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FCC considering Ďall options' to save bankrupt tech company LightSquared
The Hill ^ | May 19, 2012 | Brendan Sasso

Posted on 05/19/2012 11:25:16 AM PDT by jazusamo

A top official at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) told a Republican congressman that the agency is still considering ways to save LightSquared's plan for a high-speed wireless network.

The company invested billions of dollars in plans for a nationwide 4G network, but the FCC moved to block the network earlier this year over concerns it would interfere with GPS devices.

In a letter sent last month that was obtained by The Hill, Mindel De La Torre, the chief of the FCC's International Bureau, told Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) the agency is "continuing to consider all options for addressing this [interference] issue."

LightSquared filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday due to the regulatory obstacles facing their business. Company officials said the move would help fend off creditors as it tries to find a solution for its network.

LightSquared and others have suggested that the FCC should move the company to a new band of radio frequency spectrum farther away from the GPS band. In the letter, De La Torre said no other spectrum bands are "immediately apparent as suitable alternatives" and that such a move would be a departure from the FCC's standard procedures.

But she said moving LightSquared to new spectrum would be possible if the FCC determined it would be in the public's interest.

The letter was a response to a list of questions Duncan had forwarded to the FCC from one of his constituents.

Republican lawmakers have accused the FCC of mishandling its review of LightSquared and taking too long to identify the GPS interference problem. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) held up President Obama's two FCC nominees for months in an effort to obtain internal FCC documents on LightSquared.

In a statement after LightSquared announced its bankruptcy, a group of House Republicans said the FCC's "rushed review" cost investors billions.

The lawmakers also questioned whether the "FCC’s own objectives led to sloppy process."

The FCC has denied giving LightSquared any special treatment, but expanding wireless Internet access is a top priority for the agency under Chairman Julius Genachowski.

In a filing with the FCC this week, LightSquared revealed that company representatives had met with senior FCC officials the day after the company had filed for bankruptcy.

In the meeting, LightSquared suggested new bands of spectrum that would avoid the interference problem. One option would be for LightSquared to operate its network on frequencies currently used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to monitor weather patterns.

The company said its goal is to "to fully deploy its network on spectrum comparable to any portion of its current [spectrum holdings]."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chapter11; falcone; fcc; lightsquared; obama
Not one dime of taxpayer money should be spent to bail out LightSquared and Obama's buddy Falcone, it was no ones fault but their own.
1 posted on 05/19/2012 11:25:27 AM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

I am in agreement here. LightSquared knew about the GPS interference issue and thought that Obama would sweep it under the carpet to benefit them.

They never did a realistic assessment of the problem, instead relying on political connections to overcome a scientific/engineering problem. They deserve to have their clock cleaned.


2 posted on 05/19/2012 11:31:56 AM PDT by CurlyDave
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To: jazusamo
I think this administration has surpassed the Carter administration as having the touch of death for anything financial.

It's funny how ALL that money gets invested and then just (poof) disappears as 0bama prepares for a billion dollar reelection campaign.

3 posted on 05/19/2012 11:34:50 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: jazusamo

Why?


4 posted on 05/19/2012 11:35:43 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1215 of our ObamaVacation from reality [and what dark chill/is gathering still/before the storm])
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To: CurlyDave
I couldn't agree with you more.

The proof of that for me was when Air Force Gen. Shelton was going to speak out in Congress about the mess and Obama’s administration tried to shut him up. But for Gen. Shelton this deal would have probably gone through.

5 posted on 05/19/2012 11:37:09 AM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: null and void
I believe LightSquared knew of the problem and sought a waiver through Obama and the FCC and in fact the FCC gave them a conditional waiver. Then LightSquared tried to bull it through and probably would have but for Gen. Shelton speaking out.
6 posted on 05/19/2012 11:40:55 AM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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Please bump the Freepathon or click above and donate or become a monthly donor!

7 posted on 05/19/2012 11:42:03 AM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

This is beyond stupid.
The thing is nearly dead. Let it lay.


8 posted on 05/19/2012 11:45:18 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: jazusamo

probably so... that is what happened


9 posted on 05/19/2012 11:47:02 AM PDT by dennisw
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To: null and void; All
Here's a thread with some interesting background with links to other articles on Falcone's connections to others.

SEC Cracking Down on LightSquared's Falcone?

10 posted on 05/19/2012 11:50:06 AM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
Business plan: Buy spectrum that is too narrow and requires it to be low power to function without disrupting neighboring bands. Push through approval, hoping no one notices. Get test program in place, disrupt GPS signals across nearly a thousand square mile area, say how great the system's working, seek approval for national rollout. Try to suppress those who point to the GPS problems. Deny GPS problems. Propose solution to GPS problems that requires every GPS unit to be remade. Propose second solution that requires everyone else to change. Propose third solution that basically says tough luck. Demand approval now. File bankruptcy.

Pretty sure if an investor could crack ‘company secrets’ that this is exactly what the business plan said before starting. That no one would notice until it was too late, and when that happened, it's the problem of the GPS receivers being too sensitive and they need to get fixed.

The only thing they never counted on was the FAA posting maps of GPS disruptions and that information getting out into the general population. Were it not for that, this probably would have worked.

11 posted on 05/19/2012 11:50:46 AM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

It’s dead Jim


12 posted on 05/19/2012 11:52:17 AM PDT by molson209
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To: dennisw

The idea behind LightSquared is good, but the devil was in the details, specifically the spectrum. The bottom line is that this should have been squared (pun intended) away before the major investments in systems and equipment. The failure comes back on the FCC for not putting its foot down at the get-go and on the company for not addressing this issue at the beginning. If it can be fixed by changing spectrums without adversely impacting other users, fine. Otherwise, they do what I do when making a bad investment, and that is to live with it.


13 posted on 05/19/2012 11:54:03 AM PDT by rstrahan
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To: jazusamo

To hell with Chapter 11, make it Chapter 13 and put them in the grave forever!


14 posted on 05/19/2012 12:00:09 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: jazusamo

no more bailouts


15 posted on 05/19/2012 12:14:20 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: jazusamo
"Not one dime of taxpayer money should be spent to bail out LightSquared..."

Amen!!! The first thought in my head when reading the article.

16 posted on 05/19/2012 12:16:22 PM PDT by yoe (Proud to be part of the Tea Party movement.....!!!!!)
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To: jazusamo

I am in agreement here. LightSquared knew about the GPS interference issue and thought that Obama would sweep it under the carpet to benefit them.

They never did a realistic assessment of the problem, instead relying on political connections to overcome a scientific/engineering problem. They deserve to have their clock cleaned.


17 posted on 05/19/2012 12:29:07 PM PDT by CurlyDave
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To: jazusamo

When The Won won, he thought that it was permanent.


18 posted on 05/19/2012 12:39:40 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Do I really need a sarcasm tag? Seriously? You're that dense?)
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To: jazusamo

LightSquared = Solindra 2.0


19 posted on 05/19/2012 12:45:18 PM PDT by MindBender26 (America can survive 4 years of Romney. She cannot survive another 4 years of an unfettered Obama!)
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To: CurlyDave; jazusamo
I am in agreement here. LightSquared knew about the GPS interference issue and thought that Obama would sweep it under the carpet to benefit them.

This isn't just about whether LightSquared's system would interfere existing GPS devices. It is also about the future of the GPS system. Future updates and improvements to the system might need the spectrum LightSquared wants to use for its system.

20 posted on 05/19/2012 1:17:38 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: rstrahan

Thanks!! That sounds logical. Greed and dreams of millions and billions exceeded common sense. The Obama FCC did them no favors by not exerting discipline and reality earlier. The guys behind Light Squared figured that due to them being “connected” “wise guys” they could bull their way through even though an idiot could see they were going to disrupt the present day GPS regime. They were childish to assume this


21 posted on 05/19/2012 5:15:14 PM PDT by dennisw
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