Press Room

NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
5323 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22151
BoatUS Press Room at

Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864,

BoatUS: We Aren't Out of the Woods Yet On Navigation System Concerns

Public Comments to FCC Needed by March 1

Photo Caption: A reliable GPS system is critical for safe navigation, says BoatUS.
Download hi-res photo.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., February 24, 2012 – While boaters view the FCC’s move on February 14 to revoke approval of a new broadband telephone network shown to interfere with the country’s sole navigational system as positive news, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) says we aren’t out of the woods just yet. It is urging boat owners to continue to submit comments to the FCC by a Thursday, March 1 deadline to ensure the nation’s system of global positioning devices keeps boaters safely on course.

Last summer, over 18,000 boaters along with many other GPS users wrote the FCC asking the guardian of the nation’s airwaves to stop plans by LightSquared, the builder of the proposed broadband network, until independent tests proved there would be no interference with GPS devices which operate on adjacent frequencies. LightSquared originally asked the FCC for permission to build 40,000 network ground stations across the country. Recent government reports concluded interference issues with the GPS system could not be overcome.


Despite the great news last week that the FCC has acknowledged interference issues with the LightSquared proposal, we’re not ready to declare a victory,” said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich. “Given this company’s tenacity over the last year, we want to make sure that boaters’ needs are remembered as the FCC makes their final decision.”

Here is how to file comments to the FCC through their online comment form:
1. Click on this link for the FCC’s Electronic Comments Filing System:
2. Select “Proceeding Number 11-109.”
3. Enter contact information.
4. In the box that says “Type in or paste your brief comments,” here’s some important points to select from:
·       Explain how you use GPS in your life – on the water, on land or in the air.
·       What would happen to your business/personal life if GPS became unavailable or unreliable?
·       Wireless broadband service is important, but it should not come at the expense of GPS.
·       All the studies show that LightSquared’s proposed network would cause interference and that there are no remedies.
·       Tell the FCC that you rely on them to protect the integrity of the GPS signal and that you support their recommendation to stop LightSquared’s current proposal.
5. Click “Continue.”
6. If the review page is correct, click “Confirm.” Done!
If you have any trouble, you may contact the FCC ECFS Helpdesk at 202-418-0193 or email at
About BoatUS:
BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money-saving services. For membership information visit or call 800-395-2628.