The American Soybean Association and a coalition of 12 other national producer groups are urging the Federal Communications Commission to conduct additional targeted testing to ensure that any potential commercial terrestrial services offered by LightSquared Subsidiary LCC will not cause harmful interference to Global Positioning Satellite operations utilized by farmers.
In January 2011, the FCC gave conditional approval to LightSquared to build tens of thousands of ground stations that may cause interference to GPS signals. The radio wave spectrum LightSquared plans to use for its system sits in what is known as the L-Band, which is just adjacent to the spectrum which GPS devices use. LightSquared gave initial assurances that its original proposal would not cause interference to the nation's GPS system. However, government and commercial tests demonstrated conclusively that its original network proposal would cause disruption to GPS service.
“As users of GPS precision equipment in agricultural applications, we believe this additional testing is imperative,” said ASA First Vice President Steve Wellman. “We need to know with certainty that any modifications and proposed solutions will work for new and existing precision agriculture equipment.”