House hearing set on FCC's handling of LightSquared
House lawmakers have scheduled a Friday hearing on the FCC's management of LightSquared's botched attempt to build an LTE network.
The Commission has been criticized for granting LightSquared a waiver for the service, only to block the company from moving forward with its plan a year later because of problems with GPS interference.
The FCC's decision to stop LightSquared's LTE network led to the company filing for bankruptcy.
Outgoing Florida Republican Cliff Stearns, head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, ordered the Sept. 21 hearing.
The FCC's decision-making leading up to LightSquared's original waiver will be the main subject of debate, as will whether its handling of LightSquared was consistent with its existing procedures and policies.
Witnesses have yet to be announced. A source familiar with the matter said LightSquared itself had not been invited to testify. Officials from the FCC and NTIA are expected to attend, as the hearing will mainly cover the government's process, the source said.
The FCC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The hearing follows an investigation begun in February by the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee into the FCC's decision to grant LightSquared preliminary approval for its service without first addressing concerns about interference to GPS, the issue that ultimately derailed LightSquared's plans.
Documents filed with the FCC show LightSquared is still meeting regularly with agency officials. The company has vowed to move forward with its mobile broadband plans, but it is not clear how it will overcome interference issues with its network.