Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

US Agency revokes approval for GPS-interfering phone system

by Sail-World Cruising on 17 Feb 2012
Spectrum policy - is the alarm warranted? .. .
In a media advisory received today, the Boat Owners Association of the United States (Boat US) claims that recreational boaters who rely on global positioning devices to keep them safely on course can breathe a sigh of relief since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced plans on Tuesday, February 14 to revoke conditional approval of a proposed cellular telephone network that could interfere with GPS signals.

The decision came after the U.S. Commerce Department advised the Commission that 'At this time there are no mitigation strategies' that could prevent interference with GPS signals if the cell phone network planned by a private company, LightSquared, were to be built as proposed.

'This is a significant development for all GPS users,' said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich. 'The FCC, as America's guardian of our airwaves, needs to protect the integrity of the GPS system. It is one of the most important, reliable, and critical elements in navigation today - on boats, in the air, and on land.'

According to Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), many boat owners use GPS chartplotters or carry hand-held GPS units - essentially electronic maps - to safely navigate and steer clear of shoals and other hazards, sometimes in unfamiliar waters. Last summer, BoatUS mounted a campaign to slow down the federal approval process until adequate testing could be done. BoatUS' 'Don't Mess With GPS' campaign delivered over 18,000 comments to the FCC from concerned boaters all across the country.

LightSquared had originally asked the FCC for permission to build 40,000 cell phone ground stations across the country that would expand broadband cellular telephone service.

In a February 14 letter to the FCC, the National Telecommunication and Information Administration said tests indicate that the network would '...cause harmful interference to the majority of general navigation GPS receivers tested,' and in addition, noted that 'handset transmissions have the potential to impact General Navigation GPS receivers.'

'While the news is positive for America's boaters, we aren't out of the woods yet,' added Podlich. The FCC is hosting a 15-day comment period ending March 1 to solicit feedback on their plans to revoke LightSquared's conditional permit.

'In the next few days we will be looking at options for gaining GPS users' input on the issue and will post this information at www.BoatUS.com/Gov.'

Not all experts agree with the findings. Read http://www.sail-world.com/CruisingAus/LightSquared-and-the-USAs-GPS-system---is-the-alarm-warranted?/93804!here a discussion of the issue by eminent Doctor of Engineering and Spectrum policy expert, Michael J. Marcus as published last week in Sail-World.

About BoatUS:
BoatUS - Boat Owners Association of The United States - is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money-saving services. For membership information visit www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignWildwind 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Related Articles

Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
D-Marin Farr 40 Zadar Regatta – Overall report
Enfant Terrible and Plenty have been doing battle on the Farr 40 International Circuit for several years now. Enfant Terrible and Plenty have been doing battle on the Farr 40 International Circuit for several years now. Those two top-notch programs have resumed their rivalry this week in the waters off this historic city along the Dalmatian coast.
Posted on 23 Sep
Impressive tow-in freestyle show on the water in Cold Hawaii
The second day of the netIP Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be yet another lay day for the main competitio The second day of the netIP Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be yet another lay day for the main competition as expected with light winds and small waves.
Posted on 21 Sep
Brookes and Gatehouse Videos with Knut Frostad
Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos with Knut Frostad, the legendary Volvo Ocean Race sailor and former CEO. See him talk about sailing in general, the B&G product choices and placement he made for his own boat, and then why he loves his Outremer 5X.
Posted on 8 Sep
Soft Padeyes – light, strong and versatile
Several types of soft padeyes are now available and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel pa Several types of soft padeyes are now available on the market and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel padeyes. They all capitalise on the incredible strength to weight ratio and abrasion resistance of Dyneema® which offers a reliable, robust, flexible and safe termination.
Posted on 6 Sep
The hurricanes headed for Hawaii and Florida
The National Weather Service has upgraded a tropical storm headed for Florida to hurricane status. The National Weather Service has upgraded a tropical storm headed for Florida to hurricane status. The first of two hurricanes headed toward Hawaii lost strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm. Meanwhile, in Florida, a tropical storm gained in strength and is now designated as a hurricane.
Posted on 4 Sep
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Kids Polarised Sunglasses from Barz Optics
Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Each pair are supplied with a neoprene case and sunglass retainer.
Posted on 4 Aug
Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun