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COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE ACT OF 1962
AN ACT To provide for the establishment, ownership, operation, and regulation of
a commercial communications satellite system, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, TITLE SHORT TITLE, DECLARATION OF POLICY AND
SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the “Communications Satellite Act of 1962”. 1 SEC. 102. (47 U.S.C. 701) DECLARATION OF POLICY AND PURPOSE.
(a) The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of the United States to establish, in conjunction and in cooperation with other countries, as expeditiously as practicable a commercial communications satellite system, as part of an improved global communications network, which will be responsive to public needs and national objectives, which will serve the communication needs of the United States and other countries, and which will contribute to world peace and understanding.
(b) The new and expanded telecommunication services are to be made available as promptly as possible and are to be extended to provide global coverage at the earliest practicable date. In effectuating this program, care and attention will be directed toward providing such services to economically less developed countries and areas as well as those more highly developed, toward efficient and economical use of the electromagnetic frequency spectrum, and toward the reflection of the benefits of this new technology in both quality of services and charges for such services. (c) In order to facilitate
this development and to provide for the widest possible participation by private enterprise, United States participation in the global system shall be in the form of a private corporation, subject to appropriate governmental regulation. It is the intent of Congress that all authorized users have nondiscriminatory access to the system; that maximum competition be maintained in the provision of equipment and services utilized by the system; that the corporation created under this Act be so organized and operated as to maintain and strengthen competition in the provision of communications services to the public; and that the activities of the corporation created under this Act and of the persons or companies participating in the ownership of the corporation shall be consistent with the Federal antitrust laws.
(d) It is not the intent of Congress by this Act to preclude the use of the communications satellite system for domestic commu
1 Public Law No. 624, 87th Cong., 2d Sess., 76 Stat. 419, approved Aug. 31, 1962.
nication services where consistent with the provision of this Act nor to preclude the creation of additional communications satellite systems, if required to meet unique governmental needs or if otherwise required in the national interest. SEC. 103. (47 U.S.C. 702) DEFINITIONS.
As used in this Act, and unless the context otherwise requires
(1) the term “communications satellite system” refers to a system of communications satellites in space whose purpose is to relay telecommunication information between satellite terminal stations, together with such associated equipment and facilities for tracking, guidance, control, and command functions as are not part of the generalized launching, tracking, control, and command facilities for all space purposes;
(2) the term "satellite terminal station” refers to a complex of communication equipment located on the earth's surface, operationally connected with one or more terrestrial communication systems, and capable of transmitting telecommunications to or receiving telecommunications from a communications satellite system;
(3) the term “communications satellite" means an earth satellite which is intentionally used to relay telecommunications information;
(4) the term “associated equipment and facilities” refers to facilities other than satellite terminal stations and communications satellites, to be constructed and operated for the primary purpose of a communications satellite system, whether for administration and management, for research and development, or for direct support of space operations;
(5) the term "research and development” refers to the conception, design, and first creation of experimental or prototype operational devices for the operation of a communications satellite system, including the assembly of separate components into a working whole, as distinguished from the term “production," which relates to the construction of such devices to fixed specifications compatible with repetitive duplication for operational applications;
(6) the term “telecommunication" means any transmission, emission or reception of signs, signals, writings, images, and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, optical, or other electromagnetic systems;
(7) the term “communications common carrier" has the same meaning as the term "common carrier" has when used in the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and in addition includes, but only for purposes of sections 303 and 304, any individual, partnership, association, joint-stock company, trust, corporation, or other entity which owns or controls, directly or indirectly, or is under direct or indirect common control with, any such carrier; and the term "authorized carrier", except as otherwise provided for purposes of section 304 by section 304(b)(1), means a communications common carrier which has been authorized by the Federal Communications Commission
under the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, to provide services by means of communications satellites;
(8) the term "corporation" means the corporation authorized by title III of this Act;
(9) the term “Administration” means the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and
(10) the term “Commission” means the Federal Communications Commission. TITLE II—FEDERAL COORDINATION, PLANNING, AND
SEC. 201. [47 U.S.C. 721) IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY.
In order to achieve the objectives and to carry out the purposes of this Act(a) the President shall
(1) aid in the planning and development and foster the execution of a national program for the establishment and operation, of a commercial communications satellite system;
(2) provide for continuous review of all phases of the development and operation of such a system, including the activities of a communications satellite corporation authorized under title III of this Act;
(3) coordinate the activities of governmental agencies with responsibilities in the field of telecommunication, so as to insure that there is full and effective compliance at all times with the policies set forth in this Act;
(4) exercise such supervision over relationships of the corporation with foreign governments or entities or with international bodies as may be appropriate to assure that such relationships shall be consistent with the national interest and foreign policy of the United States;
(5) insure that timely arrangements are made under which there can be foreign participation in the establishment and use of a communications satellite system;
(6) take all necessary steps to insure the availability and appropriate utilization of the communications satellite system for general governmental purposes except where a separate communications satellite system is required to meet unique governmental needs, or is otherwise required in the national interest; and
(7) to exercise his authority as to help attain coordinated and efficient use of the electromagnetic spectrum and the technical compatibility of the system with existing communications facilities both in the United States and abroad. (b) the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall
(1) advise the Commission on technical characteristics of the communications satellite system;
(2) cooperate with the corporation in research and development to the extent deemed appropriate by the Administration in the public interest;
(3) assist the corporation in the conduct of its research and development program by furnishing to the corporation, when requested, on a reimbursable basis, such satellite launching and associated services as the Administration deems necessary for the most expeditious and economical development of the communications satellite system;
(4) consult with the corporation with respect to the technical characteristics of the communications satellite system;
(5) furnish to the corporation, on request and on a reimbursable basis, satellite launching and associated services required for the establishment, operation, and maintenance of the communications satellite system approved by the Commission; and
(6) to the extent feasible, furnish other services, on a reimbursable basis, to the corporation in connection with the establishment and operation of the system.
(c) the Federal Communications Commission, in its administration of the provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and as supplemented by this Act, shall
(1) insure effective competition, including the use of competitive bidding where appropriate, in the procurement by the corporation and communications common carriers of apparatus, equipment, and services required for the establishment and operation of the communications satellite system and satellite terminal stations; and the Commission shall consult with the Small Business Administration and solicit its recommendations on measures and procedures which will insure that small business concerns are given an equitable opportunity to share in the procurement program of the corporation for property and services, including but not limited to research, development, construction, maintenance, and repair.
(2) insure that all present and future authorized carriers shall have nondiscriminatory use of, and equitable access to, the communications satellite system and satellite terminal stations under just and reasonable charges, classifications, practices, regulations, and other terms and conditions and regulate the manner in which available facilities of the system and stations are allocated among such users thereof;
(3) in any case where the Secretary of State, after obtaining the advice of the Administration as to technical feasibility, has advised that commercial communication to a particular foreign point by means of the communications satellite system and satellite terminal stations should be established in the national interest, institute forthwith appropriate proceedings under section 214(d) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, to require the establishment of such communication by the corporation and the appropriate common carrier or carriers;
(4) insure that facilities of the communications satellite system and satellite terminal stations are technically compatible and interconnected operationally with each other and with existing communications facilities;
prescribe such accounting regulations and systems and engage in such ratemaking procedures as will insure that any economies made possible by a communications satellite system are appropriately reflected in rates for public communication services;
(6) approve technical characteristics of the operational communications satellite system to be employed by the corporation and of the satellite terminal stations; and 1
(7) grant appropriate authorization for the construction and operation of each satellite terminal station, either to the corporation or to one or more authorized carriers or to the corporation and one or more such carriers jointly, as will best serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity. In determining the public interest, convenience, and necessity the Commission shall authorize the construction and operation of such stations by communications common carriers or the corporation, without preference to either;
(8) authorize the corporation to issue any shares of capital stock, except the initial issue of capital stock referred to in section 304(a), or to borrow any moneys, or to assume any obligation in respect of the securities of any other person, upon finding that such issuance, borrowing, or assumption is compatible with the public interest, convenience, and necessity and is necessary or appropriate for or consistent with carrying out the purposes and objectives of this Act by the corporation;
(9) insure that no substantial additions are made by the corporation or carriers with respect to facilities of the system or satellite terminal stations unless such additions are required by the public interest, convenience, and necessity;
(10) require, in accordance with the procedural requirements of section 214 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, that additions be made by the corporation or carriers with respect to facilities of the system or satellite terminal stations where such additions would serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity; and
(11) make rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this Act.
TITLE III—CREATION OF A COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE
SEC. 301. (47 U.S.C. 731) CREATION OF CORPORATION.
There is authorized to be created a communications satellite corporation for profit which will not be an agency or establishment of the United States Government. SEC. 302. (47 U.S.C. 732] APPLICABLE LAWS.
The corporation shall be subject to the provisions of this Act and, to the extent consistent with this Act, to the District of Columbia Business Corporation Act. The right to repeal, alter, or amend this Act at any time is expressly reserved. SEC. 303. (47 U.S.C. 733) DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS.
(a) The corporation shall have a board of directors consisting of fifteen individuals who are citizens of the United States, of whom one shall be elected annually by the board to serve as chairman. Three members of the board shall be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, effective the date on which the other members are
1 So in law.