The usual FCC process is to conduct extensive testing followed by approvals. For LightSquared, the process was approve first, then test. The unusual waiver recently granted to LightSquared allows it to use its satellite spectrum for high-powered ground-based broadband transmissions if the company can demonstrate that harmful interference could be avoided.
- Issues of interference should have been addressed before the waiver was granted.
- The waiver was granted just two months after it was requested. Even with such a short window, the U.S. GPS Industry Council (USGIC), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) – along with some federal departments, concerned state and local governments, public safety authorities, and GPS commercial users – all voiced strong objection to LightSquared’s plan to reposition the spectrum.
- The FCC’s conditional waiver puts LightSquared in the conflicting position of assessing whether or not its own system will interfere with GPS transmissions.
The full white paper and additional details will be posted soon. The coalition is also working on a new website, which will provide additional information as it becomes available.