FCC seeks comments on Galileo use in US

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is inviting public comments on the European Commission’s request for a waiver of licensing requirements applicable to Galileo receivers in the United States. Comments are due Feb. 21. Read the notice here.

If the waiver is approved, Galileo-capable receivers won’t need to be licensed in the U.S. At present, FCC rules require that receivers operating with non-U.S.-licensed space stations obtain a license.

In a letter dated Jan. 30, 2015, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration submitted a request by the European Commission (EC) for a waiver of the FCC licensing requirements to permit non-federal receive-only Earth stations — receivers — within the U.S. to operate with Galileo signals.

Interested parties can file comments on or before Feb. 21, and reply to comments on or before March 23. All comments should reference IB Docket No. 17-16. Go to https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/ to file comments.

The Commerce Department has played a major role in supporting the European Commission’s waiver request. As co-chair of the GPS-Galileo Working Group on Trade and Civil Applications, the Office of Space Commerce has been discussing the FCC licensing requirement with the European Commission and assisting it with the waiver request for several years. The waiver, if granted, would allow use of Galileo in official government systems such as Enhanced 911.

Previously, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) assessed federal users’ perspectives on the EC request and did not find any interference issues. The FCC stated that it agrees with the NTIA, but wants confirmation and public input.

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