Issues in International Telecommunications

Government Regulation of Comsat

by Leland Johnson

Download

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 3.4 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback71 pages $25.00 $20.00 20% Web Discount

The question of government regulation of the Communications Satellite Corporation (Comsat) is paramount because of Comsat's market power in providing international satellite circuits to U.S. users. Comsat is the monopoly supplier of INTELSAT international satellite links. However, Comsat's satellite monopoly does not translate into a full monopoly of U.S.-overseas communications links, since undersea cable is a substitute. Taking into account advances in cable technology, and especially the introduction of fiber optics, Comsat's market power is being eroded and government regulation is becoming less important. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) imposes circuit-loading restrictions that force AT&T to use a greater number of satellite circuits, essentially guaranteeing Comsat a portion of AT&T's traffic. This report discusses the history of the FCC's attempt to regulate Comsat, assesses FCC actions to reduce Comsat's market power, and evaluates the past effects of and future needs for such regulation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.