LightSquared Joins Initiative to Deploy Satellite, Broadband Service in Rural Areas

By Erin Harrison July 07, 2011

On the heels of securing $265 million in investor funding, 4G-LTE wireless broadband and satellite network LightSquared today announced the creation of an initiative to bring satellite and broadband services to small cities and rural communities.

The Empower Rural America Initiative is led by an advisory board that includes former Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and former US Representatives George Nethercutt of Washington and Charlie Stenholm of Texas.

Citing a need to help close the broadband adoption gap in rural America, LightSquared executives noted that broadband is critical to rural areas since it can create jobs, contribute to economic development and introduce innovations in education, healthcare and public safety.

Dorgan cited “an overwhelming need for reliable wireless broadband” to help drive public safety, education, healthcare and economic development in rural America, focusing on the disparity in the US.

“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,” Dorgan said in a statement.

According to LightSquared, the group’s mission and goals are 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 unique 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.

LightSquared Chairman and CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said the rural broadband initiative will help push the company’s efforts to bring wireless broadband to underserved areas in the US.

“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,” Ahuja said in a statement. 

Earlier this week, TechZone360 reported Reston, Va.-based LightSquared raised $265 million in capital that will be used for building an LTE network combined with one of the largest commercial satellites ever launched, to provide coverage of the entire U.S.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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