State lawmakers call on FCC to find way to allow LightSquared to operate

State lawmakers are calling on the FCC to find a way for LightSquared to operate peacefully with the GPS community.

The FCC is currently making the decision as to whether allow LightSquared to operate and under what conditions in light of its potential to interfere with GPS signals.

New York State Senate Majority Whip William J. Larkin, Jr., touted LightSquared as an asset to the first-responder community.

"As a retired Army officer... I realize how important our nation's communications networks are in times of national emergencies," he wrote. "A communications network that can provide uninterrupted service during power outages and natural disasters would help strengthen our ability to protect and serve people in need."

Another New York State Senator Jeffrey Klein urged the commission to resolve the GPS interference issues and allow LightSquared to roll out the network.

"The idea of a fully integrated 4G LTE wholesale network that will help bring low-cost wireless broadband to the people of New York State is an exciting prospect," he said.

Minnesota State Sen. Ron Latz cited a different benefit by endorsing LightSquared to bridge the broadband income-access gap. Latz said he represented a mixed-income area of suburban Minneapolis.

"Households with incomes below $20,000 have access to broadband at less than one-third the rate of households over $75,000," he said in his filing. "Yet access to broadband is increasingly important for all Americans to actively participate in the workforce."

Another Minnesota State Senator, Mike Parry, stressed the need for broadband in his mostly rural district.

"My legislative district, which is located in southern Minnesota, includes two regional centers-Fairbault and Owatonna," he said. "These two communities are surrounded by small towns and farms. The lack of good telecommunications service is a problem for ambulance crew, state and county police and others that must respond swiftly to emergency situations."

Eduardo Garcia, mayor of Coachella, Callif.,  also said LightSquared would make broadband more affordable to business owners in his community.

Nevada Democrats voiced their support in LightSquared via a filing from the party's political director, Harriet Trudell. She stressed the fact that LightSquared's wholesale plan would give smaller broadband players an entry into the market.

A technical report released last month revealed LightSquared's planned operations in the satellite L-band would interfere with GPS signals. Subsequently, LightSquared, which is planning a nationwide wholesale LTE network using a primarily terrestrial network, agreed to operate only in the lower portions of its band until a fix could be found, but the GPS community is still up in arms, claiming those plans are an inadequate fix.

For more:
- see this Television Broadcast article

Related articles:
LightSquared presents plan to avoid GPS interference; GPS community still unhappy
Harbinger's Falcone: LightSquared will file IPO eventually
FCC won't guarantee timetable for LightSquared review

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