LightSquared, Harbinger Won't Turn Over Documents to Grassley

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LightSquared and parent Harbinger Capital have declined to provide documents to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) about their contacts with the Federal Communications Commission and White House over the company's waiver at the agency to launch a national, wholesale 4G terrestrial service using its satellite spectrum.

In a letter to Grassley, the companies said that they were concerned about the GPS industry's efforts to politicize the issue, and said that since Grassley had not appeared to ask for documents from its members, Garmin, Trimble or John Deere, for example, they "respectfully declined" to provide that info.

The FCC has already rejected a Grassley request for documents, saying that it only responds to requests from committee chairs.

Grassley's office said that if it means LightSquared and Harbinger would produce the documents as requested, it would send out similar requests to Garmin, Trimble or John Deere by the end of the day.

The FCC's conditional waiver for the LightSquared service is on hold due to issues about interference with GPS. The FCC is conducting more testing, while LightSquared says it has a fix for the problem, which it says stems from sensitive GPS receivers, and is willing to pay for it.

The commission is looking to promote mobile broadband, and sees LightSquared as a way to provide price and service competition. The Obama administration has also made deploying wireless broadband to 98% of the country within five years a national priority.

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