CCIA Files FCC Comments Supporting Lightsquared's Proposed Wholesale National Wireless Network

BY CCIA Staff
August 17, 2011

On Monday CCIA filed Reply Comments  with the FCC in support of LightSquared’s proposal to begin deployment of its nationwide wholesale 4G LTE network.  LightSquared’s wholesale wireless network, once deployed, would expand high-speed broadband access to millions of unserved Americans, make an additional 40 MHz of wireless spectrum available for mobile broadband, spur economic growth and job creation, and increase competition in the wireless marketplace.
Until this summer, LightSquared and the GPS industry had worked together to solve interference problems with GPS receivers that failed to filter out LightSquared’s transmissions within its licensed spectrum.
In June LightSquared proposed that it begin deployment of its network on the portion of its network that GPS receivers have little trouble filtering transmissions from, and at the same time work with the Commission, the GPS industry, and other stakeholders to resolve the interference problems on the rest of LightSquared’s spectrum.  LightSquared’s plan is the same as one proposed by the GPS industry less than a year go.
Unfortunately, according to their recent FCC filings, the GPS community is no longer interested in working with LightSquared to solve these interference problems.  In fact, the GPS industry has even suggested LightSquared vacate its licensed spectrum.
CCIA supports the deployment of LightSquared’s network, but acknowledges that there are interference issues with legacy GPS receivers that need to be resolved.  Thus, CCIA supports LightSquared’s proposal to begin deployment on a portion of its network while working with the FCC, the GPS community, and other stakeholders to resolve interference problems.
LightSquared’s proposal is a good faith effort to reach a collaborative solution on GPS interference issues that will not unfairly overburden any individual stakeholder and would resolve the interference issues that are preventing LightSquared from deploying its network.
Once deployed, LightSquared’s network will achieve many of the Commission’s goals.  First, LightSquared’s network will help deliver broadband access to millions of currently userved or underserved Americans in rural areas.  Second, LightSquared’s deployment will make an additional 40 MHz of wireless spectrum available for mobile broadband – a key to the Commission achieving the goals of the National Broadband Plan.
Delivery of broadband services to unserved areas and freeing up additional spectrum for broadband use will have the added benefit of spurring economic growth and job creation – both within the wireless market and sub-markets, but also by creating opportunities for rural areas to attract businesses and for those businesses to sell goods and services over the Internet to global markets.  LightSquared’s network will help close the digital divide and buildout America’s wireless infrastructure, which in turn will reinvigorate economic growth in rural America.
Finally, LightSquared’s network has the potential to strengthen competition in the wireless sector.  Recently the wireless market has begun to drift toward the formation of an AT&T/Verizon duopoly.  LightSquared’s wholesale network model could offer competitive benefits to small carriers – regional and rural carriers could potentially supply nationwide voice and data roaming to their customers, give customers a choice of the latest smartphones, and offer 4G speeds while not having to incur costs to build out their networks, procure spectrum, and buy roaming services from their retail competitors.
CCIA supports LightSquared’s efforts and encourages the Commission to work with LightSquared, the GPS community, and other stakeholders to solve any remaining issues that delay the network’s deployment.

Related Articles

CCIA Applauds FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on 12GHz Band of Spectrum

Dec 30, 2020

Washington– FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has circulated an NPRM to the Commission to consider the best use of the 12GHz band of spectrum.  CCIA has supported such an NPRM to leverage this band of spectrum for fifth generation (“5G”) wireless broadband purposes.  The following statement can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers: “CCIA applauds…

CCIA Expresses Concern About FCC Plans To Alter Legal Protections For Services Facilitating Free Speech Online

Oct 15, 2020

Washington — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement today on liability rules for services that facilitate free speech online, saying he planned to move forward with steps to alter the law in response to a request from President Trump and later the Commerce Department. The rules under Section 230 of the Communications…