FCC Asks If You and GPS Should Be Protected from Interference

January 30, 2012  - By

“We invite comment on LightSquared’s petition, and establish a pleading cycle.” Thus spake the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), groping for a way forward in the ongoing LightSquared/GPS conflict. The FCC has opened an Internet docket for public comment on the LightSquared position that GPS users and receivers “do not merit legal protection from interference” created by LightSquared. The FCC asks for comments by February 27.

LightSquared asked the FCC in December to rule that GPS receivers and users “do not merit legal protection from interference” caused by the proposed wireless broadband service. Such interference has been amply demonstrated by comprehensive testing from May to October of last year. Opening the docket for public comment is the FCC’s way of fielding the LightSquared petition.

LightSquared claimed in its December 20 petition that GPS makers sell “unlicensed and poorly designed” receivers that improperly listen to LightSquared’s airwaves.

Jim Kirkland, general counsel of Trimble Navigation Ltd. and head of the Save Our GPS Coalition, responded that Congressional directives bar the FCC from clearing LightSquared before questions of GPS interference are settled. The company’s December requests consists of “gross mischaracterization of prior FCC decisions,” Kirkland stated. “LightSquared and its predecessors have never been allowed to interfere with GPS.”

Parties are invited to file comments in response to LightSquared’s petition for declaratory ruling in IB Docket No. 11-109 or ET Docket No. 10-142, no later than February 27. Parties may file replies in response to those comments in IB Docket No. 11-109 or ET Docket No. 10-142, as appropriate, no later than March 13.

Click here for the FCC Public Notice, “International Bureau Establishes Pleading Cycle for LightSquared Petition for Declaratory Ruling.”

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GPS World staff

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