Grassley asks LightSquared to release communications with White House, FCC

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LightSquared plans to provide high-speed wireless service nationwide, but tests earlier this year revealed its network interferes with Global Positioning System devices, which are considered critical to public safety.

LightSquared claims that a series of technical adjustments has addressed the GPS problems. The company is currently undergoing another round of testing, and FCC officials have said the company will not be allowed to launch a network that disrupts GPS.

Republican lawmakers have called for an investigation of the company's ties to the administration after emails revealed LightSquared had communicated with senior White House aides. The administration also asked an Air Force general to change his testimony in a congressional briefing to make it more supportive of the company.

In letters to LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja and its primary investor, Philip Falcone, Grassley said the company's advertising implies that it plans to bring broadband access to rural areas. The FCC has required LightSquared to provide broadband service to 260 million Americans, but Grassley notes that there is no requirement that the service include rural areas.  

Grassley also took the wireless company to task for arguing that it is a new startup and that it has existed for a decade. Although the company in its current form has existed for about a year and a half, it is a successor to a previous company, SkyTerra.

The inconsistency "strains credibility and raises more questions about LightSquared," Grassley wrote.