According to an article in the Washington Times, the FCC has approved the implementation of a system that will possibly endanger the country. The article states that "The FCC bent the rules so the Reston-based firm LightSquared could offer a new wireless Internet service that fulfills President Obama's high-profile push for public investment in broadband". Why? Does this company do something that is so important to America that it is vital to the security of the country?
According to the article that is not the case at all, in fact, this will actually decrease the safety of the country," "Department of Defense is concerned with the [order and authorization] being conducted without the proper analysis required to make a well informed decision," the department's spectrum policy director wrote in Dec. 28 letter."
Our DoD is concerned that the proper analysis wasn't done and yet they approved the deal anyway. According to the article, even the Pentagon wanted the action delayed. Why? If these agency's are concerned with the safety, and didn't feel that it should be approved, common sense would tell most people, that it would be prudent to at least consider the problems that they were worried about.
Another part of the article is what really scares me the most though. It says that "a commonly used aircraft navigation unit completely lost its fix within 5.6 miles" of a LightSquared transmitter. You would think that this would be something that would concern the FCC. If this is something that puts fliers and other GPS users in danger, why would you approve it without trying to resolve the problem. Where will these transmitters be located?
What is the responsibility of the FCC? According to the site "The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable."
Does regulation involve protecting the interests and safety of the American people, or does it mean something else. Does the Chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski, have the obligation to decide which business will profit and which will lose, even at the cost to the safety of the American people and the defense of the country itself?
Think of all the things that the GPS system is integrated into, cell phones, aircraft navigation, satellite systems, and many other things that are used everyday. If they aren't able to get a fix within a certain distance of this transmitter, what will be the cost to the people who depend on these systems? Does this mean that when an airplane flies over that they will lose their signals?
I don't know every use for GPS, but I do know that if I have Garmin or some other navigation device in my car, I want to be able to depend on it. I also do not want whatever plane is flying over one of the transmitters to lose it navigation. The danger to the millions of people that fly, sounds to me something that would be considered by the FCC.
Is LightSquared so important to the security of our country that it is more valuable to us than GPS? If so, in what way. If not, what was the reasoning behind the decision to approve it's implementation. And why would you rush through the approval process and bend the rules for something that both the DoD and the Pentagon have concerns with?