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FCC extends deadline to comment on LightSquared waiver

Published Mar. 9, 2012 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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Farmers and ranchers rely on the accuracy of GPS for precision agriculture

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) extended the deadline to submit comments regarding its proposals to block LightSquared from pursuing its wireless broadband network to March 16.

The FCC concluded that an interference issue between LightSquared’s towers and the GPS receivers exists and cannot be corrected in the near future. LightSquared was granted a waiver to build a network in January 2011, under the condition that there was no interference with GPS.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) tested the issue, and concluded that the interference caused by the LightSquared technology is destructive to GPS receivers. It reported that there is a possible fix, but that the cost and time to fix millions of GPS receivers would not be possible in the timeline proposed by LightSquared.

Farmers and ranchers rely on the accuracy of GPS for precision agriculture. Disruption to GPS has the potential to reduce farm profitability by raising production costs and affecting farm and ranch operations.

In comments submitted to the FCC, American Farm Bureau Executive Director of Public Policy Mark Maslyn said, “Disruption to GPS has the potential to reduce farm profitability by raising production costs and affecting farm and ranch operations. Precision agriculture allows farmers and ranchers to run efficient, economical and environmentally conscious operations.

“Farm Bureau appreciates the work of the FCC to provide rural America with high-speed broadband services. While the deployment of broadband services is important to economic development, better education and improved health services in rural America, the use of precision agriculture is also vital to America’s farmers and ranchers,” he said.

Those interested in submitting comments should follow the steps below:

Click here for the FCC’s Electronic Comments Filing System (ECFS).

  1. In the box which says “Proceeding Number,” type: 11-109. It is important to include this docket number with your comments.
  2. In the designated boxes, enter (a) your name or your company’s name, and (b) your mailing address/city/state/zip.
  3. In the box which says “Type in or paste your brief comments,” do so. Click “Continue.”
  4. A review page will load, listing all of the information entered. If correct, click “Confirm.”
  5. If you have trouble, contact the FCC ECFS Helpdesk at 202-418-0193 or ecfshelp@fcc.gov 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Submit comments to the FCC

Listen to audio of AFBF’s RJ Karney speaking to OFBF’s presidents in Washington, D. C.

 



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