Page images
PDF
EPUB

occurrence in our business. There is nothing unique about furnishing a transportable earth station overseas to get the service started. In fact, we have undertaken arrangements to supply transportable stations in both

the Philippines and Thailand to be operable on or about April 1, 1967. A year ago we had under our control and did in fact test, pursuant to FCC authorization, a transportable earth station.

Mr. Chairman, perhaps this might be, with your permission, a good time for me to digress from the prepared testimony for a moment and state that I am questioning the wisdom of the plan for furnishing DCA with transportable ground stations by Comsat under the present plan.

If I may explain: actually we know that we will eventually have an 85-foot dish, a permanent dish, at Paumalu at Hawaii. Additionally, we will have an 85-foot permanent dish at Brewster Flats. But at the start-off we will have 42-foot transportable dishes.

Now, the present program contemplates the shipment, the disassembly, and then reassembly of these transportable ground stations from Brewster Flats and Paumalu to the Philippines and Thailand.

At that particular point in time, Brewster Flats and Paumalu will be left with 85-foot dishes. There will be no backup, there will be no alternate facilities.

Now, to me this is a very serious question. I think it is a question that the people responsible for the Apollo program, and the people responsible for the DOD program should reevaluate.

We have ground stations that we can ship to the Philippines, we have ground stations that we can ship to Thailand.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. What size?

Mr. GALLAGHER. Forty-two-foot dishes, sir. Paumalu and Brewster Flats are going to be left with one facility each.

The basic request for authorizations to install equipment by Comsat at Paumalu and Brewster Flats calls for the building of two 85-foot dishes at each location. They recognize that they needed backup. There will be no backup for, perhaps, a period of 6 months or a year until they move forward, perhaps, on their second 85-foot dish program if that is the route that they are going to take.

Now, at the present time the present program calls for the routing of traffic in through Paumalu or in through Brewster Flats. The cables are filled between the United States and Hawaii. If Brewster Flats goes down, and I recognize there are certain standby elements within the 85-foot dishes, transmitters and receivers, but there are common horns. If that dish goes down, Comsat will not be able to furnish the facilities, and there will be no facility available between the mainland and Hawaii because the cables are full.

I am recommending that DOD and Apollo consider very seriously the continuance of the two 42-foot dishes at Paumalu and Brewster Flats, and make use of the available transportable stations which we hare secured from Page Communications, and let us ship those to the Philippines and Thailand. Then we know that until such time as the second 85-foot dishes are available or the alternate facilities are available, that certainly the Apollo program and DOD are fully protected.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. Are these Page dishes in existence or in process of construction?

Mr. GALLAGHER. Basically, sir, we have a handle on one that is basically on the shelf. We have a handle, a firm handle, on a second

ground station that we can ship to Thailand if the Thai Government will permit us to bring it in.

But here is where we have problems because we do not know what the arrangeinents are between the Thai Government and Comsat.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not blame DOD for taking the actions that they did take some 6 months ago in soliciting a bid from Comsat. I think a great deal has been said about the fact that DOD did, in fact, solicit the bid. But basically I wonder what would have been said if a regular customer, a news agency or somebody else, had gone to Comsat and tried to secure the bid.

I do question, however, the way in which the bid was put out. I do question the way Comsat then proceeded to move once they got the request for bid.

Let me continue.

We believe that we can provide the required 30 circuits with dispatch and at reasonable and attractive rates. DCA might be in a better position today with respect to expeditious service had it dealt with all the carriers on an equal basis at the same time.

It has been extremely gratifying to us in dealing with DCA over the years to know that we have played some part in our Nation's de. fense efforts. We have always endeavored to furnish service promptly and efficiently to DCA. We are pleased to note that the record in this proceeding at page 578 shows there has not been any delay in furnishing any important Government service. We have been very pleased with the procurement apportionment policies of DCA which have led to a more balanced international communications industry in the pullic interest. We believe that DCA's needs can be served and, at the same time, the FCC's broader functions of insuring adequate service to all users at reasonable rates can be fulfilled.

Mr. Chairman, just to digress for a moment with respect to thes transportable ground stations, I assume this committee is well aware of the fact that the FCC must, in fact, authorize the removal of these transportable ground stations for shipment to Thailand and the Philippines.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. We understand.

Mr. GALLAGHER. And I do not know whether or not the FCC, in its wisdom, will leave those stations barren.

One of the most pressing problems before us today is the question of satellite earth station ownership. In this connection, on July 7, 1966, I addressed a letter to Chairman Hyde, with copies to all interested carriers, leaders of industry, labor, and Government, recommending that the carriers put aside their own corporate self-interests and join together in a cooperative endeavor with joint ownership vested in both the carriers and Comsat. A copy of this letter is attached hereto as exhibit A. This proposal, we believe, is in the interest of a sound national telecommunications policy, and is in the interest of the national defense effort and most decidedly in the general public interest.

The Communications Satellite Act permits the licensing of earth stations to Comsat alone, one or more carriers, or Comsat and one or more carriers. This is what we are suggesting. The wisdom and foresight of Congress in providing these alternative guidelines for earth station ownership enables us to submit our proposal. We believe

that joint ownership of all satellite earth stations, within the Commission's jurisdiction, by Comsat and authorized communications carriers is the answer to the current controversy.

During the past 3 weeks all of the carriers, including Comsat, have been meeting under the aegis of the FCC discussing this very question. There seems to be some movement toward a joint ownership approach, although agreement has not yet been reached as to the precise participation by the respective parties. But there is movement toward the suggestions made in our letter of July 7.

In the interests of facilitating greater cooperation in satellite matters, WUI has recommended the establishment of a satellite industry liaison committee under the aegis of the FCC. Our recommendations, together with the comments of the other carriers and Comsat, are contained in exhibit B, attached hereto. An industry committee would enable each carrier to stay abreast of satellite developments, irrespective of whether it is represented on Comsat's Board of Directors. An industry committee would, in our opinion, facilitate greater cooperation between the carriers and Comsat, promote optimum utilization of satellite channels and redound to the benefit of the public.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. Thank you, Mr. Gallagher.

Mr. GALLAGHER. I should like to have, Mr. Chairman, with your permission, the proposal for ownership and operation of U.S. satellite earth stations incorporated into the record as exhibit A, and the recommendation by Western Union International for a satellite industry liaison committee submitted into the record as exhibit B.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. They will be accepted and placed in the proper place in the record.

Mr. GALLAGHER. Thank you.
(The documents referred to follow :)

EXHIBIT A

PROPOSAL FOR OWNERSHIP AND OPERATION OF U.S. SATELLITE Earth STATIONS (Reprint of a letter, dated July 7, 1966, to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from Western Union International, Inc.)

WESTERN UNION INTERNATIONAL, INC.,

New York, N.Y., July 7, 1966. Hon. ROSEL H. HYDE, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CHAIRMAN HYDE: Notwithstanding the Commission's prompt, affirmative interim decision regarding the ownership and operation of the three initial satellite earth stations in the United States, questions regarding earth stations ere still very much before the Commission.

The earth station controversy shows no signs of abatement and, indeed, appears to be increasing in intensity. It is in the Nation's interest for its telecommunications industry to come forward with constructive, harmonious proposals for the Commission's consideration as an alternative to the mounting conflicting claims and applications.

The purpose of this letter is to recommend some middle ground on which the entire industry can join in resolving the earth station controversy by a willingness to compromise individual corporate positions in order to advance U.S. telecommunications policies.

BACKGROUND Since August 1964 more than 1,500 pages of pleadings and applications relating to the satellite earth station controversy have been filed with the Commission. Many thousands of dollars and untold hours of effort have been spent

67-906—66-40

by the industry in advocacy, duplicate engineering analyses, surveying for station sites and countless other related tasks. It is questionable whether the resulting public benefits are commensurate with these expenditures. Conflicting applications for the fourth earth station in the Southeastern United States and the fifth station in the Caribbean area are now before the Commission, with more yet to come.

Positions were taken before the Commission in its proceeding in docket No. 15735 regarding the three initial earth stations by the following common carriers and an association of carriers: American Telephone & Telegraph Co. (A.T. & T.), Communications Satellite Corporation (Comsat), Hawaiian Telephone Co. (Hawaiian), ITT World Communications, Inc. (ITT), RCA Communications, Inc. (RCA), Western Union International, Inc. (WUI), and United States Independent Telephone Association (USITA). The initial positions of these organizations regarding earth stations are summarized as follows:

(a) Comsat-exclusive ownership and operation by it;
(b) WUI and RCA-joint carrier ownership;

(c) A.T. & T., Hawaiian, and USITA-joint Comsat-carrier ownership; and

(d) ITT-individual carrier ownership. These capsule summaries are not intended to portray or detract from the complete position of each organization which is on record with the Commission. The initial position of each organization has remained basically unchanged although certain variations have evolved: witness the ITT-RCAWUI joint application for a fourth earth station in the Southeastern United States.

On May 12, 1965, the Commission announced an interim 2-year policy authorizing Comsat exclusively to own and operate the three initial satellite earth stations to be located in northeastern and northwestern parts of the continental United States and in Hawaii. The Commission's interim policy was expressly conditioned so as not to prejudice the position of any communications vmmon carrier in the future involving final determination of earth station ownership and operation.

Following the Commission's interim decision regarding the three initial stations, these events occurred:

(a) Comsat requested exclusive authorization for a fourth earth station in the Southeastern United States and a fifth station in the Caribbean area ;

(b) ITT requested authority for its own Caribbean station, and indicated no objection to joint participation by the other international public serrice carriers; WUI and RCA each requested joint participation; and

(c) RCA, WUI, and ITT filed a joint application for a station in the Southeastern United States and invited participation by any other author

ized international carrier, except Comsat. The earth station controversy is flaming anew.

Comsat, the Western Union Telegraph Co. (Wutco) and A.T. & T. hare, for example, each petitioned to deny the joint southeastern application of ITT, WUI, and RCA. A.T. & T.'s objection, basically technical, was accompanied by a request for participation in this joint station, A.T. & T. and Comsat have each petitioned to deny ITT's application for a Caribbean earth station. On the other hand, RCA and WUI have requested participation in this Caribbean station.

Comsat's application for a Caribbean earth station has been met with separate petitions to deny filed by WUI, RCA, ITT, and A.T. & T., respectively. Finally, A.T. & T., ITT, RCA, WUI, and Wutco, have each separately petitioned to deny Comsat's application for a southeastern station.

This complicated situation has become further muddled by separate applica. tions by A.T. & T., ITT, and WUI for authority to join in the laying of a transistorized, high-capacity submarine cable connecting the Caribbean area with Florida. Comsat has opposed these applications.

Adversary pleadings are mounting rapidly and voluninously in the Commission's files. Carriers formerly conceding some role to Comsat in earth station planning and operation have become more adamant against Comsat participation. Before there is any further hardening of opposing positions, WUI suggests a reevaluation of the respective positions of all interested authorized communications carriers with the view toward compromising individual corporate viewpoints This compromise would be in the public interest, in the interest of national de fense and in the furtherance of sound U.S. telecommunications policies.

WUI'S PROPOSAL The Communications Satellite Act provides the Commission with a choice of alternative methods of ownership and operation of earth stations. The act has been paraphrased as follows:

Under the provisions of the Communications Satellite Act, Comsat alone, or one or more carriers, or Comsat and one or more carriers may be licensed as the sole owner and operator of earth stations."

"Comsat and one or more carriers" is the obvious middle ground on which the industry can unit in common purpose and joint pursuit of the statutory goals as declared by Congress in the Satellite Act.

The wisdom and foresight of the Congress in providing the Commission with the alternative guidelines for earth station ownership enable us to submit this compromise proposal.

Joint ownership of all satellite earth stations, within the Commission's jurisdiction, by Comsat and authorized communications carriers is the answer to the current controversy. The joint owners could designate Comsat as their managerial agent for the construction and operation of these stations in much the same fashion as the signatories to the August 1964 multination communications satellite agreement have appointed Comsat the manager of the space segment.

A consensus on this solution should be attainable in the public interest since it involves less compromise of previously advanced positions than any other solution that comes to mind. Comsat, with the assistance and guidance of the Department of State and the Commission, has already demonstrated the feasibility of multination ownership and operation of the space segment. A.T. & T. Hawaiian, ITT, RCA, WUI and USITA have, at one time or another, suggested jointcarrier ownership, and in most instances, with some form of participation by Comsat.

Joint earth station ownership by the authorized communications carriers and Comsat, with the managerial functions entrusted to Comsat, will be both feasible and beneficial. Potential conflicts of interest will be obviated and concerted industry efforts will be channeled toward attainment of the national telecommunications policy.

This joint earth station ownership in the United States would obviate a possible proliferation of redundant stations by competitive interests and would also facilitate common earth station entry points in the United States for communications from abroad, with resulting operating efficiencies for overseas telecommunications entities.

Additionally, joint ownership would dispose of the problem of diverse ownership of different stations in the United States which could be disruptive of the system because the individual owner, be it Comsat or an authorized communications carrier, might be inclined to favor its own station without regard to overall system efficiency.

Multiple-carrier ownership of the earth stations in the United States will be consistent with the multiple-nation participation in the existing European earth stations. The success of the global satellite system is dependent not only upon the cooperation of the many participating soverign nations but also upon the cooperation of the telecommunications industry in this country.

If cooperation cannot be attained at home, it cannot be expected abroad. Cooperation by entities with different interests is the touchstone for attainment of:

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. Communications Satellite Act, section 102(a).

If the U.S. telecommunications industry will join together in a cooperative endeavor to attain "peace and understanding” on the earth station question, a meeting might be convened under the aegis of the Commission to work out the details for joint earth station ownership by Comsat and all eligible qualified carriers serving the public and Government, and for management of the stations by Comsat.

1 Asher H. Ende, Deputy Chief, Common Carrier Bureau, address before IEEE Inter. national Communications Conference, Philadelphia, Pa., June 15, 1966 (emphasis added].

« PreviousContinue »