Last month my Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on the LightSquared Network through the lens of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) process, which left a private company bankrupt and in regulatory limbo and 40 MHz of its spectrum holdings sitting fallow.
LightSquared began its efforts to build a national wireless broadband network in 2003, after the FCC issued an order permitting mobile satellite service providers located in the L-band to integrate an “Ancillary Terrestrial Component,” or land-based, cellular service.
Since that time, LightSquared and its predecessors have been involved in multiple proceedings before the FCC involving the development of its terrestrial component. During these proceedings, LightSquared reached agreements with GPS companies to filter out all of its “Out Of Band Emissions” that may result from its terrestrial base stations and continued to move forward with its plans to develop its network.
Only after nine years of multiple public FCC proceedings and a multibillion-dollar investment by LightSquared did the GPS industry raise overload interference issues. They reported their concerns in a proceeding that ultimately led to a conditional waiver for the company, putting its investments on holds until the interference issue could be resolved.