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Public Policy

LIGHTSQUARED AND GPS – THE FACTS

Thousands Submit Letters of Support for LightSquared to FCC

LightSquared has responded to the FCC’s public notice. Thousands of letters and e-mails have been submitted from elected officials, public safety officials, rural activists, businesses, and economic development activists in support of LightSquared urging the FCC to find a solution that will facilitate coexistence.

Members of Congress

Congressman Alan Nunnelee from Mississippi
“LightSquared has proven that there are practical, affordable solutions to the interference issues that have been presented in the past. Now, as the GPS industry scrambles to keep LightSquared out of its own licensed spectrum, it is a huge disappointment that the FCC appears to be siding with GPS and ignoring the fact that LightSquared has invested billions of dollars and done everything asked of them up to this point to resolve interference with GPS devices.

If the GPS manufacturers refuse to fix the receivers that have been designed to utilize LightSquared’s spectrum, give LightSquared new spectrum. This technology is too important to the 260 million Americans looking forward to the affordable access that only LightSquared can provide, to close the door at this point, and I urge you to do everything you can to find a solution.”
Link: Alan Nunnelee’s Letter

Congressman John Conyers, Jr. from Michigan
“I write to express concern about delays in the approval process involving LightSquared’s proposed 4G-LTE wireless broadband network. I strongly urge the Commission to move with urgency to fully test potential solutions to the LightSquared-GPS interference issue employing transparent, fact-based methodologies, common-sense standards and independent testing facilities.

We urgently need to devote additional spectrum to wireless broadband, as called for under President Obama’s National Broadband Plan.”
Link: John Conyers, Jr.’s Letter

Elected Officials

Mississippi State Senator Brice Wiggins
“This technology is too important not to examine the issue from every side, and come up with a solution that will allow for a healthy GPS system and LightSquared to coexist.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021904339

Missouri State Representative Mike Bernskoetter
“LightSquared wants to invest $14 billion to launch a new network that will lower prices, improve broadband access in rural areas and help American consumers and small business owners. As you know, our country faces crippling consequences if we don’t quickly address the shortage of wireless spectrum. LightSquared’s network can and will make a difference.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021904990

Missouri State Representative Kent Hampton
“LightSquared has already invested billions in part to satisfy the FCC’s mandate to build a nationwide network that reaches 260 million Americans by 2015. If the FCC fails to make this happen, the Commission will undermine one of the most significant investments in U.S. wireless infrastructure over the past decade.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021905028

Missouri State Representative Scott Dieckhaus
“To squander the opportunity for this new network is unacceptable.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021904509

New York State Senator Joseph Griffo
“The lack of access presents a public safety risk and hinders my district and ultimately our state from engaging in the economic benefits presented by the information age. Business as usual in the wireless broadband market is not helping our nation.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021904654

Lester “Bubba” Carpenter, Mississippi State Representative from Burnsville, Mississippi
“LightSquared would give those of us in rural Mississippi affordable access to broadband and telecommunications through their integrated satellite I terrestrial technology, Which is why I urge you to be aggressive in developing a solution that will allow deployment of the LightSquared network. They have worked with the FCC and GPS industry on good faith for over a decade, and privately funded their investment to the tune of $4 billion. They have the ability to offer an affordable solution to the nation’s pending spectrum shortage and the communications crisis that will inevitably result. And in the 21st century, I’m confident that there is an answer that protects GPS while making room in the market for LightSquared to bridge the communications gap for millions of rural Americans. Please, explore every alternative solution and be ardent in your role both as mediator, and as advocate for advanced telecommunications technology.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017026951

Scott Dieckhaus, Missouri State Representative from Washington, Missouri
“…this country needs LightSquared to quickly build out a nationwide ground-based network and bring more mobile broadband spectrum online for consumers and businesses. Surely the FCC can find a way forward for the company to exist alongside GPS. To squander the opportunity for this new network is unacceptable.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017027127

Ryan Haynes, Tennessee State Representative from Knoxville, Tennessee
“As steward of our nation’s commercial airwaves, I urge the Federal Communications Commission to provide strong leadership in pursuing wireless broadband policies that promote investment, unleash innovation and empower consumers in a fair and solution-driven manner.

Given the technology, capital and capacity LightSquared can bring to bear in unleashing innovation and empowering consumers across the country, I urge the Commission to serve the public interest by finding an alternative spectrum solution that LightSquared can prepare for mobile broadband use.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017026697

Doug Brown, Manager, Borough of Steelton, Pennsylvania
“As a borough manager, I deal every day with our local police and firefighters and I know how important it is for them to have the necessary tools to do their job and I believe that the network LightSquared is proposing would just be one more tool for them and only add to their efficiency when responding to emergencies.

Unfortunately, as I’m sure you know, LightSquared has run into serious issues. They have been opposed by the GPS industry both in the open and behind closed doors. Why is that? It’s because the GPS industry is currently using LightSquared’s radio spectrum illegally and for some reason they feel as though they have the right to continue doing so. My question is … if I build a garage on my neighbor’s property, shouldn’t I be the one to fix the problem? Of course! And the same argument applies here. The GPS industry should be the ones addressing this issue and they need to stop with the endless fear tactics.

I realize this is a tough issue and is one that is loaded with countless consequences but I hope you will see that we need to make sure the right party is held responsible.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017026434

Public Safety Officials and Rural Coverage Activists

Sheriff Shaun Golden
“The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) proposal to revoke both the January 2011 Waiver Order and the 2004 ATC authorization will ultimately harm public safety personnel moving forward and it is in the public interest for the FCC to instead continue finding a solution that will enable LightSquared to deploy its nationwide integrated satellite-terrestrial network.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021905025

Mark Stewart, Camp Hill, PA School Board
“We need adequate broadband service to continue offering our students a dynamic and technologically advanced education and LightSquared’s network would serve that need.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021904826

Terry Stewart, Kentucky Region 8 Hospital Preparedness Planning Coordinator
“Earlier this month, deadly tornadoes swept through Eastern Kentucky, causing widespread damage and killing 21 people – one of the worst disasters in Kentucky history. Power and phone lines were down throughout much of the affected area. But thanks to temporary assistance from satellite phones and related communications gear provided by LightSquared, first responders were able to communicate and coordinate effective disaster relief.

LightSquared has a long history of providing satellite communications services to public safety and public health agencies across the country, and its experience and skill was evident in Kentucky this month. I believe the country would benefit greatly from LightSquared’s proposed nationwide satellite/terrestrial wireless broadband network, which could give public safety and public health agencies 24/7/365 access to a state-of-the-art backup communications system; such redundancy would surely save lives. I thus ask that you make every effort to find a way for LightSquared to bring the nation a new, competitive wireless communications network in the near future.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017026695

Rosemary O’Brien and Kathleen Whitley-Harm, Co-Founders, Concerned Citizens for Better Broadband in Greene County NY
“With significant gaps in wireless coverage in New York’s rural communities and increased demand for reliable mobile broadband bandwidth in areas with high-speed coverage or no coverage at all, now is the time for the FCC to follow through on its promise to help companies like LightSquared quickly build out its nationwide ground-based network and bring more mobile broadband spectrum online for American consumers. Please work with the GPS industry and LightSquared to find a solution to the current GPS interference issues so that the company can deploy its network. Our country’s current approach to providing access to high-speed wireless broadband to its citizens is proving more and more insufficient each day. We need to change course. It is time to streamline our regulatory processes and honor our nation’s inherent commitment to ensuring every person has access to affordable modern telecommunications services. Ubiquitous service is not a noble goal. It is a necessity if we intend to keep our edge in the world marketplace.

We respectfully encourage the FCC to follow through on its conclusions that Americans would significantly benefit from LightSquared’s network and diligently work toward identifying solutions to the current GPS issues. We are no experts, but it appears the solution could be as simple as identifying an alternative spectrum.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017027021

Farmers, Agriculture Leaders, Pilots, Snowmobilers and Boaters

Eck Snowden, Farmer and Owner, Powell County Feed & Farm Supply, Inc., Kentucky
“I am writing in support of the LightSquared wireless network. As a farmer, I urge you to prioritize expansion of high-speed wireless in rural areas of the country by encouraging new wireless providers to enter the market. LightSquared’s nationwide 4G-LTE wireless network would bring a new, competitive state-of-the-art wireless alternative to hundreds of millions of Americans, including many of the 26 million who currently have no broadband access.

I would like to respond specifically to the March 14, 2012 comments filed by the American Farm Bureau Association, American Soybean Association and other agriculture associations. These associations conclude that LightSquared’s proposed network would be incompatible with U.S. agriculture use of high precision GPS because the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)’s analysis showed that none of the newly developed prototype filters would resolve interference problems. However, NTIA states very clearly on page 6 of its February 14, 2012 letter to the FCC that it neither tested nor analyzed any of the newly developed high-precision GPS receivers proposed by LightSquared.

Before rejecting LightSquared’s proposal to spend $14 billion in private money on a network that would greatly expand that opportunity, the FCC should exhaust every avenue to find a way for the network to move forward—whether by ordering GPS manufacturers to upgrade their poorly designed receivers or by assigning new spectrum to LightSquared.

Thank you for considering all Americans’ needs and not only the misinformed special-interest arguments put forward by the GPS industry.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017027044

Patty Ritchie, New York State Senator and Chair, New York State Senate Agriculture Committee
“The lack of access to affordable high-speed wireless broadband in New York’s North Country and rural parts of Central New York is a major problem for many of my constituents. The absence of competition in the wireless broadband market continues to perpetuate the problem. As a result, I’m writing today to encourage the FCC to find a solution to the interference issues between a nationwide wireless broadband network proposed by LightSquared and our nation’s GPS systems.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017026932

Frank Niceley, Tennessee State Representative and Chair, Tennessee State House Agriculture Committee
“More than two dozen companies have already partnered with LightSquared to offer their customers world-class wireless broadband at a fraction of the cost of upgrading their own networks and they are chomping at the bit to get the service rolled out from what I understand. Here’s the bottom line, farmers need access to the information highway to make intelligent decisions about what to plant and raise. GPS is a gadget to most small farmers, while access to information directly affects the livelihood of most family farmers. I urge you to find an alternative spectrum that can work to everyone’s satisfaction.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017025582

Donald V. Naman, Pilot from Odenville, Alabama
“The LightSquared interference issue raises the broader issue of GPS receiver fragility that must be addressed by the GPS industry. For starters, GPS manufacturers should heed the recommendation of the National PNT Advisory Board and harden GPS receivers and antennas so that they are not susceptible to interference… If the GPS interference concerns are too heavy a lift for the Commission to enable LightSquared to bring their capital and technology to bear quickly, I urge the Commission to find alternative, equivalent spectrum that will enable the company to bring its benefits to consumers across the country quickly.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021870738

Dominic Jacangelo, Executive Director, New York State Snowmobile Association
“All we need now is for the FCC to come up with a compromise so the devices and networks of LightSquared and the GPS industry are able to coexist. We desperately need an independent and transparent process to quickly address the few outstanding issues remaining with certain GPS devices and LightSquared’s network.

We are a nation of doers, let’s fix the problems so LightSquared can begin to build it $14 billion 4G LTE wireless network so that the 70,000 members of our association and their families can have the coverage they need while riding, grooming and ensuring the safety of over 10,500 miles of snowmobile trails which generates nearly a billion dollars in NY economic activity.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017027069

William Tunnell, Boater and CEO, ALL PHASE Power and Lighting, Inc. from Sandusky, Ohio
“As a long-time recreational boater, I am responding to misleading and misinformed comments submitted by the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatU.S.) and other boaters who have submitted comments at the Association’s behest.

BoatU.S. has also encouraged boaters such as me to write to the Commission suggesting that “LightSquared’s proposed network would cause interference and that there are no remedies.” This is false. Not only is interference to GPS devices caused by the design of the GPS device, there are “remedies” or components that GPS manufacturers can install in devices to ensure that these GPS devices are resilient to high-powered uses of non-GPS spectrum. For example, some GPS device manufacturers such as Javad GNSS, Hemisphere GPS, Patron America and PCTel have developed devices that function perfectly even when placed directly next to a LightSquared terrestrial transmitter broadcasting at high power during independent testing.

GPS devices are undoubtedly useful in maritime applications whether they are for recreational or public safety purposes. However, rather than drive innovations and establish a regulatory environment that would ensure greater reliability of GPS devices, the Commission has politically caved to a few obstinate GPS device manufacturers who are more concerned about their profit margins than they are about providing GPS devices that everybody from boaters to hikers to pilots can truly rely on. This is reflective of an industry that does not have enough competition and the Commission’s decision in this matter only weakens GPS device manufacturers’ incentives to develop more resilient GPS receivers.

LightSquared’s integrated terrestrial-satellite network would give boaters commercial access to affordable satellite communications service for the first time due to the network’s coverage of the entire country and 200 miles off each coast – to have this capability in the same phone that I use for calls, texting, video streaming, and other wireless broadband uses in areas covered by the 4G network. Ironically, I also use my phone for GPS navigation while driving and it should be noted that all tests – conducted by the government or otherwise — have shown that none of the GPS receivers in cellular devices would be affected by LightSquared’s proposed network.

In lieu of suspending LightSquared’s license and throwing away $14 billion of privately funded wireless infrastructure expansion, the Commission should clarify the rights of the GPS user segment in adjacent non-GPS bands and push GPS manufacturers to commercialize more resilient and reliable GPS devices – particularly those used by public safety. This would drive this spectrum to a greater and more efficient use and allow Americans to enjoy the benefits of more reliable GPS services and a new wholesale nationwide mobile broadband network.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017026530

Businesses and Economic Development Activists

Mason Ainsworth from Dundee, Oregon
“Certainly, the benefits of competition are brought into sharp relief when you balance two questions: (1) why did the GPS Coalition indicate at the eleventh hour that a solution to the GPS-LightSquared coexistence wasn’t technically possible, and if it was, would take $ Billions and up to 10 years to develop and implement; and (2) how was Javad GNSS able to drive solutions for all three LightSquared spectrum slices in just months of development for far less than expected?

I wish you (FCC Chairman Genachowski) the best in your efforts of balancing the interests in this public policy debate. I do believe our nation’s best interests will be fulfilled through coexistence and increased competition; and, I think it fair to say that the economic growth engendered by coexistence and increased competition will truly enhance our ability to exit the ‘Great Recession’.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017027180

Kevin Peterson, Regional Director, Vortex Valves from Salina, Kansas
“I understand the FCC originally required LightSquared to quickly build out a nationwide ground-based network and bring more mobile broadband spectrum online for consumers and businesses. Despite the fact that there have been interference issues, the FCC should not abandon this mandate. Instead, I hope the FCC will find alternative spectrum for LightSquared that both protects GPS and enables LightSquared to deploy its network. We have to find a way forward.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017025264

The Wholesale Beer and Wine Association of Ohio
“The network that LightSquared has sought to develop had a defined territory, or spectrum. However, the GPS industry has manufactured their product to search within this is spectrum despite knowing the spectrum rights had been obtained by LightSquared years ago.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021904825

LightSquared Partners

Powernet Global
“It bears emphasis that LightSquared has not asked the Commission to waive its rules or afford LightSquared special treatment in any way. Rather, LightSquared is asking the Commission to affirm its existing legal and policy framework for spectrum licensing and usage rights, which (i) has been in place for decades; (ii) formed the basis for the technical standards developed cooperatively by LightSquared and the commercial GPS industry almost a decade ago; and (iii) has been relied upon by LightSquared and its investors, customers, and others throughout the implementation of the LightSquared network.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021904651

m-banco
“Not having the LightSquared network and its very low cost will be very difficult to operate as we will become a ‘tool’ for the traditional “incumbents” cellular operators making the service dependable of them and by result losing it social content.”
Link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021904745

What Others Are Saying

LightSquared: The Facts





















WHAT THE INDUSTRY EXPERTS ARE SAYING

“LightSquared has committed to mitigate interference while cooperating with the GPS interests to find mutually workable solutions. Cooperation will benefit GPS interests, LightSquared, and consumers.”

  Rural Cellular Association,
August 15, 2011

"'These sorts of things can be and have been resolved in the past by engineers working together,’ said (Dale) Hatfield, former FCC official."

  IDG News,
July 25, 2011

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