updated 04:10 pm EDT, Wed April 11, 2012
Senators ask FCC to allocate band to LightSquared
Two senators have requested that the FCC allocate a new band of frequencies for LightSquared's national 4G network. Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Lindsey Graham have suggested to the FCC that they should allocate a seperate part of the spectrum for LightSquared to avoid the issues associated with sharing the GPS band in a letter received by The Hill.
The letter questions if the FCC should create receiver standards, avoiding the interference problem for GPS devices in government testing of LightSquared. This would help stop the issue in the future, but would not help the troubled network operator now. "In the short-term, we urge you to work with industry and the relevant federal agencies to find consensus on alternate spectrum for LightSquared's proposed network," wrote the senators, although they didn't give advice for what frequency bands to use instead.
LightSquared has so far this year cut its staff by 45 percent, lost a 4G deal with Sprint and had its CEO Sanjiv Ahuja resign to become chairman.
If the FCC denies a band change, LightSquared won't be able to offer national high-speed internet access, nor will it serve as a backbone for numerous small carriers.