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Congress

LightSquared Promises To Support 15,000 Jobs

October 11, 2011

Constructing LightSquared's national broadband network will support 15,000 jobs for five years, a company executive will say on Wednesday as he makes LightSquared's case before the House Small Business Committee.

Many of those jobs will be with contractors or other small businesses, LightSquared vice president Jeff Carlisle says in testimony prepared for the hearing.

Beyond that, "many of LightSquared's business partners are themselves small business, who will provide valuable broadband services to their customers and support new jobs," he will say.

LightSquared is fighting for its corporate life as some lawmakers have begun to investigate the company's ties to federal officials. LightSquared's planned wholesale wireless network, which will use satellites as well as ground transmitters, has been shown to interfere with global positioning systems and the company's plans must get final approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

In his planned testimony, Carlisle will argue that the interference issues have been solved, and that GPS manufacturers should shoulder some of the burden of paying to fix the problem.

"As we have stated before, and as has been clearly shown in recent weeks, the interference issue is a question of engineering choice by GPS manufacturers, and can be addressed through proper design," Carlisle says in his statement. He accuses GPS companies of scaring their users. "The manufacturers themselves should step up to cover this cost, as it was their technology choice that created the situation."

Other witnesses at Wednesday's hearing will include representatives of the Leesburg (Virginia) Executive Airport Commission, the Agriculture Retailers Association, and the Aircraft Electronics Association.

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