Embattled Ligado Fights NTIA Quest to Stay 5G Network Build


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Ligado Networks challenged the Administration’s petition to get the FCC’s authorization of its satellite and ground-based L-band 5G network reversed. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration recently opposed the Commission’s Ligado decision for itself, the Department of Defense, and several other federal agencies, saying it will result in harmful interference to GPS. NTIA and the other agencies seek a stay of the decision pending judicial review.

Ligado characterized NTIA’s filing to the FCC as “remarkably thin” and said it “fails by a wide margin” to meet its burden of proof that a stay of the decision is required. In the formal opposition, the former LightSquared, urged the Commission to reject “this meritless request.”  

NTIA’s substantive arguments merely reiterate disputes the Commission already “meticulously considered and rejected regarding alleged harmful interference with GPS devices,” according to the company. “NTIA effectively concedes that it will suffer no imminent irreparable injury,” explains Ligado, noting that NTIA “admits” the company’s system will not be operational for what could be up to 18 months. “In light of this, NTIA’s request for the extraordinary relief of a stay turns routine policy disagreements into a request for a lockdown of the FCC’s process and puts at risk progress on spectrum developments that hinder 5G and destabilize FCC decision making.”

Ligado says the FCC consulted with NTIA and considered its views. The order “properly addressed concerns regarding harmful interference to adjacent band GPS operations,” according to Ligado. NTIA, DoD and other federal agencies disagree.

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