Concluding that mobile satellite service (MSS) provider Globalstar failed to justify its inability to comply with ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) milestones within specified timeframes, the FCC on Tuesday denied the company’s request for a further 16- month extension of those milestones. The agency’s order effectively suspends Globalstar’s authority to operate terrestrial WiMax ATCs that work in conjunction with Globalstar’s MSS satellite constellation. As a result, Open Range Communications— Globalstar’s ATC partner—may have to seek alternative spectrum for its terrestrial broadband service. Globalstar’s extension request covered FCC gating milestones that relate to (1) coverage and spare satellites, (2) dual-mode MSS/ATC terminals, and (3) two-way MSS services. Under the terms of its ATC license, Globalstar was required to meet the first milestone by July 1 of this year and the remaining two milestones by July 2011. In its request for extension of these milestones, Globalstar cited several factors that it claimed were beyond its control, including (1) the effects of the global financial crisis that made it difficult for Globalstar to secure financing, (2) a 2009 earthquake that damaged the manufacturing facilities of Globalstar’s satellite contractor, Thales Alenia Space, and (3) delays in the production of satellite thruster sub-system components. Denying the requested relief, the FCC explained that, while licensees are under no obligation to “have committed funds at the inception of a satellite . . . project, case law also does not excuse licensees from the consequences of choosing to proceed without already having secured sufficient funds, including any consequences of the licensees’ decision that are exacerbated by difficult economic conditions.” Aside from production delays caused by the 2009 earthquake, the FCC pointed to Globalstar’s admission that it missed a series of payments to Thales in the year prior to the quake that triggered a “several-month delay in the schedule for completion.” The FCC provided Open Range with 60 days of special temporary authority (STA) to continue operations on Globalstar’s ATC spectrum but turned down the company’s request for an STA period of 18 months, noting that Open Range “has been on notice since December 2009 . . . that Globalstar would not be able to meet the July 1, 2010 deadline.”