MRAA supports bipartisan legislation to protect GPS systems


July 13, 2021

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas endorsed legislation that will assure GPS units continue working, despite possible interference from 5G technology.

The Recognizing and Ensuring Taxpayer Access to Infrastructure Necessary for GPS and Satellite Communications Act of 2021 (RETAIN Act) was introduced by U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).

The bill requires Ligado Networks, a satellite communications company, to reimburse businesses and consumers who are forced to replace their GPS receivers due to interference caused by the company’s proposed use of its L-Band spectrum, which was approved by a Federal Communications Commission order in April 2020. While the FCC’s decision requires Ligado to upgrade or replace federal government devices, it does not require Ligado to accept responsibility for the millions of potentially affected private devices. Opponents are concerned that the creation of this new 5G network on a frequency similar to that of GPS could cause interference that would then render GPS units useless – threatening the safety of the many users of these systems from first responders to recreational boat owners.

“GPS technology remains an integral tool for recreational boaters, and any interference with this important navigation aid puts our boaters’ safety at risk,” says Chad Tokowicz, Government Relations Manager at the MRAA. “The RETAIN Act seeks to assure that the risk for interference is mitigated by putting the responsibility on the right party, and we are pleased that these Senators have taken the lead to champion the safety of our boaters today and into the future.”

The RETAIN Act acknowledges the harm to GPS and satellite communications end users, including consumers, the Federal Government, and businesses, caused by the Ligado order and ensures any associated cost is covered by Ligado. Furthermore, the RETAIN Act also sets forth various conditions that must be met by Ligado before they are able to deploy terrestrial operations in the bands adjacent to that of GPS.

The MRAA joins numerous organizations in the recreational boating, fishing and conservation space to support this legislation and the importance of keeping boaters and other outdoor enthusiasts safe.

“Reliable, accurate navigation systems are a fundamental component of safe boating,” Said David Kennedy, Government Relations Manager for BoatUS. “Boaters rely on the publicly funded GPS system and it is fitting that any harm caused by the Ligado network to their GPS systems be remedied by the company. Senator Inhofe’s RETAIN Act will ensure this happens.”

Related Posts

Four Winns’ new H9 is stunning!


As of July 1st, 2024 the embargo is lifted on the photos and information about Four Winns’ new H9 model and it is stunning!

About a month ago, I traveled to Charlevoix, MI for a special press event to introduce the H9 to a small group of journalists. The water and the weather were a bit cool but the sun was out and Lake Charlevoix was calm and the Four Winns H9 was very impressive. This is a 29-foot 11-inch luxury day boat with a 9- foot 2-inch beam and it features a fabulous expansive flat floor all the way from the bow rider area to the transom and the swim platform.

Read More

Need to Catch up on News This Week?

Every Tuesday we publish a fresh Digest with informative articles pertaining to the Canadian boating and marine industry. Stay up to date with the latest products, research and industry developments.

Missed an Issue of Boating Industry Canada News Week? If you’re looking for a specific issue, or simply want to catch up on previous issues, check out our Boating Industry Canada News Week Archives.

Not signed up for News Week? Subscribe here.

KingFisher Boats Introduces Next-Generation 3025 XRS and 2725 XRS Offshore Models

KingFisher Boats, renowned for their rugged and versatile adventure boats, proudly announces the launch of their latest models – the 3025 XRS and 2725 XRS. These new additions to the Offshore Series epitomize innovation, performance, and luxury, setting a new benchmark in the world of welded heavy-gauge aluminum boats. 

Read More

Accessories keep portable sealer in peak working order

Hubbell-Marine Stainless steel outlet covers

The ultra-light ROAM 18-V Portable Vacuum Sealer revolutionized how fishermen, hunters and outdoorsmen preserve the flavors of wild-caught and harvested food. Now, PacBak offers replacement bags, a spare battery and a performance refresh kit to keep the innovative device in peak working order.

Read More