Advanced Television

Operators seek to dismiss Ligado claims

February 13, 2024

Ligado Networks is suing certain US government Agencies and seeking $40 billion (€37.09bn) in compensation and alleging that the Agencies “roadblocked” Legado’s L-band frequencies and spectrum because the US government wanted the spectrum itself. A number of influential bodies have submitted support to the US Government in asking the Court of Federal Claims to dismiss the Ligado claim.

The argument is fundamentally against Ligado’s use of satellite spectrum for terrestrial purposes.

On February 9th, private sector stakeholders filed an Amicus Brief in the Court of Federal Claims supporting the Government’s Motion to Dismiss the Ligado case. The brief was filed by Iridium Communications, Aireon LL, the Air Line Pilots Association, Airlines for America, and the International Air Transport Association. Each is a party to a pending Petition for Reconsideration of the Ligado Order at the FCC.

The Satellite Safety Alliance (SSA), which has long advocated that the FCC reverse its Ligado Order is also supporting the dismissal action.

The SSA said: “[The] Amicus Brief filed in support of the Government’s motion to dismiss documents [and] the sordid administrative record in this proceeding and demonstrates that the opposition to Ligado’s proposal is broad and grounded in science. If the court fails to recognise this overwhelming record, it’ll inject more uncertainty into the operations of critical communications services using nearby spectrum to provide GPS, satellite communications, and weather forecasting services. Ligado has never cared about the harmful interference its terrestrial operations would cause, which the independent NAS study confirmed was very real. The arguments made today reiterate what we’ve long known: Ligado’s speculative spectrum-flipping venture jeopardises US national security, civil aviation safety, and billions of dollars in economic investment. The only solution remains the same – the FCC must reconsider its 2020 Order.”

The motion filed into the court by the stakeholders added: “Because Ligado’s complaint against the US is based in significant part on Ligado’s planned terrestrial operations, amici respectfully submit that they have unique interests in and perspectives on those issues.”

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