I have not had the time to keep up with this story, but I do have a healthy interest in commercial GPS and aviation. In short, the LightSquared deal is another where the Obama administration’s FCC was trying to force a losing concept into reality.
Sounds familiar does it not?
To make this short … LightSquared wanted to launch a new wholesale wireless broadband Internet service covering just about everywhere by using part of the bandwidth spectrum close to that used by GPS navigation satellites. The GPS system supports everything from applications on your smart phone to advanced aviation GPS systems.
That noted, you would not want to have something messing with the accuracy of those devices.
There were a lot of companies who made a bet on LightSquared, who was planning to offer wholesales wireless broadband access to smaller companies to increase competition. I’m all for that, but even the links at LightSquared’s website points to an article that mentions the real issue in two different paragraphs.
LightSquared’s network has been shown to have a widespread impact on GPS receivers, and the FCC has said it will not allow the service to go live until the interference issue is addressed. …
LightSquared attempted to address the GPS interference issue by moving its network to a different band, but recent tests show its network still knocks out a large swath of receivers.
LightSquared is suggesting a portion of the commercial GPS market is to blame, not keeping current with filter technology that would protect their devices from interference from LightSquared’s signal. Supposedly, they say current smart phones are no longer effected, but more expensive, commercial GPS systems used in aviation and the inexpensive units in your car are effected. Sticking with the expensive aviation systems – 75 percent of which were effected during testing – it’s not all that easy to find the money, time and other resources to upgrade those systems.
But that has not stopped LightSquared from outright demanding they be allowed to proceed with opening their network immediately. Maybe the commercial GPS market does need to get their systems upgraded with new filters, but what it comes down to is the FCC approved every radio device and the frequency spectrum utilized … you can’t turn those ships on a dime.
Ed Morrissey monitored the (failed) testing of the system as well as the FCC’s unusual accommodations made to LightSquared during the testing process. His post today reviews the aftermath, and includes links to previous Hot Air stories listed below.
- Bombshell: General accused WH of pressuring him to change testimony for Democratic donor
- Did Obama’s former investment play role in pressuring 4-star general to change testimony?
- White House offered “guidance” to second witness in LightSquared inquiry
- LightSquared disrupts 75% of GPS receivers in gov’t testing
- SEC warns LightSquared figure of potential fraud probe
- Why is the FCC stonewalling Grassley on LightSquared?
- LightSquared lobbyists pushing MN legislators to demand action from Klobuchar, Franken
- LightSquared flunks again
- Grassley: I’m not backing down on FCC holds until I get the LightSquared documents
- LightSquared “running out of cash”
- LightSquared to FCC: Quit screwing around and give us the approval
- LightSquared’s political efforts doomed to failure?
- Sprint to LightSquared: You’ve got 30 days to get FCC approval or we walk
- Advisory board: LightSquared can’t be fixed
- Grassley: LightSquared offered me a political “win” in exchange for backing down on FCC probe