The House Appropriations Committee approved the FY12 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill. It included a voice-vote adopted amendment from Reps. Austria, R-Ohio, and Yoder, R-Kan., that prohibits funding for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to remove conditions on or permit certain commercial broadband operations until the FCC has resolved concerns of harmful interference by these operations on Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.

The NCC responded, “American cotton farmers depend on GPS tools, which are critical to the precision of location identification. Allowing the LightSquared proposal to go forward will infringe upon the bandwidth used by agricultural GPS, impact the accuracy upon which precision agriculture applications depend and seriously compromise its overall effectiveness.

"American cotton farmers depend on GPS tools in meeting their need for precision in modern agricultural practices. GPS, combined with on-board yield sensor technology, provides detailed information and coordinates for optimal planting, targeted pesticide application, and efficient irrigation. Accuracy in irrigation helps farmers to conserve water, and precise applications of pesticides reduce farmworker and wildlife exposure in the fields.”