Some Conflicting Trends in Satellite Telecommunications

Two broad trends are evident today in international satellite telecommunications. The first is a trend towards greater international regulation of the natural resources involved, the radio frequency spectrum and the geostationary satellite orbit. The second is a trend towards international and regional groupings in the provision of communications services among countries. Other articles in this volume discuss various aspects of one or the other of these trends, such as the 1985/1988 Space WARC, and regional satellite developments in Europe. Consequently, no attempt is made here to analyze the two trends fully. The principal point of this paper is to analyze their interrelationship and to demonstrate that the two trends are divergent and often contradictory.