ITS America:ITS America Joins Coalition to Protect GPS Signal and Applauds State Ruling in Favor of Qualcomm


(Date:28 Mar, 2011)

ITS America joined partners including AASHTO, ACEC, NAM, Garmin, TomTom, Trimble, UPS, and other concerned organizations as part of a new coalition to address a potential threat to the GPS signal.  The concern stems from a recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to grant a conditional waiver allowing the dramatic expansion of terrestrial use of the satellite spectrum immediately neighboring that of GPS, potentially causing interference to GPS receivers.  According to ITS America President Scott Belcher, “Many of the latest advances in traveler information – knowing when your route is congested, when the next bus or train will arrive, and getting turn-by-turn directions – rely on GPS signals.  In addition, GPS data is vital for locating and responding quickly to roadway emergencies, improving vehicle collision avoidance capabilities, and enabling transportation agencies to monitor and improve the performance of the transportation network.  Any GPS disruption or interference is a threat to these and other transportation innovations which keep people and goods moving safely and efficiently, and which are key to our nation’s economic future.”  Additional information is available at

In a victory for the ITS industry, the Washington State Supreme Court recently reversed a Court of Appeals ruling, finding that ITS America member Qualcomm’s OmniTRACS system is an information system that is specifically exempted from the State’s retail sales tax, as opposed to a telecommunications transmission service which would have been taxable.  ITS America joined Qualcomm, the American Trucking Associations, and other stakeholders in arguing that OmniTRACS does not merely transmit data, but also transforms, manipulates and stores data for a variety of uses, in this case to provide a vital truck and driver management tool that enables trucking carriers to supervise their drivers and ensure efficient deliveries.  The Supreme Court ruling sets an important precedent as other states are considering ways to raise additional tax revenues.  ITS America’s amicus brief in support of Qualcomm is available here, and the Supreme Court ruling is available here. For more information on ITS America advocacy in telecommunications, click here.

* “This article has been brought to you as part of the cooperation between ITS America and ITS Japan.”