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

III. Determinations on the Issues

A. Number of systems to be authorized initially


In light of the foregoing policy objectives, we have concluded that the public interest would be best served at this initial stage by affording a reasonable opportunity for entry by qualified applicants, both pending and new, subject to the showings and conditions described below which we believe to be necessary to implement our objectives and to protect the public. We have reached this decision after consideration of the various alternatives discussed in the staff recommendation (paragraphs 45–78) and the views expressed by the parties.


Like the staff and most parties, we think it unwise to attempt to select or prescribe one system (either a consortium of all the applicants or selection of one applicant) or to choose one or more systems through comparative hearings. In addition to the reasons given by the staff (staff recommendation, paragraphs 50–61), which we adopt, such a course would not promote our policy objectives discussed above. However, we are not accepting the alternative recommended by the staff (paragraphs 71–78) of requiring or encouraging connoneations of applicants along guidelines prescribed by the Commission. While we recognize that there may well be advantages to and need for voluntary connoneations or sharing arrangements (such as "launch risk pools") undertaken at the applicants initiative as a matter of prudent business judgment, we do not deem it advisable to structure the architecture of any joint space segment operations. Rather, we will permit and encourage such arrangements so long as they are consistent with the policy conditions set forth herein. Accordingly, we will accord the system applicants a 30-day period within which to apprise the Commission as to whether they intend to pursue their pending applications, as modified to achieve compliance with this Second Report and Order, or whether they desire further time to reframe their proposals.


Our decision in favor of multiple entry does not mean that we have opted for a policy of "unlimited or unrestricted open entry." Our aim, as outlined above, is to afford qualified applicants a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate the public advantages in use of the satellite technology as a means of communications. But such entry cannot be "open" in the sense that it is without any restrictions or limitations. Pursuant to statute we must require showings of financial, technical and other qualification and make the requisite finding that a grant of the particular proposal will serve the public interest convenience and necessity. Although, as discussed in paragraph 15 above, it is our intention to make such determinations with due regard for the unique circumstances involved here, each applicant must make a sufficient showing of potential public benefit to justify the assignment of orbital locations and frequencies. Moreover, we believe it necessary to impose certain conditions to protect the public from possible detriment and to further the implementation of our policy objectives. In addition to the conditions discussed below, we will require a reasonable showing by any common carrier applicant now engaged in providing essential communications services that revenue requirements related to the proposed domestic satellite venture will not be a burden or detriment to customers for such essential services.

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