Washington -- The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday
put what looked to be the last nail in the coffin of LightSquared's proposed
wholesale wireless broadband network.
But even that might not prove to enough to break the ice over
the confirmation of two new FCC commissioners, whose full Senate vote has
apparently been held up by a single, unhappy senator, Sen. Charles Grassley
After the National Telecommunications & Information
Administration concluded there was virtually no way that LightSquared's
proposed 4G wholesale wireless network could keep from interfering with Global
Positioning System receivers, the FCC moved to vacate LightSquared's waiver and
put deployment of the service on indefinite hold.
At first glance, that would appear to have paved the way for
Congress finally proceeding on full Senate consideration of FCC
commissioners-in-waiting Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel. The appointments of
Pai, a Republican, and Rosenworcel, a Democrat, have been under a hold threat
from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) due to the
FCC's decision not to release documents related to its grant of that
Both seemed bipartisan shoe-ins at the end of last year
until Grassley's hold threat over the unrelated LightSquared issue. That may
yet prove to be the case -- both were approved unanimously in the Senate
Commerce Committee -- but the Senator's office was not sounding conciliatory
late Tuesday despite the FCC's moves.
"He really wants those documents," a Grassley aide
told Multichannel News. "I don't
think he'll yield easily."