×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

195 comments

http://taylorswiftalbums.net/ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39098667)

thanks for useful link!

Oh come on. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39098671)

This is the 4th or 5th story I have read about LightSquared and so far the only thing I know about them is that their shit messes up GPS.

Re:Oh come on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39098703)

Correct. This is a desperation lawsuit that they cannot win.

Re:Oh come on. (5, Informative)

rhombic (140326) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098705)

They bought a license to transmit a candle's worth of power on a sattelite based band, and are sad that the FCC won't let them send an arclight's worth of signal out from ground based stations. Ars [arstechnica.com] link.

Re:Oh come on. (4, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098757)

While that is true, my opinion as someone who has been following the story is that the FCC does have a degree of culpability here because they were involved in LightSquared's plans from the very beginning, and only issued the death penalty after significant amounts of money had been spent even when the evidence they based that decision on had been available for a significant amount of time - to a degree, it can be argued that the FCC led LightSquared, and that is what they should answer for.

LightSquared should have been told at the very beginning, when the FCC first got involved, that their approach was not acceptable and that they needed a different license and spectrum.

Re:Oh come on. (5, Informative)

SOOPRcow (1279010) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098781)

When the FCC first got involved they gave them a provisional approval which required LightSquared to prove that it would not affect GPS devices. LightSquared was unable to prove it. Ars Technica explains it pretty well here: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/02/why-lightsquared-failed.ars [arstechnica.com]

Re:Oh come on. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098861)

That's my point - they were given provisional approval to proceed, and when they failed the tests the FCC allowed them for months to submit proposed solutions. The provisional approval should never have been given, as it's a totally different use for the band than allocated for in the license - the FCC should have closed the door right then and there.

Yes, LightSquared were idiots for doing this at all, but the FCC were wrong in doing what they did.

No, the idiot is you (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099027)

You don't get what a provisional approval means. The FCC said, we don't know if what you want to do is possible but we are not going to say no right away, if you want, you can proof your claim.

Had the FCC not done this, they would have been a dinosaur, an unmovable object on the road to progress. Instead they allowed a test, a test to prove that what the FCC believed (that the proposal would not work) was wrong.

It is like a provisional driving license or are you going to claim that if you get a provisional driving license, the state is obliged to give you a full license regardless of whether you pass the test?

Provisional licenses are pretty common, often you need a license to do something for real but you first need to do it in a test to do but to test it you need a license. To get around this, you issue a provisional license. It allows test and allows people to challenge assumptions but if you fail the test, so be it. Unless you want to sue your examiner for failing you.

Re:No, the idiot is you (-1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099133)

I'm going to answer your entire point just by answering your provisional driving license analogy.

If I was to apply for a provisional driving license, while stating my intention was to use it to gain a pilots license rather than a drivers license, would the DMV not be remiss to issue me one under the basis that it might happen?

The FCC should have provisionally denied the operation, with approval granted on proof of conformance - to do anything else artificially inflates the operations position. Their license did not allow them to operate at the suggested power levels, and the FCC should have held them to those license conditions while welcoming evidence to support reversal of the rejection.

There is a world of difference between provisional approval and provisional rejection.

Re:No, the idiot is you (5, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099323)

You can't prove conformance without test data. You can't get test data without a limited operational license.

LightSquared was given a provisional operating license to operate a terrestrial network for the purposes of interoperability testing, and proving with that network that they had the capability to expand that network nationwide without causing interference. They WERE given a license to operate at the suggested power levels, and this license was a provisional time-limited one to see if operating at those levels caused problems. Instead of their network proving that it was possible - their network proved that it was IMpossible. The whole point of the limited provisional license was to permit LightSquared to operate a limited test network without deploying a massive nationwide network and getting THAT shut down after only a few months of operation.

As to "trading spectrum with the DoD" - holy crap what morons. Sorry, when you're talking about a complete network of satellites, the costs of throwing away that network and building a new one are astronomical. Let's not forget the large base of installed aviation and military GPS equipment - getting certification for aviation-grade GPS systems is a VERY time consuming and expensive process.

Not quite (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099399)

I'm going to answer your entire point just by answering your provisional driving license analogy.

If I was to apply for a provisional driving license, while stating my intention was to use it to gain a pilots license rather than a drivers license, would the DMV not be remiss to issue me one under the basis that it might happen?

No, this is not something automatically prevented by rules. A better analogy would be if you applied for a provisional license and said that you intended to study for the driving test solely by playing video games and learning the rules of the road subliminally. The DMV might have advised against it, but ultimately if you pass the test they have to issue you with a license.

Re:No, the idiot is you (4, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099487)

How do you expect them to prove they can conform if they don't have a license to run at those levels? Getting a license to operate at low levels, then operating a high levels so you can prove you didn't interfere is not exactly a way to get the FCC on your side. The FCC did it exactly right - "we don't think this will work, but we will give you a license to prove us wrong".

Re:Oh come on. (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099075)

That's my point - they were given provisional approval to proceed, and when they failed the tests the FCC allowed them for months to submit proposed solutions. The provisional approval should never have been given, as it's a totally different use for the band than allocated for in the license - the FCC should have closed the door right then and there.

Then we'd be reading a story about how some spoiled rich brat was suing because the mean ol' FCC wouldn't approve his nifty idea.

Re:Oh come on. (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099157)

That's my point - they were given provisional approval to proceed, and when they failed the tests the FCC allowed them for months to submit proposed solutions. The provisional approval should never have been given, as it's a totally different use for the band than allocated for in the license - the FCC should have closed the door right then and there.

Then we'd be reading a story about how some spoiled rich brat was suing because the mean ol' FCC wouldn't approve his nifty idea.

1. Spoiled rich brats usually aren't doing anything technical enough and affecting the EM spectrum enough to require FCC approval.
2. If they are, they usually have Daddy (or themselves if they are old enough) to buy off a few politicians to get the law changed, after a prolonged media campaign about "modernizing" the laws.

Re:Oh come on. (3, Insightful)

stevew (4845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099475)

Let's highlight this last "LightSquared were Idiots!" because they were trying to do something that any amateur radio operator that has been on a Field Day with more than one station would understand - wasn't going to work without even TRYING the experiment.

Re:Oh come on. (3, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098791)

Fine, but how has the GPS industry been culpable for the actions of the FCC? They submit their recommendations and concerns to the FCC the same as any other interested party, but it's the FCC who makes the call, not the GPS industry.

How is the GPS industry to blame for being legitimately concerned that Lightsquared technology will interfere with their EXISTING, LICENSED USE OF SPECTRUM?!?!?!!

not quite that simple (-1, Flamebait)

nten (709128) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099329)

The GPS makers took advantage of the lack of adjacent channels to cheap out on the filters. The GPS industry has no license relating to the spectrum in question, they are listening on it by virtue of having poor filters. If the spectrum involved was adjacent to something less important like ISM band (wifi routers etc.) or ham radio, the FCC would probably have said "by better filters you idiots, you only bought the bit you are sitting on ". But this is a case where if you screw up big enough not only to affect yourself, but everyone else, everyone else has your back. To be completely fair though, enough power would overload any filter and designing for the environment is part of it, so the FCC puts quiet things next to sensitive things, and groups loud things together to give similar dynamic range. In short, the FCC is doing their job, the GPS folks kind of didn't but not in any criminal fashion.

Re:not quite that simple (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099423)

The GPS makers took advantage of the lack of adjacent channels to cheap out on the filters. The GPS industry has no license relating to the spectrum in question, they are listening on it by virtue of having poor filters. If the spectrum involved was adjacent to something less important like ISM band (wifi routers etc.) or ham radio, the FCC would probably have said "by better filters you idiots, you only bought the bit you are sitting on ". But this is a case where if you screw up big enough not only to affect yourself, but everyone else, everyone else has your back. To be completely fair though, enough power would overload any filter and designing for the environment is part of it, so the FCC puts quiet things next to sensitive things, and groups loud things together to give similar dynamic range. In short, the FCC is doing their job, the GPS folks kind of didn't but not in any criminal fashion.

So if I propose a communication system that involves shouting loudly through a megaphone across the street and the environment agency shuts it down, not only could I sue them but all the house-builders who did not provide adequate sound insulation?

Re:not quite that simple (5, Interesting)

SgtXaos (157101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099519)

This idea that the GPS industry "cheaped out on the filters" just won't die, apparently. The fact is, every engineering project is an exercise in trade-offs. Designs must balance the requirements with the budget and laws of physics. When you know the environment, you design towards it. In other words, the GPS makers designed their equipment based on the fact that the nearby spectrum would be low-powered satellite communications. Thus the filters on the front ends of the GPS receivers were built to reject that type of sideband interference. To do otherwise would not not be the correct design decision.

If everyone had to design their RF sections as you imply, every radio receiver in the world would need a 500 dB/decade "brick wall" filter to reject possibly ANY signal not included in its passband. These filters would be so large and complex as to render mobile devices impractical. The costs involved would make such devices too expensive to sell.

Please do not continue to drink the Lightsquared kool-aid. It is toxic.

Re:not quite that simple (1)

allanw (842185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099657)

Is it worth paying twice as much for all of your GPS devices to be able to get Lightsquared?

Re:not quite that simple (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099779)

Definitely.
But I may be biased, I don't use GPS, and am frustrated with my lack of ISP options.

Re:Oh come on. (5, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098831)

You haven't been following the story very closely, since you obviously don't know that Lightsquared got their original approval on a fast track basis [orbitrax.com] , with very little review time, and across a holiday weekend. They knew full-well that their intended use couldn't stand up to any serious scrutiny. If you think that just happened, without their pushing very hard through back channels, you really don't know how the FCC works. Lightsquared have only themselves to blame for trying to short-cut the process, and expecting political pressure to win out over technical facts (although that last one is often a good bet to make).

Re:Oh come on. (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098843)

Now, some gaggle of attorneys has their vacuum cleaner nozzle in the back pockets of the investors, who sadly are likely to lose an enormous wad of money. Instead, the investors will now start to pour more money onto the pile of ashes, blow on them, and watch even more money ignite and burn.

Silly investors.

Re:Oh come on. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098873)

I've been following the story fairly closely, but all your comment does is highlight yet another failure on the part of the FCC.

Re:Oh come on. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098889)

And I think it's worth me stating this outright, lest someone claim I am a shill for LS - I think their plan was stupid, their product flawed and their approach totally wrong, and I think that all of those things were obvious from day one.

Which is also why I think the FCC shares some responsibility here.

Re:Oh come on. (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099175)

And I think it's worth me stating this outright, lest someone claim I am a shill for LS - I think their plan was stupid, their product flawed and their approach totally wrong, and I think that all of those things were obvious from day one.

Which is also why I think the FCC shares some responsibility here.

So, you are saying that the FCC should be a stonewalling, Catch-22ing, dinosaur? Personally, I find it refreshingly modern that they actually let LS try. If LS fucked it up, they have only themselves to blame.

Re:Oh come on. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099559)

Shill? No. Idiot who doesn't understand what "provisional" means? Yes.

For future reference it means not a definite no, but it will only become a definite yes if condition yadda yadda is fulfilled. Yadda yadda was not fulfilled, so they don't have permission to proceed. Not rocket science, is it?

Re:Oh come on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39098995)

BY FCC culpability you me me, a US Tax Payer? You roll the dice, and you lose. You don't get anything back from the dealer for your trouble. The contracts were clear. FCC never promised a rose garden. This was a long shot that they tried to bribe enough politician's (Primarily Obama) to get through. The politicians did the math and discovered that pissed off GPS users would cost them more votes than the advertising money from LightSquared could buy. That's the test they lost.

Re:Oh come on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39099051)

The FCC isn't culpable at all, in that the terms were explicit from the get go - absolutely no interference with GPS systems.

All culpability is on Lightsquared as they developed a shoddy product that did not meet the initially accepted requirements.

Too bad, go shoot your collective-selves in the head cuz you've royally fucked yourselves into a corner.

You have nowhere to go but down Lightsquared.

Re:Oh come on. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39098785)

So what your comment says is that because LightSquared is the loud music neighbor analogy which GPS makers would come up with from the story you linked, they (LightSquared) are in the wrong? I disagree. I prefer the much more accurate analogy that GPS makers are the ones that built their proverbial "patio" into LightSquared's property before LightSquared owned it and moved in. Quoted below from your own link.

Quote:
LightSquared cell tower signals would be far stronger than the signals GPS devices must receive from space, but Stern says that's not the problem. For one thing, he said, LightSquared agreed to reduce its power levels by a factor of 32 after its initial plan raised a huge outcry from the GPS industry. For another, he says, "GPS devices are designed to look into spectrum that is licensed to LightSquared. That's the problem.... The commercial GPS folks... viewed the LightSquared spectrum as a vacant lot that nobody would use and they could use. It was sort of like if you lived in a subdivision and no one built in the lot next door to yours, and one day you're like 'I'm going to build my patio out into their lot,' and then one day somebody buys the lot next door to you and plans to move in and you say 'you can't move in there because I have my patio on your lot.'"

Re:Oh come on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39098809)

And if I build my patio onto a vacant lot and nobody says anything for a couple decades, I get to take adverse possession of that part of the lot. That's how real estate works.

Consumer uses aside (and you know that consumer GPS users would just be up shit creek if this came to pass), replacing all the GPS units in use by the aviation industry and the military would cost more than a trillion dollars. Are you going to pay for that?

Re:Oh come on. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39098857)

And if I build my patio onto a vacant lot and nobody says anything for a couple decades, I get to take adverse possession of that part of the lot. That's how real estate works.

Consumer uses aside (and you know that consumer GPS users would just be up shit creek if this came to pass), replacing all the GPS units in use by the aviation industry and the military would cost more than a trillion dollars. Are you going to pay for that?

No, I'm too busy paying for the current generation of bastard welfare babies and their whorish nigger moms. Oh yeah let's celebrate black history month.

Re:Oh come on. (0)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098847)

The basic fact is GPS was in violation of their part B license first. LightSquare would be able to operate if it were not for the GPS industry cheaping out on their filters. The FCC ruling is a tough one since they are forced to take the side of a ubiquitous service which is in violation of their license or rule for the startup that could potentially bring competition to the broadband market nationwide.

Re:Oh come on. (3, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098917)

Um, no. The FCC only licenses transmitters, not receivers. The only transmitters in GPS are in the satellites. And part B is not a license, it is a section of type 15 UNLICENSED transmitters (specifically unlicensed devices which are unintentional transmitters, like computers).

Re:Oh come on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39098937)

It's similar to adverse possession in real estate: if I screw up the surveying and build part of the building on somebody else's property, and the owner there doesn't make any move whatsoever to remove me (or lease the land to me, or at least in some way acknowledge the situation) for some set amount of time (typically ten years, varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction), that land becomes my land de jure.

In this case, GPS has become so ubiquitous and essential that it's taken adverse possession of adjacent bits of spectrum, and LightSquared is basically involved in a title dispute. (On the losing end, too, since the de facto owner of GPS is the Department of Defense).

Re:Oh come on. (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099495)

All RF transmitters spit out harmonics. My guess is that Lightsquared's hardware spits out huge amounts of harmonics that stomp all over GPS frequencies and they're freaking out for a bunch of possible reasons. 1) They probably went ahead and built a sh*tload of devices before they got FCC approval and now all of that will have to be scrapped, 2) It's going to cost a bunch of money to redesign the hardware correctly, 3) the redesigned hardware is going to cost a hell of a lot more to mass produce so their potential market will shrink significantly.

Another possible reason speaks to rhombic's comment and that is that the effective range of their hardware is going to be severely limited if they are required to meet FCC requirements thus making the product far less attractive than cellphone-based internet.

There are also political skeletons in this case a la Solyndra but that's a separate issue.

What I'm wondering is why some company hasn't acquired the rights-of-way that Metricom owned back when they were offering wireless internet access before the cellphone companies got involved. If you used a self-healing mesh networking system a put transceivers on traffic lights and street light poles, you could have a potentially nice setup.

Re:Oh come on. (3, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098825)

This is the 4th or 5th story I have read about LightSquared and so far the only thing I know about them is that their shit messes up GPS.

Its the tech version of a soap opera. You know how my wife loves those TV dramas where diane was flirting with jake while he was dating cindy but actually cody had a crush on diane and it doesn't matter because jake is gay and cindy is lesbo and they're just pretending to be together to stop cindys boss john from flirting with her? Yeah its like that but with RF microwave technology and stuff.

So lets try this again in female TV drama mode using the standard crypto protocol names. So Bob asked drunken crack addict Alice for a date using a GPG signed irrefutable email and Alice said, eh Bob's kinda cute if you're drunk and high enough, yeah, maybe I'll think about it, so Bob went shopping at (product placement) and maxed out his (product placement) credit card on a (product placement) tux and a (product placement) marriage ring and (product placement) body spray and showed up on her doorstep the morning of his scheduled marriage to her (which she doesn't even know about), ready to get some premarital (sweep week ratings boosting) action. So Alice's brother Charlie finally figures out whats going on, shows up at Alice's door, thinks Bob is completely Fing out of his mind to even imagine Bob will hook up with his sister Alice, and beats the S out of him and throws him to the curb, staples an ASBO to his forehead, and leaves him bleeding in the gutter, and posts it all to /.. Then Alice stops her drug and booze binge long enough to realize she totally F'ed up and posts to facebook that she only lead Bob on because she was on a crack cocaine binge and now she's waaaay too sober to F him and Bob can just go back under his rock now please. Which pisses off Bob who plans to take her anyway no matter if she's willing or not, and pisses off Bob's credit card company because they know Bob will never pay them back a penny unless he gets some. Meanwhile everyone gets pissed off both at Alice for being a trashy crack whore on a binge unable to control herself from leading Bob on, and everyone's also pissed off at Bob for being such a profound jerk for not understanding "no means no" or whatever the trendy phrase is, and everyone's pissed off at Bob's (product placement) credit card provider for giving Bob, who is apparently an idiot, a limitless credit balancing knowing he has no way to pay it off (although when Bob goes bankrupt, "we will all" pay off his loans in higher fees, govt bailouts, etc, so at least they are the "winners" in this scenario)

Re:Oh come on. (4, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098951)

As I understand it

Lightsquared were/are a sattelite communications provider and owned a peice of spectrum intended for sattelite downlink (where signal power at earths surface would be very low) close (spectrally) to GPS. According to wikipedia they got permission to make ancillary use of this spectrum terrestrially and are now trying to get permission to use it for pure terrestrial cellular devices. However terrestrial transmitters mean much stronger signals at the earths surface. Signals that are close in spectrum and widely different in power are problematic due to imperfect filters and nonlinearities in both tranmitters and receivers.

If they succeed they will make a mint, if they fail then it will likely be a massive hit to thier buisness. Especially if in the process of failing they were to lose the ability to run any terrestrial services in the band.

It's kind of like buying land/buildings with the intent ot trying to get "planning permission"* to build something and/or to change the use of the property. If you get the permission you can make a shitload of money but if the council decides your planned use is inappropriate for the area you can be stuck with property you can't do much with.

* This is a UK term, I dunno what the american equivilent is

Re:Oh come on. (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099097)

We call it "zoning" but it's essentially the same thing. If you buy residential zoned property with the intent to get it rezoned as industrial you are pretty likely to have:

a) Very ticked off neighbors and
b) A very unfriendly local government.

You can make it work: if the locality is desperate enough, you make enough promises to the neighbors, you buy up enough adjacent property, etc... but it's a risky operation.

Re:Oh come on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39099447)

We call it "zoning" but it's essentially the same thing. If you buy residential zoned property with the intent to get it rezoned as industrial you are pretty likely to have:

a) Very ticked off neighbors and
b) A very unfriendly local government.

You can make it work: if the locality is desperate enough, you make enough promises to the neighbors, you buy up enough adjacent property, etc... but it's a risky operation.

'Tis the way you got malls in the olden days. Somebody kept quietly acquiring land until they got ~20 acres, then got it rezoned a bit and built the mall.
Residences were usually happy (better shopping nearby). Developer was happy.

Re:Oh come on. (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099719)

Oh sure, when you own all, or the vast majority, of the land and you want to build something that people will mostly be happy to have it often goes smoothly. If you own just enough land to install your factory and intend to set it up to belch forth air and noise pollution, it's a lot harder. Rezoning happens all the time, but even with stuff people want, like malls, it doesn't always go smoothly and can be a risky enterprise. What Lightsquared is trying to do is more analogous to a noisy factory across the street from my house than a nice mall half a mile away. Unless the "town" is desperate for manufacturing jobs and you make a lot of concessions to the neighbors it probably won't happen.

Re:Oh come on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39099767)

If you buy residential zoned property with the intent to get it rezoned as industrial

'Tis the way you got malls in the olden days. Somebody kept quietly acquiring land until they got ~20 acres, then got it rezoned a bit and built the mall.
Residences were usually happy (better shopping nearby). Developer was happy.

Didn't you ever play sim city? Commercial and industrial are different types of zoning. People would be fine with a bunch of retailers opening up nearby, but not with a giant factory stinking up the air and dropping soot on their cars.

So let me get this straight... (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098727)

Their for-profit system screws up GPS which has been around a LOT longer than they have , the FCC finds this and blocks their system and THEY want to sue the FCC and GPS makers???

I'm sorry, is this Falcone guy just gold plated arrogant ass who thinks the world should revolve around him, or is he just a plain, good old grade A fsckwit?

Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39098745)

It's also laughable how they believe there's even a remote possibility that they could swap spectrum with the DoD.

Re:Yep (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099203)

It's also laughable how they believe there's even a remote possibility that they could swap spectrum with the DoD.

Indeed. The one agency that really could nuke them from orbit, just to be sure ^_^

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

glop (181086) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099015)

Well, I am not sure it's really that clear cut.
The Ars Technica article explains that 25% of the GPS receivers were unharmed by Lightsquared's towers. That means 75% of the receivers tested are not filtering out properly the bandwidths that were not intended for GPS.
Normally, when gadgets and electronic devices go through the FCC (like they all do before they can be sold), that's to prove they don't cause harmful interferences and that they are not susceptible to interference from lawful emissions in other parts of the spectrum.
So, it seems on interpretation is that:
- GPS manufacturers sold devices that in fact not compliant to FCC rules
- FCC accepted those non-compliant devices because they did not test properly
So I suppose you could sue people so that they stop the sale of the 75% of non-compliant receivers (assuming lightsquared's interpretation of the meaning of the licenses is correct). GPS manufacturers might also just decide to fix the designs voluntarily to make the issue moot.
That way, the inventory of problem receivers would at least stop growing and the value of Lightsquared's spectrum would slowly grow as old receivers die and the probability of obtaining an authorization grows. That would not solve the issue for Lightsquared but maybe that would help them get better spectrum.

Re:So let me get this straight... (3, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099165)

The FCC only certifies TRANSMITTERS (both intentional and unintentional transmitters). GPS receivers are not transmitters.

The "must not interfere" and "must accept all interference" rules which people on here are so fond of quoting have nothing to do with technical requirements. If they were technical requirements the consumer would have no reason to know about them. They are USAGE requirements. "Must not interfere" means that, even if your type accepted device is operating 100% properly, if it is causing interference with licensed operations you must stop using it. "Must accept all interference" means that if something (licensed or unlicensed) is interfering with your transmissions, that is just too bad.

Re:So let me get this straight... (3, Informative)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099237)

> not susceptible to interference from lawful emissions in other parts of the spectrum.

_Lawful emissions_. GPS uses spectrum within a portion of the L-Band allocated for use in space -> ground communications. This means that future allocations on adjacent bands should be very low power. Indeed, I'd say that's rather the entire point of having a blocked out bit of spectrum for satellite communications: They must be a much lower power, so receivers can't easily filter out much more powerful ground based interference. By blocking ground signals a good distance from satellite ones you make filtration much easier.

GPS receivers were built with the expectation (if not guarantee) that interfering signals would be roughly at the same power as GPS. However, the transmitters Lightsquared was planning to build would be, literally, one million times stronger than GPS on a good day (-70dBm vs -130dBm). So, I'd hardly call such interference 'lawful' just because the FCC thought they could change the law after the devices were built.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

rnturn (11092) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099593)

Uh... when the ham radio operator down the road interferes with his neighbors' radios and television reception, it is the ham operator who has to modify his operation. The FCC would not be letting him off the hook because the neighbors did not purchase radios and televisions that were completely immune to external transmissions that adversely affected their operation. Any lawsuit filed by the ham operator against his neighbors would be laughed out of court.

Of course, the US legal system is so screwed up nowadays, I would not be surprised to see such a lawsuit get dragged through the courts for years for no other reason than the the fact that someone isn't able to make money. The "I want to do something to make money and these people are in my way, so, Mr. Judge, make them go away" attitude by people like Falcone is a disease that needs to be stamped out.

Waste of time (2)

Ice Wewe (936718) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098731)

Alternately, Falcone is considering ways to appeal the FCC's decision or even swap spectrum with the Department of Defense.

Seriously? I know they're understandably upset that the satellite bands they purchased can't be used for terrestrial, but come on guys, this is just a waste of time.

You know what wouldn't be a waste of time? Creating the satellite based network their original proposal had.

GPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39098733)

It's a bit sad consumer level GPS receivers are quite narrowband and not easily (at least unintentionally) jammed by a signal outside (but near) the GPS band. Most GPS equiptment on boats and airplanes are a lot older and less resistant. The GPS in your phone is better than the GPS on an (older) aircraft.

Tradeoffs (4, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098879)

The GPS on a phone has to operate a few centimeters from a transmitter, and on top of this there is likely all sorts of digital hashing it has to deal with as well, which tends to have wide frequency content (over a short distance). The interior of a smartphone is a relatively harsh RF environment and the GPS needs stronger filtering to operate. This additional filtering (and space constraints that limit component selection) result in more attenuation of the GPS signal, and thus worse fixes. But it doesn't matter because it is just a cellphone, and the GPS is a nice-to-have which can be augmented with other coarse positioning systems when needed.

Navigation systems need to have a stronger GPS signal, so they have more reliable and precise solutions. The designed their filters to adequately attenuate adjacent frequencies, for what they were licensed for, while minimizing attenuation of the GPS band. Furthermore, given the larger size, they can use RF shielding on the cabin as a way to block the closest sources of interference, and only need to design the filters to block signals from the ground. These are higher quality filters (since they can afford the money/space for better components), they are just engineered with different goals. They could have filtered more, but it would have been counter-productive.

LightSquared is proposing to transmit with over 10,000 times the power that they are currently licensed for, which is more than 1 million times the power of GPS signals here on the ground. Even if you were to upgrade every GPS system out there with the best filters we can make today, you would still have either increased interference from the proposed LightSquared system, or attenuation of the GPS signals. And LightSquared has yet to offer to upgrade every GPS system out there.

The fact is that LightSquared picked the worst possible piece of spectrum to convert to terrestrial broadband. They acquired the company who owned it for cheap because everyone else (all the incumbent wireless operators) realized this, and spend their money licensing other (more expensive) spectrum instead. LightSquared has no one to blame here but themselves.

Re:Tradeoffs (2)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099285)

Then this company engaged in fraud against it's investors then. This bullshit about lawsuits is just smoke and mirrors then, trying to cast blame elsewhere? At what point does everyone figure out they were full of shit from the start and hold them accountable.

Re:GPS (1)

Matt_Bennett (79107) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098891)

It really isn't a matter of older vs. newer- older GPS receivers are probably more resistant to interference due to them having more extensive front end filtering- the newer modules just keep dropping stuff off to reduce size and cost. The fundamental issue is that GPS is a signal coming down from orbit! The closest a satellite ever gets to a receiver is about 8000 kilometers! Their effective radiated power is just about 500W (this is actual power * antenna gain)- it ends up that the signal at the ground is below the noise level and must be processed to bring it up to something usable.

Re:GPS (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098893)

Most GPS equiptment on... airplanes are a lot older and less resistant. The GPS in your phone is better than the GPS on an (older) aircraft.

Not really. The onboard aircraft mode C transponder is a couple watts around 1090-ish MHz which is not too far from the GPS spectrum, so they're tougher than you'd think. Thats before you get to the zillion watt air band voice transmitters, admittedly at a much lower frequency. Then again they're probably older. Then again, microwave filter technology was pretty much figured out in the 50s and not too much has changed since then. Then again microwave amp technology has drastically improved over the past two decades or so WRT MMICs and IP3 and IMD specs, so a new cellphone Might perform better than aircraft instruments. Then again, the whole "subscription model" for GPS maps and autoloaded waypoints means there are not as many "old" aircraft GPS out there as you'd think, compared to say, old altimeters or old airspeed gauges.

Theoretically there probably exists a GPS moving map display where the manufacturer hasn't shipped current nav data since '97 therefore it lays in the junk pile unused although theoretically if you'd power it up on the bench and compare to a 2012 iphone GPS, the iphone might outperform it. maybe.

Re:GPS (2)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099451)

The thing is, aircraft with multiple RF interfaces are specifically designed with co-interference between onboard systems in mind. For example, antenna locations are chosen VERY carefully to avoid one system interfering with another, and in addition, most aircraft have an interference blanker system that allows receivers on the aircraft to know when another system is transmitting. You can't have an IBU for an offboard interference source.

In addition, while fairly high in peak transmit power, IFF has a VERY low duty cycle, and in fact has some very strict duty cycle limitations imposed on it specifically because of interference concerns. Last but not least, 1090 MHz is MUCH farther in frequency from GPS L1 (1575 MHz) than LightSquared is (1526-1536 MHz), meaning that it's going to be attenuated much more by the frontend filters of GPS receivers. Obtaining significant rejection at 1090 MHz is MUCH easier to do without size/weight/inband attenuation penalties than obtaining significant rejection for nearly continuous high-duty-cycle interference at 1536 MHz.

Re:GPS (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099797)

In addition, while fairly high in peak transmit power, IFF has a VERY low duty cycle, and in fact has some very strict duty cycle limitations imposed on it specifically because of interference concerns. Last but not least, 1090 MHz is MUCH farther in frequency from GPS L1 (1575 MHz) than LightSquared is (1526-1536 MHz), meaning that it's going to be attenuated much more by the frontend filters of GPS receivers. Obtaining significant rejection at 1090 MHz is MUCH easier to do without size/weight/inband attenuation penalties than obtaining significant rejection for nearly continuous high-duty-cycle interference at 1536 MHz.

Yes but I was thinking of R-squared issues. So a 1 watt transponder at 1090 at maybe as little as 5 feet away vs 100 watts from LS maybe a couple miles away (miles straight down?).

Also there are issues w/ filters. So I do microwave RF work. Some MMICs I work with don't tolerate more than 20 dBmW at the input without physically frying. No problemo, you only need 10 dB of filtering a 1090 MHz 1 watt source to prevent physical damage, assuming you plugged the transponder antenna port directly into the preamp input port. 10 dB at a "third of an octave away" (depending how you do your math) is not an overly heroic engineering achievement, BUT that comes at an insertion loss of maybe a couple dB which comes Right Off The Top of my system noise figure which ruins my overall system SNR. Why even waste time and money on an exotic HEMT front end if the required front end filter results in system performance as cruddy as an old (bulletproof) bipolar transistor...

So much for hard core engineering. Now for the heresay... I also do microwave ham radio work and people with more experience than myself claim driving a rover 1296 MHz station down the road next to an airport will inevitably result in the preamp frying from the radar interregator and/or individual plane transponders. Since I live 3 blocks from an airport I don't seriously bother with the 1296 band, that and its a big hobby, plenty other stuff to do. Also old fashioned analog AMPS cell towers were supposedly the death of many a hilltoppers 902 MHz preamp. Comments? Its just heresay, but I just keep on hearing it and it is technically believable...

What an arrogant ass... (4, Insightful)

alanshot (541117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098739)

FTA: "...Through a lawsuit, the company might seek to force GPS vendors to make their receivers filter out LightSquared's frequencies, the Journal said..."

Seriously? I would love to hear from this idiot how he proposes to do this for existing units. Horses, barn doors, yadda yadda... I'm no EE/RF guy, but I'm sure its a bit more than simple software patches to the units. And I'll be DAMNED if I have to go buy another unit just because "his" part of the spectrum isnt quite up to par with what he wants to do with it.

Somebody needs a good cockpunch to remind him that while its often disappointing that you cant achieve your goal due to outside forces, sometimes those forces are just plain beyond your control and you need to move on instead of lawyering up and being a dickhead about it.

Re:What an arrogant ass... (-1)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098883)

FYI, it's the GPS fault for making the presumption that the adjacent spectrum would always be quiet. With this ruling the FCC admits that the GPS receivers are in violation of their license.

Re:What an arrogant ass... (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098959)

FYI, it's the GPS fault for making the presumption that the adjacent spectrum would always be quiet. With this ruling the FCC admits that the GPS receivers are in violation of their license.

LOL the adjacent spectrum was legally declared to be for satellite based transmission (air to ground) only by the FCC. You have it about as backwards as possible.

Standard /. car analogy would be we drive on the right in the US, Ford want to sell a UK drive on the left car in the US, DOT says ha ha go away, now you want to sue all other car manufacturers for assuming we'd always have right-side-drive in the US therefore they are the problem and if we just allowed people to randomly select whichever side of the road we preferred at that moment using cars where the driver and passenger dashboard can be instantly swapped, then it would all be good in the world.

Re:What an arrogant ass... (4, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098965)

Would you quit posting this bullshit! They did not 'make a presumption' that the adjacent spectrum would be quiet, there were (and are) regulations saying that the adjacent spectrum IS quiet. And, once again, receivers (of any sort) ARE NOT LICENSED.

Re:What an arrogant ass... (-1)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099055)

You want semantics.

LightSquared does not interfere with GPS transmitters and GPS receivers with proper filter are not affected either. The FCC ruling admits that the utility of the GPS receivers outweigh the right to use the adjacent bands ( even with buffers ) for alternate uses because manufacturers didn't install proper filtering on the receivers.

Re:What an arrogant ass... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39099195)

a) If those receivers either sacrifice precision for cheaper schematics and wider working conditions or they're heavy and expensive thanks to filters - those 25% are not very useful for most uses.
b) The filtering might be still proper - if the adjacent band is used as was planned, from the satellite. They're testing with several orders of magnitude stronger terrestrial signal.

Re:What an arrogant ass... (0)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099231)

Then the GPS industry should buy the spectrum if it's necessary for proper operation of their devices.

Re:What an arrogant ass... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39099375)

I repeat: if GPS receivers work when satellite signals are on that band as intended, they aren't in the wrong. Which part of "several orders of magnitude stronger terrestrial signal" did you miss?

Re:What an arrogant ass... (2)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099741)

Please define 'proper filters'. To my mind, a 'proper filter' is one which does the job it was designed to do. In this case, the job they were designed to do was filter out adjacent band signals at a very low power level, because the only adjacent band signals that are allowed by law are at a very low power level. If you were designing the device, would you design it to filter out signals a million times stronger than what can legally be there? Assuming you actually did that, how are you going to convince anyone to buy your device that costs 10X what everyone else's device costs? Buy my product! It is far superior! It filters out things that don't even exist!

Re:What an arrogant ass... (2)

MattskEE (925706) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099781)

(1) The FCC is not in any way saying that licensed users cannot transmit close to the GPS band. The band Lightsquared is using is intended for satellite-earth transmissions because they will be at similar power levels at ground to the GPS signal and thus will not pose an interference problem. Lightsquared tried to weasel an exception out of the FCC and failed. GPS is a critical system used by millions of people on a daily basis and it is clearly more important than a cellular network that is trying to operate in a band they shouldn't be in.

(2) Better filtering requires a combination of three things: (a) increased size, (b) increased cost, (c) lower quality passband signal (higher attenuation). By making intelligent allocations of spectrum with their oversight the FCC can ensure better utilization of finite bandwidth than if it was a free-for-all and everybody had to install huge expensive filters on their RF front-ends. The FCC decrees that transmitters operating close to the GPS band (and other satellite-earth bands) do so at sufficiently low power levels to avoid interference, which ensures that the millions of GPS receivers can be (a) smaller, (b) cheaper, and (c) higher performance. For very high performance GPS receivers this filtering is very difficult too, because the bandwidth of the GPS receiver is intentionally widened to get more signal. Are you seriously suggesting that the tens to hundreds of millions of GPS receivers in use today need to be replaced with (a) larger, (b) more expensive, (c) lower performance receivers just so that we can all cater to the whims of a startup company that tried to game the system and lost?

I'm not sure if I should bother replying to you as there is a reasonable chance you are astroturfing for Lightsquared, but in case you're not I hope you will consider these issues before spouting off more of these posts which assume Lightsquared is innocent in this (they are not).

Re:What an arrogant ass... (1)

glop (181086) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099117)

You probably can't get old gear to be retrofitted and some old gear might be very important (think your Fire Department's truck's GPS or something like that).
But if the GPS manufactures stop selling the GPSes that are not filtering the frequencies and the FCC stops allowing the sale of those GPSes, then, after a while, the spectrum will be useable in the way that Lightsquared is planning (may it will take 5 years).
That means the value of the spectrum will raise and LightSquared stands a better chance of swapping it or avoiding losing money on that spectrum.

Frankly, I don't think calling people names is very appropriate. I don't think the guys at Lightsquared really want to break our GPS (which is a marvelous common good and I can't express how awesome and useful I think it is). They just think the GPS manufacturers are "trespassing", that the FCC has not done its work and are trying to fix it. That's actually not the worst example of "lawyering up" I can think of.

This should go well... (1)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098743)

/ Grabs popcorn before the show starts.

// Hopes Darl makes a cameo in this one

What LTE/4G is this? (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098751)

Same as used in the rest of the world? Europe has no problems with GPS and 4G.

Re:What LTE/4G is this? (3, Informative)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098783)

You're confusing things. Lightsquared wants to use a different band than other existing ones, that's the issue here. No LTE implementation in Europe uses the band Lightsquared wishes to use.

Re:What LTE/4G is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39099025)

no i don't think he confused things, that's why he asked what kind of lte/4g it was instead of assuming it was the same as in europe.

Re:What LTE/4G is this? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099597)

He's confusing a "method", eg: "LTE", with a "frequency band", eg: "1.4-2.4 kilohz". If I yanked out and replaced the radio transmitter/receivers on a wifi access point and card, I could transmit wifi signals on the same band as my local NPR station. It would still be "wireless ethernet" in it's implementation, but it would be on different frequencies. It would also be illegal in any country that regulates its frequency bands (pretty much all developed and many less developed countries do this). Lightsquared is planning to use the same LTE protocol as is currently in use in both Europe and the US, but it was planning to do so on a frequency band that neither Europe or the US would normally permit terrestrial transmission system on.

Re:What LTE/4G is this? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39098829)

I think in the EU it is on a different band. I have 9 sats GPS reception even when standing within 5m of a LTE base station antenna. If the frequencies were near, the GPS signal being as weak as it is, it would require a black magic receiver to work.

sniff (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098795)

My idea proved to be technically infeasible, so I'm going to sue the FCC for calling a spade a spade, and rest of the world for not getting out of my way.

And maybe God while I'm at it, for creating a reality that won't bend to my will. (Although it sort-of does, in my head.)

FCC doesn't know what they are doing (4, Interesting)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098869)

The FCC has made many flawed decisions in the past. Their approval of Broadband over Power lines is a classic example. All the testing showed that the system would interfere with EVERY radio service in the HF spectrum, yet they allowed the service to be rolled out. The backlash from this has hopefully killed off any attempt to actually deploy such systems, but the FCC is still insisting that it's technically a good idea.
So in this case they have done the same thing, given approval to a system that would cause interference with another radio service, already in use. Only now, they've done the right thing by pulling the rug out before the damage could be done. However, by not making the right decision before letting investment proceed they probably DO owe the investors a good chunk of damages, as they should also owe those in the BPL business.

Re:FCC doesn't know what they are doing (4, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098953)

FCC doesn't owe LS investors jack shit. FCC auctions satellite spectrum, LS asked if they could try out magic equipment that could safely xmit from the ground without affecting existing users, It's not the FCC's job to explain physics to moron capitalists, that would actually be quite unfair for the FCC to decide in advance what is and is not possible and prohibit companies from trying "impossible" things

Re:FCC doesn't know what they are doing (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098979)

but the FCC is still insisting that it's technically a good idea.

No even the stupidest poltical ops in the FCC know its technically useless. They are insisting for political reasons. If you have a "marketplace of competitors" then you don't need monopoly regulation of RICO act like megacorps.

If it were not for those pesky laws of physics, BPL and LS would be great market competitors to the established operators, and there would be no and/or less reason to regulate the existing corrupt monopolies, because "look, its a free competitive market so regulation is unnecessary"

Re:FCC doesn't know what they are doing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39099835)

My recollection is that they first told LightSquared that this would never work and LIGHTSQUARED replied with "You don't understand our new, revolutionary approach" and started bugging congress critters about how the overbearing FCC was killing jobs because the FCC didn't understand LIGHTSQUARED's secret new technology. So the relented and told LIGHTSQUARED, "Prove It" Turns out LS had no revolutionary new technology, just a plan to capitalize by misusing the existing band and bitching about anybody that objects. So they failed. FCC replies with "You Failed" game over.

But their greed not satisfied yet, LS will try to extract some cash from someone, anyone to avoid admitting that there was never any revolutionary new technology and never any plan other than to misuse the frequency allocation. That admission might prove very costly to LS principles.

I have a better idea, Mr. Falcone! (3, Funny)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098887)

Sue the magnetic field!

Re:I have a better idea, Mr. Falcone! (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099295)

...and his evil alter-ego the electric field!

Mr. Falcone better wear a cape and tights for this battle. It won't help LightSquared, but it will be entertaining for spectators.

Yippee Ki Yay, Mr Falcone. (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098913)

The GPS is owned and operated by the United States Government and the Department of Defense. Good luck with that.

Unmitigated greed (2)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098933)

Their intended product interferes with GPS, and they intend to sue the victim and the government. I hope these SOBs get crushed in court. GPS is critical these days for so many things in the infrastructure, as well as being needed by the military. Lightspeed's network would interfere with GPS used by commercial and military aerial navigation. If these clowns think they have priority over that, they deserve to lose all their investment.

Re:Unmitigated greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39099147)

Their intended product only interferes with GPS receivers which *improperly* listen in on the adjacent frequency. The receivers do so, because, when they were created, the frequency in question was silent, so the manufacturers didn't bother to apply the appropriate signal filtering. (Likely because it saved them a few cents per unit at the time.)

Basically, the ruling in question says, "This situation sucks, GPS has become very important. So important, in fact, that the continued operation of improperly designed receivers has to take precedence over allowing this use of the neighboring spectrum."

The reason this band is cheap. (5, Insightful)

splutty (43475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39098977)

There's a reason why this spectrum is much cheaper than others, in that it's assigned to satellite communication.

The assumption being made is that if you license this spectrum, you need to make significant costs to actually put satellites into space, so the licensing is cheaper.

So they want both now (cake meme), cheap spectrum, but not put satellites into orbit (which their original proposal by the way *did* have), but instead use it as ground based spectrum (which is much more expensive to license)

Car analogy: I buy a classic old timer, so I don't have to pay road taxes (or much less anyway) and much less insurance. Now I put those license plates on a Hummer and still expect to not pay the road taxes and much less insurance...

Other spectrum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39099071)

Can't Lightsquared just be assigned some other available parts of the spectrum that don't interfere with GPS in exchange for giving back the problematic assignation?

Or is there none available?

Re:Other spectrum? (1)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099807)

How about they pay full price for spectrum licensed for high power terrestrial transmission instead?

Sue because physics trumps politics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39099315)

Seems like a good way for LS to burn more money.
    It almost seems like that's their purpose.

Another way to explain spending $1B+ before verifying that the technology was possible is a shortage of due diligence.
    Hopefully a law suite will clearly determine if this was the case.

It is unfortunate that we don't get another competitive broad band wireless carrier though.
    If politics in spite of engineering doesn't work,
          the hopefully the next guy with $1B will try politics supported by engineering.
           

Good Luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39099539)

Lightsquared is foolish if they think they are going to get any further. In reality the feds could just say "national security issue" and their case would end.

We shouldn't auction spectrum in the first place (1)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39099641)

The root problem here is the idea of auctioning off the radio spectrum. It is essentially a TAX on innovation and the eventual users, which is then used as an excuse to give large monopoly profits on those who are willing to bid up the tax, knowing that WE will pay it in the end. The bigger the tax, the more profit they make.

We should instead manage it as a public commons, having bands set up for experimentation, and then wider spaces for more established modes as they become popular, and have more users. Somewhere in there should be a set of spaces for mesh network backbone.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...