GPS coalition asks White House to fix Ligado/5G chaos

February 16, 2021  - By

GPSIA logoThe GPS Innovation Alliance (GPSIA) sent a letter on Feb. 16 to the White House National Economic Council, asking it solve the issues with Ligado interfering with GPS spectrum.

“Strong and unified leadership by the U.S. government is needed to preserve and advance GPS — leadership that recognizes the inherently unique functional and technical attributes of GPS,” wrote J. David Grossman, GPSIA executive director, in the letter.

Panel on risks to sat services

GPSIA’s J. David Grossman will be speaking Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. ET, in a panel discussion entitled “Satellite-Based Services at Risk?” Other speakers include former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell; Capt. Steve Jangelis, representing the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA); and Susan Avery, former president of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Register here.

The coalition, which counts Garmin, Apple and John Deere among its members, was ensnared in the dispute between Trump executive branch agencies and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over whether the commission’s Ligado approval decision in 2020 would affect GPS.

In the letter to NEC Director Brian Deese, the group argues that these squabbles “are not unique to GPS” and “reflect a continued pattern by which shared decision-making is replaced by the FCC acting with exclusive authority as the final arbiter.”

GPSIA recommends that the council

  • update a memorandum of understanding between the FCC and Commerce Department to help ease decision-making;
  • install a detailee from federal agencies managing GPS in the FCC’s engineering office; and
  • have each FCC commissioner add a technical adviser to its staff.

The letter concludes, “GPSIA and its members stand ready to be a resource to the NEC and others in the Administration seeking to more efficiently allocate spectrum, while protecting critical incumbent systems and services.”

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.