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DHS on the mark with PNT report, industry says

July 21, 2020  - By
DHS report cover

DHS report cover

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security “did exactly what was required by Congress” in issuing its report in June on positioning, navigation and timing (PNT), according to a letter sent by numerous PNT companies to the DHS.

The July 17 letter to Chad F. Wolf, acting secretary of Homeland Security, refutes a previous letter from Congressional representatives that the report contained numerous errors and failed to address many of the things Congress had required.

“We believe that some key claims made in the members’ letter of June 9 are either exaggerated, irrelevant to the report’s Congressional tasking, or simply wrong,” states the July 17 letter, which is signed by senior executives of Satelles, Orolia, Iridium, Navsys, Jackson Labs, Seven Solutions and Qulsar.

The group takes on the claims of the representatives point by point, finding them exaggerated, irrelevant or incorrect.

For instance, the letter critical of the DHS report states:

“The report focuses on the needs of ‘industry’ largely ignoring the needs and impacts on public services (including first responders), government operations, and individual citizens.”

In response, the industry representatives state:

“The focus of the report, as directed by the NDAA, is on the requirements of the owners and operators of national critical infrastructure. This includes “public services, government operations,” and its beneficiaries, “individual citizens.” To the extent that the report focuses on incentivizing the industry, it is in order for it to be able to meet these requirements.

“While the report only highlights PNT use cases from a subset of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors, their pragmatic recommendations address a range of requirements across all sectors. With respect to PNT needs for backing up GPS, DHS acknowledges the differences between and commonalities among the sectors and offers exceptional guidance for leveraging the capabilities of diverse forms of commercially available alternative PNT rather than endorsing a single, anti-competitive, government-imposed solution.”

Read the full text of the industry letter here.

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About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.