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Letter to Sanjiv Ahuja, LightSquared CEO


Location: Washington, DC

Dear Mr. Ahuja

I read you latest ad in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, entitled "Excuse me. You're in my space" and was struck by the very different tone than was exhibited by the LightSquared witness at the House Aviation Subcommittee hearing on June 23, 2011.

Apparently, the new strategy being employed by LightSquared in its public relations campaign is to place all the blame on GPS. This ignores the fact that GPS was located on this part of the spectrum long before LightSquared devised a plan to employ a terrestrial network within the satellite band of radio spectrum.

In fact, you spectrum was purchased at bargain prices because it was not intended for terrestrial operations. If it were always intended for such use, it would have been o much higher value. It became high value spectrum when it became clear that LightSquared's business plan was to abuse the ancillary terrestrial authorization and use the spectrum for terrestrial based operations -- a radical change to the intended use of spectrum. So if you want to talk about subsides, it seems clear LightSquared has schemed for a "subsidy" when it purchased at bargain rates the low valued spectrum and then changed the plan -- avoiding spectrum auction prices for terrestrial network spectrum operations that will lead to interference with GPS.

This is a matter of public safety. The U.S. Department of Transportation has stated the GPS interference could result in almost 800 aviation fatalities and cost of $100 billion. Our military operations, search and rescue efforts and many more activities affecting the safety and well being of the general public could be impacted.

I would suggest that it is LightSquared using a part of the spectrum for inappropriate purposes that has lead to this dilemma. Don't blame GPS, a service that is vital to our national security, aviation safety and efficiency, serves billions of users and the overall public good. During his testimony in June, your representative pledged to work with the GPS community to find a solution to the problem that has been created by your application and changing business plan, so I would urge you devote your time, efforts and resources towards that end rather then pointing fingers.


Thomas E. Petri
Subcommittee on Aviation

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