Farm Groups Join Coalition Against Threat to GPS

Five organizations representing thousands of companies and millions of Americans have launched a new coalition to protect end users of GPS following a decision from the Federal Communications Commission in April to permit Ligado Networks to operate a terrestrial wireless network using its satellite spectrum.

Ligado’s planned use of its “L-Band” spectrum, which is closely adjacent to bands used by GPS, would threaten the reception capability of hundreds of millions of GPS devices.

Founding members of the Keep GPS Working Coalition include the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

The FCC’s decision threatens GPS reliability for countless consumers, farmers, ranchers, construction companies and other GPS users who will be forced to suffer interference to their GPS devices or to pay to replace them, the coalition says.

The FCC admits in its order that there are cases where both government and private GPS receivers—including those that power agriculture, aviation, and other key industries—will suffer harmful interference, but failed to provide a technically feasible and adequate remediation solution for consumer and business end users, it said.

“In issuing the Ligado order, the FCC threw millions of Americans who depend on GPS in their everyday lives under the bus with undue haste and inadequate consideration,” said Dale Leibach, spokesperson for the Keep GPS Working Coalition.

The Keep GPS Working Coalition will ensure that the concerns of end users are represented in this critical public policy debate, joining the chorus of experts sounding the alarm over the Ligado order’s existential threat to GPS technology and urging the FCC to reverse its decision.

“America’s farmers and ranchers rely on precision agriculture technology and GPS so their farms and ranches can be more efficient, economical and environmentally responsible. Expanding broadband access is a top priority for Farm Bureau but not at the expense of losing the accuracy of GPS,” said Zippy Duvall, president of AFBF.

Source: Business Wire