[time-nuts] Clearest article yet on LightSquared's threat to GPS

Charles P. Steinmetz charles_steinmetz at lavabit.com
Sun Jun 5 01:35:10 UTC 2011

>In this case, it seems that the FCC listened to a bunch of
>hog wash, without doing any sort of correct testing beforehand, and now
>that it's after the fact, have been caught with their pants down about
>their ankles.
>Now, it's up to who has the deepest pockets, and the most
>political pull, in who gets what privileges within the band in concern.

As I have remarked before, the Commissioners and the Administration 
are scared spitless that the US is (and always has been) way down the 
list in the rankings of broadband deployment and speed.  They believe 
that ubiquitous high-speed data service (like clean energy 
technology) is the answer to all of our prayers and will bring 
prosperity and world dominance back to the US.  THAT is the hogwash 
the FCC and the Administration swallowed.

IMO, they are wrong -- 99.993% of our broadband capacity was always 
destined to be used to deliver re-runs of Biggest Loser and American 
Idol, and multiplayer games, because that is who Americans are.  In 
any case, like GB of memory or GIPS of processor speed, we will never 
have enough wireless broadband spectrum -- and for the same 
reasons.  If you build it, someone will create an utterly worthless 
bandwidth hog that Americans will decide they must have.

Anyway, when you start from that premise (Must ... Increase ... 
Broadband ... Deployment), the task becomes "Find all of the 
underutilized spectrum between 300 and 3000 MHz and re-purpose it for 
wireless broadband."  And that is precisely what the FCC is 
doing.  And what it would have done, with or without the "deep 
pockets" that many think are driving the process.  (I also don't 
think that is an entirely fair charge.  Don't forget that the FCC is 
setting up to go head to head with broadcasters -- one of the best 
funded and most powerful lobbies in the country -- to take away the 
remainder of their UHF spectrum for wireless broadband.)

Further, there is no argument that the MSS bands are underutilized -- 
you can see the tumbleweeds blowing through.  So it seemed like a 
good idea to the FCC to reallocate it.  Also, every milliHertz of 
spectrum the FCC wants to re-purpose will be fought for by the 
incumbents (and, in this case, by the users of adjacent spectrum) -- 
so the FCC anticipates stories of the end of civilization as we know 
it every time they propose a reallocation, and it is safe to say they 
are jaded about such protests.

Engineers and folks sympathetic to the scientific method are ALWAYS 
going to be disgusted with political initiatives and outcomes, which 
necessarily must respond to non-scientific as well as scientific 
inputs.  Heck, it's the 21st Century and we are still debating 
whether to teach creationism instead of or alongside evolution!

Put another way, of COURSE the spectrum reallocation process is AFU 
-- governments don't have any other options.

Best regards,


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