FCC to launch Space Bureau
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel today announced that the agency will officially establish its new Space Bureau and Office of International Affairs on April 11 with a kickoff event at FCC headquarters. This public event will discuss the goals of the reorganization and celebrate the staff who will carry these important missions forward and those who worked on the transition.
“Our country’s economic success today and in the future relies on space-based connections,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “Whether it’s bringing broadband to hard-to-connect rural communities, closing mobile dead zones, or linking freedom-seeking people across the globe, satellite connectivity is fundamental to improving our quality of life and maintaining our economic success. That is why the FCC has made important structural changes to meet the needs of space innovation.”
Once the reorganization is complete, the agency’s International Bureau will become two separate, cooperative units within the agency:
- The Space Bureau (SB) will promote a competitive and innovative global communications marketplace by leading policy and licensing matters related to satellite and space-based communications and activities. Among its responsibilities, the Bureau will lead complex policy analysis and rulemakings; authorize satellite and earth station systems used for space-based services; streamline regulatory processes to provide maximum flexibility for operators to meet customer needs; and foster the efficient use of scarce spectrum and orbital resources. The Bureau will also serve as the FCC’s focal point for coordination with other U.S. government agencies on matters of space policy and governance, and collaborate with the Office of International Affairs for consultations with other countries, international and multilateral organizations, and foreign government officials that involve satellite and space policy matters.
- The Office of International Affairs (OIA) will be responsible for the Commission’s engagement of foreign and international regulatory authorities, including multilateral and regional organizations. OIA will also facilitate through rulemaking and licensing the Commission’s development of policies regarding international telecommunications facilities and services as well as submarine cables, and advise the Commission on foreign ownership issues. In undertaking these functions, OIA will implement Commission policies to facilitate competition and foreign investment in U.S. international telecommunications markets while ensuring, in consultation with relevant federal partners, that national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, and trade policy concerns are addressed. OIA also will be responsible for intergovernmental leadership, negotiation, and international and inter-agency representational functions. OIA will oversee and coordinate the FCC’s global participation in international and multilateral conferences, regional organizations, cross-border negotiations and international standard setting efforts. OIA will also oversee bilateral meetings with other countries and foreign government officials.