Advanced Television

Ligado close to bankruptcy

March 28, 2024

By Chris Forrester

Ligado Networks is in trouble. It is suing various US government Agencies for $40 billion (€37.1bn) of compensation and claiming that the Agencies “roadblocked” Legado’s FCC-licensed L-band frequencies and spectrum because the US government wanted the spectrum itself.

The L-band spectrum was granted to Ligado by the FCC in 2020 with permission to roll out a 5G network with the frequencies.

Ligado, formerly known as Lightsquared, is suing the Department of Defense, the Department Of Commerce and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA).

The case is best described as “complicated” and centres on the FCC’s granting to Ligado in 2020 to create a 5G network with the spectrum, albeit for satellite usage. Ligado has claimed the Department of Defense (DoD) had been using the L-band frequencies without providing compensation.

The US Department of Justice in February asked for Ligado’s action to be dismissed.

Ligado has told the US Court of Federal Claims, which handles complaints against the government, that its efforts to realise billions of dollars in compensation have driven the company “to the brink of bankruptcy”.

The threat of bankruptcy is not new but inevitably without access to spectrum, and considerable resistance from certain US Agencies the company’s prospects are threatened.

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