FCC Aims to Eradicate No Signal with New Satellite-to-Phone Rules

If you’re an iPhone user and hate being forced to use inferior messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, then this is very good news. In a nutshell, the FCC has proposed that satellites be allowed to communicate directly with smartphones in order to improve the quality of messaging experiences. This would allow for better integration between smartphone apps and the content offered by operators of satellites – giving users a more streamlined experience when communicating on mobile devices.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) circulated earlier this month and formally voted on today is a sweeping document that purports to establish rules and guidelines around the use of IoT devices, such as drones. This move has raised many eyebrows, as there is still much unknown about how these devices will be used and policed. However, with the rise in terrorist activity and other threats posed by rogue actors using technology to carry out attacks, it seems clear that action needs to be taken sooner rather than later.

Apple’s new emergency satellite feature has dramatically increased the chances for successful rescues. This technology is now being integrated into devices by companies like Qualcomm and Iridium, who are working on providing universally accessible two-way data anywhere in the world. T-Mobile and SpaceX have said they plan to test their own Starlink-based system this year, and plenty of others are looking to enter the fray. The race to provide access to emergency services around the globe is heating up!

Creating a space-based internet would require syncing frequencies with those of satellites, which operate at different frequencies and with vastly different signal powers. In theory, this could be done by dividing the globe into zones where frequencies are matched except for the polar regions, but this would be a complex and costly endeavour.

The FCC is seeking to establish a process for satellite operators to obtain authorization to operate space stations on licensed, flexible-use spectrum allocated for terrestrial services. This would provide supplemental coverage from space, help terrestrial providers cover areas that are difficult or impossible to reach, and free up spectrum for other uses.

Satellite technology is great for when there’s no signal available on your phone, but it’s not always reliable. Satellite operators want to make sure that their service is used in the most efficient way possible, so they work with terrestrial providers to switch phones over to satellite signal when no ordinary signal is available. This way, users can be sure they are using the best possible option and commercials for Instant Connections will be avoided.

The four sitting FCC commissioners all agreed that this was a good start, but that they would need to be ready to act should the circumstances change. They all expressed their hope that Congress could come together and pass bipartisan legislation that would codify these principles into law, but were prepared to take whatever actions are necessary on their own if necessary.

The FCC’s framework for deploying small cells will help expand wireless coverage in remote, unserved, and underserved areas, making mobile dead zones a thing of the past. These new rules will allow carriers to build more small cells throughout the country, providing increased internet access for people all over the United States.

Commissioner Carr went on to say that the FCC’s upcoming spectrum auction, which will see the government sell off airwaves to telecommunications providers, will be focused on ensuring that everyone has access to a high-quality connection, regardless of where they are. The new guidelines set forth by the FCC today represent a major step forward in achieving this goal, and I for one am excited to see how these policies play out in the future.

Nathan Simington approved the framework for the fast-moving tech industry to evolve, with reservations that these industries need to experiment and take part in shaping it properly. Over time, this framework could be adjusted as needed to accommodate the constantly changing technology sector.

The commission’s proposed framework for regulating digital assets is designed to accommodate a wide range of commercial arrangements and technologies. The narrow set of initial entry criteria proposed in the NPRM will allow us to move full speed ahead on proposals that raise the fewest technical challenges, while seeking comment on how one day we might broaden the scope. This careful approach will help avoid bogging down progress as we work toward new rules.

It is important to note that The Rules don’t prohibit innovation that may not fit exactly within these initial parameters. This allows for a variety of new methods and strategies to be tried out in order to see which ones work best.

There is potential for this new multimodal wireless communication framework to be the beginning of a true evolution in how we communicate. By focusing on what messages are being sent and not just the infrastructure itself, we may be able to create a more efficient and interactive system for both users and providers alike.

The FCC’s newly appointed Chair, Ajit Pai, has stated that he plans to move away from the traditional spectrum policies of his predecessor. This shift in spectrum policy could mean a less saturated mobile market and more available frequencies for new wireless technologies.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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