The House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations
Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing Sept. 21 on the FCC's role in granting a
conditional waiver to LightSquared to operate a terrestrial broadband network
using spectrum authorized for satellite use.
No witnesses have been announced for "The LightSquared
Network: An Investigation of the FCC's Role," but it will examine how the
FCC handled the waiver, which was rescinded after interference issues with GPS
devices could not be resolved to the FCC's and various government agencies'
satisfaction, and whether the FCC's handling "was consistent with prevailing
FCC policies, procedures and precedents."
The Energy and Commerce Committee launched an investigation
into the FCC's role earlier
FCC officials signaled that they wanted LightSquared to be
able to offer wholesale competing wireless broadband service, though it was
always contingent on not interfering with GPS. The
commission has moved to loosen restrictions on mobile satellite spectrum,
though a different swath not adjacent to the GPS band, so it can be used to
help boost competition for terrestrial wireless broadband service. Dish Network
is notably is looking to get into that space.