Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Smell of Chicago: LightSquared Edition

It's only national defense and every single GPS user in the country, so who gives a damn?

“The GPS community is concerned because testing has shown that LightSquared’s ground-based transmissions overpower the relatively weak GPS signal from space. Although LightSquared will operate in its own radio band, that band is so close to the GPS signals that most GPS devices pick up the stronger LightSquared signal and become overloaded or jammed.

Two high-ranking witnesses — Air Force Space Command four-star Gen. William Shelton and National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Director Anthony Russo — have now blown the whistle on how the White House pressured them to alter their congressional testimony and play down concerns about LightSquared’s threat to military communications. According to Eli Lake of The Daily Beast, both officials were urged to express confidence in the company and endorse its promise to address any technical concerns “within 90 days.”

That's not the half of it.

...Despite industry-wide protests, the firm somehow received fast-track approval for a special FCC waiver that grants LightSquared the right to use wireless spectrum to build out a national 4G wireless network on the cheap. Ken Boehm, of the conservative watchdog National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) in Washington, D.C., summed up the deal earlier this year: “LightSquared will get the spectrum for a song, while its competitors (e.g., AT&T and Verizon) have to spend billions.”...

That would be an $8Bn hike to the value of LightSquared's asset-base.


Not a bad return on a few hundred thou in political campaign gifts.

Don't stop reading now:  the best part is here:

Obama bought his Skyterra stock the very same day the FCC “ruled in favor of the company’s effort to create a nationwide wireless network by combining satellites and land-based communications systems.”  [Skyterra is now called LightSquared]

Good timing.  Just like Hillary's extremely astute chicken-futures purchases/sales, right??

HT:  Malkin

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