Some 100 Orgs Urge Biden, Congress To Halt Ligado Order

 - April 28, 2022, 9:23 AM

Nearly 100 organizations across multiple industries are renewing calls for the Federal Communications Commission to set aside its order that would enable Ligado to access a part of the spectrum in the L-band adjacent to frequencies used for GPS and satellite communications. Marking the two-year anniversary of the Ligado order, the organizations—including many major aviation groups—sent letters this month to congressional leaders and President Biden, urging them to work with the FCC to ensure the order is halted.

Citing “unprecedented opposition across the vast federal and commercial user base of GPS, satellite communications, and weather forecasting services,” the organizations noted that eight petitions for reconsideration of the order are still pending. In addition, Congress has mandated technical reviews to assess the potential for harmful interference that could be caused by the proposed Ligado network, as well as for Defense Department briefings on the issue, they said.

But the groups expressed concern about Ligado's recent announcement that it would deploy its network as soon as September 30, seemingly well before the FCC might address the petitions. “The record convincingly demonstrates that the order is legally and factually deficient, and the potential for harm grows closer on a daily basis, but the FCC may not have the additional information regarding the full extent of harmful interference in advance of Ligado's planned launch,” according to the letters.

Among the signatories was the Aircraft Electronics Association, which said the order would “upend decades of sound spectrum policy, negatively impact a significant cross-section of commercial, federal, and academic users who rely on the many different L-band satellite services, and threaten the safety of most Americans.”