Grassley Still Wants Lightsquared Documents, Won't Lift Block On FCC Nominees
February 16, 2012 at 3:51 AM (PT)
Even though the LIGHTSQUARED proposal to use a block of frequencies for a wireless broadband network appears to be dead now that the FCC has announced its intention to revoke its authority to do so (NET NEWS 1/15), Sen. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R-IA) said WEDNESDAY that he will not lift his block of the nominations of JESSICA ROSENWORCEL and AJIT PAI to the FCC. GRASSLEY has blocked the appointments in the Senate, saying that he will only relent when the FCC turns over documents relating to the initial approval of the LIGHTSQUARED proposal, and is sticking to his demand despite withdrawal of preliminary approval of the company's waiver.
GRASSLEY said in a statement released late WEDNESDAY, "The FCC's action seems to acknowledge the point I've been making since APRIL. Prematurely granting a conditional waiver in a rushed process is not the way to get the right result. Now that the interference issue is settled, we need to find out more than ever why the FCC did what it did. The agency put this project on a fast track for approval with what appears to have been completely inadequate technical research. After all of this time and expense, still, no one outside of the agency knows why. That's not the way the people's government should work. The public's business ought to be public. Now that the FCC has backtracked on LIGHTSQUARED, I'd like to see my Senate colleagues join my document request, especially the chairman of the only Senate committee that the FCC is willing to answer. If we don't find out how and why the FCC failed to avoid this controversy, then it will keep operating as a closed shop instead of the open, publicly accountable agency it should be."