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INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION







AD HOC GROUP ON COST RECOVERY
FOR SATELLITE NETWORK FILINGS
(COUNCIL DECISION 510)

Document 4-E

22 July 2002


English only

GENEVA, 23 – 25 JULY 2002





United Kingdom


COST RECOVERY ON SATELLITE NETWORK FILINGS


1 Introduction

The UK would like to make the following observations and proposals on the revision of the satellite network filing cost recovery methodology.



2 Background

In 1997 the ITU presented a Cost Analysis of the Products and Services of the Radiocommunication Bureau to Council-97 (see document C97/57). This document showed that, on the basis of 1995 data, just ten Member States together with five international organizations operating satellite systems (IOOSS) accounted for some 80% of the total workload related to space network filings, but shared only 45 per cent of the contributions to the budget. By contrast, some 130 Member States created no measurable demand for this service during 1995 in the sense that they did not submit any satellite network filings for processing.

While some of the figures and Member States, highlighted in document C97/57 have changed, the basic premise that a limited number of members generate the majority of the satellite network filings is still correct. A search of the SNS-on-line database shows that between 1975 and 2002, some 58 Member States have submitted space network filing data (Form Appendix 4 – II) and of this number, the top 10 Member States account for some 76% of the total filings and the top 15 Member States account for some 85%.

3 Full cost recovery

The UK supports the move to full cost recovery proposed by SAT-BAG as part of the approach for eliminating the backlog in satellite network filings. Council-02’s adoption of the SAT-BAG proposals is particularly timely and justifiable considering both the backlog and the continuing concentration of demand for satellite network filings among a small number of Member States. The issue of when a product or service is “requested to a significantly greater extent by a small number of users” being one of the points for consideration by Council when addressing the application of cost recovery – see resolves 3 of Resolution 91 (Minneapolis, 1998).



4 Linking cost recovery to the satellite backlog

One of the views expressed in document C97/57 was that the introduction of cost recovery might have significant benefits in terms of the “reduction in the number of frivolous notifications, especially in the area of space services”. This view also seemed to be reflected in the meetings of the Council Working Group on the implementation of cost recovery for satellite network filings, where there was a desire expressed to maintain a “linkage between the implementation of cost recovery and the benefits that this is expected to bring in terms of a reduction of the backlog, and a reduction of the processing time for satellite network filings”.

In this context, it is interesting to note that coordination requests have been consistently down since July 2001 following in time Council-01’s adoption of a modified Decision 482, that revised the charging schedule and extended cost recovery to modifications. The decrease in coordination requests over the past year cannot be separated from general problems in the World markets, but with a new conservative approach to business plans cost recovery may be having an impact. The statistics shown graphically in Figure 1, and listed in Table 1, have been collated from the BR website.

FIGURE 1


TABLE 1


Coordination requests pertaining to
satellite networks - treatment and backlog

Month

Received

Published

Sep. 99

46

29

Oct. 99

38

16

Nov. 99

35

61

Dec. 99

99

12

Jan. 00

18

18

Feb. 00

38

4

Mar. 00

7

22

Apr. 00

51

53

May 00

60

31

Jun. 00

99

24

Jul. 00

38

56

Aug. 00

27

17

Sep. 00

18

27

Oct. 00

20

36

Nov. 00

82

29

Dec. 00

57

11

Jan. 01

28

25

Feb. 01

20

40

Mar. 01

9

74

Apr. 01

18

33

May 01

80

115

Jun. 01

94

35

Jul. 01

44

23

Aug. 01

23

13

Sep. 01

38

22

Oct. 01

7

14

Nov. 01

27

0

Dec. 01

27

0

Jan. 02

18

17

Feb. 02

7

28

Mar. 02

5

39

Apr. 02

10

53

May 02

23

71

Jun. 02

18

55


5 Impact on the BR budget

Currently, cost recovery income goes into the reserve account rather than to the BR and discussions on this issue have raised the possibility of using cost recovery income to partially fund Space Department activities, rather than rely completely on contributions. In particular, it has been suggested there are potential benefits in being able to utilise increased resources, arising from unexpected demand for services subject to cost recovery, to respond to customer needs. However, under this scenario it is not clear what would happen if the number of satellite network filings fall for any period. Depending on how cost recovery charges are implemented, if fewer networks are submitted for processing either the charge per filing will increase to cover the Space Departments costs, or the charge per filing will remain constant and the Space Department’s income decrease.

In the first case, Member States are unlikely to find this situation tolerable. In the second case, the BR could find itself short of financial resources. Noting the views of the Council Working Group on the implementation of cost recovery for satellite network filings (see § 4) in order to allow a safeguard in these circumstances, it may be appropriate to build into the budgetary process a ‘reservoir’ of cost recovery funds to be used to smooth out any variation in income. It may also indicate a need for greater autonomy and flexibility at the Sector level to allow charges subject to cost recovery to be revised in a timely manner.

6 Availability of information

In UK discussions on cost recovery, the lack of clear information detailing the ITU’s precise costs that are included in the charges for satellite network filings is a concern. It was considered that there would be general benefits, both for the understanding and acceptance of revised charges, if this information were one of the outputs of the Group.

The availability of information on cost recovery seems to be a recurring theme as it was also an issue for the Council Working Group on the implementation of cost recovery for satellite network filings. Specifically the early availability of information on any proposed changes to the charging schedule sufficiently in advance of approval by Council to enable Member States to consult at national level. Decision 480, suppressed at Council-02, contained decides related to this issue as well as the concerns on linkage in § 4 above, i.e.

The Secretary-General shall make any changes to the processing charges available to Member States sufficiently in advance of their approval by the Council to enable each Member State to conduct broad consultations at the national level;

Following a decision by the Plenipotentiary Conference on the allocation of revenues derived from cost recovery, the Secretary-General shall regularly establish the quantitative goal to be attained as a reduction of the backlog in the processing of satellite network filings.

The UK considers that, with the suppression of Decision 480, the spirit of both the above decides should be included in any future revision of Decision 482.



22.07.02 22.07.02


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