Washington, DC – The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has blocked Reston, Va.-based LightSquared from launching its long-planned mobile broadband network, following a report by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that found the company’s technology would harm GPS signals.

Philip Falcone and his investment firm Harbinger Capital have so far invested about $3 billion in LightSquared, which has stated its intention to continue seeking approval.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genechowski, Lawrence Strickling, administrator of the NTIA, wrote on Tuesday that LightSquared’s proposed network “will impact GPS services and that there is no practical way to mitigate the potential interference at this time.”

The FCC, which had conditionally approved the network a year ago, said in a statement that it now has decided to “not lift the prohibition on LightSquared.”

In response, the company said the NTIA relied on “flawed conclusions” about the potential impact of its technology on GPS, and vowed to continue working toward a resolution with the government and GPS industry.

LightSquared in September said it had worked with a Silicon Valley company to develop filtering technology designed to eliminate the interference issues. In his letter, however, Strickling wrote that the time and money required to replace existing GPS systems — including those used on aircraft and in national security systems — “cannot support the scheduled deployment of terrestrial services proposed” by the company.

This article was also published in Potomac Tech Wire.

Related links:

NTIA recommendation –

FTC statement –

LightSquared press release –

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