LightSquared Continues Generating Commission Controversy
August 3, 2011
RESTON, VA.: LightSquared is proceeding
as planned even as its proposed network continues generating dispute. The company
said today it has transitioned 50,000 public safety and enterprise customers to
its new SkyTerra 1 satellite. LightSquared said the transition is a “major step” toward the launch
of it’s wholesale 4G-LTE wireless broadband-and-satellite network.
The privately funded company is in a race to deploy its network--unique in its combination
of terrestrial and satellite technologies. It is meeting resistance because network
modeling demonstrated interference with global positioning systems. The Federal
Communications Commission docket on the proposed network has more than 2,700 comments
on file, many from individual GPS users objecting to its deployment even with modifications.
“Please do not allow LightSqured to mess up the guidance systems I have installed
on my tractor,” wrote
“I have spent over $50,000 for this system.”
Randy Gibson said he works for a local law enforcement crime lab.
“When we are called to a crime scene, we use GPS receiver to get to the scene by
the most expeditious route,” he
is fragile, and sometimes, minutes count. A degraded GPS signal will increase our
response time and make us less effective in keeping our citizens safe. Please do
not allow this to happen.”
There are similar objections from land surveyors, pilots, oilfield workers, scientists
and others. Others, however, support it. Paul Anderson with the Douglas County,
Minn. Commission said lack of wireless broadband in rural areas is a barrier to
“We need jobs and economic growth. Our ability
to grow jobs depends upon reliable communications and I urge the commission to approved
LightSquared’s pending application without delay,” he wrote.
Ross Gallagher, a former commissioner with Washington’s Mason County, urged the
commission to allow LightSquared to go forward.
The GPS community has had eight years to prepare for this day. The American people
should not need to wait further--and certainly not indefinitely--to accommodate
the GPS industry’s procrastination,” he
to the inability of GPS receivers to reject interference.
LightSquared agreed to mitigate interference by launching at reduced power at lower
frequencies. It more recently secured a shared-services deal with Sprint that will
allow it to launch on that carrier’s terrestrial network, saving it billions of
dollars in upfront infrastructure investment. That agreement is subject to FCC approval.
~ Deborah D. McAdams