Airways Plan by Ligado, the Former LightSquared, Advances at FCC

  • Company wants to use former satellite airwaves for broadband
  • Regulator seeks comments; earlier plan had raised GPS concerns

Regulators on Friday asked for comments on Ligado Networks’ plan for a new broadband network, marking a step forward for the company formerly known as LightSquared.

Closely held Ligado said it has revised a plan that aroused concerns its network would interfere with the global positioning system, or GPS, the Federal Communications Commission said in a notice seeking comments through June 16. Ligado needs FCC approval for its airwaves plan to send broadband over frequencies formerly reserved for satellite.

Objections over possible interference forced the company, then controlled by financier Philip Falcone, into bankruptcy in May 2012. Opponents included airlines, the military and makers of GPS gear. Recently Ligado, based in Reston, Virginia, has reached agreements with GPS companies, the FCC said.

The company recently emerged from more than three years of bankruptcy proceedings under new control. Its owners including JPMorgan Chase & Co., the private equity firm Centerbridge Capital Partners LP, and Fortress Investment Group LLC. Falcone retains a minority stake.

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