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LightSquared participated in testing, says DOT official

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Aviation officials came to Congress Feb. 8 to praise the Global Positioning System and bury LightSquared.

"We worked with LightSquared. They were part of developing the testing protocols, they were part of the testing itself, and the results, I think, are very clear cut," said John Porcari, Transportation Department deputy secretary. He spoke during a hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on aviation.

Porcari co-signed a Jan. 13 letter of the federal National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing executive committee declaring that testing of LightSquared's original and modified proposal to create a 4G LTE and satellite-signal nationwide network would interfere with many GPS receivers.

"There appears to be no practical solutions or mitigations," the letter said, a statement echoed by Porcari on Feb. 8.

"There's no easy retrofit or filter...that would, from a safety of flight perspective, make the proposal as currently proposed by LightSquared compatible with aviation," Porcari said.

LightSquared has contested the testing; Porcari said they've been independently validated by the Idaho National Laboratory and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The test results have not yet been transmitted to the Federal Communications Commission, Porcari said, adding that they will be, "shortly."

The FCC granted LightSquared predecessor company Mobile Satellite Ventures a license contingent on subsequent testing showing no interference with GPS.

LightSquared's position has been that interference is the fault of "poorly filtered devices that purposefully depend on spectrum licensed to LightSquared."

During the hearing, Porcari called for standards that would establish what purposes spectrum adjacent to GPS could be utilized for.

"Establishing those standards would give them a good sense of what kind of uses would be compatible and which would not," he said.

For more:
- go to the hearing webpage (prepared testimonies and webcast available)

Related Articles:
LightSquared GPS interference cannot be solved, say federal agencies 
LightSquared: GPS, DoD, FCC at fault for interference 
Shelton: GPS and LightSquared network cannot currently coexist

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