Monday, June 27, 2011

LightSquared Agrees to QSY to Protect GPS

A wireless broadband internet company that received a waiver from the FCC to set up operations on frequencies immediately adjacent to those used by the Global Positioning System (GPS) has agreed to start up its operations on a different band.

A GPS satellite (Courtesy US Air Force)

Both LightSquared and the FCC had been sharply criticized by aviators - especially private pilots who rely on GPS for precise navigation - as well as public safety officials, members of Congress, and the Federal Aviation Administration for inadequate testing to determine how much interference to GPS might result from having high-speed internet service right next door. The National Journal reported on June 20 that LightSquared had agreed to move its initial service to a different block of frequencies below the GPS band, "a solution which ensures that tens of millions of GPS users won't be affected by LightSquared's launch," according to the company's CEO.