LightSquared returns to FCC with new proposal
Down but not out, LightSquared filed a new proposal with the Federal Communications Commission last week hoping to revive its rejected plans to build a wireless network in the wireless spectrum that used to be occupied by broadcast television.
The company has submitted new proposal to the FCC designed to avoid creating GPS interference by relinquishing its upper 10 MHz downlink band nearest to the GPS band to serve as a buffer or “guard band” from terrestrial services and work with the commission on new operating rules for its lower 10 MHz of downlink band, which the company would not operate in until new rules were established.
In a second proposal, Lightsquared said it would would like to utilize 5 MHz of band it already owns as well as share 5 Mhz of adjacent federally owned airwaves in order to build out its network while the FCC decides on new rule making for its lower 10 MHz of band.
A bandwidth deferred
Hopes for new wireless broadband bandwidth were dashed in February when the U.S. Commerce Department advised the FCC that there were no mitigation strategies at the time that could prevent interference in the GPS spectrum by relocating its proposed bandwidth to a spectrum that it would share with federal agencies.
“Nevertheless, LightSquared remains willing to explore constructive solutions that would address concerns raised by the GPS industry and others, while still allowing LightSquared to provide commercial service over its terrestrial network,” the company said in the Sept. 28 filing. “The specific proposal advanced by LightSquared in this application offers such a solution.”
The solution, LightSquared said, would allow the company to achieve goals of establishing a competitive wireless broadband network while still taking into mind the concerns of the GPS industry.
In a summary sent to Boating Industry by a LightSquared spokesman Michael Tucker, the company cites two instances and references “numerous cases” where the FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration have relocated a commercial company’s operations to new spectrums for reasons of national security and public safety.
If the new proposal is accepted, it would open up 10 MHz of broadband airwaves for immediate development and initial deployment of the network while a new rulemaking process is determined for the company’s lower 10 MHz of band that benefits LightSquared, the GPS Industry and the federal government.
LightSquared, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, was granted an extension in court on Monday, giving the company until Jan. 31 to file a reorganization plan and extending its exclusive solicitation period until April 1 of next year.
Originally, the company entered bankruptcy protection to try and resolve these regulatory issues after several of the company’s business partners pulled funding. The extension of the organization period gives LightSquared time to acquire new FCC approval and begin development for its proposed nationwide 4G network, providing it with a way out from its Chapter 11 reorganization.