Wiley is a leader in guiding clients through the laws and regulations governing the space and satellite industry. Over the last two decades, our team has achieved innovative and impressive results, successfully challenging laws, clarifying rules, and representing clients in precedent-setting matters and game-changing transactions that have transformed the field.
As technologies and business models evolve in the New Space Age, we ensure that our clients stay ahead of the curve so they can achieve their goals and avoid regulatory pitfalls. We are trusted experts in the regulation of the global space industry, guiding our clients’ business operations at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on issues ranging from spectrum allocation to launch authority to space safety.
What we do.
The space industry is reinventing itself. Satellites are ever-smaller, more numerous, hovering closer to Earth, privately operated and launched, and deployed for a host of new purposes that were unimaginable a decade ago. From providing internet connectivity to images of the Earth, this emerging generation of satellites presents new legal and regulatory challenges in the brave new world orbiting over our heads. Our premier services in this area include:
- Broadband internet access: We help clients secure approvals from the FCC for the provision of broadband internet access service from constellations of low-Earth orbit satellites.
- New market entrants: We obtain access to frequency bands, manage corporate regulatory issues, and advise on best space industry practices.
- Spectrum: We ensure our clients help drive spectrum policy both domestically and internationally, including ensuring compensation and protection for C-band satellite operators as the FCC repurposed spectrum for terrestrial 5G.
- Imaging and remote sensing: We obtain approvals and navigate national security concerns associated with spacecraft capable of imaging and remote sensing, including optical imagery and synthetic aperture radar (SAR).
- Investment and transactions: We guide clients through complex ownership issues and help procure regulatory approval for mergers, acquisitions and investments.
- Aeronautical and mobile: We help clients obtain authorizations for the provision of two-way communications services onboard aircraft and other vessels.
- Ground stations: We obtain licenses for earth stations, gateways, user terminals and other ground infrastructure to support our clients’ robust communications networks.
- Experimental authorizations: We advise clients developing new space-based technologies with securing experimental or temporary authorizations to access frequencies coordinated with other users.
Why we are different.
While space is boundless, it’s also extensively regulated – on matters ranging from orbital debris and space sustainability to spectrum sharing to the ability to image Earth from orbit. The rapid development of new technologies has resulted in increasingly complex regulatory frameworks. We help satellite clients navigate these challenges in keeping with their strategic priorities, business objectives, and operational capabilities.
In addition to our leading attorneys, we have extraordinary, in-house engineering capability to assist our clients with bridging the gap between technologies and the laws and regulations that govern them. Our team serves as legal counsel, strategic partner, and technological interpreter, acting as a tactical liaison between our clients and policymakers. To help ensure our clients can operate satellites and related technologies wherever, whenever, and however they need to, we work daily on their behalf before regulatory and policymaking bodies around the world, such as the FCC, NOAA, and ITU.
Our unique global credentials, relationships, and reputation in space and satellite law and policy are unmatched and provide a major competitive advantage for our clients.
- Communications Enforcement & Compliance
- Connected & Autonomous Vehicles
- Content Licensing and Distribution
- Digital Assets, Cryptocurrencies, and Blockchain
- Digital Trade
- International & Internet
- Internet of Things
- Pole Attachment and Infrastructure Deployment Litigation and Counseling
- Space and Satellite
- Team Telecom
- Telecommunications & Broadband Service
- The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
- TMT Appellate
- TMT Transactions
- Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS)
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