DOD, Private Sector Leaders See Danger to GPS Due to FCC Licensing Ruling

News | U.S. Department of Defense


May 8, 2020
The Federal Communications Commission’s granting of a license to a private company threatens to undermine the Defense Department’s Global Positioning System capabilities, as well as that of the civilian sector, which also relies on GPS, DOD officials told Congress.

GPS is used for such things as precision timing and navigation for aircraft, cellphone coverage, precision weapons targeting and much more.

DOD Chief Information Officer Dana S. Deasy; Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael D. Griffin; Space Force Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations and commander of U.S. Space Command; and retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad W. Allen spoke at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on DOD spectrum policy and the impact of the FCC’s Ligado Networks decision on national security.

Ligado is a U.S. satellite communications company formerly known as LightSquared.

Griffin noted that GPS was designed and developed by DOD, but is now used commercially for first responders, civil aircraft and commercial shipping, among many other vital usages.

“It’s all at risk now,” he said, and he explained why. …