Buried on page 1120 of President Obama's budget, the wireless startup LightSquared gets an indirect shout out. And not in a good way.
The appendix of the massive budget document released on Monday includes this provision:
"SEC. 618. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used by the Federal Communications Commission to remove the conditions imposed on commercial terrestrial operations in the Order and Authorization adopted by the Commission on January 26, 2011 (DA 11-133), or otherwise permit such operations, until the Commission has resolved concerns of potential widespread harmful interference by such commercial terrestrial operations to commercially available Global Positioning System devices."
That language is aimed squarely at LightSquared's proposed nationwide wireless network, which has been shown to interfere with GPS devices. The FCC has long said it won't give LightSquared the green light until the problem is solved, but that hasn't stopped Congress, and now apparently, the White House, from seeking to make sure agency doesn't move ahead with anything.
In the Defense Authorization Act signed by Obama last year, Congress prohibited the FCC from approving LightSquared's plans until the interference issue is addressed.
A LightSquared spokesman said the language represents an existing provision that the company has already agreed to.