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FCC Asked to Protect GPS From LightSquared

Senators from both sides of the aisle ask commission "to take all necessary steps."

Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) have sent an open letter to colleagues asking them to join together in asking the FCC “to take all necessary steps to protect the Global Positioning System.”

The letter refers to the FCC International Bureau’s grant of a conditional waiver allowing LightSquared to build tens of thousands of ground stations which could cause widespread interference to GPS signals. The letter also describes how vital GPS is for public safety, national defense and the nation’s economic recovery.

The document ends with a request for members of Congress to join the Senators in requesting that the FCC make certain that GPS “is not compromised in any way.”

They noted that the full Commission must be involved in this effort and must require that LightSquared objectively demonstrate non-interference to GPS signals as a condition prior to operation of the company’s proposed wireless broadband service. The letter stated that anything less than this “is an unacceptable risk to public safety.”

— Doug Lung, TV Technology