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Satellite

Lerman Senter attorneys have been at the forefront of international satellite communications policy for over 20 years. On behalf of our clients, we were instrumental in the development and implementation of the nation's policy determination to allow the establishment of non-governmental satellite systems for the provision of international telecommunications services . We also have made possible the establishment of four separate satellite-based industries within the last ten years. In addition, we have played and continue to play pivotal roles in the development and achievement of U.S. policy objectives on a wide range of international radiofrequency spectrum management and use issues before the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and associated regional intergovernmental organizations.

We represent both established and newly-emerging companies in the international fixed satellite service (geostationary as well as non-geostationary), the mobile satellite service, and in the burgeoning radionavigation satellite service field. We also represent companies that seek to acquire capacity on domestic and international communications facilities to establish private domestic and international transmission networks, and companies and associations of companies that manufacture and use satellite transmission and reception equipment.

Domestically, our services involve participation in licensing and policymaking proceedings before the FCC; appearances before other U.S. government agencies such as the Department of Commerce and the Department of State; and representation before the United States Congress. Globally, our attorneys have successfully advanced our clients' interests before numerous international organizations, foreign governments, and foreign telecommunications administrations.

Members of our international satellite group have been delegates of the United States to every ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) since 1985, and have served as chairpersons of working groups within the FCC's formal advisory process for WRC-97, WRC-2000, WRC-2003, and WRC-2007. Our attorneys played an active and highly visible role in the development and prosecution of U.S. proposals to each of these conferences. Group members have served as well on dozens of U.S. delegations to meetings of ITU Study Groups, Working Parties, and Task Groups over the last ten years. During the same period, we have also pursued a variety of satellite issues as members of U.S. delegations to meetings of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), an organ of the Organization of American States. In addition to our governmental expertise, we provide assistance with the all aspects of the commercial strategies necessary to implement our clients' business plans.

Raul Rodriguez, the former chairperson of our international satellite group who remains Of Counsel to the firm, is the former Director of International Satellite Policy for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and headed the U.S. Delegation to the first ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained licensing - after extensive domestic and international regulatory efforts and Congressional lobbying - of the world's first privately-owned operational international satellite system  
  • Evaluated and negotiated multinational agreements for a new international aeronautical services system
  • Guided the legal, regulatory and policy aspects of new low and medium Earth orbit satellite technology capable of providing low-cost voice, data and messaging communications services
  • Conducted and successfully concluded complex technical and economic coordination with INTELSAT for new satellite entrants in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean Regions
  • Participated in the creation of a complex spectrum allocation and use plan for the successful co-existence of terrestrial and global satellite services in the 40/50 GHz frequency range
  • Negotiated service contracts with domestic and international providers of satellite services

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