TAMPA, Fla. — A Home Power and Commerce subcommittee unanimously authorized 5 space-related payments March 8, together with laws looking for to modernize rules for satellites in non-geostationary orbit (NGSO).
They have been amongst 13 payments authorized within the communications and know-how subcommittee’s markup session, some with amendments. The payments should now be authorized by the complete committee earlier than they will go to the Home flooring for a vote.
Headlining the markup session have been a pair of payments co-sponsored by the highest Republican and Democrat on the complete Home Power and Commerce committee — the Satellite tv for pc and Telecommunications Streamlining Act and Safe House Act – which might reform rules on the Federal Communications Fee.
They arrive because the FCC establishes a devoted house bureau to deal with its growing work within the trade.
Satellite tv for pc and Telecommunications Streamlining Act (HR 1338)
Led by Home Power and Commerce Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-Wash.), and co-sponsored by Rating Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), this invoice would give the FCC outlined deadlines for processing satellite tv for pc license purposes.
These deadlines embrace a one-year restrict for the regulator to determine whether or not to approve purposes for brand spanking new satellites no matter orbit — though this may very well be prolonged below extraordinary circumstances or for nationwide safety evaluations.
The invoice touches upon a broad vary of different trade points, together with house sustainability and satellite tv for pc spectrum sharing.
“That is the primary laws in many years to replace our legal guidelines governing how satellites are licensed by the FCC,” Rodgers stated.
It will require the FCC to “modernize its guidelines to encourage operators to base their operations in america,” she stated, “and incentivize operators to be accountable stewards of house and spectrum in a worldwide market.”
These modifications “will assist U.S. firms compete globally and assist us keep forward of our adversaries just like the Chinese language Communist Get together who search to overhaul our lead,” Rodgers stated.
The Safe House Act (HR 675)
This invoice, led by Pallone and co-sponsored by Rodgers, would prohibit the FCC from granting satellite tv for pc licenses to international entities the U.S. deems a risk to nationwide safety or home provide chains.
It builds on the Safe Tools Act that grew to become legislation in 2021 to ban the FCC from authorizing communications tools from entities corresponding to Chinese language distributors Huwaei and ZTE.
“China has demonstrated it can cease at nothing to surveil Individuals with instruments like excessive altitude balloons and TikTok,” Rodgers stated.
“We should not allow them to do the identical with satellite tv for pc communications networks.”
Rodgers launched an modification to make sure the restrictions apply to geostationary satellite tv for pc techniques along with these in NGSO, which Pallone authorized.
Launch Communications Act (HR 682)
This invoice would streamline the method for accessing sure spectrum for performing industrial spacecraft launches and reentries.
There have been 57 launches out of Florida final yr and 87 are anticipated in 2023, in keeping with Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.), who co-sponsored the invoice.
If entry to spectrum will not be streamlined, “we might see launchers begin to stack up and restrict the expansion that we might have in a tremendous discipline,” he stated.
The invoice was authorized after an modification launched by co-sponsor Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Fla.) to make sure it applies to each federal and personal launch websites.
Precision Agriculture Satellite tv for pc Connectivity Act (HR 1339)
The FCC could be compelled to evaluation rule modifications that would assist promote space-based communications for the agriculture market below this invoice.
Satellite tv for pc know-how “performs a key position in connecting tools or sensors within the discipline,” stated co-sponsor Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), and “Earth statement know-how may also assist farmers picture their land” and make choices that “decrease the price of inputs like fertilizer and water.”
Latta, who additionally chaired the subcommittee, stated the invoice “is an efficient step ahead” to assist farmers improve productiveness and produce greater yields whereas minimizing working prices.
Superior, Native Emergency Response Telecommunications Parity Act (HR 1353)
This invoice would facilitate using satellites as suppliers of connectivity for emergency companies in areas hit by pure disasters or in any other case missing wi-fi communications.
Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas) stated the laws would assist extra suppliers of emergency connectivity companies associate with terrestrial communications suppliers to enhance entry to emergency networks.
“It’s crucial that we in Congress and the FCC sustain with the tempo of those evolving applied sciences and guarantee our constituents have uninhibited entry to crucial companies like 911 and emergency alerts,” she stated.