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Harbinger Capital-Backed LightSquared: What If We Told You We Could Build A Wireless Network That Doesn’t Kill People Via GPS Interference? Does That Sound Like Something You’d Be Interested In?By Bess Levin
As many of you know, the last year or so has been a pretty tough one for Phil Falcone. In addition to a civil suit against him by Harbinger Capital investors, DWAI’s on the home front, and the pesky matter of being charged with securities fraud by the SEC, which would like to see him banned from the industry, what’s really been plaguing him has been the opposition encountered by LightSquared, his dream and the thing he’s more or less staked all his and his investors’ money on. Before it entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, the most serious charge against the company was that while it may seek to create “convenient connectivity for all,” in doing so, the odds are high it would cause GPS interference that would result in boats getting lost at sea; “degrade precision services that track hurricanes, guide farmers, and help build flood defenses“; and, according to the FAA, “cost 794 lives in aviation accidents over 10 years with disruptions to satellite-aided navigation.” Now, four months later, the would-be wireless network has come back with a plan: LightSquared, but without all the murderous bits (for now).
Philip Falcone’s LightSquared on Friday made a proposal to the Federal Communications Commission that the company hopes will solve the regulatory issues surrounding its wireless satellite network and help it build its business faster without abandoning its long-term goals…LightSquared filed to modify its license application so it can use its five megahertz of spectrum that haven’t caused GPS worries. It also seeks to use another five that it would share with federal-government users. The other filing, a rulemaking petition, calls for LightSquared to forego using the “upper” 10 MHz that have caused GPS concerns. In the meantime, it still wants the FCC to consider use of that 10 MHz but agreed to wait for and cooperate with “operating parameters and revised rules for terrestrial use of this spectrum.”
Don’t get them wrong, they *want* to use the stuff that’s possibly GSP harmful, but in the meantime will be happy to use the stuff that isn’t, if that works for everyone.