[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 206 (Thursday, October 24, 2002)]
[Pages 65403-65404]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-27153]



[Public Notice 4175]

Public Meeting With Interested Parties for the Department of 
State and Other Agencies To Receive Views on Proposals To Modify and 
Expand the Role of the International Mobile Satellite Organization 

AGENCY: Department of State, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, 
Office of the Coordinator for International Communications and 
Information Policy.

ACTION: Notice of meeting and request for comments.


DATE, TIME AND PLACE: Tuesday, November 19, 2002, 9:30 am-12 pm, 
Department of State, 2201 C Street NW., Washington, DC.
SUMMARY: The International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) 
Assembly of Parties (member governments) has created an Intersessional 
Working Group (IWG) to undertake a detailed study of a possible 
extension or expansion of IMSO's mandate. The issue to be addressed at 
this meeting is the role of IMSO in respect of the Global Maritime 
Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), aeronautical safety services, and 
service to rural and remote areas of developing countries, including 
the principle and the legal methodology of a possible extension or 
expansion of IMSO's mandate. The Department of State wishes to receive 
the views of the public on the issues that will be addressed by the 
IWG, the first meeting of which is scheduled for January 20-24, 2003.
    The two principal issues that have given rise to the creation of 
the IWG are: (1) Questions concerning the criteria for and potential 
consequences of the recognition by the International Maritime 
Organization (IMO) of additional service providers for the satellite 
component of the GMDSS and any possible role for IMSO with respect to 
such additional providers (currently, only Inmarsat Ltd. Of London is 
recognized as a satellite service provider of GMDSS); and (2) formal 
proposals of the Party of Denmark to amend the IMSO Convention to give 
the IMSO an expanded mandate with respect to GMDSS, aeronautical safety 
services, and mobile communications in rural and remote areas.
    Currently, the IMSO oversees only Inmarsat, particularly with 
regard to Inmarsat's provision of GMDSS services. The IMO, which has 
responsibility for establishing maritime safety standards, has thus far 
only recognized Inmarsat as a provider of the satellite component of 
the GMDSS. However, questions have arisen out of the possibility that 
the IMO may recognize additional satellite telecommunication companies 
as GMDSS providers in the near future, and what the role, if any, the 
IMSO should have in such a case.
    The proposal of the Party of Denmark would expand the purpose of 
the IMSO ``to ensure that one or more of the public interests set forth 
* * * are met by each * * * entity or entities through which a mobile 
satellite communications system is operated.'' The ``public interests'' 
are: ``(1) Ensuring the provision of global maritime satellite 
communications services for the GMDSS; (2) ensuring the provision of 
global aeronautical mobile satellite safety communications services; 
and (3) seeking to serve all areas where there is a need for mobile 
satellite communications, giving due consideration to the rural and 
remote areas of developing countries.''
    The Department of State will prepare comments and proposals on the 
above issues to be submitted to the IWG participants before December 
20, 2002. The purpose of this meeting is to solicit input and 
suggestions from interested parties for use in formulating the U.S. 
response that will be discussed at the January 2003 IWG meeting. The 
Terms of Reference for the IWG, the amendment proposal of the Party of 
Denmark, and certain other documents can be found on the Internet Web 
page of the Office of the Coordinator for International Communications 
and Information Policy: http://www.state.gov/e/eb/cip/.
    Please confirm attendance at the meeting using the contact 
information below. The meeting will be held in an informal roundtable 
fashion. However, up to 15 minutes will be allocated to anyone who 
wishes to make a formal presentation. Copies of written comments and 
proposals to be discussed at the meeting should be provided 
electronically seven days in advance and will be posted on the Web 
page. Additional written comments (provided electronically) will be 
accepted by the Department of State until December 4, 2002 and will be 
posted on the Web page.

MAILING ADDRESS: Send comments to Brian Hunt, Office of the 
Coordinator--International Communications and Information Policy, Mail 
Code EB/CIP, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW., Washington DC 
20520-5820. Paper submissions must include a copy on diskette in Word 
or ASCII format.

[[Page 65404]]

Electronic copies may be sent via e-mail to [email protected].

information, contact Brian Hunt--voice: 202-647-5832, fax: 202-647-
5957, e-mail: [email protected].

    Dated: October 18, 2002.
Steven W. Lett,
Deputy U.S. Coordinator, International Communications and Information 
Policy, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-27153 Filed 10-23-02; 8:45 am]