Satellites to connect the unconnected

ITU News interview Julie Zoller, who oversees the key regulatory affairs portfolio for Amazon’s Project Kuiper, which aims to launch a constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites to provide low-latency, high-quality broadband connectivity worldwide. She previously served as chief government affairs officer at Omnispace, and in tech-related policy roles at the US State Department, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and at the US Department of Defense.


To deliver service, we’re building a constellation of 3236 satellites that will operate between 590 kilometres and 630 kilo‑metres in altitude. Operating in low Earth orbit (LEO) has the dual benefit of lower latency and shorter de-orbit times, which is good for customers and space safety.

Describe your typical day as Head of Global Regulatory Affairs.

In a typical day, I’ll have a staff meeting or attend a review, meet with my team to advance a particular regulatory matter, spend some time in one‑on‑one conversations with staff members, and read regulatory documents. Last July, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorized us to deploy and operate the Kuiper NGSO (non-geostationary) system.

Getting our license was a major milestone, but we still have lots of work to do. We engage regularly in rule makings, and we’re currently conducting technical studies in preparation for the 2023 ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC‑23).


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