OMB Attempts To Alter DOD’s LightSquared Briefing

 - September 20, 2011, 11:29 AM

A confidential briefing on the LightSquared/GPS situation presented by Gen. William Shelton, chief of the Air Force Space Command, to senior staff at the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was promptly leaked to LightSquared. Subsequently, the OMB suggested to Shelton that he should amend his briefing to include words of support for President Obama’s nationwide broadband plan and also state that the GPS interference issue was expected to be resolved within 90 days. Shelton declined both suggestions, and OMB staff reportedly defended themselves by stating that they were charged with reviewing all official statements. LightSquared denied instigating the White House request. Meanwhile, House aviation subcommittee chairman Tom Petri (R-Wis.) rebutted a LightSquared ad that ran last Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal blaming GPS equipment manufacturers for the interference problems. “GPS was located on this part of the spectrum long before LightSquared devised its plan to employ a terrestrial network within the satellite band of radio spectrum,” he said. “I would suggest that it is LightSquared using a part of the spectrum for inappropriate purposes that has led to this dilemma.”