FCC and ITU Licensing

Mudd Law provides comprehensive legal services to guide companies through the complex regulatory landscape of satellite operations, including the filing and processing of their license applications with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). As a space station ascends during orbit-raising and reaches its operational orbit altitude, the operational activities and orbit will be subject to FCC oversight. However, the FCC's regulatory authority and jurisdiction over the space station, its operator, and owner begin long before launch.

To obtain authorization to operate a satellite in the United States, a party must obtain a license from the FCC, and compliance with applicable regulations should begin during the planning and design phase. Mudd Law advises “compliance by design” to ensure that manufacturers and operators of satellites are following FCC and ITU regulations. Our team offers legal counsel at any stage of earth and space station operations, including FCC and ITU filings, reporting obligations, and streamlined processes.

We stay current with regulatory changes and monitor Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) to provide clients with strategic legal advice on potential new regulations and their impact. Our firm has worked on efforts to streamline the process for small satellite operators and improve mitigation of orbital or space debris. With ongoing developments, the need for sound and strategic legal advice becomes all the more important.