connoneated a concurrently issued Notice of Proposed Rule Making (22 FCC 2d 810). In response to the 1970 Report, system applications were filed by the following:

The Western Union Telegraph Company (Western Union)

Hughes Aircraft Company and various telephone operating companies of GTE Service Corporation (Hughes/GTE)

Western Tele-Communications. Inc. (WTCI)

RCA Global Communications Inc. and RCA Alaska Communications. Inc. (RCA Globcom/RCA Alascom or "the RCA applicants")

Communications Satellite Corporation and American Telephone and Telegraph Company (Comsat/AT&T)


MCI Lockheed Satellite Corporation (MCI Lockheed)
Fairchild Industries, Inc. (Fairchild)

In addition, applications for earth stations only were filed by:

Hawaiian Telephone Company

Twin County Trans-Video. Inc.

TelePrompTer Corporation

LVO Cable, Inc., and United Video, Inc.

Phoenix Satellite Corporation


Comments and reply comments on the applications and rule making issues were received from the applicants and other interested parties. By a Memorandum Opinion and Order issued on March 17, 1972 (34 FCC 2d 1), the Commission afforded the parties an opportunity to file written comments and to be heard orally on a proposed Second Report and Order (34 FCC 2d 9) recommended by the Chief of the Common Carrier Bureau (staff recommendation). Written comments were received and oral argument before the Commission en banc was held on May 1–2, 1972.1


Upon consideration of the entire record, we are of the view that the staff recommendation adequately describes the background of this proceeding, the general nature of the pending applications, and the previously filed comments and reply comments of the parties on the applications and rule making issues. Accordingly, we will adopt the descriptive portions of the staff recommendation without reiterating such material here. However, as stated in the Memorandum Opinion and Order of March 17, 1972, our action in designating the staff recommendation for written and oral comment was taken "before reaching any determinations in this matter" and "therefore does not reflect any predisposition by the Commission with respect to the resolution of the issues involved" (34 FCC 2d at 2). The Commission's determinations, which are set forth below, incorporate the staff's reasoning and conclusions on the issues only as expressly indicated herein or to the extent that they are clearly consistent with our statements of policy and conclusions.

1 Two entities who had not previously participated in this proceeding were granted leave to be heard orally : the Department of Defense and the Network Project (FCC 72–314). The motions of various parties to correct the transcript of oral argument are hereby granted. Some applicants have submitted statements, without leave from the Commission, purportedly in further response to questions from individual Commissioners at the oral argument. While such statements have been placed in the record, we do not rely on them.

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