Boaters - Ask your senators to co-sponsor S. 2166 the RETAIN Act

Protect GPS

A bill introduced by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) aims to right the wrongs of an April 2020 FCC decision to permit Ligado Networks LLC to use radio spectrum in a way that would cause interference to GPS, and force the company to pay for costs incurred by business and consumers to ensure continued GPS reliability.  The RETAIN GPS and Satellite Communications Act, legislation will require Ligado Networks to bear the costs of any harmful interference to GPS recievers.

Ask your senators to co-sponsor this legislation to help ensure your GPS reciever will continue to be relieable when Ligado begins operations. You can use our pre-filled message and also feel free to add your own views on this issue.

Some background:

Ligado’s slice of licensed “L-Band” radio spectrum, designated for space-based navigation and communications, is located near lower frequency bands used by hundreds of millions of GPS units in public safety, health, government, transportation, military, commerce, agriculture and more. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) and other coalition members believe that, as the Ligado network is rolled out, instances of signal interference will increase. Beyond the issue of safety, failure of the GPS system could potentially cost the national economy approximately $1 billion a day or more, according to a study commission by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Passage of the “RETAIN GPS and Satellite Communications Act” would fix the issue of fairness of who should pay to ensure GPS remains reliable. While the 2020 FCC decision included language to ensure “Ligado shall expeditiously repair or replace any U.S. government GPS devices that experience or are likely to experience harmful interference from Ligado’s operations,” non-government users were left holding the bag. BoatUS also notes FCC’s decision didn’t provide an adequate description of the potential costs to federal agencies – whose budgets are ultimately supported by American taxpayers.

RETAIN acknowledges the harm to GPS and satellite communications end users caused by the FCC decision and ensures the burden of costs to all users sits squarely where it belongs on Ligado, and not on boat owners, aviators, farmers, weather forecasters, transportation companies and many other user.

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