FCC Member Pai Says He Voted Against Globalstar Proposal

Ajit Pai, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, said he voted against a proposal to let Globalstar Inc. make heavier use of its airwaves.

Pai said in an e-mailed statement that adopting Democratic FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal would “give a particular company special rights.” Pai is a member of the agency’s Republican minority, which has lost a series of 3-2 votes led by Wheeler.

Votes from the other FCC commissioners weren’t announced, and Kim Hart, a commission spokeswoman, didn’t immediately respond to queries.

Wheeler on May 13 proposed letting Globalstar, based in Covington, Louisiana, offer mobile broadband service on frequencies now reserved for satellite signals.

Globalstar shares dropped more than 8 percent after Pai’s announcement and closed at $2.09, down 3.2 percent. Barbee Ponder, the company’s general counsel, declined to comment.

Globalstar says its proposed service could expand U.S. Wi-Fi capacity by one third. Critics including Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have said in filings that the plan risks interference with other mobile devices.

(Updates Globalstar share price in fifth paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected spelling of Pai’s name.)

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