Today, NTIA on behalf of the Executive Branch petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconsider its Order and Authorization that conditionally granted license modification applications filed by Ligado Networks LLC. The FCC action permits Ligado to provide terrestrial wireless services that threaten to harm federal government users of the Global Positioning System (GPS) along with a variety of other public and private stakeholders.
The petition asks the FCC to rescind the grant, or to reconsider and modify the conditions it imposed on the grant in a number of critical respects. NTIA also petitioned the FCC to stay the effective date of the Order and Authorization while it considers NTIA’s reconsideration request.
NTIA has previously transmitted filings on behalf of the Executive Branch in December 2019 and April 2020 opposing the applications filed by Ligado to modify its licenses. These filings highlighted the widely held concerns across the Executive Branch, with the April filing detailing the expected impact on national security systems and the cost and impracticality of offers from Ligado to mitigate those concerns. Today’s petition makes the case that the FCC gave insufficient deference to the considerations raised by the Executive Branch, especially those from the Departments of Defense and Transportation, while justifying its decision in large part on the potential public interest benefits of a new low-power terrestrial service that would compete with or complement 4G and 5G networks already operating or being deployed across the United States.