By Alexandra S. Levine, originally published in POLITICO on 05/18/2020 10:00 AM EDT (excerpt).
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SENATE COMMERCE LEADER URGES LIGADO DO-OVER — Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the Senate Commerce Committee’s ranking member, added her signature to a Friday letter released by Senate Armed Services Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), which features more than 30 senators urging the FCC to reconsider its April vote favoring Ligado Networks’ 5G services. Her objections matter because her panel has principal jurisdiction over the FCC and would be central in any legislative countermeasure. Inhofe has signaled interest in potentially pursuing such a route but has also remained deferential to Senate Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker’s (R-Miss.) gavel.
— Ligado advocate and telecom attorney Joel Thayer quickly sought to counter some of the letter’s claims in a blog post. Ligado and the FCC have repeatedly insisted that the approval’s conditions will mitigate any GPS disruption. “The good news is that the majority of the U.S. Senate resisted the DoD lobbying blitz and do not seek to reverse the FCC’s careful adjudication based on years of diligent, technical analysis, and consultation with federal agencies, including the Pentagon,” Ligado said. The Trump administration has until May 29 to formally ask the FCC to reconsider, a maneuver that the Pentagon says it’s seeking.
CARR SET TO TEASE JUNE FCC VOTE — FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr is joining the National Association of Broadcasters and Consumer Technology Association this afternoon for an event on the next-generation TV standard known as ATSC 3.0. “Broadcast TV blankets the country,” Carr tweeted recently. “Now imagine using those same powerful airwaves for a competitive new Internet service. … Tune in Monday to see how the FCC can give this tech a boost.”
— Carr confirmed to MT that he’ll be detailing a draft proposal on the matter, set for a vote at the commission’s June 9 meeting. Expect more details at 3:30.