As part of its consideration on whether to allow a company called LightSquared to launch a wireless communications network, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created a “Technical Working Group” to determine how the network would impact Global Positioning System (GPS) devices and related applications.

The results of the working group recently came in and they found that the LightSquared network will cause significant interference to the signals used by GPS. This is no surprise to NAM members who have been following this issue.

Manufacturers leverage GPS technology for a variety of uses from precision agriculture to inventory tracking and cannot afford the service being compromised. As part of our effort to ensure the business of manufacturers is not adversely impacted, the NAM sent a letter to the FCC urging them that no network should be deployed that harms the GPS devices or applications. 

The NAM remains committed to deploying wireless broadband technology across the country but not at the expense of GPS technology critical to manufacturers.  

Brian Raymond is director of technology and domestic economic policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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