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Wireless Networking

FCC Bars Lightsquared From Using Airwaves 178

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the lightsquared-disputes-laws-of-physics dept.
New submitter mc6809e writes with news that Lightsquared might have just been killed. From the article: "A proposed wireless broadband network that would provide voice and Internet service using airwaves once reserved for satellite-telephone transmissions should be shelved because it interferes with GPS technology, the Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday. The news appears to squash the near-term hopes for the network pushed by LightSquared, a Virginia company that is majority-owned by Philip Falcone, a New York hedge fund manager." LightSquared, naturally, continues to deny that the interference is real.
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FCC Bars Lightsquared From Using Airwaves

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  • by neokushan (932374) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:04AM (#39043771)

    It's my understanding* that Lightsquared's equipment was never the issue, but rather the GPS equipment that got interference were just poorly designed. If the GPS equipment was held to the standards it should have been, Lightsquared's equipment wouldn't have interfered. Yet Lightsquared are the ones being shafted, simply because GPS is "too important". Really, the FCC and/or the GPS equipment manufacturer should be the ones being penalised. FCC beucase it's their job to look after this sort of thing and the manufacturers for producing shoddy equipment.

    *However note that I may be wrong, being an imperfect being and all that.

  • by kaiser423 (828989) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @11:31AM (#39044889)
    Don't forget that in response to LightSquared, DirectTV and pretty much every single company that owns satellite to ground spectrum was filing for similar waivers essentially re-purposing satellite communications to ground-base communications and creating the potential for satellite apocalypse as it becomes thousands of times harder to communicate with *all* satellites, effecting weather, hurricane, tsunami forecasting, early warning systems, satTV and radio, etc, etc. GPS/LightSquared was the proxy war for all of these other providers and it's very, very good that LightSquared did not win.
  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @01:26PM (#39046377) Homepage Journal

    neither is the physics of humongously strong signals next to a band where the signals are below the noise floor

    Sometimes Slashdotters only see the technical arguments. Lightsquared has a somewhat-valid technical argument - if GPS receivers are intended to work on only one band they should take precautionary measures to reject potential interference from neighboring bands.

    But, this was never a problem before, so nobody who makes civilian GPS receivers bothered to do so (I presume milspec receivers have decent filters). Lightsquared can be technically correct and still make everybody's GPS units worthless. Heck, a court might even agree with them - they tend to operate in a strict legalistic manner, ignoring reality.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @02:22PM (#39047305)

    http://www.archive.org/details/XMinus1_A [archive.org]

    It was done in 1950's pulp sci-fi. Casinos operated near observatory and the casino firework shows prevented observatory from taking good pictures. Casinos paid politicians, so the observatory was left in the cold. The observatory then started offering "readings based on the stars" for free to tourists, and started singling out a casino a week as "bad luck" for the tourist until that casino stopped the fireworks. It was a pretty good story 60 years ago and stands the test of time.

    A Thousand Dollars a Plate

    http://www.archive.org/details/XMinus1_A [archive.org]
    MP3 [archive.org] version of X Minus One radio drama of the short story.

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