Home » LightSquared »Public Policy & Gov't »Rural Broadband »Wireless Broadband » Currently Reading:

House Republicans Blame FCC for LightSquared’s Demise; “Billions Wasted”

Phillip Dampier May 16, 2012 LightSquared, Public Policy & Gov't, Rural Broadband, Wireless Broadband 1 Comment

Walden

House Republicans attacked the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday for “rushing” special waivers and conditions that allowed LightSquared to begin operations without fully considering its impact on GPS devices and services.

GOP Reps. Cliff Stearns (Fla.), Fred Upton (Mich.), and Greg Walden (Ore.) said the need for intensifying an investigation first launched in February was more pertinent than ever with this week’s bankruptcy declaration by the wireless Internet service.

“Now, more than ever, we need to get to the bottom of how we got this far down a dead-end road,” said the congressmen in a joint statement. “There are many unanswered questions, specifically about whether the FCC’s own objectives led to sloppy process. We are continuing to examine the information we’ve received so far to determine what happened and how it can be avoided in the future.”

Upton

All three said the FCC’s “rushed” review cost investors billions that were “wasted” building a broadband network that was later determined to create serious interference problems for global positioning satellite receivers.

The FCC previously denied they were pressured by Obama Administration officials to approve the project as part of the White House’s strong focus on broadband improvement.

But the House Republicans believe the interference problems should have been identified before the project got too far along.

Initially, the FCC issued a conditional approval to begin testing the service, which quickly led to growing evidence it unintentionally blocked GPS reception.

A preliminary report found GPS receivers were incapable of rejecting the adjacent channel interference from LightSquared’s powerful ground-based transmitters.

While technically not the fault of LightSquared, which argued it should not be held responsible for poor GPS receiver design, the fact millions of GPS receivers are already in use swayed the FCC to reject the use of those frequencies for the wireless Internet service.

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. Andrew Madigan says:

    It was conditional to allow the company to try to prove that they had a way around the interference. They didn’t have any way to avoid interference, and they hadn’t tested real-world GPS systems before applying for the conditional license. They knew (or should have known) the risks, and if their investors didn’t know then that is the fault of corporate management, not the FCC.

    If the FCC had simply blocked the license in the first place republicans would be complaining about “infringement on free enterprise”.

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • Paul Houle: I can believe in AT&T's plan, but not Comcast. For better or worse, AT&T is going "all in" on video and is unlike other major providers in ...
  • Phillip Dampier: Yes, that battle with Northwest Broadcasting, which also involved stations in Idaho-Wyoming and California, was the nastiest in recent history, with s...
  • Doug Stoffa: Digital takes up way less space than old analog feeds - agreed. In a given 6 MHz block, the cable company can send down 1 NTSC analog station, 2-4 HD...
  • Phillip Dampier: Digital video TV channels occupy next to nothing as far as bandwidth goes. Just look at the huge number of premium international channels loading up o...
  • Doug Stoffa: It's a bit more complicated than that. Television stations (and the networks that provide them programming) have increased their retransmission fees ...
  • Alex sandro: Most of the companies offer their services with contracts but Spectrum cable company offer contract free offers for initial year which is a very good ...
  • John: I live in of the effected counties, believe it or not our village is twenty three miles from WSKG Tower, approxiamately eighty miles from Syracuse, WS...
  • Wilhelm: I'm in the Finger Lakes where Spectrum removed WROC-8 last Fall, but we still get other Rochester channels, WHAM-13, WHEC-10 and WXXI-21. I have to wo...
  • dhkjsalhf: "Another classic case of businesses being much smarter than governments." I don't know whether this was sarcastic or not, but I feel it's a sentiment...
  • New Yorker: It makes no sense. I wonder sometimes if raising the limits on how much money rich people giving to candidates could make it more expensive to buy of...
  • New Yorker: Will New York go through with the threat? As an upstater I have seen infrastructure projects drag on in cost and time (eg. 1.5 yrs to repair a tiny b...
  • Matthew H Mosher: Another classic case of businesses being much smarter than governments....

Your Account: