FCC Denies NTIA Petition to Stay Ligado Order and Authorization

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The Federal Communications Commission (Commission or FCC) has denied the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) request to stay the Ligado Order and Authorization.  In April 2020, the Commission unanimously voted to adopt an Order authorizing Ligado Networks to deploy a low-power terrestrial nationwide network using its own licensed spectrum.  On May 22, 2020, NTIA filed a petition attempting to delay Ligado’s deployment, but the Commission has denied the petition on the grounds that it failed to demonstrate irreparable injury or a likelihood of success.

The Commission faced backlash in April for the Order over concerns that Ligado’s deployment could interfere with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers.  In a statement denying NTIA’s petition, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that he is confident the Commission made the correct decision as the Order contains conditions to protect incumbent GPS users of the L-Band.  He added that the Ligado Order was necessary to make progress in ensuring access to next-generation wireless services and put “long-underused spectrum to its best use.”

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