Statement of Thomas Lenard on FCC’s Order on Ligado Licenses

Statement of Thomas Lenard on FCC’s Order on Ligado Licenses

WASHINGTON (April 16, 2020) – The following is a statement by Technology Policy Institute Senior Fellow and President Emeritus Thomas Lenard on today’s Federal Communications Commission order on Ligado licenses:

“I congratulate the FCC on circulating today’s important draft order to approve Ligado Networks’ proposed license modifications. The need for additional spectrum for mobile broadband and emerging 5G technologies is well established. Allowing the Ligado spectrum to lie fallow would represent a waste of valuable resources that could provide substantial benefits for consumers in the form of new Internet of Things and other uses. Beginning in 2010, I and colleagues have written extensively about the options available for increasing spectrum for broadband, stressing the important role the Ligado spectrum can play in that effort.

“The attempt to allow the L-band to be used for terrestrial services has been ongoing for many years. Ligado has undertaking extraordinary efforts to be able to use its spectrum to deliver next-generation network services, including entering into spectrum use coexistence agreements with five leading GPS manufacturers, lowering maximum power transmissions, and creating a large guardband for satellite navigation systems.

“The Ligado mid-band spectrum represents a significant potential contribution to U.S. leadership in 5G. The Commission together with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration have been attempting to move more spectrum into the private sector, particularly by freeing up government spectrum. Failure to approve the Ligado license modifications would have the opposite effect, transferring a large block of spectrum from the commercial sector back to the government. The Commission’s action today will avoid that outcome.”

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