The ongoing spat between a company known as LightSquared and a number of high-profile combatants including the Defense Department, the Federal Aviation Administration, John Deere and General Motors' OnStar service continues unabated.

The Federal Communications Commission, which has to approve of the company's proposed broadband network, has placed LightSquared under some tight deadlines and has asked the company and its many detractors to put together a joint report on how to proceed with the network without interfering with GPS systems already in place.

In a series of 46 tests performed by the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation & Timing, the LightSqaured service disrupted communications from both OnStar and GPS devices used by the likes of the U.S. military.

GM and its OnStar subsidiary believes a workaround is possible. Says OnStar spokesperson Vijay Iyer, "We'd love to be part of that testing and validation and we believe there is potential mitigation solutions specifically geared toward that bandwidth that's being used out there."

Assuming these companies and agencies can all get their issues worked out, LightSquared hopes to have its service commercially available to 100 million subscribers by 2012. A series of hearings on the matter have been announced for June 23rd by two subcommittees from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Stay tuned.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 3 Comments
      Peter Gallerizzo
      • 3 Years Ago
      As a licensed Land Surveyor and Civil Engineer with 40 years experience, I have seen the rise of precision GPS since the middle 1980s. It is now essential to all transportation and land development. There is a constellation of satellites around the globe and investment in those satellites, receivers, training, software, etc. at an extreme level by an extremely large community. This community consists of the military (for which the system was developed), aviation, county and state departments of transportation, and tens of thousands of surveyors and engineers (the last professional whose code of ethics prohibits advertisting, unlike doctors and lawyers.) These aren't the people you find shooting pop-up ads or billboards at you. It is sad when well intentioned people, through lack of research or knowledge, waste their money. The amount wasted by Light Squared so far is lost, and less important than the life safety, transportation and progress which relies on precision GPS. A word to the wise is sufficient and Light Squared, if they cared about the greater good, would seek a different frequency, and cut their losses. The uses of GPS are for society and not solely for profit. To interfere with GPS is to interfere with society in a destructive way. Lightsquared would have tens of thousands of people replace their $20,000+ precision receivers.
      Dan
      • 4 Years Ago
      No comments. Hmmm. I guess readers won't mind when their GPS devices quit working or when aircraft lose GPS signals or the military (who operates the GPS constellation) loses its ability to use GPS signals. This is a big deal. The FCC got caught speeding. Now we're going to be lucky if this train wreck can be averted.
        Agilis
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dan
        I would presume there are no comments regarding this topic because it's cut and dry. I'm not entirely sure you fully understand the issue. LightSquared has a system where its "service disrupted communications from both OnStar and GPS devices used by the likes of the U.S. military." The FCC is not to blame, but the FCC needs to approve a broadband system to allow both these services coexist. If not, LightSquared service will be shut down. The important thing is, all parties involved are working together cooperatively and trying to come up with a solution.