FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said he was stepping down from the role today. Let’s take a look back and see how he did against our hopes for him back in 2009.
Phlip Falcone, the head of the private equity firm that invested billions in LightSquared has been charged with fraud. The SEC said it was changing the founder of Harbinger Capital Partners with misappropriating client assets, market manipulation, and betraying clients.
LightSquared’s bankruptcy is the conclusion of a process that is rigged against broadband competition. Maybe it would have failed for economic reasons, but before it got the chance it fell victim to politics, spectrum warfare, and interests that don’t want more wireless competition.
LightSquared’s backer, Philip Falcone, explained on Thursday his rationale for a voluntary bankruptcy filing for the planned wholesale LTE network, but given the paucity of actual assets in LightSquared, and the fact that Falcone has invested billions so far into LightSquared, this is almost a no-brainer.
If the FCC won’t let LightSquared launch LTE in its satellite spectrum, then the carrier wants the commission to find its network an alternate home on the airwaves. LightSquared still claims its 4G network will leave GPS unharmed, but it’s willing to consider a spectrum swap.
We’ll have to wait another year for the LTE network Clearwire has long been promising. At its quarterly earnings call on Wednesday, Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch said the WiMAX carrier’s first batch of 5,000 LTE cell sites will be switched by June of 2013.
After a year of LightSquared fighting GPS industry and government agencies over whether its network would interfere with GPS receivers, the Federal Communications Commission dropped the hammer Tuesday evening, saying it would revoke the would-be carrier’s terrestrial network waiver.
LightSquared has asked the FCC n to impose future standards on GPS device design, claiming such requirements would allow GPS and its LTE network to co-exist peacefully. While LightSquared would appear to be taking the middle path, the proposal smacks of a political stunt.
Carl Icahn has been quietly buying up LightSquared’s debt a rock bottom prices, which would put the activist investor in position to take over the company in the increasingly likely event of bankruptcy. But would there be anything left of LightSquared to salvage?
LightSquared accused the commercial GPS industry of “rigging” government tests on the potential GPS interference problems of its LTE network and called for new rounds of tests from independent labs with no participation from GPS device makers.