updated 09:50 pm EST, Tue January 25, 2011
Company to be granted waiver
The FCC is reportedly set to grant a waiver to a startup, LightSquared, that specializes in satellite-based broadband. The Commission has yet to formally announce its decision, however sources have told The Washington Post that the agency supports LightSquared's proposal, which is viewed as a way to promote competition in the wireless broadband market.
"LightSquared would be a new competitor and entrant into mobile broadband with new sources of capital and a new kind of business model that consumers find appealing," said the unnamed FCC official.
The waiver is said to enable the startup to sell wireless broadband service apart from the company's satellite-based services, as a way to expand its customer base by offering a broader range of products. Opponents claim LightSquared's satellite operations may interfere with existing signals for GPS or other systems, however the FCC official suggests the company will be required to resolve any problems before launching commercial service.
LightSquared initially plans to promote its product to other companies rather than directly to individual consumers. It remains unclear if the company will be able to overcome the interference concerns raised by doubters.