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e-CFR data is current as of August 5, 2020

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 25Subpart B → Subject Group


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 25—SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS
Subpart B—Applications and Licenses


Processing of Applications

§25.150   Receipt of applications.

Applications received by the Commission are given a file number and a unique station identifier for administrative convenience. Neither the assignment of a file number and/or other identifier nor the listing of the application on public notice as received for filing indicates that the application has been found acceptable for filing or precludes subsequent return or dismissal of the application if it is found to be defective or not in accordance with the Commission's rules.

[78 FR 8425, Feb. 6, 2013]

§25.151   Public notice.

(a) At regular intervals, the Commission will issue public notices listing:

(1) The receipt of applications for new station authorizations, except applications for space station licenses filed pursuant to §25.110(b)(3)(i) or (ii) of this part;

(2) The receipt of applications for license or registration of receive-only earth stations;

(3) The receipt of applications for major modifications to station authorizations;

(4) The receipt of major amendments to pending applications;

(5) The receipt of applications to assign or transfer control of space station facilities, transmitting earth station facilities, or international receive-only earth station facilities;

(6) Significant Commission actions regarding applications;

(7) Information that the Commission in its discretion believes to be of public significance;

(8) Special environmental considerations as required by part 1 of this chapter;

(9) Submission of Coordination Requests and Appendix 30B filings to the ITU in response to requests filed pursuant to §25.110(b)(3)(i) and (b)(3)(ii);

(10) The receipt of space station application information filed pursuant to §25.110(b)(3)(iii); and

(11) The receipt of notifications of non-routine transmission filed pursuant to §25.140(d).

(12) The receipt of EPFD input data files from an NGSO FSS licensee or market access recipient, submitted pursuant to §25.111(b) or §25.146(c)(2).

(b) Special public notices may also be issued at other times under special circumstances involving non-routine matters where speed is of the essence and efficiency of Commission process will be served thereby.

(c) A public notice will not normally be issued for receipt of any of the following applications:

(1) For authorization of a minor technical change in the facilities of an authorized station;

(2) For temporary authorization pursuant to §25.120.

(3) For an authorization under any of the proviso clauses of section 308(a) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended [47 U.S.C. 308(a)];

(4) For consent to an involuntary assignment or transfer of control of a transmitting earth station authorization; or

(5) For consent to an assignment or transfer of control of a space station authorization or a transmitting earth station authorization, where the assignment or transfer does not involve a substantial change in ownership or control; or

(6) For change in location of an earth station operating in the 4/6 GHz and 10.95-11.7 GHz bands by no more than 1 in latitude and/or longitude and for change in location of an earth station operating in the 12/14 GHz bands by no more than 10 in latitude and/or longitude.

(d) Except as specified in paragraph (e) of this section, no application that has appeared on public notice will be granted until the expiration of a period of thirty days following the issuance of the public notice listing the application, or any major amendment thereto. Any comments or petitions must be delivered to the Commission by that date in accordance with §25.154.

(e)(1) Applicants seeking authority to operate a temporary fixed earth station pursuant to §25.277 may consider their applications “provisionally granted,” and may initiate operations upon the placement of the complete FCC Form 312 application on public notice, provided that

(i) The temporary fixed earth station will operate only in the conventional Ku-band (14.0-14.5 GHz and 11.7-12.2 GHz bands);

(ii) The temporary fixed earth station's operations will be consistent with all routine-licensing requirements for the conventional Ku-band; and

(iii) The temporary fixed earth station's operations will be limited to satellites on the Permitted Space Station List.

(2) Applications for authority granted pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section shall be placed on public notice pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of this section. If no comments or petitions are filed within 30 days of the public notice date, the authority granted will be considered a regular temporary fixed earth station authorization as of 30 days after the public notice date. If a comment or petition is filed within 30 days of the public notice date, the applicant must suspend operations immediately pending resolution of the issues raised in that comment or petition.

[56 FR 24016, May 28, 1991, as amended at 58 FR 68061, Dec. 23, 1993; 70 FR 32254, June 2, 2005; 81 FR 55333, Aug. 18, 2016; 82 FR 59985, Dec. 18, 2017]

Editorial Note: At 82 FR 59985, Dec. 18, 2017, §25.151 was amended by removing “and” from the end of paragraph (b)(10) and by removing the period at the end of paragraph (b)(11) and adding “; and” in its place; however, these amendments could not be incorporated because paragraphs (b)(10) and (b)(11) did not exist.

§25.152   [Reserved]

§25.153   Repetitious applications.

(a) Where an application has been denied or dismissed with prejudice, the Commission will not consider a like application involving service of the same kind to the same area by the same applicant, or by its successor or assignee, or on behalf of or for the benefit of any of the original parties in interest, until after the lapse of 12 months from the effective date of the Commission's action.

(b) Where an appeal has been taken from the action of the Commission denying a particular application, another application for the same class of station and for the same area, in whole or in part, filed by the same applicant or by his successor or assignee, or on behalf or for the benefit of the original parties in interest, will not be considered until the final disposition of the appeal.

[56 FR 24016, May 28, 1991, as amended at 79 FR 8320, Feb. 12, 2014]

§25.154   Opposition to applications and other pleadings.

(a) Petitions to deny, petitions for other forms of relief, and other objections or comments must:

(1) Identify the application or applications (including applicant's name, station location, Commission file numbers, and radio service involved) with which it is concerned;

(2) Be filed within thirty (30) days after the date of public notice announcing the acceptance for filing of the application or major amendment thereto (unless the Commission otherwise extends the filing deadline);

(3) Filed in accordance with the pleading limitations, periods and other applicable provisions of §§1.41 through 1.52 of this chapter, except that such petitions must be filed electronically through the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) in accordance with the applicable provisions of part 1, subpart Y of this chapter;

(4) Contain specific allegations of fact (except for those of which official notice may be taken) to support the specific relief requested, which shall be supported by affidavit of a person or persons with personal knowledge thereof, and which shall be sufficient to demonstrate that the petitioner (or respondent) is a party of interest and that a grant of, or other Commission action regarding, the application would be prima facie inconsistent with the public interest; and

(5) Contain a certificate of service showing that it has been mailed to the applicant no later than the date the pleading is filed with the Commission.

(b) The Commission will classify as informal objections:

(1) Any pleading not filed in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section;

(2) Any pleading to which the thirty (30) day public notice period of §25.151 does not apply; or

(3) Any objections to the grant of an application when the objections do not conform to either paragraph (a) of this section or to other Commission rules and requirements.

(c) Except for opposition to petitions to deny an application filed pursuant to §25.220, oppositions to petitions to deny an application or responses to comments and informal objections regarding an application may be filed within 10 days after the petition, comment, or objection is filed and must be in accordance with other applicable provisions of §§1.41 through 1.52 of this chapter, except that such oppositions must be filed electronically through the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) in accordance with the applicable provisions of part 1, subpart Y of this chapter.

(d) Reply comments by a party that filed a petition to deny may be filed in response to pleadings filed pursuant to paragraph (c) or (e) of this section within 5 days after expiration of the time for filing oppositions unless the Commission extends the filing deadline and must be in accordance with other applicable provisions of §§1.41 through 1.52 of this chapter, except that such reply comments must be filed electronically through the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) in accordance with the applicable provisions of part 1, subpart Y of this chapter.

(e) Within 30 days after a petition to deny an application filed pursuant to §25.220 is filed, the applicant may file an opposition to the petition and must file a statement with the Commission, either in conjunction with, or in lieu of, such opposition, explaining whether the applicant has resolved all outstanding issues raised by the petitioner. This statement and any conjoined opposition must be in accordance with the provisions of §§1.41 through 1.52 of this chapter applicable to oppositions to petitions to deny, except that such reply comments must be filed electronically through the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) in accordance with the applicable provisions of part 1, subpart Y of this chapter.

[56 FR 24016, May 28, 1991, as amended at 69 FR 47795, Aug. 6, 2004; 70 FR 32254, June 2, 2005; 79 FR 8320, Feb. 12, 2014]

§25.155   Mutually exclusive applications.

(a) The Commission will consider applications to be mutually exclusive if their conflicts are such that the grant of one application would effectively preclude by reason of harmful interference, or other practical reason, the grant of one or more other applications.

(b) A license application for NGSO-like satellite operation, as defined in §25.157(a), will be entitled to comparative consideration with one or more mutually exclusive applications only if the application is received by the Commission in a condition acceptable for filing by the “cut-off” date specified in a public notice.

(c) A license application for GSO-like satellite operation, as defined in §25.158(a)(1), will be entitled to comparative consideration with another application only if:

(1) The application is mutually exclusive with another application for GSO-like operation; and

(2) The application is received by the Commission in a condition acceptable for filing at the same millisecond as the other application.

[68 FR 51505, Aug. 27, 2003, as amended at 81 FR 55333, Aug. 18, 2016]

§25.156   Consideration of applications.

Link to an amendment published at 85 FR 43735, July 20, 2020.

(a) Applications for a radio station authorization, or for modification or renewal of an authorization, will be granted if, upon examination of the application, any pleadings or objections filed, and upon consideration of such other matters as it may officially notice, the Commission finds that the applicant is legally, technically, and otherwise qualified, that the proposed facilities and operations comply with all applicable rules, regulations, and policies, and that grant of the application will serve the public interest, convenience and necessity.

(b) [Reserved]

(c) Reconsideration or review of any final action taken by the Commission will be in accordance with subpart A of part 1 of this chapter.

(d)(1) Applications for NGSO-like satellite operation will be considered pursuant to the procedures set forth in §25.157, except as provided in §25.157(b).

(2) Applications for GSO-like satellite operation will be considered pursuant to the procedures set forth in §25.158, except as provided in §25.158(a)(2).

(3) Applications for both NGSO-like satellite operation and GSO-like satellite operation in two or more service bands will be treated as separate applications for each service band, and each service band request will be considered pursuant to §25.157 or §25.158, as appropriate.

(4) Applications for feeder-link authority or inter-satellite link authority will be treated like an application separate from its associated service band. Each feeder-link request or inter-satellite link request will be considered pursuant to the procedure for applications for GSO-like operation or NGSO-like operation, as applicable.

(5) [Reserved]

(6) An application for DBS or DARS services will be entitled to comparative consideration with one or more conflicting applications only if:

(i) The application is mutually exclusive with another application; and

(ii) The application is received by the Commission in a condition acceptable for filing by the “cut-off” date specified in a public notice.

[56 FR 24016, May 28, 1991, as amended at 68 FR 51505, Aug. 27, 2003; 81 FR 55333, Aug. 18, 2016; 82 FR 59985, Dec. 18, 2017]

§25.157   Consideration of applications for NGSO-like satellite operation.

Link to an amendment published at 85 FR 43735, July 20, 2020.

(a) This section specifies the procedures for considering license applications for “NGSO-like” satellite operation, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section. For purposes of this section, the term “NGSO-like satellite operation” means:

(1) Operation of any NGSO satellite system, and

(2) Operation of a GSO MSS satellite to communicate with earth stations with non-directional antennas.

(b)(1) The procedures in this section do not apply to an application for authority to operate a replacement space station(s) that meets the relevant criteria in §25.165(e)(1) and (2) and that will be launched before the space station(s) to be replaced is retired from service or within a reasonable time after loss of a space station during launch or due to premature failure in orbit.

(2) Paragraphs (e), (f), and (g) of this section do not apply to an NGSO FSS application granted with a condition to share spectrum pursuant to §25.261.

(c) Each application for NGSO-like satellite operation that is acceptable for filing under §25.112, except replacement applications described in paragraph (b) of this section, will be reviewed to determine whether it is a “competing application,” i.e., filed in response to a public notice initiating a processing round, or a “lead application,” i.e., all other applications for NGSO-like satellite operation.

(1) Competing applications that are acceptable for filing will be placed on public notice to provide interested parties an opportunity to file pleadings in response to the application pursuant to §25.154.

(2) Lead applications that are acceptable for filing will be placed on public notice. This public notice will initiate a processing round, establish a cut-off date for competing NGSO-like satellite system applications, and provide interested parties an opportunity to file pleadings in response to the application pursuant to §25.154.

(d) After review of each of the applications in the processing round, and all the pleadings filed in response to each application, the Commission will grant all the applications that meet the standards of §25.156(a), and deny the other applications.

(e)(1) In the event that there is insufficient spectrum in the frequency band available to accommodate all the qualified applicants in a processing round, the available spectrum will be divided equally among the licensees whose applications are granted pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, except as set forth in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

(2) In cases where one or more applicants apply for less spectrum than they would be warranted under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, those applicants will be assigned the bandwidth amount they requested in their applications. In those cases, the remaining qualified applicants will be assigned the lesser of the amount of spectrum they requested in their applications, or the amount of spectrum that they would be assigned if the available spectrum were divided equally among the remaining qualified applicants.

(f)(1) Each licensee will be allowed to select the particular band segment it wishes to use no earlier than 60 days before they plan to launch the first satellite in its system, and no later than 30 days before that date, by submitting a letter to the Secretary of the Commission. The licensee shall serve copies of this letter to the other participants in the processing round pursuant to §1.47 of this chapter.

(2) The licensee shall request contiguous bandwidth in both the uplink and downlink band. Each licensee's bandwidth selection in both the uplink and downlink band shall not preclude other licensees from selecting contiguous bandwidth.

(3) If two or more licensees in a processing round request the same band segment, all licensees other than the first one to request that particular band segment will be required to make another selection.

(g)(1) In the event that a license granted in a processing round pursuant to this section is cancelled for any reason, the Commission will redistribute the bandwidth allocated to that applicant equally among the remaining applicants whose licenses were granted concurrently with the cancelled license, unless the Commission determines that such a redistribution would not result in a sufficient number of licensees remaining to make reasonably efficient use of the frequency band.

(2) In the event that the redistribution of bandwidth set forth in paragraph (g)(1) of this section would not result in a sufficient number of licensees remaining to make reasonably efficient use of the frequency band, the Commission will issue a public notice initiating a processing round, as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, to invite parties to apply for an NGSO-like satellite system license to operate in a portion of the bandwidth made available as a result of the cancellation of the initial applicant's license. Parties already holding licenses for NGSO-like satellite operation in that frequency band will not be permitted to participate in that processing round.

(h) Services offered pursuant to an NGSO-like license in a frequency band granted before the Commission has adopted frequency-band-specific service rules for that band will be subject to the default service rules in §25.217.

[68 FR 51505, Aug. 27, 2003, as amended at 81 FR 55334, Aug. 18, 2016; 81 FR 75344, Oct. 31, 2016; 82 FR 59985, Dec. 18, 2017]

§25.158   Consideration of applications for GSO-like satellite operation.

(a)(1) This section specifies the procedures for considering license applications for “GSO-like” satellite operation, except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. For purposes of this section, the term “GSO-like satellite operation” means operation of a GSO satellite to communicate with earth stations with directional antennas, including operation of GSO satellites to provide MSS feeder links.

(2) The procedures prescribed in this section do not apply to an application for authority to launch and operate a replacement space station that meets the relevant criteria in §25.165(e)(1) and (e)(2) and that will be launched before the space station to be replaced is retired from service or within a reasonable time after loss of a space station during launch or due to premature failure in orbit.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, license applications for GSO-like satellite operation, including first-step filings pursuant to §25.110(b)(3)(i) or (ii), will be placed in a queue and considered in the order that they are filed, pursuant to the following procedure:

(1) The application will be reviewed to determine whether it is acceptable for filing within the meaning of §25.112. If not, the application will be returned to the applicant.

(2) If the application is acceptable for filing under §25.112, the application will be placed on public notice pursuant to §25.151.

(i) For applications filed pursuant to §25.110(b)(3)(i) or (b)(3)(ii), the public notice will announce that the Coordination Request or Appendix 30B filing has been submitted to the ITU. When further information is filed pursuant to §25.110(b)(3)(iii), it will be reviewed to determine whether it is substantially complete within the meaning of §25.112. If so, a second public notice will be issued pursuant to §25.151 to give interested parties an opportunity to file pleadings pursuant to §25.154.

(ii) For any other license application for GSO-like satellite operation, the public notice will announce that the application has been found acceptable for filing and will give interested parties an opportunity to file pleadings pursuant to §25.154.

(3) The application will be granted only if it meets each of the following criteria:

(i) After review of the application and any pleadings filed in response to that application, the Commission finds that the application meets the standards of §25.156(a); and

(ii) The proposed satellite will not cause harmful interference to any previously licensed operations.

(c) A license applicant for GSO-like satellite operation must not transfer, assign, or otherwise permit any other entity to assume its place in any queue.

(d) In the event that two or more applications for GSO-like satellite operation are mutually exclusive within the meaning of §25.155(c), the Commission will consider those applications pursuant to the following procedure:

(1) Each application will be reviewed to determine whether it is acceptable for filing within the meaning of §25.112. Any application not found acceptable for filing will be returned to the applicant.

(2) All applications that are acceptable for filing will be placed on public notice pursuant to §25.151, and interested parties will be given an opportunity to file pleadings pursuant to §25.154.

(3) Each application will be granted if it meets the criteria of paragraph (b)(3) of this section, and otherwise will be denied.

(4) In the event that two or more applications are granted pursuant to paragraph (d)(3) of this section, the available bandwidth at the orbital location or locations in question will be divided equally among those licensees.

(5) Licensees whose licenses are granted pursuant to paragraph (d)(4) of this section will be allowed to select the particular band segment it wishes to use no earlier than 60 days before they plan to launch the first satellite in its system, and no later than 30 days before that date, by submitting a letter to the Secretary of the Commission. The licensee shall serve copies of this letter to the other participants in the processing round pursuant to §1.47 of this chapter.

(6) Licensees whose licenses are granted pursuant to paragraph (d)(4) of this section shall request contiguous bandwidth in both the uplink and downlink band. Each licensee's bandwidth selection shall not preclude other licensees from selecting contiguous bandwidth.

(7) If two or more licensees whose licenses are granted pursuant to paragraph (d)(4) of this section request the same band segment, all licensees other than the first one to request that particular band segment will be required to make another selection.

(e) Services offered pursuant to a GSO-like license in a frequency band granted before the Commission has adopted frequency-band-specific service rules for that band will be subject to the default service rules in §25.217.

[68 FR 51506, Aug. 27, 2003, as amended at 81 FR 55334, Aug. 18, 2016]

§25.159   Limits on pending applications and unbuilt satellite systems.

Link to an amendment published at 85 FR 43735, July 20, 2020.

(a) [Reserved]

(b) Applicants with an application for one NGSO-like satellite system license on file with the Commission in a particular frequency band, or one licensed-but-unbuilt NGSO-like satellite system in a particular frequency band, will not be permitted to apply for another NGSO-like satellite system license in that frequency band.

(c) If an applicant has an attributable interest in one or more other entities seeking one or more space station licenses, the pending applications and licensed-but-unbuilt satellite systems filed by those other entities will be counted as filed by the applicant for purposes of the limits on the number of pending space station applications and licensed-but-unbuilt satellite systems in this paragraph. For purposes of this paragraph, an applicant has an “attributable interest” in another entity if:

(1) It holds equity (including all stockholdings, whether voting or nonvoting, common or preferred) and debt interest or interests, in the aggregate, exceed thirty-three (33) percent of the total asset value (defined as the aggregate of all equity plus all debt) of that entity, or

(2) It holds a controlling interest in that entity, or is the subsidiary of a party holding a controlling interest in that entity, within the meaning of 47 CFR 1.2110(b)(2).

(3) For purposes of paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section, ownership interests shall be calculated on a fully diluted basis, i.e., all agreements, such as warrants, stock options, and convertible debentures, will generally be treated as if the rights thereunder already have been fully exercised.

(d) In the event that a licensee misses three or more milestones within any three-year period, the Commission will presume that the licensee obtained one or more of those licenses for speculative purposes. Unless the licensee rebuts this presumption, it will not be permitted to apply for a GSO-like satellite or an NGSO-like satellite system in any frequency band if it has two or more satellite applications pending, or two licensed-but-unbuilt satellite systems of any kind. This limit will remain in effect until the licensee provides adequate information to demonstrate that it is very likely to construct its licensed facilities if it were allowed to file more applications.

(e) For purposes of this section, “frequency band” means one of the paired frequency bands available for satellite service listed in §25.202.

[68 FR 51506, Aug. 27, 2003, as amended at 81 FR 55334, Aug. 18, 2016]

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