Get a Move On: July 30 Deadline for FCC/LightSquared Comments
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will accept public comments on the LightSquared interference with GPS issue until July 30, and replies to those
comments until August 15, 2011. After the public comment period is closed, the
FCC can render a decision at any time.
To file comments with the FCC: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS:http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.
Follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments. First,
click “Submit a Filing.” Once the following screen comes us, in the first box
labeled "Proceeding Number" enter 11-109. You'll then be required to
enter identifying information into the form and add your comments. In
completing the transmittal screen, ECFS filers should include their full name,
U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and IB Docket No. 11-109.
Supply information on how you use GPS and what would happen if GPS became unavailable or unreliable. GPS Worldsuggests
including comments that state LightSquared's operations and GPS are
fundamentally incompatible and that the FCC should not permit LightSquared to
use its mobile satellite services frequency for terrestrial broadcast. You may
wish to add that the FCC’s own Technical Working Group tasked with
investigating this issue, and the Departments of Defense and Transportation,
all agree on this.
It may further be worth adding that GPS is an important, if not vital, resource for a wide range of users — not just yourself or your industry sector. These
include many life- and safety-critical applications.
The FCC has to date exhibited a bias on the issue in favor LightSquared. It certainly feels a lot of pressure from President Obama’s administration to
further the U.S. National Broadband Plan, which includes improving Americans'
accessibility to high-speed wireless connectivity to the Internet. FCC chairman
Julius Genachowski has publicly stated his strong intent to implement this
agenda. Recently, after 2 ½ weeks on the job, the new FCC Wireless
Telecommunications bureau chief Rick Kaplan said “We need to make sure we
aren't locking out valuable spectrum because of inefficient transmission” — a
clear reference to the LightSquared/GPS interference issue.
A spate of news stories since March have either touted or confirmed a $20 billion deal between Sprint and LightSquared that puts a powerful amount of money as
well as added political pressure and wireless industry weight behind the little
company that has yet to show a true product or service.
Further unsubstantiated rumors connect the maneuvering to a second deal for another company’s spectrum swatch, or even an FCC-mediated swap of licenses, to get
LightSquared’s powerful terrestrial signal away from troublesome interference
with the GPS signal from satellites in space. But none of this can be
confirmed, nor should it be relied upon. GPS
World editor Alan Cameron
addresses this aspect in an upcoming editorial, “A Pawn in Their Game.”
From the official June 20 announcement of the FCC comment period:
“The technical working group [tasked by the FCC to “to address potential interference issues “] effort identified significant technical issues related
to potential LightSquared operations in the upper portion of the L-Band, which
is most proximate to the band used by GPS. Over more than three months, the
technical working group tested more than 130 representative devices in seven
different receiver categories, in a number of different test environments. The
tests demonstrated potentially significant interference between LightSquared
operations in the upper portion of the band and various GPS receivers. The
tests also identified some interference issues in the lower 10 MHz portion of the
band. The overall conclusion of the testing is that transmissions in the upper
10 MHz channel —the channel nearest to the 1559-1610 MHz GPS band — will
adversely affect the performance of a significant number of legacy GPS
-article from www.gpsworld.com