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FCC Votes to Establish Space Bureau 

By Rachel Jewett | January 11, 2023

      Photo: NASA

      The FCC is moving forward with plans to establish a space bureau after voting on Tuesday to adopt Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel’s plan. The reorganization would eliminate the current International Bureau, which currently handles international telecommunications and satellite programs and policies, including licensing. It would create a new Space Bureau and a standalone Office of International Affairs. 

      The FCC still needs Congressional approval and other approvals and will make a formal notice in the Federal Register. 

      Rosenworcel said this reorganization will modernize the FCC’s licensing framework to keep up with the rapidly developing commercial satellite industry. When she announced the proposal in November, she said it will elevate the significance of satellite programs and policy, including the role of satellite in domestic communications and U.S. broadband goals. 

      “A new Space Bureau at the FCC will ensure that the agency’s resources are appropriately aligned to fulfill its statutory obligations, improve its coordination across the federal government, and support the 21st century satellite industry. I also thank my fellow commissioners for their support,” Rosenworcel said. 

      The FCC is taking a number of steps to change the way it works with the satellite industry. Last month, the commission opened comments on changes to its policies and rules for satellite applications.