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Several members of the GPS industry oppose a conditional waiver granted to broadband network company LightSquared, saying the company’s plan could interfere with current GPS use. I discussed this decision in an earlier Dirt Talk post.
“While the FCC recognized in their conditional decision the potential impact on GPS use and set in place a technical review, our read on the situation is that they lack a clear understanding of the significant economic impact and disruption to existing operations that could result,” says Nick Yaksich, vice president of global public policy for AEM. “GPS is increasingly becoming a critical part of improving productivity and efficiency in construction and agriculture production, so we obviously were concerned.”
AEM invited contractor groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, state highway officials, manufacturing groups and manufacturers to the briefing, and asked Jim Kirkland, general counsel for Trimble, to address the group.
“Most were unaware of the FCC decision and the implications on GPS,” Yaksich says. “All were surprised at the unprecedented action the FCC is taking by granting a conditional waiver and allowing the new company to lead the technical review.”
As a result of the decision, a variety of industries and companies are coming together to form the “Coalition to Save Our GPS.” Yaksich says AEM is joining the coalition, which plans to seek additional safeguards from the FCC and bring the issue to the attention of federal and elected officials.
For more information about the issue, read the coalition’s white paper here.