Members Believe Comprehensive Review of FCC Process and Actions is Needed to Determine Why Interference Concerns Were Not Better Addressed by Expert Agency
WASHINGTON, DC – Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee today requested additional information regarding the interference dispute between LightSquared and GPS and the actions taken by federal agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission, in approving LightSquared’s terrestrial network without better addressing potentially serious interference concerns. As the committee with jurisdiction over federal communications policy, committee members have been monitoring the progress of the proposed deployment of the broadband network. However, with the recent tentative decision to limit LightSquared’s license to satellite-based service, there remain many unanswered questions, particularly whether the processes used by the FCC, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the interagency National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing were appropriate. The issues underlying the dispute also have broader implications for spectrum management generally.
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) sent letters to the FCC, NTIA, and PNT ExCom Co-Chairs requesting all written and electronic communications from April 2009 to present between any individual associated with LightSquared, Harbinger Capital Partners, SkyTerra Communications, GPS manufacturers, and PNT ExCom regarding the process used to evaluate the proposed spectrum license transfer, testing, and potential interference. Click here to view a copy of the letters.