Subcommittee Chair Latta Opening Remarks on the Evolving Satellite Communications Industry

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) delivered opening remarks at today’s subcommittee hearing titled “Launching Into the State of the Satellite Marketplace.”

Excerpts and highlights below:


“It has been over a decade since this subcommittee held a hearing dedicated to understanding the satellite communications marketplace and the FCC’s role in licensing commercial satellite communications systems.

“Since then, how satellite technology is used has changed drastically.

“Our esteemed panel before us has experience across the full range of satellite communications technologies.

“Satellite technology offers a variety of services spanning high-speed broadband and video delivery, to data services that enable precision agriculture and global financial transactions.

“This hearing today is the first step this Committee is taking as we look at these novel issues.

“In recent years, satellite communications capabilities have dramatically advanced, and satellite operators have identified new ways to serve customers with greater speed and reliability.

“Many satellite operators currently operate, or are seeking to operate, different types of satellite constellations.

“Some satellite systems operate in geostationary orbit, while others operate closer to Earth in non-geostationary orbit.

“Satellite operations are also global in nature, which adds an additional layer of complexity when developing and operating systems.

“Because satellite systems rely on radio spectrum to operate, the use of this spectrum raises complex challenges that U.S. and international regulators must address.

“In the last few months, satellite operators and cellular carriers have announced partnerships to stretch connectivity further into rural and remote areas.

“International standards bodies are also making progress in identifying technical specifications for greater integration of 5G with satellite communications technologies.

“These are significant developments that may provide new or enhanced opportunities to connect unserved Americans.”


“We must also ensure continued American leadership in advanced communications services.

“In order to do that, our regulations must foster an environment of innovation and certainty.

“As countries like China seek to dominate the technologies of the future, we must make the United States an attractive place to invest in cutting edge developments that align with American values and guarantee the availability of trusted satellite communications.

“The FCC plays an important role in licensing new or enhanced satellite communications systems, and it is important we understand the current licensing and regulatory process and the impact these rules have on our international competitiveness.”