FCC unanimously votes for Space Bureau and office of International Affairs.

Commission Votes unanimously to Move Forward with the International Bureau’s Reorganization into a Space Bureau and a standalone Office of International Affairs to Better Support the Agency’s Statutory Obligations.

WASHINGTON, January 9, 2023 – Today, the Federal Communications Commission released an Order adopting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel’s plan to modernize the FCC by establishing a Space Bureau and Office of International Affairs. The planned reorganization will better support the needs of the growing satellite industry, promote long-term technical capacity at the FCC, and help the agency navigate 21st century global communications policy. As part of this plan, the agency will be eliminating the current International Bureau and incorporating that team into the new bureau and office.

On November 3, 2022, FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has announced plans to reorganize the agency to better support the needs of growing satellite industry. Under this plan, Chairwoman Rosenworcel will work to reorganize the FCC’s International Bureau into a new Space Bureau and a standalone Office of International Affairs. These changes will help ensure that the FCC’s resources are better aligned so that the agency can continue to fulfill its statutory obligations and keep pace with the rapidly changing realities of the satellite industry and global communications policy.

“The satellite industry is growing at a record pace, but here on the ground our regulatory frameworks for licensing have not kept up. We’re working to change that. Today, we are moving forward with our plan to prepare for what comes next,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “A new Space Bureau at the FCC will ensure that the agency’s resources are appropriately aligned to fulfill its statutory obligations, improve its coordination across the federal government, and support the 21st century satellite industry. I also thank my fellow Commissioners for their support.

Today’s action is the latest initiative in the FCC’s Space Innovation agenda.  As part of this agenda, the FCC has taken action to speed up regulatory review processes, increase the size of the FCC’s satellite division by 38 percent, create new opportunities for competition in the delivery of satellite broadband services, and modernize spectrum policy to better meet the needs of the next generation Space Age. As the agency promotes Space Innovation, it also has taken action to advance space safety and responsibility, including by adopting new rules for deorbiting satellites to address orbital debris risks.

The FCC will next seek Congressional and other approvals for the planned reorganization and make formal notice in the Federal Register.

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