House panel set to take closer look at FCC/LightSquared


U.S. CongressThe FCC’s handling of the LightSquared proceeding led to the delay in seating of two new commissioners. That part of the story has ended, but the story is not over – and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is promising to delve further into the matter.

In addition to Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI), the matter is on the table for two subcommittee chairs, Greg Walden (R-OR) at Communications and Cliff Stearns (R-FL) at Oversight and Investigations.

The trio joins Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the legislator who has been dueling the FCC over LightSquared, and who put the hold on the confirmation of FCC nominees Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai, in questioning the FCC’s handling of the affair.

In a joint statement, the three E&C members said, “Several months ago, the committee requested more information on the interference dispute between LightSquared and GPS to better understand the actions taken by the FCC in approving the deployment of a terrestrial network using a license originally granted for satellite service. In addition to the broader broadband implications, the FCC’s rushed process resulted in special waivers and conditions and billions of wasted dollars. Now, more than ever, we need to get to the bottom of how we got this far down a dead-end road. There are many unanswered questions, specifically about whether the FCC’s own objectives led to sloppy process. We are continuing to examine the information we’ve received so far to determine what happened and how it can be avoided in the future.”