Satellite Communication Regulatory Essentials

Course Length:



This two-day course, a complement to “Satellite Communication Systems Engineering,” is designed to give engineers and managers who need to prepare or amend applications and licenses for communication satellite systems an understanding of domestic (FCC and NTIA) and international (ITU) radio regulations, rules, requirements and recommendations to bring such systems into operation.

All necessary information and the forms for submission to the appropriate bodies to bring stations or complete systems into operation will be described and discussed and will be provided to participants in the form of handouts or by specific references to publications or internet websites, to enable participants to comply with current requirements.

What you will learn:

  • How to understand the portions of the ITU Radio Regulations, and the FCC Rules and requirements pertaining to satellite systems.
  • How you can participate in the process of changing the FCC’s Rules, and the ITU’s Recommendations affecting satellite systems, and the frequency bands in which they can operate.”
  • How to prepare and file applications for satellite systems with the FCC.
  • How to prepare and submit information to the ITU to gain international recognition and protection for satellite systems.
  • What changes in the domestic and international rules, regulations, regulations, policies and procedures are likely in the coming years.From this course you will supplement the knowledge and abilities you have gained as a satellite communications systems engineer so that you will be able to bring such systems into operation in conformity with the domestic and international regulations.

Course Outline:

  1. Source of International Rules. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU). History and Purpose. ITU Convention. Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R). World & Regional Radiocommunication Conferences. Radio Regulations. Radiocommunication Assemblies and Study Groups. Conference Preparatory Meetings (CPM’s). Radio Regulations Board. Radiocommunication Bureau..
  2. Regional and Intergovernmental Organizations. CITEL, CEPT, ATU, APT, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Eutelsat, Arabsat.
  3. US Participation in Adopting and Amending the International Radio Regulations. Department of State authorizes individuals access to the ITU’s “Telecommunication Information Exchange Services” (TIES) on the Internet. Responsible for US participation in ITU conferences.
  4. Domestic Regulatory Bodies: the Federal Communications Commission. Communications Act of 1934. Administrative Procedures Act. Development of FCC Rules (NOI’s, NPRM’s.). Bureau roles.
  5. Domestic Regulatory Bodies: National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Interagency Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC).
  6. Rules & Regulations Governing Satellite Telecommunications.International Radio Regulations. Definitions of Radiocommunication Services,(FSS, BSS, MSS, etc.) and Stations (Earth, Ground, Mobile, etc.), and Systems (GSO, NGO, HEO, LEO, MEO, HDFSS, HDFS, etc.) Definition of Regions. Table of Frequency Allocations and its Footnotes. “First Come, First Served” vs. Allotment Plans. Advance Publication (AP4’s submitted by “Administrations,” with input from the applicant, and published by the ITU). Frequency Coordination (AP3 submitted by “Administrations” and published by the ITU in WIC, Part I, examined by BR and unfavorable findings published in WIC. Part III). Registration (favorable findings published in BR’s Master Register).
  7. ITU Publications. Weekly Circular (WIC) on paper and diskette. International Frequency List (IFL) Terrestrial on CD-ROM. Space Network List (SNL): summary information on paper and diskette. SRS on CD-ROM (notified space service assignments to satellites and earth stations, and stations in RR1060 and RR1107 coordination). Recommendations of the ITU-R.
  8. Rules, Regulations & Procedures of the FCC (for non-US Government space systems). Applications for FSS Satellite Systems (satellites and Earth Stations, VSATs). Form 312, Radiation Hazard Studies, Use of Foreign Satellites, AP4 and AP3 preparation, coordination). Applications for BSS (sound), BSS (Television), MSS, and other space telecommunication services.
  9. Rules, Regulations & Procedures of NTIA (for US Government space systems)
  10. The future regulatory environment.


REGISTRATION:  There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course.   We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING:  If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time.   To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at


  • Richard G. Gould is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, and a Fellow of the Washington Academy of Sciences, has been a member of the US delegations to many ITU World and Regional Radio Conferences, most recently to WRC-03, and for many years has been an active participant in the Study Groups of the ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector. He practices before the FCC, having drafted major portions of successful applications to the Commission for broadcasting-satellite systems (both television and sound), fixed-satellite and mobile-satellite systems. In addition he has filed for earth station licenses, and type-approval of earth station antennas. He is the author of several IEEE Press books, and of many Special Issues of IEEE Transactions on Spectrum Management.

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