Former U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan and other retired lawmakers have joined a wireless broadband and satellite network company for a rural outreach campaign.
LightSquared made the announcement earlier this month after enlisting Dorgan and former Reps. George Nethercutt of Washington and Charlie Stenholm of Texas.
The lawmakers will serve on an advisory board for the Empower Rural America Initiative, a group that will interact with the Virginia-based company as it works toward deploying its planned satellite and broadband service to rural communities and regions.
In a written statement, Dorgan said there is an “overwhelming need” for reliable wireless access 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,” he said.
LightSquared is currently building up infrastructure for a next-generation wireless network that will rely on two satellites and thousands of base stations. But recent testing showed the company’s stations blocked out nearby GPS service, drawing heat from precision agriculture GPS users like John Deere.
In a news release, the company said the new outreach group will work with rural communities and regions on deployment of the new service and look for solutions to any GPS issues while helping to close the adoption gap of broadband technology in rural areas.