Vail Daily’s Randy Wyrick: Wireless at the speed of LightSquared |

Vail Daily’s Randy Wyrick: Wireless at the speed of LightSquared

When we last visited LightSquared, it was being hailed as a new high-speed Internet option that would finally reach into all those dead spots across the high country.

Wolcott springs to mind.

LightSquared was the old SkyTerra satellite phone operation. It’s seeking federal approvals but bumped into a real problem with the GPS folks – mainly that GPS poached a bit of spectrum and when the LightSquared system is turned on, it blasts away the GPS signals.

Not good news for you trying to find that new restaurant, but apparently even worse for some aviation and defense uses. That, of course, brought a string of congressional hearings. An array of media stories have questioned if a Virginia-based company called LightSquared can implement plans for a high-speed wireless network without interfering with GPS devices that use some of the company’s spectrum.

Well, last week a brainiac engineer who helped create the modern GPS industry up and announced a solution to the problem, which had to embarrass some skeptics who had assured everyone that there “is no fix.”

Javad Ashjaee, the engineer, said his Washington state company, Javad GNSS Inc., will have a first wave of LightSquared-specific devices in mass production by November. He must be serious because his website already features LightSquared-specific products.

As you might guess, with several billion dollars at stake, this butt-saving news was greeted warmly by LightSquared, which got slapped around a little last week.

Some high-profile media stories focused on the Obama administration stepping in to help with the FCC regulatory process. I discounted the stories immediately. This is a private company using private capital, not a “stimulus” company funded with borrowed tax money through the smoke and mirrors of Obamanomics. Plus the LightSquared owner is a rather outspoken Republican. No way the administration steps in.

The LightSquared folks called it a “final step” toward helping create private-sector jobs and providing an actual higher-speed option for those of us living in wireless-challenged areas.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m headed into Wolcott.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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