Legal issues of constructing international telecom systems : satellites and cables

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article focuses on the regulations and instruments
used in, the implementation of specific international telecommunication
connection, i.e., submarine cable and satellite
systems. It concentrates on the legal setting for legislating/
regulating, international public telecommunication systems,
namely, those systems to which the general public has access
after paying a fee to the owners of a telecommunication
facility. These systems provide the public with telecommunication
services, such as telephone, telex and data communication
services. No attention will be given to the regulation of
private international telecommunication facilities (SWIFT or
SITA). Legal arrangements applying to satellite systems differ
considerably from those applying to submarine cables and
common concepts will be presented to bridge the gap between
these two different domains. In that sense an overall analysis
of what used to be separate areas of law will be developed .
This can be achieved by distinguishing three issues: (i) allocation
of resources; (ii) interconnection between systems; (iii)
the legal instruments used in the construction phase. This
distinction enables potential users of (commercial) space
telecommunications to compare both regulatory regimes, and
decide which type of connection is, from a legal point of view,
most effective in achieving the users' goal: Constructing a
satellite telecommunication system or opt for the construction
of a submarine cable connection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-49
JournalSpace Communications
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


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