Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
SEPTEMBER 13, 2011
STATUS OF TESTING IN CONNECTION WITH LIGHTSQUARED'S
REQUEST FOR ATC COMMERCIAL OPERATING AUTHORITY
IB Docket No. 11-109
This Public Notice is issued pursuant to the provision of LightSquared Subsidiary LLC's
(LightSquared) conditional Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) authorization that LightSquared
may not commence ATC operations until the Commission, in consultation with the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), finds that Global Positioning System
(GPS) interference concerns have been satisfactorily resolved. Following extensive comments received
as a result of the technical working group process required by the International Bureau's Order and
dated January 26, 2011,1 the Federal Communications Commission, in consultation with
NTIA, has determined that additional targeted testing is needed to ensure that any potential commercial
terrestrial services offered by LightSquared will not cause harmful interference to GPS operations.2
As a result of concerns raised by NTIA (on behalf of military and civilian federal agencies) and
the GPS industry, the Commission conditioned the January 26, 2011 Order and Authorization
LightSquared sufficiently addressing the potential for harmful interference that its planned commercial
terrestrial service could cause to GPS devices, including those used to protect national security and
public safety. The conditional authorization required LightSquared to help organize and to fully
participate in a technical working group to bring together LightSquared and the GPS community to
address potential interference to GPS from LightSquared's ATC operations. For more than three
months, the technical working group, comprised of more than 120 participants including representatives
from the Department of Defense, Department of Transportation and other federal agencies, the GPS
community, various telecommunications companies and LightSquared, conducted an extensive set of
tests, and LightSquared submitted a final report on June 30, 2011. The technical working group effort
identified potential for harmful interference from LightSquared's originally proposed deployment based
1 26 FCC Rcd 566 (Int'l Bur. 2011).
2 We note that NTIA has been active in consultations with key federal agencies potentially impacted by
LightSquared's proposed operations, as well as LightSquared itself. See
NTIA's Assistant Secretary Larry E.
Strickling's letter to Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn and Deputy Secretary of Transportation John
Porcari of September 9, 2011. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021708329
on operation of terrestrial transmitters in both the upper and lower 10 MHz portions of its spectrum.
The FCC issued a public notice on June 30, 2011, seeking comment on the report.3
LightSquared submitted proposed mitigation techniques to remedy the interference to GPS
simultaneously with the technical working group final report. 4 Notably, LightSquared proposed to
revise its planned deployment to operate terrestrial transmitters only in the lower 10 MHz of its
spectrum. The results thus far from the testing using the lower 10 MHz showed significant
improvement compared to tests of the upper 10 MHz, although there continue to be interference
., with certain types of high precision GPS receivers, including devices used in national
security and aviation applications. Additional tests are therefore necessary.
We appreciate the extensive resources devoted by all of the participants in the technical
working group and by the federal agencies and departments. We are satisfied that the process that was
established through the conditional authorization, as well as the consultation process that exists between
the FCC and NTIA, is meeting our objective to fully understand the potential for harmful interference
and develop solutions before LightSquared is permitted to deploy service. We strongly encourage all
parties to work in good faith and expeditiously towards a solution that serves our dual goals of
facilitating the introduction of new wireless broadband services while protecting GPS against harmful
By the Chiefs, International Bureau & Office of Engineering and Technology
3 DA 11-1133 (June 30, 2011).
4LightSquared Recommendations Concerning GPS Interference Concerns, at 1 (filed June 30, 2011), available in
IB Docket No. 11-109.