Kevin Fitchard, “LightSquared is jilting taxpayers out of billions, GPS industry claims,” Connected Planet, October 27, 2011


Kevin Fitchard, LightSquared is jilting taxpayers out of billions, GPS industry claims, Connected Planet, October 27, 2011


Amen. The Wall Street Journal ran a front page story about the first phase of the LightSquared giveaway around 2003. I’ve seen no comparable coverage of the early 2011 second phase, perhaps because the Wall Street was acquired by the News Corp with its massive spectrum holdings (joining other newspapers with major spectrum holdings such as the Washington Post, U.S.A. Today, and Los Angeles Times).

None of the regular tech players that lobby Congress and the FCC on spectrum issues, most notably the broadcasters and the mobile phone companies, can raise such issues because they’ve all been playing the same game as LightSquared and when you live in glass houses you don’t throw stones. High-tech companies, such as Sony (broadcast equipment), Google (handsets), Microsoft (handsets), and Apple (handsets) are in a similar position because they are vendors to the broadcast and mobile phone spectrum lobbyists and must be careful not to alienate their customers. The beauty of the GPS folks is that they don’t appear to have such cross-cutting incentives.

Is this the beginning of the dam breaking on the taboo Washington, DC subject of spectrum giveaway? Probably not, certainly if the recent talk of spectrum incentive auctions is any guide.



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