Federal Agencies Recommend Keeping Wireless Communications Network Away From GPS Radio Band

Proven Interference Concerns Cited

Washington — The United States Departments of Transportation and Defense, on behalf of the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, sent a letter on June 14, 2011, to the Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), clarifying their position on the proposal of LightSquared Subsidiary LLC to operate a nationwide broadband service within the spectrum immediately adjacent to the Global Positioning System (GPS) signals.

The Departments asked the NTIA Administrator to advise the Federal Communications Commission to continue to withhold authorization for LightSquared to commence commercial service per its proposed deployment of a terrestrial service within the 1525-1559 MHz bands. LightSquared’s proposal is to deploy a network of 40,000 base stations along with some satellite coverage over 139 major markets in the United States.

The Departments’ position follows an interagency review of the findings of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Systems Engineering Forum (NPEF), which was tasked to assess the GPS impacts of LightSquared’s deployment plan as originally filed. The NPEF determined that, if permitted to operate as originally planned, LightSquared’s signals would significantly interfere with GPS users and, as a result, impact national security, economic security, and public safety nationwide.

The NTIA Administrator forwarded the letter and report to the FCC Chairman on July 6. These materials can be found at www.pnt.gov.

The Departments continue to support the National Broadband Plan, but cannot do so at the expense of a global, ubiquitous utility such as the Global Positioning System. The Departments encourage further assessment of any alternative spectrum and/or signal configuration plans.

-National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing www.pnt.gov