[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 91 (Monday, May 12, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 26863-26868]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-10876]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 2 and 25

[IB Docket No. 12-376; FCC 14-45]


Commission's Rules Governing the Use of Earth Stations Aboard 
Aircraft Communicating With Fixed-Satellite Service Geostationary-Orbit 
Space Stations Operating in the Ku-Bands

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission 
(Commission) promotes regulatory parity for Earth Stations Aboard 
Aircraft (ESAA) by adopting a primary allocation for ESAA in the 14.0-
14.5 GHz band. The Commission also provides regulatory certainty by 
clarifying some of the ESAA rules.

DATES: Effective June 11, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Balatan or Howard Griboff, 
Policy Division, International Bureau, (202) 418-1460.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Second 
Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Second R&O and Recon 
Order), FCC 14-45, adopted on April 17, 2014, and released on April 18, 
2014. The full text of this document is available for inspection and 
copying during normal business hours in the Commission Reference 
Center, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The document is also 
available for download over the Internet at http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0418/FCC-14-45A1.pdf. The 
complete text may also be purchased from the Commission's

[[Page 26864]]

copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, in person at 445 12th Street 
SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, via telephone at (202) 488-
5300, via facsimile at (202) 488-5563, or via email at 
Commission@bcpiweb.com.

Summary

    1. On June 30, 2009, the Commission adopted the ESAA Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking and Report and Order in IB Docket No. 07-101 (ESAA 
NPRM & Order), 78 FR 14920-01, March 8, 2013, (Final Rule), as amended 
at 78 FR 67309-01, November 12, 2013, and 78 FR 14952-01 (Notice), 
March 8, 2013, as amended at 78 FR 19172-01, March 29, 2013, 
establishing licensing and service rules for ESAA operating in the 
14.0-14.5 GHz/11.7-12.2 GHz (Ku-band) frequencies. In the Second R&O 
and Recon Order, the Commission elevates ESAA from secondary status to 
primary status in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band and, as a result, modifies 
Non-governmental footnote NG55 in the U.S. Table of Frequency 
Allocations. The Second R&O and Recon Order also addresses several 
issues raised by a Petition for Reconsideration and Clarification filed 
by The Boeing Company (Boeing) with respect to discrete portions of the 
ESAA rules adopted in the ESAA NPRM & Order. First, the Second R&O and 
Recon Order clarifies the language in Sec. Sec.  25.103 and 
25.227(a)(14) to make clear that the Commission licenses ESAA terminals 
on all U.S.-registered civil aircraft regardless of whether that 
aircraft is operating within or outside of U.S. territory. The Second 
R&O and Recon Order also clarifies Sec.  25.227(b)(3)(i) to more 
closely reflect the language in the ESAA NPRM & Order and in Sec.  
25.222(b)(3)(ii) of the rules for Earth Stations on Vessels. Further, 
the Second R&O and Recon Order clarifies the meaning of sigma in Sec.  
25.227(b)(1)(iii)(A), which sets forth the licensing requirement for 
demonstrating compliance with antenna pointing error limitations.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    2. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), 
requires that a regulatory flexibility analysis be prepared for notice-
and-comment rule making proceedings, unless the agency certifies that 
``the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities.'' The RFA generally defines 
the term ``small entity'' as having the same meaning as the terms 
``small business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small governmental 
jurisdiction.'' In addition, the term ``small business'' has the same 
meaning as the term ``small business concern'' under the Small Business 
Act. A ``small business concern'' is one which: (1) Is independently 
owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and 
(3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the U.S. Small 
Business Administration (SBA).
    3. In light of the rules adopted in the Second R&O and Recon Order, 
we find that there are only two categories of licensees that would be 
affected by the new rules. These categories of licensees are Satellite 
Telecommunications and Fixed-Satellite Transmit/Receive Earth Stations. 
The SBA has determined that the small business size standard for 
Satellite Telecommunications is a business that has $30 million or less 
in average annual receipts. Commission records reveal that there are 20 
space station licensees and operators in the Ku-band. We do not request 
or collect annual revenue information concerning such licensees and 
operators, and thus are unable to estimate the number of geostationary 
space station licensees and operators that would constitute a small 
business under the SBA definition cited above, or apply any rules 
providing special consideration for geostationary space station 
licensees and operators that are small businesses. Currently there are 
approximately 2,879 operational fixed-satellite transmit/receive earth 
stations authorized for use in the Ku-band. The Commission does not 
request or collect annual revenue information, and thus is unable to 
estimate the number of earth stations that would constitute a small 
business under the SBA definition. Of the two classifications of 
licensees, we estimate that approximately six (6) entities will provide 
ESAA service. For the reasons described below, we certify that the 
clarification to the rules adopted in the Second R&O and Recon Order 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.
    4. In the ESAA NPRM & Order, the Commission tentatively concluded 
that ESAA should be authorized on a primary basis in the 14.0-14.5 GHz 
uplink band, noting that several parties had argued that regulatory 
parity calls for ESAA to be primary, just like ESV and VMES are primary 
in that band. The Commission proposed to revise footnote NG55 which 
would grant primary status to ESAA in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band, and, as 
an administrative matter, combine ESV, VMES and ESAA into the same 
footnote as applications of the FSS with primary status in the 11.7-
12.2 GHz and 14.0-14.5 GHz bands.
    5. In the Second R&O and Recon Order, the Commission adopted its 
tentative conclusion to grant primary status to ESAA operators in the 
14.0-14.5 GHz band. The Commission also made a minor administrative 
change to Sec.  25.227(b)(2)(i) of the Commission's rules by replacing 
the word ``receive'' with the word ``create'' in that rule, 
acknowledging that the term ``receive'' was incorrectly put into the 
rule originally. The Commission does not expect a substantial number of 
small entities to incur significant costs associated with the changes 
adopted in this Second R&O and Recon Order. The change from secondary 
status to primary status in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band will benefit both 
large and small entities by allowing greater regulatory certainty in 
providing ESAA service. In addition, the administrative change to Sec.  
25.227(b)(2)(i) is a ``clean-up'' change involving no substantive 
decision of significance to small business or the industry in general. 
Overall, we believe these changes do not impose a significant economic 
impact on small entities. Therefore, we certify that the requirements 
adopted in the Second R&O and Recon Order will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    6. The ESAA NPRM & Order established service and licensing rules 
for ESAA operations based on the rules adopted for VSAT networks as 
well as ESV and VMES networks, noting that authorizing ESAA operations 
in the FSS Ku-band presented many technical issues that are similar to 
authorizing the ESV and VMES operations in that band. ESAA terminals 
communicate with FSS GSO space stations operating in the extended Ku-
band (10.95-11.2 GHz and 11.45-11.7 GHz bands) and conventional Ku-band 
(11.7-12.2 GHz and 14.0-14.5 GHz bands). As part of the ESAA service 
rules, the Commission adopted technical measures to protect other radio 
services in the Ku-band, including the FSS and FS (in the extended Ku-
band), from harmful interference. The Commission also adopted a 
regulatory framework for ESAA systems on U.S.-registered aircraft 
operating in or near foreign nations and over international waters and 
non-U.S.-registered aircraft operating in U.S. airspace.
    7. The Commission does not expect small entities to incur 
significant costs associated with the changes adopted in the Second R&O 
and Recon Order. The changes will benefit both large and small entities 
by allowing greater regulatory certainty in providing ESAA service. We 
believe these changes are nominal and do not impose a significant 
economic impact on small entities. Therefore, we certify that the 
requirements adopted in the Second

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R&O and Recon Order will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    8. The Second R&O and Recon Order does not contain new or modified 
information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does 
not contain any new or modified information collection burden for small 
business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small 
Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 
U.S.C. 3506(c)(4). The Commission will send a copy of this Second R&O 
and Recon Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office 
pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

Ordering Clauses

    9. It is ordered that, pursuant to sections 4(i), 7, 302, 303(c), 
303(e), 303(f) and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as 
amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 157, 302a, 303(c), 303(e), 303(f) and 
303(r), the Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration is 
adopted. Part 25 of the Commission's rules is amended June 11, 2014.
    10. It is further ordered that the Petition for Reconsideration 
filed by The Boeing Company is granted in part to the extent described 
above and is denied in all other respects.
    11. It is further ordered that the Final Regulatory Flexibility 
Certifications, as required by section 604 of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, are adopted.
    12. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a 
copy of the Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration 
including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Certifications, to the Chief 
Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 2 and 25 as follows:

PART 2--FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS AND RADIO TREATY MATTERS; GENERAL 
RULES AND REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, and 336, unless otherwise 
noted.


0
2. Amend Sec.  2.106, the Table of Frequency Allocations, as follows:
0
a. Revise pages 47 and 49.
0
b. In the list of ``Non-Federal Government (NG) Footnotes,'' revise 
footnote NG55 and remove footnotes NG54, NG183 and NG187.
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  2.106  Table of Frequency Allocations.

* * * * *
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* * * * *
NON-FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (NG) FOOTNOTES
* * * * *
    NG55 In the bands 11.7-12.2 GHz (space-to-Earth) and 14.0-14.5 GHz 
(Earth-to-space), Earth Stations on Vessels (ESV), Vehicle-Mounted 
Earth Stations (VMES), and Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft (ESAA) as 
regulated under 47 CFR part 25 are applications of the fixed-satellite 
service and may be authorized to communicate with geostationary 
satellites in the fixed-satellite service on a primary basis.
* * * * *

PART 25--SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS

0
3. The authority citation for part 25 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Interprets or applies sections 4, 301, 302, 303, 
307, 309, 319, 332, 705 and 721 of the Communications Act as 
amended, 47 U.S.C. 154, 301, 302, 303, 307, 309, 319, 332, 605 and 
721, unless otherwise noted.


0
4. Amend Sec.  25.103 by revising the definition of ``Earth Stations 
Aboard Aircraft (ESAA)'' to read as follows:


Sec.  25.103  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft (ESAA). Earth stations operating 
aboard aircraft that receive from and transmit to geostationary-orbit 
Fixed-Satellite Service space stations pursuant to the requirements in 
Sec.  25.227.
* * * * *
0
5. Amend Sec.  25.227 by revising paragraphs (a)(14), (b)(1)(iii)(A), 
(b)(2)(i), and the second to last sentence of paragraph (b)(3)(i) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  25.227  Blanket Licensing provisions for Earth Stations Aboard 
Aircraft (ESAAs) receiving in the 10.95-11.2 GHz (space-to-Earth), 
11.45-11.7 GHz (space-to-Earth), and 11.7-12.2 GHz (space-to-Earth) 
frequency bands and transmitting in the 14.0-14.5 GHz (Earth-to-space) 
frequency band, operating with Geostationary Satellites in the Fixed-
Satellite Service.

    (a) * * *
    (14) All ESAA terminals operated in U.S. airspace, whether on U.S.-
registered civil aircraft or non-U.S.-registered civil aircraft, must 
be licensed by the Commission. All ESAA terminals on U.S.-registered 
civil aircraft operating outside of U.S. airspace must be licensed by 
the Commission, except as provided by section 303(t) of the 
Communications Act.
* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (iii) * * *
    (A) Demonstrate that the total tracking error budget of their 
antenna is within 0.2[deg] or less between the orbital location of the 
target satellite and the axis of the main lobe of the ESAA antenna. As 
part of the engineering analysis, the ESAA applicant must show that the 
antenna pointing error is within three sigma ([bcy]) from the mean 
value, i.e., that there is a 0.997 probability the antenna maintains a 
pointing error within 0.2[deg]; and
* * * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) A statement from the target satellite operator certifying that 
the proposed operation of the ESAA has the potential to create harmful 
interference to satellite networks adjacent to the target satellite(s) 
that may be unacceptable.
* * * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) * * * The ESAA applicant also shall provide a detailed showing 
that one or more transmitters are capable of automatically ceasing or 
reducing emissions within 100 milliseconds of receiving a command from 
the system's network control and monitoring center that the aggregate 
off-axis EIRP spectral-densities of the transmitter or transmitters 
exceed the off-axis EIRP-density limits specified in paragraph 
(a)(3)(i) of this section. * * *
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-10876 Filed 5-9-14; 8:45 am]
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