Sunday, March 18, 2012

FCC kills LightSquared

GPS vs LightSquaredThe National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) wrote the FCC yesterday (PDF) saying they had concluded “that LightSquared’s proposed mobile broadband network will impact GPS services and that there is no practical way to mitigate the potential interference at this time.” Shortly thereafter, the FCC announced that they would “(1) vacate the Conditional Waiver Order, and (2) suspend indefinitely LightSquared’s Ancillary Terrestrial Component authority to an extent consistent with the NTIA letter.”

The FCC announcement does not appear to have been posted to their website, but instead was delivered via an email to major news outlets. A TMF Associates post appears to reproduce the announcement, at least in part.

So it seems that the GPS industry has won, at least for the time being. Yet the vultures are circling, and LightSquared’s valuable spectrum will undoubtedly be put to use at some point in the future. Barring reversal by the courts, the day of reckoning has likely been postponed for a number of years. But we do need more wireless broadband, and it will be interesting to see how the GPS industry handles the potential interference over the next few years, now that they’ve bought some time.

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. offthegrid says:

    Lightsquared was trying to swap frequencies with the DoD but I’m just not seeing it.

    They didn’t build out a network and the $65 million they gave to Sprint on signing needs to be rebated so I’m trying to figure where the $3 billion they say they spent actually went.

  2. Yay, we win!

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