Things are heating up for LightSquared -- again. The Washington Post reported Friday that House Republican staffers believe officials in the Obama administration improperly influenced an Air Force general's testimony regarding the Virginia company's bid to build a national broadband network.
The Daily Beast first reported the incident involving Gen. William Shelton on Thursday:
"According to officials familiar with the situation, Shelton's prepared testimony was leaked in advance to the company. And the White House asked the general to alter the testimony to add two points: that the general supported the White House policy to add more broadband for commercial use; and that the Pentagon would try to resolve the questions around LightSquared with testing in just 90 days. Shelton chafed at the intervention, which seemed to soften the Pentagon's position and might be viewed as helping the company as it tries to get the project launched, officials said."
Col. Kathleen Cook, a spokeswoman for Shelton, told the Post that "Gen. Shelton's testimony was his own, supported by and focused purely on documented, tested results."
The Federal Communications Commission in January granted the company a waiver to operate its satellite/terrestrial network provided it could work out any interference problems with the GPS industry, a decision sharply criticized by the Defense and Transportation Departments.
Opponents to the network have been piling up and include such diverse groups as farmers, defense contractors and the European Union, all of whom have filed objections to the plan with the FCC.
The company has repeatedly and vigorously defended its plans.