What a difference a day makes.
LightSquared on Wednesday sharply criticized the Federal Communications Commission’s proposal to block the company’s planned wireless network on the grounds that it would interfere with global positioning systems.
“In this case, the government decided to choose winners and losers. Politicians, rather than engineers and scientists, dictated the solution to the problem from Washington,” LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said in a statement. “To leave this problem unresolved is the height of bureaucratic irresponsibility and undermines the very principles that once made America the best place in the world to do business.”
Just one day before, LightSquared had pointed to the FCC as the “proper authority” to resolve concerns over interference with GPS and expressed confidence that the agency would side with it against GPS manufacturers.
Another federal agency had said Tuesday that nothing could be reasonably done to fix the problem. An hour later the FCC announced its intention to revoke LightSquared’s waiver and authority to build parts of its network.
Ahuja seemed especially annoyed by the FCC’s decision to “pull the rug from under private enterprise” after the agency mandated in 2010 that LightSquared build its network to eventually cover 260 million Americans.
“At the government’s mandate, LightSquared began investing billions of dollars in America’s infrastructure – without asking for any money from the American taxpayer,” Ahuja said. “Yesterday, after LightSquared had already spent nearly $4 billion, the FCC changed its mind. There can be no more devastating blow to private industry and confidence in the consistency of the FCC’s decision-making process.”
The FCC said on Tuesday that LightSquared’s network offered the “potential to unleash new spectrum for mobile broadband and enhance competition” but that it could not be allowed to proceed at the expense of GPS.