Satellite company Ligado Networks cleared another hurdle to its plan to deploy 5G services using L-band spectrum, as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rejected a challenge to the rollout.

A majority of commissioners ruled a request from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to stall Ligado Networks’ deployment was “not warranted”, finding the agency failed to demonstrate government L-band users would suffer “irreparable harm” as a result.

Outgoing FCC chaiman Ajit Pai (pictured) stated it “imposed stringent conditions” to protect incumbent users in the band when it cleared Ligado Networks’ plan in April 2020, adding “the technical evidence in our record continues to demonstrate that the FCC made the correct decision”.

The NTIA challenged the FCC’s clearance in two separate petitions, one asking it to reconsider the decision and another seeking a block on Ligado Networks going ahead until the outcome of the first request was known.

While it is yet to rule on the petition for reconsideration, the FCC noted the bid was “unlikely to succeed on the merits”.

Ligado Networks raised $3.85 billion to fund its rollout in October 2020.