"Electronics Rule The World"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The world is run by electronics. Given this fact, is it any wonder so many things around the globe are a mess?

Electronics enter our lives from many directions and aspects. Our printed products like newspapers, magazines, books, dictionaries and maps are quickly disappearing. We have to look to the Internet for almost everything — even public notices.

U.S. Post Office’s are losing the battle with the electronic world: E-mail, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter iPads are all pulling ahead of them. Sadly, the result is post offices around the country are closing. Many small ones are being consolidated, two or three locations becoming only one.

I have used the postal service to a great extent over the years. I must admit though, with all the changes they have had to adopt, plus the layoffs of large numbers of staff, the service I was accustomed to is failing. I use two post offices: One in Port Austin and the other in Key Largo, Fla. for my winter correspondence. The few staff left in both locations are not the cheerful people I used to meet each day when I picked up my mail.

Losing the postal service we used to enjoy is not nearly as bad as trying to make a cell call in the Port Austin-Grindstone area. The company that brags about being in 97 percent of households seems unaware of the large percentage of those households that are unable to place calls. Although months have been spent attempting to repair their cell sites in the Port Austin area, currently the service only works about 10 percent of the time.

The billing department seems to be functioning just fine, even though customers cannot make calls, they receive their bills in a timely manner. After many inquiries, and hours spent asking for service (you may recall I ranted on about the problems I had a few weeks ago), I reached a person who had some compassion for my situation. He explained the service problems going on and advised me to hook up a MicroCell receiver booster. After two days of attempted installation, it is up and running and as long as we stay close to it — our phone works!

The world of wireless systems in the form of satellite and terrestrial technology is springing up everywhere and presenting a whole new electronics problem. A fierce battle is being waged to see what entity will control communications. The FCC has licensed LightSquared, a company most people have never heard of, to use frequencies that could interfere with GPS as well as other existing satellite systems. They could even cause disturbances and interruptions in aeronautical emergency communications systems.

U.S. Air Force Space Commander Gen. William Shelton recently referred to prospective problems with LightSquared’s use of frequencies as “Unbelievable.” He urged the FCC to reverse their action and pull the company’s license. The FCC, however, granted the company a waiver excluding them from any anticipated problems. To research the events taking place, visit coalition to save our GPS.

To whom does the FCC answer? The following statement appeared when I Googled FCC.

“ The FCC is directed by five Commissioners appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for five-year terms, except when filling an unexpired term. The President designates one of the Commissioners to serve as Chairperson. Only three Commissioners may be members of the same party. None of them can have a financial interest in any Commission-related business.”

Who guarantees that?

I totally agree with Gen. Shelton. It is unbelievable the FCC can ignore the request of Gen. Shelton, who is responsible for organizing, equipping, training and maintaining mission-ready space and cyberspace forces and capabilities for North American Aerospace Defense Command. He leads 46,000 professionals, assigned to 88 locations worldwide. His education list includes; BA and MA of Science in Astronautical Engineering, MA of Science National Security Strategy, National War College.

As I see it: One has to believe the General would have a broader knowledge of communications than an appointed commission.

How did the FCC become so empowered they can ignore a possible disturbance of our GPS system relied upon by those who navigate on land, sea and in the air including all agencies who provide emergency response?

Believe it: The world is run by electronics.

Author’s note: To submit a comment to your representatives, visit www.boatus.com/gov and click on the link “Gov’t Affairs Home” on the left side of the page.



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