The FCC Tuesday put what looked to be the last nail in the coffin of LightSquared's proposed wholesale wireless broadband network. But even that might not prove to be the icebreaker in the confirmation of two new FCC commissioners, whose full Senate vote has apparently been held up by a single, unhappy, senator.
After the National Telecommunications & Information Administration concluded there was virtually no way that service could keep from interfering with GPS recievers, the FCC moved to vacate LightSquared's waiver and put the service on indefinite hold.
That at first glance would appear to have paved the way for Congress finally proceeding on full Senate consideration of FCC commissioners-in-waiting Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel, who have been under a hold threat from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) due to the FCC's decision not to release documents related to its grant of that LightSquared waiver.
Both seemed bipartisan shoe-ins at the end of last year until Grassley's hold threat over the unrelated LightSquared issue. That may yet prove to be the case -- both were approved unanimously in the Senate Commerce Committee -- but the Senator's office was not sounding conciliatory late Tuesday despite the FCC's moves.
"He really wants those documents," a Grassley aide told B&C. "I don't think he'll yield easily."