FCC Invites Comment on LightSquared Interference to GPS

Individuals and organizations wishing to comment on the recently released technical working group (TWG) report on LightSquared’s interference to GPS as well as the company’s proposal for dealing with the problem have until July 30 to submit statements to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In a release dated June 30, the agency noted that the TWG effort “identified significant technical issues” related to potential LightSquared interference in the upper portion of the L-Band, next to the band used by GPS.


Individuals and organizations wishing to comment on the recently released technical working group (TWG) report on LightSquared’s interference to GPS as well as the company’s proposal for dealing with the problem have until July 30 to submit statements to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In a release dated June 30, the agency noted that the TWG effort “identified significant technical issues” related to potential LightSquared interference in the upper portion of the L-Band, next to the band used by GPS.

Once again, the agency has released its notice before an extended holiday weekend. The unsigned notice identified itself as coming from the Chief, International Bureau, presumably Mindel De La Torre.

“The tests demonstrated potentially significant interference between LightSquared operations in the upper portion of the band and various GPS receivers,” the agency acknowledged in its public notice. “The tests also identified some interference issues in the lower 10 MHz portion of the band. The overall conclusion of the testing is that transmissions in the upper 10 MHz channel —the channel nearest to the 1559-1610 MHz GPS band — will adversely affect the performance of a significant number of legacy GPS receivers.”

In addition to the technical working group report, LightSquared has submitted its recommendations to address the problems identified by the working group. “In particular, LightSquared indicates its willingness to: (1) operate at lower power than permitted by its existing FCC authorization; (2) agree to a “standstill” in the terrestrial use of its Upper 10 MHz frequencies immediately adjacent to the GPS band; and (3) commence terrestrial commercial operations only on the lower 10 MHz portion of its spectrum and to coordinate and share the cost of underwriting a workable solution for the small number of legacy precision measurement devices that may be at risk.”

The FCC specifically invites comment on these recommendations, “including any alternative proposals to enable these two important services — GPS devices and L-band mobile broadband — to co-exist. We also welcome comments on the technical working group report generally.” Comments should be filed no later than July 30, 2011, and reply comments by August 15, 2011.

Instructions for Filing Comments
Comments and reply comments may be filed using: (1) the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS); or (2) by filing paper copies. All filings should reference the docket number of this proceeding, IB Docket No. 11-109.

Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments. In completing the transmittal screen, ECFS filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and IB Docket No. 11-109.

Paper Filers: Parties that choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail.

All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TWA325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.

For those who might be interested in communicating directly with the bureau chief who oversaw the fast-tracked order on LightSquared, her contact details are telephone, 202-418-0437, e-mail <Mindel.DeLaTorre@fcc.gov>.