Small Business Committee Republicans Ask FCC to Withhold LightSquared Approval

October 31, 2011

Republicans on the House Small Business Committee asked the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday to hold off approving LightSquared's planned national wireless network until tests show that it won't interfere with global-positioning systems.

The FCC has repeatedly said it won't give LightSquared the green light until the interference problems are solved, and that stipulation is included in waivers that the agency granted the wireless start-up.

But House Small Business Chairman Sam Graves , R-Mo., and eight other GOP colleagues on the committee want reassurances that that the commission won't move ahead without solving 100 percent of the problems.

They wrote FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, rejecting LightSquared's assertion that its plans won't interfere with 99 percent of GPS devices.

"This is not an acceptable answer or solution for general aviation," they wrote. "The [Federal Aviation Administration] has very specific requirements for safety, and 1 percent tolerances are not acceptable - 100 percent accuracy is needed to ensure a safe flight for general aviation." 

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