Bloomberg News

Grassley Says FCC Hides Information on Falcone’s LightSquared

November 29, 2011

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Senator Charles Grassley said the Federal Communications Commission is hiding information about its handling of Philip Falcone’s LightSquared wireless venture, which faces scrutiny over interference with navigation devices.

Documents released by the agency on LightSquared were already publicly available, Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said today in an e-mailed statement.

“The FCC needs to stop playing games and make itself accountable,” said Grassley, who is the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee. The agency has refused to explain its process for granting LightSquared tentative approval in January, according to the release.

LightSquared has proposed offering wireless high-speed Internet service to 260 million people over airwaves formerly reserved mainly for satellites. Makers and users of global- positioning system devices say the service could disrupt navigation by aircraft, boats, tractors and automobiles.

LightSquared, backed by Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund, is seeking final U.S. approval after pledging steps toward resolving interference concerns. Federal officials are overseeing additional tests.

The FCC made the documents available on a website.

“This holiday-week document dump and the fact that these documents are already publicly available is a continuation of the FCC’s pattern of hiding any actual information regarding the LightSquared waiver,” Grassley said.

Tammy Sun, an FCC spokeswoman, didn’t immediately reply to a telephone call and e-mail.

Grassley has said he would block two nominees to the FCC because the agency hasn’t answered questions he has been posing since April.

--Editors: Michael Shepard, Larry Liebert

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at tshields3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Shepard at mshepard7@bloomberg.net


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