Senator to Delay Nominations Until FCC Releases Documents
Senator Charles E. Grassley (R - IOWA), ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he will place a hold on two of President Obama's FCC nominations to the five member board until he receives more information on the FCC's decision to allow LightSquared to test it's cellular network without a vote by the committee.
The FCC has released documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Grassley and others claim these documents only include information that was already publicly available, and that internal correspondence and records of deliberation are still being withheld.
"Whether it’s posting a bunch of old-news documents the day before Thanksgiving, or telling 99.6 percent of elected members Congress that the agency doesn’t have to be responsive to oversight, this is an agency with a very serious transparency problem."
LightSquared has had a history of controversy. The company has built a wireless broadband network using satellites, creating competition for the large wired service providers. The technical problem is LightSquared uses frequency close to that used by GPS signals, creating interference for existing military and civilian GPS services. LightSquared has been working with GPS providers to resolve these issues.
The political problem is the FCC approved a special request for LightSquared to proceed with testing without the FCC board voting on the decision.