The FCC grant represents a significant milestone for the company, and LightSquared will now provide notice to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York signaling the effective date of its confirmed Plan of Reorganization and enabling the mobile operator to successfully exit restructuring. The company originally filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2012, and its reorganization plan was confirmed by Judge Shelley C. Chapman on March 26, 2015.
“Today’s FCC approval will enable LightSquared to successfully exit bankruptcy protection, but, more importantly, it kick starts a major step toward private investment in our national wireless infrastructure,” said Ivan Seidenberg, the incoming company’s new chairman of the board. Mr. Seidenberg, the former chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications Inc., also stated, “I am delighted to be joining the new LightSquared Board as its Chairman; we intend to do everything possible to achieve a reasonable business solution as well as an engineering consensus between wireless broadband and the GPS industry. We recognize that our number one job will be to resolve technical issues and liberate scarcely-used satellite spectrum that’s actually ideal for the cellular industry. I am confident we can reach a mutually-acceptable outcome that not only makes industry better off but also benefits consumers of wireless and GPS products.”
“We are very appreciative for today’s FCC action which will allow LightSquared to begin anew and recommit to work with all stakeholders to resolve important technical matters, identify necessary solutions, and remove regulatory uncertainty that the company has faced over the past three and-a-half years,” said Doug Smith, LightSquared chief executive officer. “We will emerge from restructuring with new owners representing some of the world’s top investors, and they have committed significant new capital to give the company the runway it needs to grow and operate the business. The new Board of Directors will be a group of highly-skilled and deeply experienced individuals, and I am excited to work alongside each of them to reach consensus and enable use of this mid-band spectrum.”
New incoming board member Reed Hundt, former FCC chairman, echoed the commitment to work with all stakeholders to fulfill the need to expand the nation’s wireless infrastructure. “Reaching a consensus on the use of this spectrum will not only enable the wireless industry to better satisfy skyrocketing consumer demand for more affordable broadband, but doing so will also position our country to lead the transition from 4G to 5G. Balanced, efficient, and innovative use of spectrum is critical to U.S. economic growth, and we look forward to continuing to work with the FCC as well as other government agencies and stakeholders to ensure the wireless ecosystem has the resources it needs to keep America the leader in mobile broadband technologies.”