LightSquared describes FCC licence revocation plans as ‘unsupported by law, science and policy’

2 Apr 2012

Struggling USD7 billion open-access Long Term Evolution (LTE) start-up LightSquared has lashed out at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), describing the regulator’s tentative plans to revoke its network operation licence as ‘entirely unsupported by the law, science, and FCC policy and precedent’. LightSquared’s FCC filing states that the regulator ‘need not and should not embrace the false choice presented by the GPS industry between preserving LightSquared’s ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) authority to deploy a wireless broadband network and maintaining GPS service. In fact, both goals can be achieved. The law, the equities, the facts, and the public interest demand that the Commission seek to do so’. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in February this year the FCC declared that Lightsquared’s use of non-traditional spectrum in the 1.4GHz and 1.6GHz bands interfered with GPS satellite navigation devices and aircraft flight safety equipment. Subsequent weeks have seen the stricken company beset with myriad financial and legal problems.

In a lengthy statement posted on its website, LightSquared’s executive vice president for regulatory affairs and public policy, Jeffrey Carlisle, writes: ‘The FCC’s response in this matter is wholly incongruous and disproportionate. The FCC Public Notice11-109 proposes to essentially turn its back on LightSquared and its multi-billion dollar investment in wireless broadband – after the Commission mandated that the company deploy its network on an accelerated timeframe. LightSquared’s proposed network is the only one that can be implemented quickly, and provide a wholesale alternative across the country to wireless companies and their customers. The GPS industry has been well aware since 2005 that LightSquared had FCC approval to build a nationwide terrestrial network using its assigned spectrum, and as such, the FCC must work to implement a resolution that allows LightSquared to go forward so all Americans can have the benefits of innovation, lower prices and greater competition that this network will provide.’