NTIA, on behalf of the Executive Branch, hereby comments in response to the Commission’s recent Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”) in the above-referenced proceeding. The Commission’s proceeding addresses three seemingly separate but interrelated issues involving federal earth stations, launch spectrum, and operation of a new federal environmental sensing satellite. These issues are connected by the principle that the responsibilities of the Commission and NTIA to manage our respective spheres of spectrum use – non-federal use by the Commission and federal use by NTIA – require continued adjustment to reflect the realities of their interdependence. Here, it means (i) federal use of non-federal commercial satellite services should be recognized to have the same rights to protection as other users of those services; (ii) expectations to accommodate new non-federal use of federal launch spectrum must be tempered by recognition of the critical and growing uses of that spectrum by federal agencies in bands that are already congested, such that non-federal users should be encouraged to develop alternatives, particularly for in-orbit and payload communications; and (iii) recognition of the long-standing plans for the launch of Argos-4 as a federal satellite. Also attached hereto are related comments by key agencies affected by this proceeding: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”), the Department of Defense, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”).
ET Docket No. 13-115, RM-11341
September 01, 2021