The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has officially launched its new Space Bureau and Office of International Affairs following the publication of the departments in the Federal Register. The move sees the International Bureau replaced by two new offices, which will focus on international telecommunications policies and the expanding field of space communications. It comes a few months after FCC drew up proposals to set up a Space Bureau to meet the dynamics of the growing satellite industry.
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FCC Leadership Appoints Heads of New Bureaus
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel praised the agency's staff at a launch event, and announced leadership appointments for the new bureaus. Julie Kearney will head up the Space Bureau, Ethan Lucarelli will lead the Office of International Affairs, Ronald Repasi will head the Office of Engineering and Technology, and Joel Taubenblatt will be Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.
According to Rosenworcel, the FCC's professionals will interface with international counterparts, modernize satellite and orbital debris rules, review license requests for undersea cables, and much more.
The move to establish these two departments is aimed at keeping pace with the rapid changes taking place in the telecommunications sector, as more services are moving online, and as communication between countries becomes increasingly important.
New Departments Aim to Keep Pace with Changes in Telecommunications Sector
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel highlighted the crucial role that satellite connectivity plays in supporting economic success and improving quality of life, saying that the FCC has made these changes to meet the needs of space innovation. The International Bureau will become two separate, cooperative units within the agency.
The Space Bureau
The Space Bureau will lead policy and licensing matters related to satellite and space-based communications and activities, authorizing satellite and earth station systems and serving as the FCC's focal point for coordination with other US government agencies on matters of space policy and governance.
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The Office of International Affairs
The Office of International Affairs will be responsible for the Commission's engagement with foreign and international regulatory authorities, implementing policies to facilitate competition and foreign investment in US international telecommunications markets while addressing national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, and trade policy concerns.
It will oversee the FCC's global participation in international and multilateral conferences, regional organizations, cross-border negotiations, and international standard-setting efforts.
With the new bureaus in place, the FCC will be better equipped to respond to the challenges facing the telecommunications sector, as well as to keep up with new technological advancements in the field.