Immediate Danger Averted, But Fuzzy Frequency Thinking Abounds

Avweb Comes through with the best update I have seen on the GPS/LightSquared mess … Thanks, Guys:

LightSquared Update

GPS Tracking ROI

Recent tests have shown that LightSquared’s proposed grid of 40,000 wireless network ground stations could interfere with GPS signals, and now the FCC has granted LightSquared a two-week extension to file a report on its position. LightSquared’s report was originally due Wednesday, the same day the FCC granted the extension.

LightSquared spokesman Jim Carlisle said Tuesday that the company underestimated the number of tests that would be necessary to show the network should be allowed. In a letter to the FCC, Carlisle wrote that additional testing "was necessary to permit a proper evaluation of various mitigation options for addressing the GPS receiver overload issue." And that producing a report is really hard.

"Producing a final report is a massive undertaking," Carlisle wrote, citing the multitude of factors involved in the process. The FCC responded by granting the company a new deadline of July 1.

In response to the FCC’s decision, co-founder of the Coalition to Save our GPS and Vice President of Trimble Jim Kirkland described his understanding of the process, so far, saying, it’s "been a combination of really really bad ideas and slightly less bad ideas."

According to Kirkland, too much of the burden of proof has been placed on the companies that could be most affected by LightSquared’s network. Said Kirkland, "The FCC should let the private industry return to work and stop squandering resources to solve an unsolvable problem."

This is typical of a money-hungry hedge-fund investor driven company like LightSquared as opposed to a technically-driven company who might have come up with a better, less rapacious of the public’s spectrum.

It doesn’t even take a high school level understanding of the frequency spectrum and the power budget LightSquared is proposing to use to understand that it is impossible for their ill-conceived, duplicative frequency grab to co-exists with our essential public utility, the GPS.

Most indicative of their lack of familiarity with the water they are swimming in is their last-minute failire to dleiver their required report.

Their spokesman now say, “… it’s a massive undertaking …”.  Well, as my Training Instructor down at Lackland AFB, 45 years ago, TSgt Clarence D. Marshall would have been happy to tell Mr. Carlisle, “Well, aw no shit, troop”!

Mr Carlisle may be a very well educated man, indeed (I believe he’s a lawyer by degree), but his concept of how business is done with  the FCC seems pretty flawed, especially since he used to work for the FCC, approving claims against the public’s spectrum like LightSquared’s.  (Hmm, you don’t think they hired him from the FCC to get benefit of his insider knowledge, now do you?  No, I’m sure that wasn’t the case ….)

Anyway,they have two weeks to prepare the report on how they are going to make the square peg fit into the round hole … I for one will be anxiously awaiting the excuses that will be offered up come  July 1.