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So Harbinger-Backed LightSquared Might Mess With Hurricane Tracking, So What?

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As you know, Harbinger Capital has a big bet going on a wireless company called LightSquared. Should it succeed, Phil Falcone will make billions and his investors will receive the triple digit returns they scored on subprime. Should it fail…it's an outcome to dire to even think about but will most likely involve the Grammy-award winning Wilbur Falcone being forced to go back to playing Three-card monte in the UBS parking lot just to put food on the table. While LightSquared has so far encountered some opposition (as one often does when one is doing groundbreaking, visionary-esque work), the company has most recently been making the case that its satellite system will be huge for “coordinating enforcement and emergency response teams during natural disasters, like Hurricane Katrina.” According to various US agencies, it'd be the least they could do, as LS might screw up the tracking of future natural disasters.

Philip Falcone’s LightSquared wireless service needs more testing because it may degrade precision services that track hurricanes, guide farmers and help build flood defenses, Congress is being told today. LightSquared’s signals may disrupt precise gear that reads data from the satellite-based global-positioning system, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Transportation Department and a federal advisory body said in testimony prepared for a hearing by the House science committee.

“We support further testing of LightSquared’s proposal,” Mary Glackin, a deputy under secretary at NOAA, said in the testimony obtained by Bloomberg News before the hearing. Concerns include LightSquared’s potential effect on a satellite system that increases accuracy of hurricane tracking, Glackin said. Options for mitigating interference would be limited because the GPS satellites are in orbit and cannot be modified, she said.

According to LightSquared, Glackin and her friends can go fuck themselves.

“Everyone had nine months to do all the testing they wanted to do,” since the FCC issued preliminary approval in January, Chris Stern, a Washington-based spokesman for LightSquared, said in an interview. “If they want more testing they should be very specific about what exactly it is they want tested, because testing can always be just another delay tactic.”

If no one has any other (real) objections, step out of the way so they can do this thing.

LightSquared May Degrade Hurricane Tracking [Bloomberg]