Geo Week News

August 2, 2011

LightSquared fracas explained in five minutes

Probably by now you’ve heard about the threat posed to GPS service by LightSquared and the 4G transmissions that have tentatively been approved by the FCC. Public comment to the working group at the FCC exploring LightSquared’s impact on GPS closed this weekend, and I’m here to tell you where things stand right now.

If you’re unfamiliar with the threat to GPS, this will serve as a five-minute primer on the battle between LightSquared and the forces aligned against them. If you’ve been following the issue, hopefully this helps you understand where the process is right now:


If you’d like more detail on some of the topics I’ve covered here, please explore some of the following resources:

Here’s the initial public comment call from the FCC, which does a good job of explaining the situation in the first place.

Here are the PNT study results, in a handy-dandy power point presentation.

• The various GPS supporters have gathered together at

Here’s a story on the FAA’s position, which contains the interesting nugget that a replacement GPS system couldn’t be deployed until 2023.

Here’s a summary of the GPS community’s reaction to LightSquared’s compromise offer.

Here’s GPS World’s opinion on how the FCC might come down and what you should do about it.

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