Skip to main content


Change Number: Change 178 GSAR Case 2020-G511
Effective Date: 03/25/2024

552.238-110 Commercial Satellite Communication (COMSATCOM) Services.

552.238-110 Commercial Satellite Communication (COMSATCOM) Services.

As prescribed in 538.273 (d)(34) insert the following clause:

Commercial Satellite Communication (COMSATCOM) Services (May 2023)

(a) General background. A Special Item Number (SIN) has been established for Commercial Satellite Communications (COMSATCOM) services, focused on transponded capacity and fixed and mobile subscription services, to make available common COMSATCOM services to all Ordering Activities.

(b) Information assurance.

(1) The Contractor shall demonstrate, to the maximum extent practicable, the ability to meet:

(i) The Committee on National Security Systems Policy (CNSSP) 12, “National Information Assurance Policy for Space Systems used to Support National Security Missions,” or

(ii) Department of Defense Directive (DoDD) 8581.1, “Information Assurance (IA) Policy for Space Systems Used by the Department of Defense.”

(2) The Contractor shall demonstrate the ability to comply with the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 as implemented by Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 200 (FIPS 200), “Minimum Security Requirements for Federal Information and Information Systems.” In response to ordering activity requirements, at a minimum, all services shall meet the requirements assigned against:

(i) A low-impact information system (per FIPS 200) that is described in the current revision of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-53, “Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations,” or

(ii) A Mission Assurance Category (MAC) III system that is described in the current revision of DoD Instruction (DoDI) 8500.2, “Information Assurance Implementation.”

(3) The Contractor's information assurance boundary is where the Contractor's services connect to the user terminals/equipment (i.e., includes satellite command encryption (ground and space); systems used in the Satellite Operations Centers (SOCs), Network Operations Centers (NOCs) and teleport; and terrestrial infrastructure required for service delivery).

(c) Delivery schedule. The Contractor shall deliver COMSATCOM services in accordance with 552.238-86.

(d) Portability. The Contractor shall have the capability to redeploy COMSATCOM services, subject to availability. Portability shall be provided within the COMSATCOM Contractor's resources at any time as requested by the ordering activity. When portability is exercised, evidence of equivalent net present value (NPV) shall be provided by the Contractor.

(e) Flexibility/optimization. The Contractor shall have the capability to re-groom resources for spectral, operational, or price efficiencies. Flexibility/optimization shall be provided within the COMSATCOM Contractor's resources at any time as requested by the ordering activity. When flexibility/optimization is exercised, evidence of equivalent net present value (NPV) shall be provided by the Contractor. The Contractor is encouraged to submit re-grooming approaches for ordering activity consideration that may increase efficiencies for existing COMSATCOM services.

(f) Net ready (interoperability). COMSATCOM services shall be consistent with commercial standards and practices. Services shall have the capability to access and/or interoperate with Government or other Commercial teleports/gateways and provide enterprise service access to or among networks or enclaves. Interfaces may be identified as interoperable on the basis of participation in a sponsored interoperability program.

(g) Network monitoring (Net OPS). The Contractor shall have the capability to electronically collect and deliver near real-time monitoring, fault/incident/outage reporting, and information access to ensure effective and efficient operations, performance, and availability, consistent with commercial practices. Consistent with the Contractor's standard management practices, the Net Ops information will be provided on a frequency (example: every 6 hours, daily) and format (example: SNMP, XML) as defined in a requirement to a location/entity/electronic interface defined by the ordering activity. Specific reporting requirements will be defined by the Ordering Activity.

(h) EMI/RFI identification, characterization, and geo-location. The Contractor shall have the capability to collect and electronically report in near real-time Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) / Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) identification, characterization, and geo-location, including the ability to identify and characterize sub-carrier EMI/RFI being transmitted underneath an authorized carrier, and the ability to geo-locate the source of any and all EMI/RFI. The Contractor shall establish and use with the ordering activity a mutually agreed upon media and voice communications capability capable of protecting “Sensitive, but Unclassified” data.

(i) Security.

(1) The Contractor may be required to obtain/possess varying levels of personnel and facility security clearances up to U.S. Government TOP SECRET/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) or equivalent clearances assigned by the National Security Authority of a NATO Member State or Major Non-NATO Ally.

(2) For incident resolution involving classified matters, the Contractor shall provide appropriately cleared staff who can affect COMSATCOM services operations (example: satellite payload operations, network operations). The Contractor shall provide a minimum of one operations staff member AND a minimum of one person with the authority to commit the company if resolution requires business impacting decisions (example: Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, etc.).

(3) When Communications Security or Transmission Security equipment or keying material is placed in the equipment/terminal shelter, the Contractor shall ensure compliance with applicable physical security directives/guidelines and that all deployed equipment/terminal operations and maintenance personnel shall possess the appropriate clearances, equal to or higher than the classification level of the data being transmitted. Where local regulations require use of foreign personnel for terminal operations and maintenance, then the Contractor shall ensure compliance with applicable security directives/guidelines and document to the U.S. Government's satisfaction that protective measures are in place and such individuals have equivalent clearances granted by the local host nation.

(4) For classified operations security (OPSEC), the Contractor shall ensure that all personnel in direct contact with classified OPSEC indicators (example: the unit, location, and time of operations) have U.S. SECRET or higher personnel security clearances, or, as appropriate, equivalent clearances assigned by the National Security Authority of a NATO Member State or Major Non-NATO Ally, in accordance with applicable security directives and guidelines.

(5) For classified requirements, cleared satellite operator staff must have access to secure voice communications for emergency purposes. Communications security equipment certified by the National Security Agency (NSA) to secure unclassified and up to and including SECRET communication transmissions at all operations centers is preferred. If a Contractor is unable to have access to NSA-approved communications security equipment at its operations centers, then a combination of a “Sensitive but Unclassified” (SBU) cryptographic module approved by the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology and pre-arranged access to National Security Agency-approved communications security equipment at an agreed alternate facility is acceptable.

(6) The Contractor shall have the capability to “mask” or “protect” users against unauthorized release of identifying information to any entity that could compromise operations security. Identifying information includes but is not limited to personal user and/or unit information including tail numbers, unit names, unit numbers, individual names, individual contact numbers, street addresses, etc.

(j) Third party billing for COMSATCOM subscription services.The Contractor shall identify authorized network infrastructure for the ordering activity. In some cases, the user of the terminal may access network infrastructure owned or operated by a third party. In the event a terminal is used on a third party's network infrastructure, the Contractor shall provide to the ordering activity, invoices and documentation reflecting actual usage amount and third party charges incurred. The ordering activity shall be billed the actual third party charges incurred, or the contract third party billing price, whichever is less.

(End of clause)