Oklahoma Farm Bureau discussed Sen. Jim Inhofe’s bill protecting farmers and ranchers’ ability to use critical GPS and precision agriculture technologies with the senator’s chief of staff Luke Holland during a recent video.
The Recognizing and Ensuring Taxpayer Access to Infrastructure Necessary for GPS and Satellite Communications Act would protect producers from paying for interference of and damage to GPS devices because of Ligado Networks’ satellite usage.
“Farm Bureau members know the importance of GPS to precision agriculture,” Holland said. “It improves your ability to enhance yields for crops. The huge machines operated are navigated by GPS to ensure precision agriculture can happen.”
The Federal Communications Commission in 2020 allowed the private satellite communications company Ligado Network to use a broadband spectrum closely related to GPS bands to provide 5G services to its customers.
Holland said Ligado’s satellite technology could potentially render the entire GPS system useless.
The bill sponsored by Sens. Inhofe, Mike Rounds and Tammy Duckworth will protect those in the private sector whose equipment becomes damaged by requiring Ligado to pay the federal government repair costs. Without the bill, those using the GPS devices would have to pay the costs.
“GPS is so foundational to the economy now, so it is important that we protect it,” Holland said.
Watch the full federal issues update below.