News on LightSquared from BoatUS
Yacht Club members concerned about LightSquared affecting their ability
to navigate using GPS should respond using the link below.
report on LightSquared.
NEWS From BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864,
Photo Available at:
Photo Caption: A reliable GPS system is critical for safe navigation,
BoatUS: Navigation System Concerns Still an Issue
with Latest Move by LightSquared
FCC Extends Public Comment Period Through March 16
ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 1, 2012 - Just a few days ago, Boat Owners
Association of The United States (BoatUS) cautioned that America's
boaters weren't out of the woods just yet with the possibility of the
country's sole electronic navigation system failing as the result of
radio signal interference issues from a newly proposed cellular
broadband network. Yesterday, the FCC green-lighted an extension of the
public comment period to the network's proposed builder, LightSquared,
to allow comments through March 16. BoatUS continues to urge boaters and
all users of GPS to submit comments to the FCC to ensure the nation's
system of global positioning devices keeps Americans safely on course.
"At every turn LightSquared has proven its resiliency to delay the
inevitable," said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich. "This latest move
is no surprise, and we hope the additional two weeks gives GPS users the
chance to have their voice heard," added Podlich.
Last summer, over 18,000 boaters, along with many other GPS users, wrote
the FCC asking the guardian of the nation's airwaves to stop plans by
LightSquared until independent tests proved there would be no
interference with GPS devices which operate on nearby frequencies.
LightSquared originally asked the FCC for permission to build 40,000
network ground stations across the country. Recent government
reportsconcluded interference issues with the GPS system could not be
Here is how to file comments to the FCC through their online comment
1. Click on this link for the FCC's Electronic Comments Filing System:
2. Select "Proceeding Number 11-109."
3. Enter contact information.
4. In the box that says "Type in or paste your brief comments," here are
some important points to select from:
Explain how you use GPS in your life - on the water, on land or in the
What would happen to your business/personal life if GPS became
unavailable or unreliable?
Wireless broadband service is important, but it should not come at the
expense of GPS.
All the studies show that LightSquared's proposed network would cause
interference and that there are no remedies.
Tell the FCC that you rely on them to protect the integrity of the GPS
signal and that you support their recommendation to stop LightSquared's
5. Click "Continue."
6. If the review page is correct, click "Confirm." Done!
If you have any trouble, you may contact the FCC ECFS Helpdesk at
202-418-0193 or email at
BoatUS - Boat Owners Association of The United States - is the nation's
leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million
members with government representation, programs and money-saving
services. For membership information visit
The associated press reports (2/15/12):
NEW YORK —
Federal officials plan to kill a private company's plans to start a
national high-speed wireless broadband network after concluding it would
in some cases jam personal-navigation and other GPS devices.
Communications Commission said it will seek public comment as early as
Tuesday on revoking LightSquared's permit after a federal agency that
coordinates wireless signals, the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration, concluded that there's no way to mitigate
When the FCC
gave LightSquared tentative approval last year to build the network, it
said the company won't be allowed to start operations until the
government was satisfied that any problems are addressed. LightSquared
and the FCC had insisted the new network could co-exist with GPS
however, feared that GPS signals would suffer the way a radio station
can get drowned out by a stronger broadcast in a nearby channel. The
problem is that sensitive GPS receivers, designed to pick up relatively
weak signals from space, could be overwhelmed by high-power signals from
as many as 40,000 LightSquared transmitters on the ground. LightSquared
planned to transmit on a frequency adjacent to that used by GPS.
conducting tests, the NTIA said Monday that it found interference with
dozens of personal-navigation devices and aircraft-control systems that
rely on GPS.
said that new technology in the future might mitigate the problems, but
it would take time and money to replace GPS equipment already used
extensively in the U.S. The NTIA, a branch of the Commerce Department,
also said adjustments to LightSquared's network could cost billions of
dollars and might not solve all of the problems.
LightSquared had no immediate comment Tuesday.
had hoped to compete nationally with super-fast, fourth-generation
wireless services being rolled out AT&T, Verizon Wireless and other
traditional wireless companies. It hadn't planned to sell directly to
consumers. Rather, it would have provided network access to companies
including Leap Wireless, parent of the Cricket phone service, and Best
Buy, which planned to rebrand the service under its own name.
airwaves available has been one of the FCC's top goals. Wireless
companies have been clamoring for greater ability to feed consumers'
appetites for movies, music and games on a variety of mobile devices.
spokeswoman Tammy Sun said the experience with LightSquared "revealed
challenges to maximizing the opportunities of mobile broadband for our