4, 1985, we initiated an inquiry and rulemaking about the construction and
operation of satellite systems providing international communication services.1
The purpose of this proceeding was to solicit data and analyses about issues
that have arisen in connection with the filing of a series of applications for
authority to establish international communications satellite systems separate
from INTELSAT and to obtain comments on the recent Executive branch decision
that such systems are "required in the national interest" subject to certain
Applications were filed by the Orion Satellite Corporation ("Orion"), File No.
CSS-83-002-P, on March 11, 1983; by International Satellite, Inc. ("ISI"), File
Nos. CSS-83-004-P(LA), I-P-C-83-073, on August 12, 1983; by RCA American
Communications, Inc. ("RCA"), File No. I-T-C-84-085, on February 13, 1984; by
Cygnus Satellite Corporation ("Cygnus"), File No. CSS-84-002-P(LA), on March 7,
1984; and by Pan American Satellite Corporation ("PanAmSat"), File No.
CSS-84-004-P(LA), on May 31, 1984.2 After the initiation of this
proceeding, Financial Satellite Corporation ("FINANSAT"), File No.
CSS-85-004-P(LA), filed an application on May 7, 1985.
Notice of Inquiry and Proposed Rulemaking, we asked for comments on the
potential public benefits of authorizing separate systems, and on the economic
impact separate systems would have on INTELSAT and their effect on consumers,
service providers and equipment manufacturers. In addition, we requested
comments on legal, technical and other policy issues and on those U.S.
international obligations that must be taken into account in considering the
applications before us. Finally, we requested comments on the scope and
applicability of the Executive branch service restrictions intended to avoid
significant economic harm to INTELSAT.
1 50 Fed. Reg. 1570 (1985). Comments
were originally due on February 14, 1985. By Order, 50 Fed. Reg. 4711 (1985), the Chief Common Carrier Bureau,
extended the deadline for comments to April 1, 1985 and reply comments to June
2 Systematics General Corporation
filed two applications to construct, launch, and operate satellite systems
providing international services (File Nos. CSS-84-005-P(LA), CSS-84-006-P(LA))
on June 12, 1984. On July 27, 1984, Systematics filed a motion to withdraw both
applications. Under delegated authority, the Commission dismissed the
applications without prejudice by letter dated August 6, 1984 pursuant to §
1.748(a) of the Commission's Rules and Regulations, 47 C.F.R. § 1.748(a)
(1984). In addition, Western Union Telegraph Co. requested, and was granted, a
waiver to spend additional money to modify its previously authorized WESTAR
VI-S domestic satellite (File No. 1144-DSS-P/LA-84) to allow six transponders
to provide coverage of Central and South America, Letter from Chief. Domestic
Facilities Division, Common Carrier Bureau, to Robert N. Green, Associate
Counsel, Western Union Telegraph Company (July 20, 1984). It has an application
on file, File Nos. 1144-DSS-P/LA-84: I-T-C-85-039, which is currently being
considered by the Commission.