LightSquared, FCC Receive Congressional Scrutiny

 - September 27, 2011, 11:00 AM

Congressional opponents of LightSquared’s 4G broadband plan allege that “short circuiting” procedures are involved at the FCC, the White House and the company’s owner to expedite LightSquared’s submissions. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House armed services subcommittee on strategic forces, and five other subcommittee members asked the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) late last week to conduct an investigation into the roles of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the White House and the Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund over the matter. In a separate letter sent to Genachowski on Friday, Tom Petri (R-Wis.), chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, expressed similar concerns. “We have never seen the entire federal government and so many private companies directed to expend such considerable financial resources and man hours to accommodate a single company’s desires,” they wrote. “Never have we seen a company’s business model threaten critical transportation safety infrastructure and yet be assisted by its federal regulator. It is odd that the FCC has pegged the hopes of expanding broadband access on such a controversial proposal by a single applicant.”