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Coalition to Save GPS Created


Back in January the FCC granted a conditional waiver to LightSquared, allowing them to “expansion of terrestrial use of the satellite spectrum immediately neighboring that of GPS” according to the new coalition. LightSquared is building up to 40,000 ground stations which will transmit broadband signals up to one billion times more powerful than the GPS satellites as measured from earth and could produce dead spots for GPS receivers surrounding those ground stations.

So far many companies and organizations have joined the new coalition including the Aeronautical Repair Stations Association, Air Transport Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, American Rental Association, Associated Equipment Distributors, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Case New Holland, Caterpillar Inc., Edison Electric Institute, Esri, Garmin, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Deere & Company, National Association of Manufacturers, OmniSTAR, and Trimble.

To learn more you can check out the Coalition to Save GPS.

Notice that all of the companies have large interests in the “commercial” end of GPS products and we don’t see any pure-play consumer facing companies like Magellan/MiTac, nor TomTom. Perhaps we don’t see companies like TomTom due to their European roots, or perhaps they feel well represented by the larger associations involved.

3 Responses

  1. The FCC must reverse its decisions with regard to Lightsquared. Lightsquareds signals must not overpower or disrupt the pre existing satelite signals. They stand liable
    for accident, injury and property loss due to the disruption in satelite signals caused by their equipment and procedures.

    Capt. Mitch Witt - January 15th, 2012
  2. Please STOP the rollout of the adjacent frequencies used by the Lightsquared stations. The potential for harmful interferernce is too great.

    Tom Winsemius - March 25th, 2012
  3. As a licensed Amateur Radio Operator of some twenty-plus years, I have experienced what happens when an RF signal overpowers some type of gadget that I needed to be working.

    I also understand the need for commercial expansion of technology, such as broadband. However, to allow the use of RF spectrum so close to the GPS frequencies, would, as I see it, be a serious problem to ground users, of either NAVSTAR or GLONASS systems, as well as their WAAS/EGNOS variants for Differential GPS corrections.

    I support the use of spectrum in a properly implemented system, one that causes no interference to other spectrum users and systems, especially those such as GPS that are relied upon for safety and security.

    Commercial Broadband is important for the advancement of the Internet and related technologies. Communication has played a central, and enjoyable, part of my life, but I draw the line at GPS interference.

    I would be surprised that the FCC, FAA, (and all other organizations related to aviation safety) would even consider allowing a single commercial operator a license to use the amount of power that could, or would, overpower a GPS satellite signal to the point at which it could be received by an average handheld.

    If anything on the ground were to interfere with an on-board aviation GPS, then the safety factor becomes even more important.

    Also, as a recreational GPS user and avid Geocacher, I really don’t need an overpowering signal nulling out my GPS when I’m on a cache hunt. This last part is, of course, low-importance in general, but the sport of Geocaching has provided a living to more than one civic group, manufacturer, and organizer of recreational outings.

    GPS *is* commerce, pure and simple, and it would be best if it weren’t messed with.

    Thank you for your time. Use our spectrum well. Use our spectrum responsibly.

    73 de N8PZT
    Stephen A. Brown
    Jefferson City, Missouri

    Stephen A. Brown - December 15th, 2012

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