US senators question FCC on Ligado decision

June 5, 2020  - By
Photo: Andrea Izzotti/

Photo: Andrea Izzotti/

Eight senators sent a letter on June 4 to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Ajit Pai asking a series of questions about the agency’s decision on Ligado Networks.

Signing the letter were Senators Mike Lee, Brian Schatz, Ron Johnson, Edward Markey, Ted Cruz, Mark Warner, John Thune and Chris Coons. All except for Senator Coons serve on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which oversees the FCC. Senator Coons serves on the appropriations subcommittee that funds the FCC each year.

The letter referred to the hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Committee on the issue, and stated that only parties opposed to the FCC’s action were heard. The senators were concerned that the public also hear from the FCC.

Thirteen specific questions covered topics including:

  • How long the proceeding was on the docket
  • What notice given federal agencies of the proposed final order
  • Which agencies were consulted and how input was considered
  • The adequacy of the guard band and how the FCC has used the 1-db interference standard in the past

The 13th question asked the FCC why it believed granting the application was in the public interest.

A copy of the letter is available on the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation website.