International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Principles Governing the Use by States of Artificial Earth Satellites for International Direct Television Broadcasting

In order to gain some understanding of the impact of communications institutions on the formation of international law, let’s have a look for this new Space Law article at the Principles Governing the Use by States of Artificial Earth Satellites for International Direct Television Broadcasting.

The solar storm of 1859

Also known as the Carrington Event, the solar storm of 1859 was a powerful geomagnetic storm. An incredible storm of charged particles sent by the Sun slammed into Earth’s atmosphere, overpowered it, and caused havoc on the ground. Telegraph wires, the high-tech stuff of the time, suddenly shorted out in the United States of America and Europe, igniting widespread fires. Colourful aurora, normally visible only in Polar Regions, were seen as far south as Cuba and Hawaii.

The Federal Communications Commission

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent agency of the United States government, regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all fifty states of the United States of America.

Article 48 of the ITU Constitution

Article 48 of the ITU Constitution provides that “Member States retain their entire freedom with regard to military radio installations”, a provision that the International Group of Experts agreed reflects longstanding State practice with respect to the governance of international telecommunications.

Orbital slots and space congestion

Today, any company or nation planning to launch a satellite to GEO must apply to the ITU for an orbital slot, and popular regions over North America, Europe, and eastern Asia have become so congested that few or no slots are left for new entrants to the market. With most of the so-called hot orbital slots taken, what opportunities remain for satellite operators to develop new positions or make better use of the existing slots?

Project Kuiper, a satellite constellation by Amazon

Amazon has recently confirmed Project Kuiper, a satellite constellation aiming at providing Internet access to ninety-five per cent of the world’s population. There will soon be an intense low-orbit traffic around the planet.

The World Meteorological Organization

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organisation with a membership of almost two hundred Member States and Territories. It is the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate).

ITU and the digital divide

Digital divide is a term that refers to the gap between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology, and those that don’t or have restricted access. Bridging the digital divide is a priority for ITU.

The 1963 Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference

Also known as the Space Conference, the 1963 Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference was the first conference on space radiocommunications called by ITU. It took place at a time when the first communication satellite successes and the first launchings of manned space vehicles were making serious international co-operation more and more necessary.

The International Telecommunication Union

Since 1865, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been at the centre of advances in communications – from telegraphy through to the modern world of satellites, mobile phones and the Internet.


Intelsat, one of the world’s largest fleet of commercial satellites, is a communications satellite services provider. Originally formed as International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO), Intelsat was founded in 1964 to own and operate the worldwide commercial satellite communications system.


COMSAT was a global telecommunications company, based in the United States of America from 1963 to 2007. It was established by the Communications Satellite Act of 1962.

Stratobus or the legal status of High Altitude Platform Stations

Stratobus is an autonomous stratospheric platform concept halfway between the satellite and the drone. Complementing the global satellite coverage, what is the legal status of those High Altitude Platform Stations or geostationary aircraft?

The Earth orbits

The 1967 Treaty’s regime and customary law enshrine the principle of non-appropriation and freedom of access to orbital positions. Space Law and International Telecommunication Laws combined to protect this use against any interference.