FCC Revokes Waiver From Lightsquared

The battle between the developing wireless internet provider Lightsquared and manufacturers and key end users of global positioning systems (GPS) will enter a new chapter following the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to revoke Lightsquared’s conditional waiver.

In a statement released by FCC late yesterday, it explained that while its motive for moving rapidly to provide the waiver to Lightsquared was to remove regulatory barriers that preclued the use of spectrum for mobile devices while creating growth and promoting competition, they also clearly stated from the outset that harmful interference to GPS would not be permitted. This is why the Conditional Waiver Order issued by the Commission’s International Bureau prohibited LightSquared from beginning commercial operations unless harmful interference issues were resolved.

(For historical perspective, see the linked blog post from July 2011 regarding the Lightsquared – GPS situation)

Tests conducted last year by NTIA, the federal agency that coordinates spectrum uses foro the military and other government agencies, weighed heavily on the decision. NTIA … has now concluded that there is no practical way to mitigate potential interference at this time. Consequently, the Commission will not lift the prohibition on LightSquared. The International Bureau of the Commission is proposing to (1) vacate the Conditional Waiver Order, and (2) suspend indefinitely LightSquared’s Ancillary Terrestrial Component authority.

The statement also said that a public notice seeking comment on NTIA’s conclusions and on these proposals will be released soon.

Ken Golden, director of global public relations at Deere Co., shared the following thoughts on the statement:

  • Deere agrees with the decisions of the FCC and NTIA. The decisions remove the immediate threat to GPS and to the productivity and efficiency of millions of GPS users.
  • Deere believes the PNT test results are valid, that the tests were properly conducted, and that the conclusions are based on sound engineering.
  • Deere supports increased broadband service and will work with the NTIA and PNT in efforts to structure solutions that permit it without interfering with GPS, a critical national resource.

Jim Kirkland, vice president and general counsel of Trimble and a founding member of the Coalition to Save Our GPS, provided the following statement:

“Today’s release of the NTIA’s conclusions and the FAA and government interference findings represent a pivotal moment in the year-long testing of harmful interference to GPS that followed the FCC International Bureau’s January 2011 order granting LightSquared a conditional waiver. The Bureau’s conditional waiver made two things absolutely clear: first, that LightSquared would not be permitted to move forward unless it could demonstrate that its proposed operations would not interfere with GPS; and second, that the NTIA, as the representative of critical government spectrum users, would play a central role in deciding whether this condition has been satisfied.

“After a year of extensive testing, NTIA has now conclusively stated that LightSquared’s operations will interfere with GPS and that there is no viable mitigation path for the foreseeable future. The findings of widespread interference include serious threats to safety-of-life systems, as the FAA report details.

“The FCC has acted appropriately by declaring that its non-interference condition has not been satisfied and that LightSquared will not be permitted to move forward with its proposal to build a nationwide high-powered terrestrial network in the mobile satellite band.

“The Coalition stands ready to work with the NTIA and the FCC to address the important policy issues relating to longer term use of satellite spectrum and reduction of potential interference to maximize the efficient use of all satellite spectrum.”

John Pointon of subscription satellite GPS provider OmniSTAR hopes the decision calms some nerves about the future of global positioning systems.

“Despite all the money and lobbying, the simple truth is that (Lightsquared’s) planned transmissions would have had a measurable – not to mention safety of life – impact on GPS throughout the continental US, and that was something that would not only have impacted major industries, such as ag, but also compromise vital defence interests. Hopefully this will put an end to some of the uncertainty and nervousness in the marketplace.”

More coverage and statements will be released as they are available.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Guidance Stories
GuidanceTopcon Debuts SI-21 Lightbar for X-Family of Displays
February 28, 2017
Topcon Agriculture announces the release of the SI-21 Lightbar, designed as a cost-effective, user-friendly product to complement manual guidance, providing Read More
GuidanceTopcon Launching New X35 In-Cab Display Console
February 27, 2017
Topcon Agriculture introduces the new X35 — the next generation in the X-Family of touchscreen displays with advanced functionality. Designed Read More
Case IH - AFS AccuStar and UAV Offering - Magnum MX210 AccuStar Receiver
DronesCase IH Adds New GPS Solution, UAV Package To AFS Offerings
February 21, 2017
Driven by the growing demand for efficient data management, the latest Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) solutions from Case IH help Read More
GuidanceCase IH Launches AccuTurn Automated Headland-Turning Tech
February 15, 2017
New AccuTurn automated headland-turning technology from Case IH takes the guesswork out of turning on headlands, which gives you improved Read More
Trending Articles
Downed Drone
DronesOpinion: The Agricultural Drone War Is Over, And They Lost
March 15, 2017
If you are late to the aerial imagery party and think that agricultural drones are the vehicle that are the Read More
Nebraska Farmer
Business ManagementA Right To Repair: Why Nebraska Farmers Are Taking On John Deere And Apple
March 10, 2017
There are corn and soy fields as far as the eye can see around Kyle Schwarting’s home in Ceresco, NE, Read More
Australia crop
Ag Tech GlobalMaking Precision Agriculture Work In Australia
March 6, 2017
Editor’s note: Reinder Prins is Market Development Manager for Cotton Growers Service in Wee Waa, NSW, Australia, where he is Read More
ScoutPro | ScoutPro
Decision Support Software17 Field Scouting Apps For Precision Agriculture
February 6, 2017
There are dozens of easy-to-use mobile apps that are ideal for every day field scouting tasks. From record keeping and Read More
John Deere Dealership
Business ManagementAg Retailer, Equipment Dealer Improve Service By Working Together
January 27, 2017
Some believe that in many aspects of life, timing is everything. Among those believers, please count Randy Bartholomew, Integrated Solutions Read More
Innovation SeriesPrecision To Lead Agriculture In 2017?
January 25, 2017
Another new year is upon us! And I’m certain I speak for many in the agricultural world when I say Read More
Latest News
Farmer with iPad
Data ManagementRegaining Control Of Field Data
March 23, 2017
When it comes to creating and building value with farmer-customers, service providers today have new allies to support their efforts. Read More
Y-Drop 360 Yield
Tools & Smart EquipmentSplit Nitrogen Application: Where The 4Rs Get Real
March 23, 2017
When Illinois Grower Jeremy Wilson hit the farm conference circuit these past two years, one of his talks was always Read More
Hort TechSciFi in Ag: Robots Could Take Multi-Hybrid Planting Ne…
March 23, 2017
*Article Notes: This monthly column takes some crazy sounding ideas and applies them to the field of Ag Tech. The Read More
Erich Eller ForeFront Ag Solutions with Ag Eagle-drone
Business ManagementForeFront Ag Solutions: Going Beyond The Averages
March 22, 2017
He’s flying essentially solo these days with business support from his wife Jennifer, but Erich Eller has big dreams for Read More
Ag Tech GlobalFarmobile Continues Connecting the Dots, adds Buyer to …
March 21, 2017
Farmobile announced today that Guy Carpenter, a global risk and reinsurance specialist, will purchase enhanced data sets to help optimize Read More
Valley Irrigation 8000 series corn
Hort TechValley Irrigation Now Exclusive OEM Provider of Trimble…
March 21, 2017
Valley Irrigation and Trimble announced that Valley Irrigation will become the exclusive OEM distributor of Trimble’s Irrigate-IQ precision irrigation solution, according Read More
Farmer Brad Hagen inspects cover crops
Business ManagementTop 5 Features Of A Good Sustainability Program
March 20, 2017
In a recent study, 60% of Iowa farmers agreed that their fertilizer dealers should do more to help them address Read More
Soil sampling Brazil
Ag Tech GlobalAn Overview Of Precision Ag In Brazil
March 17, 2017
Brazil is a huge player in international agriculture and precision farming is helping to increase productivity. With diverse crop production, Read More
Web Soil Survey soils map
Imagery/SensingCan The Web Soil Survey Help To Uncover Answers To Prec…
March 16, 2017
A farming magazine recently published an article of an interview of two experts discussing how understanding the topography of a Read More
Downed Drone
DronesOpinion: The Agricultural Drone War Is Over, And They L…
March 15, 2017
If you are late to the aerial imagery party and think that agricultural drones are the vehicle that are the Read More
Ag Retailer and Growers with tablet WinField United
Data ManagementEliminating Human Error In Precision Ag Data Documentat…
March 15, 2017
As precision ag consultants, we spend a lot of time working with clients to implement best management practices to acquire Read More
Curve Compensation ExactEmerge
ProfessionalsHow To Avoid Yield Loss Using Curve Compensation
March 15, 2017
Planting is often considered the most important step in a farming operation. For this reason, there have been many advancements Read More
IMPAC video
Hort TechHow Precision Agriculture Is Helping Farmers Win Over C…
March 14, 2017
“Your Food, Your Farmer” is a simple mantra, but one that resonates loudly with many of today’s consumers, writes Paul Read More
Brazil soil corn crop
Ag Tech GlobalA Precision Agriculture Project Starts With A Solid Fou…
March 13, 2017
I am a big fan of technologies in agriculture. I have become so impressed with the evolution of products and services Read More
Nebraska Farmer
Business ManagementA Right To Repair: Why Nebraska Farmers Are Taking On J…
March 10, 2017
There are corn and soy fields as far as the eye can see around Kyle Schwarting’s home in Ceresco, NE, Read More
Ag Tech GlobalCalifornia Ag Tech Outfit Releasing Internet-of-Crops P…
March 10, 2017
Centaur Analytics, a leading AgTech company that provides real-time, crops monitoring and protection solutions, today announced it has opened advanced registration for its Read More
Ag Retailer and Grower WinField United
ProfessionalsTop 5 Reasons Why Ag Retailers Need To Lead The Way In …
March 8, 2017
Smack dab in the middle of Iowa, you will find Casey’s General Store headquarters. For those of you who have Read More
Corn close up
Decision Support SoftwareUX in Ag: What are we Trying to do?
March 8, 2017
As designers, we’ve always considered ourselves outsiders—the unbiased third party in the agriculture world, writes co-authors Kayla Byington and Nick Read More