FCC Chairman Says LightSquared Must Not Interfere with GPS

On Tuesday, Aug. 9, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski told media representatives that the agency would not allow LightSquared to interfere with GPS.
According to a Reuters report, Genachowski made comments during a press conference following the agency’s monthly open meeting. "We're not going to do anything that creates problems for GPS safety and service as we explore technical solutions that will both protect GPS and allow a new service to launch," Genachowski said.

Broadcasting and Cable reported that FCC officials said the commission may need more testing of a modified LightSquared proposal to address interference issues, but gave no timetable for when it would make that decision.

In January, the FCC conditionally allowed a company called LightSquared to offer wireless broadband services in radio frequency bands adjacent to those used by GPS receivers. Based on feedback from public and private sector GPS users, the FCC told LightSquared that it could not launch service until testing could be completed to determine the extent of the problems that LightSquared would cause. The report of that testing was submitted to the FCC on June 30, and it showed that there would be massive interference to GPS from LightSquared's proposed operations. The FCC has asked for feedback from the public on the report. Comments were taken until July 30, and the reply comment date is Aug. 15.

As a member of the Coalition to Save Our GPS, the Aircraft Electronics Association has encouraged its members to make comments to the FCC in response to LightSquared's proposed plan to offer wireless broadband services in radio frequency bands adjacent to those used by GPS receivers.

The FCC has an easy-to-use portal on its website to submit feedback on the testing results:

  1. Click on this link for the FCC's Electronic Comments Filing System (ECFS):  http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/begin?procName=&filedFrom=X 
  2. In the box which says "Proceeding Number," type:  11-109. It is important to include this docket number with your comments.
  3. In the designated boxes, enter (a) your name or your company's name, and (b) your mailing address/city/state/zip.
  4. In the box which says "Type in or paste your brief comments," do so.  Click "Continue."
  5. A review page will load listing all of the information entered. If correct, click "Confirm."
  6. If you have trouble, contact the FCC ECFS Helpdesk at 202-418-0193 or email at ecfshelp@fcc.gov.