Posted By Cindy February 17, 2012
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) left LightSquared scrambling in the dark this week after the determination was made that the plan for a wireless broadband/satellite network will indeed disrupt GPS signals.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its decision to the FCC this week that the LightSquared plan to build a nationwide 4G broadband network would impact “both general/personal navigation and certified aviation GPS receivers.” NTIA said the latest round of testing showed there is “no practical way to mitigate the potential interference at this time.”
As a result, the FCC is revoking the conditional waiver which was granted last year and required LightSquared prove the interference problems could be fixed before moving forward.
The Coalition to Save Our GPS is pleased with the move. “The FCC has acted appropriately by declaring that its non-interference condition has not been satisfied and that LightSquared will not be permitted to move forward with its proposal to build a nationwide high-powered terrestrial network in the mobile satellite band,” says a statement from the coalition which is made up of a wide variety of industries and companies – from agriculture and airlines to construction, manufacturing and transportation. Agricultural interests involved include the Agricultural Retailers Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, National Agricultural Aviation Association, and farm equipment and technology companies like Ag Leader, John Deere, and New Holland.
National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer of Illinois says they have been monitoring this issue closely on behalf of farmers who rely on GPS technology for crop production. “Expanded internet access is important to our members but not when it compromises the use of high-precision GPS equipment,” he said.
Despite the ruling, LightSquared is not giving up just yet. “This was not a decision based on science or technology but was a politically motivated decision fueled by special interest groups in the GPS and telecom industry,” said LightSquared backer Philip Falcone in a statement. “There are solutions to this problem that can and will address the needs of the GPS community.” The Wall Street Journal reports today that Falcone and other investors have hired a team of lawyers to consider possible litigation over the FCC ruling.
It is interesting that the hedge fund billionaire behind this venture is crying foul and blaming “special interests” from stopping the plan from going forward. Those “special interests” include first responders, airlines, mariners, civil engineering, construction and surveying, agriculture, and everyday consumers in their cars and on handheld devices. Falcone appears to be most concerned about the hedge funds that own some of LightSquared’s $1.6 billion of loans. Kinda seems like a pretty narrow range of special interests on that side.
As Niemeyer notes, internet access is very important to farmers and others in rural communities, but this proposal was being rushed through the regulatory process without properly determining potential unintended consequences, until the coalition was formed in March of last year to make sure that was done.
There’s no need to have to choose between GPS and broadband internet. With careful planning, we can have both.
Posted By Cathryn September 9, 2011
From Main Street to MTV, everyone is talking about food. Unfortunately, this conversation does not often include the people who grow it. CommonGround Conversations creates a space for America’s farm families, and the people who support them, to share the story. Here, we have a meeting ground that will let you discover the values and hard work that underlie our nation’s abundant, safe harvest. Help us share our story! By submitting photos of yourself, family and friends waving at the camera, join your voice with like-minded people to open a national dialogue saying, “Hi! I support farmers. Let’s talk about how we grow our food.”
Now’s your chance to join in on the CommonGround movement and let your voice be heard.
Right now, the movement is growing. Help us find the CommonGround between the people who grow food and those who buy it. Start today on CommonGround’s Facebook fan page. Here’s how to join the conversation:
- “Like” the CommonGround fan page.
- Take a photo of yourself, your friends or your family waving as if to say, “When you want to talk about food, talk to a farmer.”
- Click here to submit your story and photo.
Learn More About CommonGround
Posted By Cathryn August 24, 2010
Sitting in on the Missouri Corn Growers Association’s Social Media Training Session, held in conjunction with the National Corn Growers Association as part of an overall campaign to improve farmer image, it became apparent rather quickly why so many people resist the growing trend of “Facebooking.” Simply put, many people fear Facebook will destroy their personal privacy.
While media horror stories perpetuate this myth, with a little forethought anyone can use this amazing communications tool. First, set strict privacy controls. Second, think before you post.
Adjusting the Facebook privacy settings can be a bit daunting to new social media users, but great online resources offer tutorials that guide users through the process while suggesting how to make their account as secure as they choose. Guides like this one (click here) explain all of the terminology, show how each decision affects personal privacy and teach how to adjust the settings to meet each users unique needs and preferences.
Then, think before you post. Even with strict privacy settings, the people that you allow to view your page will be able to see, and remember, what you write. In the heat of the moment, people often say things that they regret later. On Facebook, written words are actually published. By looking at each post a second time prior to hitting publish, users can make sure they put out the right message.
Facebook let’s a single person reach across the world and interacts with hundreds of thousands of other people looking to be informed, persuaded and entertained. By following these two easy privacy tips, anyone can take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity and get out their story.
Posted By Chuck August 19, 2009
Ever wonder if corn growers are really into blogging and social networking like Twitter and Facebook? Well wonder no more. Communications agency Nicholson Kovac just released results from a study they conducted of corn and soybean growers with an average of 1,500 acres. They found some very interesting and quantifiable things about how growers are using their mobile phones, the internet and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The study is titled, “The Agriculture New Media Usage Study.” Of course all you Corn Commentary visitors and commenters already know all this don’t you?
Here’s some of what they found:
- Fourty-eight percent of large acre corn/soybean growers send 5 or more text messages a day
- Sixty-two percent of large acreage, U.S. corn and soybean growers have sent or received text messages during the past year
- Sixty-three percent of respondents indicated they have taken pictures with their mobile phones
- Forty-seven percent spend five or more hours per week online, and 23 percent spend 10 or more hours online
- Besides utilizing e-mail, accessing weather and market reports are the highest ranked in terms of Internet use for their business/farm
- In addition, 85 percent of respondents indicated that they visit Web sites related to their farm operation, and 76 percent check manufacturers’ Web sites
I conducted an interview with Sheree Johnson, Senior VP of Nicholson Kovac to learn more about the study which you can listen to here: [audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3?http://www.zimmcomm.biz/zimmcast/zimmcast229-8-19-09.mp3]