Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says the Federal Communications Commission is dodging his questions about LightSquared's controversial plan to build a nationwide wireless network.
In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday, Grassley wrote the FCC chief never answered questions posed in an April 27 letter to the agency.
"On May 31, 2011, over one month after my initial request, you responded with a letter that did not respond to any of my questions and offered a general defense of the FCC's expedited procedure regarding LightSquared," Grassley wrote. "When my staff followed up with your legislative affairs office to seek an explanation for your failure to be responsive, my staff was told that the FCC chose to intentionally ignore the document requests in my letter."
According to Grassley, the FCC staff said they do not respond to congressional documents requests unless they come from the chairmen of the House Energy and Commerce or the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committees.
In his May 31 response to Grassley, Genachowski defended the FCC's handling of LightSquared's plan. Tests show that LightSquared's network, which relies on both land-based transmitters and a satellite, will interfere with global positioning systems.
The FCC issued a statement saying the agency will work to resolve the issue.
"While we have deep respect for Senator Grassley, we respectfully disagree with the characterization of the exchange between staff in our offices," the statement reads. "As always, we remain responsive and look forward to working together on this and other issues."
Grassley asked the FCC to clarify whether it will answer his questions. He has also raised concerns about Securities and Exchange Commission investigations into the finances of LightSquared's owners.