Aviation Subcommittee Suggests GPS Protections

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The government announced Wednesday that "further investment cannot be justified at this time" to help LightSquared gain approval for its wireless broadband system and new GPS standards may be coming, Inside GNSS reported. The words were delivered by U.S. deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari in an aviation subcommittee hearing. Porcari concluded that LightSquared's most recent proposals were "simply not practical." LightSquared on Tuesday had asked the FCC to create technical standards that could protect GPS receivers from interference in the case that neighboring spectrums, such as those eyed by LightSquared, were utilized. And there may be some movement in that direction, perhaps not in the way LightSquared had hoped.

LightSquared had previously suggested that GPS receivers could be built to prevent interference from the proposed ground-based LightSquared wireless broadband system. Manufacturers have objected. One member of the Coalition to Save Our GPS, Trimble's vice-president and general counsel Jim Kirkland, has responded directly. The "suggestion that GPS manufacturers should have designed receivers to accommodate a prohibited use is simply self-serving nonsense." The National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee, on which Porcari also serves as co-chair, recently proposed that "new GPS spectrum interference standards" would "help inform future proposals" for bands adjacent to GPS. According to Pocari, "We will ensure that any such proposals are clearly communicated with stakeholders and are implemented without affecting existing and evolving uses of space-based (PNT) services vital to economic, public safety, scientific, and national security needs."