On Tuesday the FCC rejected LightSquared’s plans for a 4G broadband network in the L-band frequency, following a final recommendation by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is a joint panel consisting of nine federal agencies. The NTIA sent a letter to the FCC saying the group “cannot support” further deployment of LightSquared’s technology since there is no practical way to mitigate potential interference of the company’s transmissions with GPS signals at this time. In turn, the FCC said it would not lift its prohibition on LightSquared to proceed with its network.
NBAA and other aviation groups praised the move. “We thank the FCC for taking this very important step,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “NBAA members don’t oppose new technology systems like the one proposed by LightSquared, as long as they don’t compromise aviation safety by interfering with the GPS systems they rely on for navigation and communications.” Despite the setback, LightSquared said it “remains committed to finding a solution.”
One such solution could be a frequency swap, and The Wall Street Journal is reporting that LightSquared might be seeking to exchange its wireless airwave licenses with similar ones held by the Department of Defense.