Letter: Columnist wrong about rural broadband

August 5, 2011

I wish to comment about the John Mahaney column, “Rural Ohio needs increased wireless” July 19 in The Lima News. The writer was incorrect about the LightSquared broadband system only affecting certain GPS users. The proposed 4G-LTE system would degrade the performance of all GPS receivers currently in use. This includes safety of life aviation receivers. The proposed system was field tested earlier this year and the degraded GPS operation could not be resolved with any ‘easy technical solution.'Therefore, on June 23, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2012 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill. One amendment to the bill prohibits funding for the Federal Communications Commission to remove conditions on or permit certain commercial broadband operations until the FCC has resolved concerns of harmful interference by these operations on GPS devices. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.Previously, on May 27, the House passed a bill stating that the FCC shall not provide final authorization for LightSquared operations until Defense Department concerns about GPS interference have been resolved. The bill then went to the U.S. Senate for its action.The Air Transport Association and the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association told Congress that the only acceptable mitigation is for LightSquared's operations to be moved outside the L-band and away from GPS. “With so much of the early evidence showing that LightSquared's proposed network would potentially endanger nearly every flight operating in U.S. airspace, it seems evident that no further development of this system can be allowed.Rural broadband is needed for Ohio, just not the LightSquared system.

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