Greater Coordination and a More Effective Policy Needed for International Telecommunications Facilities

Gao ID: CED-78-87 March 31, 1978

Although the organization of entities providing international telecommunications services varies from nation to nation, the United States and foreign entities jointly provide international telecommunications services and jointly own the cable and satellite facilities over which the services are provided. Development and implementation of a U.S. policy governing the construction and use of international telecommunications facilities involves primarily the responsibilities of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but can also involve the responsibilities of the State Department, the Office of Telecommunications Policy, and the Office of Telecommunications in the Department of Commerce.

A more effective international telecommunications facilities policy can be developed and carried out by developing specific procedures for coordinating the decisionmaking responsibilities of the agencies involved; establishing and maintaining policy guidelines for facilities which will allow U.S. international carriers and foreign entities to plan their own actions; clarifying the process of providing instructions to the Communications Satellite Corporation in its role as U.S. representative in the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization; amending the statute through which the FCC implements an international facilities policy; and repealing the Cable Landing License Act of 1921.


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