Statement from the Coalition to Save Our GPS

“We are astonished to hear that Phil Falcone, head of the New York hedge fund that controls LightSquared, believes that LightSquared is being “stonewalled,” apparently by the “GPS industry.” It seems that Mr. Falcone gives no credence to a four star general of our armed forces, the commander of the Air Force Space Command, when he testifies under oath before Congress that, ‘In summary, based on the test results and analysis today, the LightSquared 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.’ When questioned about costs, the general responded, ‘We have not estimated cost. However, I think it’d be very safe to say that the cost would be in the b’s – billions of dollars.’

“At this point, there is apparently nothing that can convince Mr. Falcone that there are legitimate concerns over interference from GPS – even though every major government agency and every affected company other than LightSquared is on record that its proposal will cause substantial and harmful interference to critical uses of GPS. How LightSquared didn’t know this all along, and how it can continue to suggest that it is simply stonewalling to raise these concerns, is beyond comprehension.

“In fact, LightSquared said at the outset of this process that it had a plan that would not interfere with GPS signals. Comprehensive testing organized by the FCC showed that its first plan would cause devastating interference to GPS. A second plan was discarded for the same reason. LightSquared is now on its third plan and just last week both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the president’s principal adviser on spectrum policies, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), concluded that more testing is needed to determine whether that third plan adequately addresses interference issues.

“It’s time for LightSquared to stop its glossy ads, irresponsible rhetoric, revisionist history and finger pointing, and provide genuine, fully- tested solutions to the GPS interference problem. LightSquared has always been prohibited from interfering with GPS, and it should have done its homework on this critical issue before spending its investors’ money. It is not the fault of government GPS users or the GPS industry that LightSquared has failed to offer proposals that actually solve the problem. LightSquared must accept the responsibility to provide technical proposals that do resolve the problem, as well as its financial responsibility to address any interference issues that it cannot resolve by technical proposals.”