FCC plans to nix wireless network that may jam GPS

Feb 15, 2012

Federal officials are effectively killing a private company's plans to start a national high-speed wireless broadband network after concluding it would in some cases jam GPS devices.

When the gave LightSquared a tentative OK to build the network, the agency said it won't be allowed to start operating until the government is satisfied that any problems are addressed.

After tests, the FCC is now saying it won't let the project proceed. That comes after a federal agency that coordinates wireless signals, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, concluded that there's no way to mitigate potential interference.

A decision isn't final until the FCC seeks public comment, which is expected to begin Tuesday.

LightSquared did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Explore further: Creating the fastest outdoor wireless Internet connection in the world

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User comments : 4

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TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Feb 15, 2012
Is there not some way that individuals could build their own wireless network using WiMax, LTE, etc. like HAM radio operators did years ago and interconnect them someway? It would beat paying $50.00 or more a month for Internet service thru an ISP.
fmfbrestel
not rated yet Feb 15, 2012
You would have to plug into the internet somewhere. But yeah, happens all the time. Ever heard of intranets? or Local Area Networks? Ever steal someones wifi, or had someone steal yours?

Its not going to be free. You are going to have to provide all the networking hardware. Even if you just used your wifi routers, you are still going to have maintain the network. An intermittent internet is a broken internet, and people will leave it if it is broken, which will just break it more.

But to answer you question, yes it is very possible, and very easy, but incredibly impractical. You would have to get a critical mass of users, but getting that critical mass requires the critical mass. So... have fun.
TabulaMentis
not rated yet Feb 15, 2012
@fmfbrestel:

Someone somewhere will need to connect to an ISP. What I was thinking about is each person's WiMax or LTE device would connect to the next closest wireless connection at a neighbor (or building with repeater) on down the line until it reaches an ISP. Companies could manufacture the wireless devices with 256-bit encryption so eavesdropping would hopefully not be a problem.

The problem I think is getting the FCC to sanction the technology. With so much money on the line in lost revenue for the fat cats, it would be very difficult to ever get it approved by the FCC.
fmfbrestel
not rated yet Feb 15, 2012
Also, you have a problem of simultaneous transmitions through the same spot. My wifi router only has 4 channels. A cell tower has thousands. If the network cant support streaming video due to intermittent service, it is dead in the water. The FCC doesnt have to touch it. There is a reason ISP's can charge what they do. without a robust network, there is no network, and robust networks cost a lot of money.

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