LightSquared hires former Sen. Coleman to lobby for network

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Philip Falcone and his investment firm Harbinger Capital Partners invested billions of dollars in LightSquared’s plan to build a 4G cellphone network that would have served more than 260 million people, but federal regulators denied it permission to launch in February over concerns that it would interfere with GPS devices.

LightSquared was forced to file for bankruptcy in May, but is still trying to find a solution for its network. The company submitted a proposal to the Federal Communications Commission last month to share some frequencies that are currently used by federal agencies. The company promised to vacate the frequencies that had caused the most interference with GPS devices.

The company would offer its service on a wholesale basis and would provide competition against Verizon, AT&T and other wireless providers.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) accused the FCC and the White House of being too cozy with LightSquared's lobbyists and questioned why the company got as far as it did in the regulatory process. He blocked a vote on President Obama's two FCC nominees for months in a bid to force the agency to release internal documents on its review of the company.

Despite filing for bankruptcy and laying off workers, LightSquared is still a lobbying juggernaut in Washington. The company has retained top firms including Gephardt Group, Dickstein Shapiro, K&L Gates, Patton Boggs and Wexler & Walker.

Their lobbyists include a host of influential former policymakers including former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), former Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) and former Republican FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.