You are here: miami boating magazine > miami boating news

FCC Changes Course on GPS Interference
Although this is a step in the right direction, we're not out of the woods yet.

Posted Monday, February 20, 2012

 
e-mail E-mail this page
print Printer-friendly page

ALEXANDRIA, Va., February 16, 2012 - 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."

 
e-mail E-mail this page
print Printer-friendly page
 
 



Latest articles in Miami Boating News
 
BoatUS: Anchoring Restrictions Under Review by Florida Legislature: Apr. 2, 2015
FL House Committee Bill HWSS 15-06 Has New Number: HB 7123
 
Coast Guard to Implement Safety Zones in Biscayne Bay for New Year's Fireworks: Dec. 30, 2014
Important info if you will be watching fireworks from the water in Miami
 
Float Plan Helps Save Four Boaters Near Big Pine Key: Dec. 10, 2014
A simple, but effective tool for when emergencies happen.
 
Boaters Must Speak Up Today on Anchoring in Florida: Dec. 7, 2014
FWC Online Survey Closes Today. Dec. 7
 
Operation Dry Water Coming to Biscayne National Park June 27 - 29: Jun. 13, 2014
Nationwide crackdown focuses on critical safety issue affecting our local waters
 

Miami Boating News

↑ Grab this Headline Animator


Our Partners:
FtLauderdaleBoating.com Jacksonville-Boating.com
FloridaKeysBoating.com
BahamasBoating.com AtlanticCoastBoating.com
KidsAboard.com

More Resources:
Homeschool Evaluations
Homeschooling Florida
Homeschooling Girls
Kids Aboard Workshops
Florida Keys Cruising Guide
Farmland for Sale

Marine Directory and Magazine for Miami, South Florida and Beyond
Boating, Fishing, Sailing, Watersports