ARA joined the Keep GPS Working Coalition after the recent decision by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which will threaten GPS reliability for ARA members and millions of other Americans who rely on these technologies.
On April 22, 2020, the FCC released an Order and Authorization permitting Ligado Networks, LLC (“Ligado”) to operate a low-power terrestrial nationwide network in the 1526-1536 MHz, 1627.5-1637.5 MHz, and 1646.5-1656.5 MHz bands.
This decision threatens GPS reliability for millions of Americans who rely on these technologies and is particularly concerning for precision ag purposes. One study suggests that GPS-enabled precision agriculture could save farmers an estimated 10 to 15 percent in operating costs and purchased inputs. This same study pegged the benefits of GPS to precision agriculture between $10 and $17 billion. However, the FCC included no cost to the farmer estimates in their April decision.
Numerous businesses and industry stakeholders expressed their concerns about the FCC’s action, and the FCC issued this Order despite concerns raised by federal Agencies that rely on GPS to protect our national and economic security.
The Departments of Defense, Commerce, Interior, Justice, Homeland Security, Energy, and Transportation have raised concerns about Ligado’s plans, along with NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration. These agencies are the GPS experts, as GPS is central to the critical government functions and private sector activities they oversee and support.
To learn more about the coalition and the work we’re doing, visit https://www.keepgpsworking.com/ or contact Hunter at [email protected] on our staff.