This study responds to a request from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to evaluate the impacts on the United States of key decisions taken at the general World Administrative Radio Conference of 1979 (WARC-79) and to consider options for preparation and participation in future international telecommunication conferences. It reflects congressional concern for the adequacy of existing machinery and procedures for U.S. policymaking and preparation for such conferences.
WARC-79 and related international conferences and meetings demonstrate that contention for access to the radio spectrum and its important collateral element, the geostationary orbit for communication satellites, presents new and urgent challenges to vital U.S. national interests. The growing differences among nations over the use of the radio spectrum and related satellite orbit capacity are reflected in the Final Acts of WARC-79, which will be submitted to the U.S. Senate in January 1982, for advice and consent to ratification.
Given the complexities of spectrum management in a changing world environment and the increased importance of telecommunications to both developed and developing nations, it is unlikely that traditional U.S. approaches to these issues will be sufficient to protect vital U.S. interests in the future. Problems require strategies not yet developed or tested.