In order to expedite the authorization process, FCC, all the applications for satellite licenses are grouped in to two categories, GSO and NGSO. The GSO or geosynchronous orbit applications are served on first come basis. The NGSO or the non-geosynchronous orbit satellites are clubbed according to their frequencies for review.
On receiving the application for GSO satellite, a public notice is placed for comments. Then, the applications are filed in order of the filing dates.
The placing of GSO satellites is separated by just 2 degrees, and as such, the user gets authorization for the complete frequency band request.
For the NGSO applications, the applications are clubbed together for particular frequency bands. When the FCC receives an application for Spectrum, it will begin the review process.
The FCC then moves ahead to give a public notice, so as to receive additional applications in the same frequency bands, and also for the public comments till the cut off date.
After the cutoff date, the FCC will review the applications and weed out the applications that do not meet the laid down criteria.
Once the FCC selects the successful applications, it will then distribute the spectrum amongst the applicants equally.
As against the GSO satellites, which can reuse the frequency bands, NGSO satellites cannot reuse the frequency bands as they are connected to the omni directional ground antennas.
The NGSO satellite applicants are free to buy the spectrum rights from one another after they receive the licenses from FCC. They are also free to discuss with the FCC about the bandwidth.
There are a few prerequisites before the parties apply for the licenses. These are:
- The International Telecommunications Union has sanctioned the international allocation
- The FCC has authorized the domestic allocation
- FCC service rules are in place for the frequency distribution.