The desire for a national high-speed wireless broadband solutions network would solve a lot of problems for rural customers seeking access. On the other hand, it could also cause issues with government officials. If GPS signals cannot function properly, is the network a blessing or a curse?
This is the question that must be answered as LightSquared (News - Alert) plans for such a broadband network. Federal officials said in a letter released last week that no practical solutions or mitigations exist that would permit the company to provide this nationwide access to broadband solutions without interfering with GPS. These officials recommended no further testing.
According to this Nine MSN news piece, the letter was signed by Ashton Carter, Deputy Defense Secretary, and John Porcari, Deputy Transportation Secretary. It was released by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The letter was instigated by testing analysis by a panel of experts on behalf of nine government agencies and departments. The panel determined that the plan put forth by LightSquared couldn’t be saved without dangerous interference with GPS. This move is a significant detriment to the company’s hopes to begin commercial service on nationwide broadband solutions.
LightSquared is not ready to just back down, however. The company is pointing fingers at the panel, accusing its members of bias. LightSquared is now urging the Federal Communications Commission, which has jurisdiction over electromagnetic spectrum use, to take back control over testing for this proposed answer to desired nationwide broadband solutions.
LightSquared suggested the expert panel has deep ties with GPS manufacturers who have previously sold what the company refers to as “poorly designed equipment” to farmers, public safety officials, military and government agencies. The company suggests the panel failed to adequately investigate the impact that filtering technology could have on potential inference with precision GOP devices.
In its quest to gain the right to offer broadband solutions to the masses, the company also highlighted that the devices included in the most recent testing round included a number of obsolete and off-market receivers; a selection that nearly guaranteed failure. As a result, LightSquared has filed a complaint with the NASA inspector general.
According to the MSN piece, LightSquared does have the right to use a section of the electromagnetic spectrum adjacent to the portion used for GPS technologies. The suggested broadband solutions network would make use of thousands of ground stations to capture satellite signals. The company suggests its approach to nationwide broadband solutions could bridge the gap for those in underserved areas, while also reducing the overall price.
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Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefanie Mosca