Space Law TOP
Contents Intoroduction Preliminaries Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Appendix Index

III. Determinations on the Issues

C. Earth station ownership, access, and interconnection


Our broad policy objective is to aim toward a flexible ground environment which would permit a variety of earth station ownership patterns and afford diversified access to space segments except where this is impractical. Thus, in general, we are in favor of according special purpose users (such as commercial and non-commercial local broadcasters, other educational users, cable systems, or local carriers) the option of owning receive-only earth stations. Moreover, we do not foreclose the possibility that transmit-receive earth stations could be owned by users or independent carriers in appropriate circumstances. However, we think it premature to attempt to specify definitive standards here as to the particular circumstances and terms and conditions under which such user or independent carrier ownership of earth stations might be authorized, except to the extent indicated in Section B above. We cannot now foresee all possible situations that might arise or all relevant public interest factors. We will be in a better position to make such determinations after we know what domestic satellite systems will actually be established and in the context of considering concrete applications for particular earth stations. Thus, while we agree with the over-all thrust of the staff discussion on earth station ownership (staff recommendation, paragraphs 120–132), we do not bind ourselves to the specific conditions proposed by the staff (particularly paragraphs 125 and 131).8


To the extent consistent with our policy determinations and conclusions herein, we are also in accord with the goals set forth in the staff discussion of access to earth stations and interconnection (staff recommendation, paragraphs 133–142). Here again, however, we think it advisable to retain greater flexibility. While we will require existing terrestrial carriers seeking domestic satellite authorizations to submit for Commission approval, prior to action on their applications, a description of the kinds of interconnection arrangements they will make available to other satellite systems and/or earth station licensees, we do not expect such descriptions to anticipate all conceivable situations. Moreover, we will not restrict AT&T to proposing the specific bases for interconnection charges set forth in paragraph 141 of the staff recommendation. If the standard there suggested poses difficulties. AT&T may propose some other standard with similar specificity, which would accomplish our objective of assuring that all carriers providing retail interstate satellite services (whether or not affiliated with Bell System companies) have access at non-discriminatory terms and conditions to local loop and interchange facilities as necessary for the purpose of originating and terminating such interstate services to their customers. The governing standards will be established, so far as practicable, prior to the authorization of domestic satellite facilities rather than left primarily to subsequent negotiations between the entities involved.

8 As in the case of space segments, we decline to structure any arrangements for sharing ownership of earth stations, but will encourage and consider voluntary proposals of the applicants' own devising.

BACK Japanese