Trump Administration Formally Asks FCC to Reconsider Ligado Decision

The Trump Administration has formally requested that the Federal Communications Commission reconsider its approval to Ligado to construct a nationwide mobile broadband network that it says “will cause irreparable harms to federal government users of the Global Positioning System (GPS).”

The National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) filed the appeal to rescind the approval on behalf of the Trump Administration, particularly the departments of Defense (DOD) and Transportation (DOT).

“Separately, NTIA is seeking a stay in the proceedings to prevent Ligado from deploying its network until this petition is addressed and harmful interference concerns are resolved,” the document stated. “A stay is appropriate because the Commission should meaningfully test its new and unproven harmful interference metric and overhaul unworkable grant conditions prior to deployment.”

The NTIA’s concerns about interference go beyond federal users of GPS.

“However, we also note that the Commission failed to consider the major economic impact its decision will have on civilian GPS users and the American economy,” the appeal said. “As the lead civil agency for GPS, DoT explained in the enclosed letter that Ligado’s proposed operations would disrupt a wide range of civil GPS receivers owned and operated by emergency first responders, among others.”

In approving the application, FCC commissioners rejected claims that Ligado’s network would interfere with GPS signals.