Reston, Va. - LightSquared, the wholesale-only integrated 4G-LTE wireless broadband and satellite network, announced today the creation of the Empower Rural America Initiative to Ensure LightSquared and GPS co-existence.
Led by an advisory board that includes former Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and former Representatives George Nethercutt of Washington and Charlie Stenholm of Texas, the group will partner with LightSquared to:
- work with small cities and rural communities to ensure the deployment of this new satellite and broadband service;
- work with LightSquared and other parties to make sure device filters and other approaches are developed that will resolve any GPS issues related to precision agriculture and other areas;
- ensure that LightSquared's integrated satellite network can help rural markets augment their broadband and GPS services to provide greater accuracy and continuity of service;
- address the public safety concerns of small towns and rural communities by making the deployment of satellite communications services available to assist people in these areas in the event of a disaster, such as tornadoes, floods or other service disruptions to traditional communications systems; and
- help close the broadband adoption gap in rural America. Broadband is critical to rural areas where it can create jobs, contribute to economic development and introduce innovations in education, healthcare and public safety, Lightsquared said.
"There is an overwhelming need for reliable wireless broadband for public safety, education, healthcare and economic development in rural America. We can have a robust, accurate GPS network and also create a substantial new resource for rural America in the form of a wireless network that reaches areas that still don't have broadband access," said Dorgan.
"LightSquared is honored to be working with such a highly respected and devoted group of public servants. The collective wisdom of this advisory board will play a critical role in LightSquared's efforts to deliver world-class wireless broadband service to the underserved populations of rural America," said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman/CEO of LightSquared.
During the recent bout of violent tornadoes, LightSquared's services were used by first responders and public safety officials to communicate after cellular services were disrupted by the storms.
Citing these efforts, Stenholm said, "LightSquared's ability to provide fast and effective communication services for public safety and emergency response can provide a much needed life line for small and rural communities in the tornado belt and other areas of rural America that are flood prone."