In a letter sent yesterday to key members of Congress, major farming organizations urged lawmakers to communicate the benefits of both technologies to the FCC.
"The FCC must ensure that accurate GPS will continue to be available for precision agriculture and also ensure that broadband access be made available for all of rural America," according to the letter.
LightSquared is committed to making wireless broadband accessible and affordable across America through the company's wholesale-only nationwide 4G-LTE network integrated with satellite coverage.
The full text of the letter reads:
Dear Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Lucas, Ranking Member Roberts and Ranking Member Peterson:
As agricultural organizations that represent farmers and ranchers, we seek to improve the economic viability of rural America. A conflict over the use of spectrum has arisen between LightSquared, a company that can provide wireless broadband access throughout rural America, and the providers and users of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, which is a key component of advances in precision agriculture.
We believe that both of these technologies have great potential to drive economic development in rural America and a reasonable agreement should be reached to allow for their future success.
We support the expanded use of precision agriculture, which allows farmers and ranchers to run more efficient, economical and environmentally conscious operations. Disruption to GPS has the potential to reduce farm and ranch profitability by raising production costs.
We also support robust and competitively priced broadband deployment in rural America to better serve farmers and ranchers. The full deployment of broadband access will drive economic development, better education and improved health services in rural America.
We urge your committees to communicate to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the benefit farmers and ranchers will receive from expanded broadband access and precision agriculture. The FCC must ensure that accurate GPS will continue to be available for precision agriculture and also ensure that broadband access be made available for all of rural America. Thank you for your efforts to allow for the continued development of both technologies.
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Sugar Alliance
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Farmers Union
National Potato Council
Western Growers Association
cc: Members of the House Committee on Agriculture Members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture
LightSquared's mission is to revolutionize the U.S. wireless industry. With the creation of the first-ever, wholesale-only nationwide 4G-LTE network integrated with satellite coverage, LightSquared offers people the speed, value and reliability of universal connectivity, wherever they are in the United States. As a wholesale-only operator, LightSquared will deploy an open 4G wireless broadband network to be used by existing and new service providers to sell their own devices, applications and services – at a competitive cost and without retail competition from LightSquared. The deployment and operation of LightSquared's network represent more than $14 billion of private investment over the next eight years. For more information about LightSquared, please go to www.LightSquared.com, www.facebook.com/LightSquared and www.twitter.com/LightSquared.