Friday, September 16, 2011

LightSquared = Solyndra squared. Obama politics and donor money to interfere with military GPS.

White House Pressure for a Donor?

The four-star Air Force general who oversees Air Force Space Command walked into a highly secured room on Capitol Hill a week ago to give a classified briefing to lawmakers and staff, and dropped a surprise. Pressed by members, Gen. William Shelton said the White House tried to pressure him to change his testimony to make it more favorable to a company tied to a large Democratic donor. . .

According to officials familiar with the situation, Shelton’s prepared testimony was leaked in advance to the company. And the White House asked the general to alter the testimony to add two points: that the general supported the White House policy to add more broadband for commercial use; and that the Pentagon would try to resolve the questions around LightSquared with testing in just 90 days. Shelton chafed at the intervention, which seemed to soften the Pentagon’s position and might be viewed as helping the company as it tries to get the project launched, officials said.

“There was an attempt to influence the text of the testimony and to engage LightSquared in the process in order to bias his testimony,” Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) said in an interview. “The only people who were involved in the process in preparation for the hearing included the Department of Defense, the White House, and the Office Management and Budget.”

. . . Shelton finally gave his testimony Thursday, and made clear the Pentagon's concern about LightSquared's project.

The general told Turner's committee that preliminary tests of a new LightSquared proposal to use only a portion of the band that it was licensed originally in 2004 would cause significant disruptions to GPS.

He said the GPS spectrum was supposed to originally be a “quiet neighborhood,” meaning that lower strength signals could exist near the GPS spectrum. Speaking of the LightSquared plan, he said, “If you put a rock band in the middle of that quiet neighborhood, that’s a different circumstance.”

. . . The FCC license has come under scrutiny because technical experts have warned that LightSquared’s proposal to build tens of thousands of ground stations for a wireless network could drown out the GPS signal. . .

“The FCC’s fast-tracking of LightSquared raises questions about whether the government is rushing this project at the expense of all kinds of other things, including national security and everyone who uses GPS, from agriculture to emergency medical technicians,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). “Without transparency, and with media coverage of political connections in this case, there’s no way to know whether the agency is trying to help friends in need or really looking out for the public’s interest.”


Old NFO said...

Meh... 'knew' this one was coming... It's been out there for almost 5 years that there are "issues"...

Anonymous said...

Yes its not just "military" GPS its all GPS. If they fast track this network General Aviation aircraft will be drifting all over their planned routes. This network is way to close to the GPS bands.


Anonymous said...

Finally! A General that's not a PC weenie.

B WOodman

Anonymous said...

We have been following this LightSquared issue in the General Aviation community for some time. Intersting that no representation from GA was present. Anything that hinders gps will kill people and make flying much less safe.

drjim said...

This is exactly what happens when the FCC is run by lawyers, and not engineers.
It's been this way for years, and the only people who benefit from what passes as "Spectrum Management" these days are those who are politically connected.
The National Association of Broadcasters has been screaming about using the "white space" (basically 'guard channels') between TV channels for broadband use.
And the same thing happened with the fiasco of "Broadband Over Powerline" (BPL), which would have been a disaster for all users of the HF and lower VHF spectrum if the ARRL and the Amateur Radio community had not stepped in and shown through actual measurements that the BPL system would have destroyed the HF spectrum.
The FCC these days is basically the fox guarding the chicken coop.

Fielder George Dowding said...

There ain't no such thing as free broadband. (paraphrase Heinlein)

Talk about an unsustainable, unconstitutional boondoggle!

Here are some dots for the reader to connect:

Microsoft (Bill Gates and his Ilk) and political donations.

Nokia (Stephen Elop) which is just the tip of the

Nokia Siemens Networks and LightSquared

One Laptop Per Child

Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) as already pointed out.

The manure keeps getting deeper.

Anonymous said...

DumBHO was a direct investor $50k. It is unknown when, or if, he sold. Many of his buds and donors have big money at stake with Falcone. First named at $50k investment level is new ambassador to South Africa