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Congress

LightSquared Asks FCC To Extend Deadline

June 15, 2011

The Federal Communications Commission granted LightSquared's request for an extended deadline for filing preliminary research on potential interference, just hours before the highly anticipated report was due on Wednesday.

A mass amount of new data forced LightSquared to ask federal regulators to extend the deadline by two weeks, a company spokesman said. The report will spark the next stage of debate between LightSquared and opponents who worry the company's plan could block global positioning systems.

LightSquared wants to build a nationwide broadband network, but the GPS industry says the new system could interfere with GPS receivers. LightSquared was due to submit preliminary research on potential interference to the FCC by midnight Wednesday.

But much of the data was submitted to the company late Tuesday and was still coming in on Wednesday, giving LightSquared staff little time to process and analyze the information, a spokesman said. LightSquared asked the FCC to extend the deadline to July 1st.

"All parties have been working diligently towards the goal of having a final report ready in time for a June 15 filing," said Jeffrey Carlisle, LightSquared vice president for regulatory affairs, in a formal request filed with the FCC. "However, despite the group's best efforts, it has been unable to produce a complete report in time."

In the filing, LightSquared said it decided that extra testing was needed, further delaying the report.

Preliminary tests by outside groups have indicated that LightSquared's network will indeed interfere with GPS units, and this formal report is expected to confirm those findings.

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