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LightSquared files for bankruptcy

LightSquared files for bankruptcy

LightSquared Inc., whose proposed high-speed wireless network threatened to disrupt GPS navigation systems, including those used in agriculture, has filed for bankruptcy.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition was filed May 14 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. It followed a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision in February that it would withdraw preliminary approval for the LightSquared network after government tests confirmed that it would interfere with global positioning systems.

The government tests corroborated concerns from the Coalition to Save Our GPS, whose members included John Deere and Trimble, that GPS navigation systems operating near any of LightSquared’s planned 40,000 cellular towers would be disrupted. The Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Department of Defense and others expressed similar concerns about the LightSquared network, which received preliminary FCC approval in early 2011.

In a statement, LightSquared said the bankruptcy filing gives it “breathing room” to resolve regulatory issues. Meanwhile, the company said it continues to provide services to its customers, including satellite communications systems used by navigation system providers to deliver correction signals to GPS receivers. 

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