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Let the Lightsquared political circus begin...

Boyd 1999 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Discussions
This isn't the kind of thing that politicians will want to be associated with.... Lightsquared may find that they don't have as many friends as they thought.... :twisted:
Gen. William Shelton, head of the Air Force Space Command, told House members in a classified briefing earlier this month that he was pressured to change prepared congressional testimony in a way that would favor a large company funded by Philip Falcone, a major Democratic donor, congressional sources told Fox News.
See also this article on the DOD website:
The military recently conducted testing on LightSquared’s network in concert with the Federal Aviation Administration, Shelton explained, which involved more than 100 receivers from 24 different organizations, and spanned the military, government, aviation, precision, agriculture, automotive and general-use communities.

Test data indicate that LightSquared’s signals interfered with every type of receiver in the test, the general said. Since that time, he added, the company has proposed an alternate deployment plan that would initially use only the lower 10 megahertz of its assigned frequencies.

However, limited testing on this new proposal still indicates an effect on precision receivers and even some cell phones, Shelton said, adding that further testing would be required to fully characterize potential interference.

“Based on test results and analysis to date, LightSquared’s network would effectively jam vital GPS receivers, and to our knowledge thus far, there are no mitigation options that would be effective in eliminating interference to essential GPS services in the United States,” the general told the subcommittee members.


  • Yes, I've been following this for months. They very obviously have friends in high places going to bat for them for this to still be in consideration.
  • mvl 191 Points
    The problem for Lightsquared is that they only bribed one political party during an election season, and the other party runs congress.

    This should be comical to watch, but it's a good showing for US democracy. In most other countries Lightsquared, with the level of payments they made to political leaders, would have succeeded.
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    People in the GPS community have been aware that something was fishy here for quite awhile. But it burst onto the national political stage in a big way yesterday. Just type "lightsquared solyndra" into Google and you'll see that this isn't going to go away anytime soon.

    I think it's "game over" for their network now...
  • Two words - Imagine that.
  • Does anyone have an idea how much the LightSquared network might affect handheld units like the Montana or the Map62 series? Is this more of an issue for survey units or air navigation units? Will it affect our home/hobby/hiking units?

    Here are a couple of articles with recent news about the LightSquared issues: Executive_NextGov Most Popular_omail_ngmostpop_msg
  • Tim 1482 Points
    It has the potential to impact all devices that use GPS.
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    From yesterday's Wall Street Journal
    Government tests showed that "LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to the majority of…general purpose GPS receivers," said Anthony Russo, director of the National Coordination Office for Spaced-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing, a government and industry advisory board, in a statement late Wednesday.

    The same statement was also issued by the Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense.
    I find it very hard to believe that their system will ever see the light of day in its present form.
  • People in the GPS community have been aware that something was fishy here for quite awhile. But it burst onto the national political stage in a big way yesterday. Just type "lightsquared solyndra" into Google and you'll see that this isn't going to go away anytime soon.

    I think it's "game over" for their network now...
    How did I miss this post for so long?

    This is (old) but great news!

    Thank you, Boyd!
  • I hope you're right, Boyd. I'm kind of an accuracy nut. Whether it's my wristwatch, GPS, rangefinder, digital scale, etc., I like them to be as accurate as possible. I don't like the idea of LightSquared interfering with my GPS signal. However, I wonder if the interference will significantly afffect GPS hobbiests like hunters, hikers or geocachers? Will I still be able to return to the same waypoint or will it send me hundreds of yards off-track? I guess time will tell.
  • Lightsquared has a video on their website talking about how a modified antenna can work with their signal.
    The thing is, this is only for advanced GPS units (like for surveying) and would require all those with older units to buy new antenna, and does not address at all the consumer GPS market.

    Video link:

    If this goes through, your going to have a lot of ticked off people that their fancy in dash GPS unit is now a worthless piece of junk, plus all those with PND's.
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    Looks like it's finally all over for Lightsquared...
    In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, the Commerce Department said there was "no practical way to mitigate the potential interference at this time."

    Shortly after receiving that letter, the FCC issued a statement saying it planned to reject LightSquared's application to build its network because of the GPS concerns. The FCC said it was proposing to revoke a conditional approval it gave to LightSquared last year.
  • dhn 336 Points
    Good news.
  • WAHOO!! Finally, some common sense from the feds... :D
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    When all else fails.... sue 'em!
    LightSquared Looks to Lawyers

    The primary objective of any lawsuit would likely be to force a technical fix to the GPS interference, either by allowing LightSquared to swap its wireless airwave license for a different bandwidth or by forcing GPS operators to use filters to block LightSquared's signals, bankers and investors said.

    To be sure, tackling the FCC in court will be difficult given intense political scrutiny of the controversy, said Owen Kurtin, an attorney specializing in commercial and regulatory law in the telecommunications industry.
  • Tim 1482 Points
    Yeah, I can't imagine this is even close to being over.
  • Shucker 0 Points
    It's not over yet, but if granted some free spectrum, hopefully it won't interfere with GPS units.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    My favorite recent statement from Falcone is that GPS companies are intruding on HIS spectrum and they better get used to the fact there's a new driver on the road.
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