Ill-fated US wireless start-up LightSquared has announced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved its ‘Change of Control’ application, paving the way for the company’s emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. LightSquared says that the FCC grant represents a ‘significant milestone’ for the company, as it will now provide notice to the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, signalling the effective date of its confirmed Plan of Reorganisation, enabling it to successfully exit restructuring. The company originally filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2012 and its reorganisation plan was confirmed by Judge Shelley C. Chapman on 26 March 2015. CEO Doug Smith commented: ‘We are very appreciative for today’s FCC action, which will allow LightSquared to begin anew and recommit to work with all stakeholders to resolve important technical matters, identify necessary solutions, and remove regulatory uncertainty that the company has faced over the past three-and-a-half years’.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in February 2012 the FCC declared that LightSquared’s use of non-traditional frequencies in the 1.4GHz and 1.6GHz bands interfered with GPS satellite navigation devices and aircraft flight safety equipment. Subsequent months saw the stricken company beset with myriad financial and legal problems, before being forced into bankruptcy in May 2012. Prior to its regulatory woes, LightSquared sought to build out a nationwide hybrid-LTE network using terrestrial and satellite spectrum capacity.