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Grassley Gets Second FCC LightSquared Document Drop

The FCC has delivered new LightSquared documents to the House Energy & Commerce Committee, according to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who has gotten access to them. But a first look at the document drop did not provide a lot of hope it would lead to the seating of two FCC nominees now in limbo, according to a Grassley spokeswoman.

B&C/Multichannel first reported last week that the commission was producing the second round of documents.

Grassley says his staff is currently reviewing the documents. He had previously said the first batch of some 13,000 pages was mostly info already publicly available and not the internal documents he was looking for.

This time around, he says his staff has been told that the information -- which is on a disk -- consists of 5,900 documents. Of the 1,174 pages he says his staff has reviewed, 1,171 are news clips that are publicly available.

"Sen. Grassley has asked consistently, beginning with and since his initial request of April 27, 2011, for internal documents that would shed light into why the FCC appeared to give expedited initial approval to LightSquared's wireless project. Sen. Grassley has not ‘moved the ball' on the nature of the documents he's been seeking. He simply wants access to FCC documents so he can determine whether the FCC is performing due diligence before approving major projects involving public resources and affecting consumers. By repeatedly denying Sen. Grassley's request to view FCC documents, the FCC has prolonged this inquiry into its one-year duration and raised questions about its commitment to transparency and congressional oversight."

Grassley had to get the documents from the House Energy & Commerce Committee because the FCC only responds to requests for documents from the chair of an oversight committee.

Grassley has a hold on two pending FCC nominees that he has said will not be lifted until he gets the documents he is looking for.

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and other top committee Republicans asked for the documents back in February, saying there were many unanswered questions about how the waiver was granted, including why the FCC's conditional waiver was granted on delegated authority, without a full commission vote; why the FCC provided only a 20 day comment/reply comment cycle on the waiver; and why the waiver also included a provision preventing Verizon and AT&T from being LightSquared customers (the FCC was trying to promote price and service competition to those largest carriers), when the FCC realized that there would be GPS interference from LightSquared's terrestrial broadcasts in its satellite spectrum allocation and more.

After that first round of documents, the committee suggested it might need to see more as well.