Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Senators Seek to Block FCC Approval of LightSquared

At least two U.S. Senators have taken action to try to stop the FCC from granting approval for LightSquared to operate a wireless internet service on frequencies adjacent to those used for the Global Positioning System (GPS). Citing potential interference to the satellite direction-finding system "on which our public safety and national security depend so heavily," Kansas Republican Pat Roberts introduced an amendment to an approriations bill to prevent the FCC from using appropriated funds for approving LightSquared's application until interference concerns have been resolved, according to his website.

In addition, various news sources reported that Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) threatened to block confirmation of President Obama's two nominees to the FCC unless the Commission released documents he requested related to LightSquared. The Senate was scheduled at the end of November to begin the confirmation process for the two nominees, Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Ajit Pai.