LightSquared's War of Words

LightSquared is continuing its war of words with the GPS industry and government agencies even as it appears events might be coming to a head with a House hearing about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's role in the satellite spat.

The would-be 4G wholesale broadband provider's CEO Sanjiv Ahuja wrote an opinion piece for Politico in which he reiterated the company's charges that the tests on behalf of the Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Executive Committee (PNT EXCOM) were "rigged" in favor of the GPS industry. This, he suggests, will hurt the American consumer as well as the company itself:

    This government committee is attempting to put the brakes on the development of a new wireless broadband network that has the potential to cover at least 260 million Americans by 2015, enable cellphone providers to cut in half customers' monthly bills and create tens of thousands of jobs. It could help our nation compete in the global broadband race -- where we have been falling further and further behind.

The GPS industry has generally shrugged and said LightSquared wants it both ways in response to the charges.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa has written to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to ask him to let the senator's staff talk to Paul de Sa, the FCC member described as the "father" of the LightSquared project. A statement from Grassley's office says that his staff have previously been told de Sa is unavailable.

Republican Sen. Greg Walden, chairman of the energy and commerce's technology subcommittee, said this week that he plans to hold a hearing on LightSquared. The Hill blog reports that the senator intends to ask why the FCC didn't discover an interference issue earlier on.

For more
Light Reading Mobile has extensively covered the year-long LightSquared GPS battle:

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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