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House Small Business Committee Asks FCC to Block LightSquared Waiver

October 31, 2011
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On Oct. 27, House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) along with eight members of the Committee sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski requesting that the FCC not proceed with LightSquared’s waiver until federal testing ascertains that there will be no interference with all types of GPS devices. The Committee also asked the FCC to report their action plan regarding the proposal to the Committee. Full text of the letter is available here.

“While LightSquared’s aim to increase broadband to rural areas is a noble goal, we must find a solution without jeopardizing established GPS systems and further burdening small businesses,” said Graves. “Under the current LightSquared proposal, small businesses would be left to foot the bill that will easily cost billions to replace or retrofit their current GPS devices.

“Small companies should not be required to spend one dime on account of this plan-and that is why we are calling on the FCC to put a hold on the waiver until all federal tests make clear there will be no interruptions to current GPS systems.”

The letter asserted that small businesses should not have to incur monetary burdens to try to filter interference to their GPS receivers. The letter was signed by House Small Business Committee Members: Mike Coffman (R-CO), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Scott Tipton (R-CO), Jeff Landry (R-LA), Allen West (R-FL), Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Richard Hanna (R-NY), and Bobby Shilling (R-IL).

On October 12th, Chairman Graves held a full committee hearing to examine LightSquared’s proposal and its effect on small businesses. Witnesses included small business owners, as well as LightSquared Executive Vice President Jeff Carlisle.

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