SpaceX needs access to frequencies for their planned satellite constellation. Because FCC regulations can be very regulatory, larger companies sometimes choose a different route by establishing a company in a smaller country and requesting access to the frequencies there. So SpaceX hired First House to help them get to that desired end.
They’ve registered a company in Norway called Steam Systems, A/S. First House then facilitated a meeting between company representatives from SpaceX and presumably Steam with the Secretary of the applicable department in the Norwegian national government. That meeting happened on October 19th. There is no report on what specifically occurred during the meeting.
But SpaceX would like to start launching their constellation of satellites beginning in 2016. They can’t do so until they get the approval for frequency usage for approximately 4,000 satellites. Of note, Elon Musk’s Tesla cars are very popular in Norway, federal incentives are offered on the purchase of the cars. So that may be part of Musk’s strategy. Also, Norway reportedly wants better satellite coverage over all their lands, including the North Pole. SpaceX probably includes that coverage as part of the deal being brokered.
First House CEO and Managing Director, Per Høiby’s experience covers private and public sectors with significant understanding of the defense industry, crisis management, and contingency planning and strategy. The firm’s office in Oslo, Norway has approximately 50 public relations professionals, including Morten Wetland, a former minister in the Norwegian government and believed to be the man who got the meeting set between government officials and SpaceX.
First House is the local name or the named used in Norway, but they are part of a global company, Fipra and within the company they are called Fipra Norway. First House has a strong reputation dealing with public affairs, regulatory initiatives, public policy decision making, and acting as an advocate for their clients’ interests. Senior Advisors come from backgrounds as members of parliament, finance leaders, top government positions, leaders in trade organizations, energy, infrastructure, media, transportation, public service, and business.
Though SpaceX has openly acknowledged they are or have been clients of First House, the PR firm chooses to let clients share information on such relationships. They list only a few clients on their website in the form of case studies authorized by the clients.