IT policy think tank sides with LightSquared in GPS interference issue

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation filed comments with the FCC in favor of LightSquared's claim that the commercial GPS industry is at fault for the interference problems GPS devices would face if LightSquared's wholesale LTE network comes to market.

The foundation charged that the makers of high precision GPS devices ignored government warnings and guidelines when they built their receivers, purposely building devices that listen into the satellite L-band spectrum, where LightSquared wants to operate.

The filing echos LightSquared's sentiments. In a filing with the FCC issued earlier this month, Jeff Carlisle, LightSquared's vice president of regulatory affairs, said the GPS industry is at fault for failing to comply with a Department of Defense filtering standard issued in September 2008. "Had the GPS industry complied with DoD's recommended filtering standards for GPS receivers, there would be no issue with LightSquared's operations in the lower portion of its downlink band," Carlisle said in the FCC filing.

The FCC is currently evaluating a revised proposal from LightSquared to use the lower 10 MHz of its L-Band spectrum for its network, which has shown fewer interference concerns with GPS receivers. The GPS industry has said that the new plan still poses problems, especially for precision GPS.

The ITIF said the issue goes beyond just LightSquared. It advocates that satellite spectrum should be opened up for more terrestrial offerings.

"We believe that the significance of this matter goes far beyond the immediate question of granting LightSquared the right to operate an ancillary terrestrial component, as it establishes precedent in determining how future rights conflicts between spectrum-based applications and networks will be resolved. The consumer demand for satellite-based two-way communication systems is not as strong as once envisioned, while the demand for terrestrial broadband is intense and growing. It is therefore critical for the Federal government to repurpose satellite spectrum for terrestrial broadband use," ITIF said in its filing.

For more:
- see this Connected Planet article

Related articles:
LightSquared blames GPS industry for inadequate filters in interference debate
FCC won't guarantee timetable for LightSquared review
LightSquared CMO: We'll get $3-3.5B more in funding over the next few years
European official worries over LightSquared GPS interference
Sprint confirms $9B LTE network-hosting deal with LightSquared
LightSquared CEO Ahuja confident FCC will approve network plan
LightSquared forges rural initiative amid continued criticism of network