License Modification Applications Fulfill Agreements with Key GPS Stakeholders; Seek License Conditions to Protect Aviation Interests; and Request Action in 2016
RESTON, Va., January 4, 2016 – On December 31, 2015, New LightSquared submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license modification applications and an associated filing that provide a comprehensive regulatory approach carefully addressing the interests of the GPS industry, the aviation industry and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with respect to its 1675-1680 MHz band. The company is proposing an open process for solving all issues related to the terrestrial use of its mid-band spectrum. First, the applications fulfill the agreements between the company and key GPS stakeholders (Deere & Company and Garmin International) to settle adjacent band spectrum issues, and this filing secures those benefits for all GPS companies. The applications also request the FCC to condition the licenses on compliance with key FAA requirements to protect aviation interests. Finally, the filings request the FCC move forward with reallocation and auction of the 1675-1680 MHz band while fully protecting NOAA operations.
"The applications are the product of an intensive, collaborative effort to determine how the company can utilize its spectrum in a manner that is compatible and safe for GPS services," explained Gerard Waldron, regulatory counsel to New LightSquared. "This proposal provides the FCC with a comprehensive policy structure that ultimately can unlock terrestrial use of 40 MHz of mid-band spectrum." Specific to aviation, Waldron went on to explain that the company is proposing that the Commission condition the license on the company’s operations being compatible with applicable FAA aviation GPS receiver standards – thereby deferring to the FAA process.
Other key details of the proposal include the company's commitment to abandon its upper downlink channel at 1545-1555 MHz, an important component in the settlement agreements, and the company’s urging of the FCC to move forward with reallocation and auction of the 1675-1680 MHz band, including conditions permitting the ultimate licensee to use that spectrum on a shared basis and in ways that protect NOAA operations.
To move this comprehensive approach forward, the filing requested the Commission promptly issue a public notice calling for a three-month public comment cycle in early 2016 to encourage any other stakeholders to provide input on its modified proposal as well as the settlement agreements. The company noted it stands ready, willing, and able to address legitimate issues through this open process, with the ultimate goal of unlocking this vital 40 MHz of broadband spectrum in a way that is compatible with GPS to the benefit of the American consumer.
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