Lawmakers think LightSquared could use military spectrum

A group of lawmakers pressed the FCC to review all of the options for using Department of Defense spectrum for LightSquared, which veered into bankruptcy last month after the FCC blocked its plans to build a wireless network.

The FCC in February revoked a conditional waiver for LightSquared to build a wholesale LTE network due to GPS interference concerns related to the 1.6 GHz L-band spectrum that LightSquared intended to employ. LightSquared, which has disputed the FCC's finding and the government tests it was based on, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-May.

"We ask the FCC to conduct a thorough and thoughtful review of all available spectrum controlled by the Department of Defense (DoD) that could be repurposed or reallocated to meet increased demand," said the letter, sent to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. "We also request that the FCC move swiftly to identify other options, including the use of alternate spectrum, for LightSquared's proposed nationwide 4G LTE wireless broadband network."

"A spectrum swap is the most resourceful and efficient way to quickly expand broadband access nationwide," the letter said. The letter was sent by Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) Rodney Alexander (R-La.) and Ander Crenshaw  (R-Fla.), all members of the House Appropriations Committee.

Other lawmakers in the past have advocated giving LightSquared new spectrum. LightSquared itself has proposed a spectrum swap as a solution to the interference concerns. However, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which would need to approve such a swap, is currently focused on ways to share spectrum between government users and commercial carriers.

For more:
- see this IDG News Service article

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