Letter to NTIA on LightSquared Testing

January 13, 2012

Below is the text of a letter sent to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on behalf of the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing. Learn about the committee...

Please direct all inquiries about the letter to:

JAN 13, 2012

The Honorable Lawrence E. Strickling
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, DC 20230

Dear Assistant Secretary Strickling:

At the request of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the nine federal departments and agencies comprising the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee (EXCOM) have tested and analyzed LightSquared's proposals to repurpose the Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) frequency band adjacent to Global Positioning System (GPS) frequencies to permit another nationwide terrestrial broadband service. Over the past year we have closely worked with LightSquared to evaluate its original deployment plan, and subsequent modifications, to address interference concerns. This cooperative effort included extensive testing and analysis of GPS receivers. Substantial federal resources have been expended and diverted from other programs in testing and analyzing LightSquared's proposals.

It is the unanimous conclusion of the test findings by the National Space-Based PNT EXCOM Agencies that both LightSquared's original and modified plans for its proposed mobile network would cause harmful interference to many GPS receivers. Additionally, an analysis by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has concluded that the LightSquared proposals are not compatible with several GPS-dependent aircraft safety-of-flight systems. Based upon this testing and analysis, there appear to be no practical solutions or mitigations that would permit the LightSquared broadband service, as proposed, to operate in the next few months or years without significantly interfering with GPS. As a result, no additional testing is warranted at this time.

The EXCOM Agencies continue to strongly support the President's June 28, 2010 Memorandum to make available a total of 500 MHz of spectrum over the next 10 years, suitable for broadband use. We propose to draft new GPS Spectrum interference standards that will help inform future proposals for non-space, commercial uses in the bands adjacent to the GPS signals and ensure that any such proposals are implemented without affecting existing and evolving uses of space-based PNT services vital to economic, public safety, scientific, and national security needs.

EXCOM Co-Chair
Deputy Secretary of Defense

EXCOM Co-Chair
Deputy Secretary of Transportation