Further Delay in LightSquared Deployment Provides Little Benefit, High Costs

Further Delay in LightSquared Deployment Provides Little Benefit, High Costs

Lenard Files on New FCC Request for Comments

Contact: Amy Smorodin
(202) 828-4405

September 6, 2013 – In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission, Technology Policy Institute President Thomas Lenard recommends the agency approve LightSquared’s modified mobile broadband network deployment proposal.

In his submission, Lenard identifies the Commission’s August 7, 2013 request for comments on a LightSquared technical analysis as “another in the series of regulatory hurdles that has delayed the deployment of LightSquared’s proposed wireless broadband network, which has been estimated to produce substantial value to the economy and benefits to consumers.”

Lenard continues, “Because the benefits of deployment are large, delay generates significant consumer costs. The record is already voluminous and it is unlikely that an additional comment period will yield information of any significance that the Commission doesn’t already know. Thus the benefits of an additional comment period are almost certainly less than the costs from further delaying the network-costs that ultimately are passed on to consumers.”

Lenard notes that approval of the LightSquared proposal is the most expedient way to advance administration and Commission goals of increasing spectrum for mobile broadband. “Of the various options available…, the MSS spectrum owned by LightSquared, which is a network with investments already made and waiting for regulatory approval, is low-hanging fruit,” he explains.

“Not approving the LightSquared spectrum for mobile broadband because of GPS-related interference concerns would effectively transfer a large block of spectrum from the commercial sector back to the government,” Lenard concludes. “The Commission should avoid this possibility by approving LightSquared’s proposal as soon as possible.”

Lenard’s comments are available on the TPI website.

The Technology Policy Institute

The Technology Policy Institute is a non-profit research and educational organization that focuses on the economics of innovation, technological change, and related regulation in the United States and around the world. More information is available at https://techpolicyinstitute.org/.

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