The National Association of Manufacturers is one of the founding members of the Coalition to Save Our GPS, a new group dedicated to ensuring the reach and effectiveness of the Global Positioning System.
From the news release,”‘Coalition to Save Our GPS’ Launched,”
WASHINGTON, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Representatives from a wide variety of industries and companies announced today that they have joined together to form the “Coalition to Save Our GPS” to resolve a serious threat to the Global Positioning System (GPS) – a national utility upon which millions of Americans rely every day.
The threat stems from a recent highly unusual decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to grant a conditional waiver allowing the dramatic expansion of terrestrial use of the satellite spectrum immediately neighboring that of GPS, potentially causing severe interference to millions of GPS receivers. The conditional waiver was granted to a company called LightSquared.
A representative of one of the founding members of the coalition, Trimble Vice President and General Counsel Jim Kirkland, will testify on this issue on Friday, March 11 before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science of the House Appropriations Committee.
“GPS is essential to Americans every day – it’s in our cars, the airplanes in which we fly and the ambulances, police cars and fire trucks that help keep us safe. It’s also used in many industrial applications and even synchronizes our wireless, computer and utility networks,” the group said in a statement. “LightSquared’s plans to build up to 40,000 ground stations transmitting radio signals one billion times more powerful than GPS signals as received on earth could mean 40,000 ‘dead spots’ – each miles in diameter – disrupting the vitally important services GPS provides.”
The coalition’s website is www.SaveOurGps.org.
The FCC’s conditional waiver for Lightsquared was granted on Jan. 26.
News coverage …
- PCWorld, “Is GPS About to Be Broken?“
- Bizjournals.com, “Network might make GPS devices useless“
- USA Today, “Could new wireless network render GPS devices useless?“
- NextGov, “GPS industry and new cellular carrier spar over interference issue“
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