Senate Politics Over LightSquared Threatens FCC Nominations
Dec 9, 2011, 1:29 PM by Eric M. Zeman
The Senate Commerce Committee has provisionally approved President Barack Obama's nominees to fill vacant seats on the Federal Communications Commission. The committee upheld Republican Ajit Vradaraj Pai and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel's nominations in a vote last week, preparing the nominees for a full senate vote. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, however, has threatened to place a hold on the nominees' vote until the FCC releases more documents concerning its January decision to allow LightSquared to operate its planned Long Term Evolution 4G network on L-Band satellite spectrum. Grassley accused the FCC of rushing to approve LightSquared's plans, which have since been shown to interfere with aviation and military GPS performance. "As a last resort to try to exhort more transparency and accountability from the FCC, I'll place a hold on consideration of the agency nominees on the Senate floor," Grassley said in an interview with Bloomberg. LightSquared's plans continue to draw fire, despite its assurances that the interference issues can be resolved. Today, LightSquared announced that it has signed its 30th wholesale partner, which will resell LightSquared's 4G broadband services if the network ever launches.
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