The Global Positioning System: Assessing National Policies

By Scott Pace; Gerald Frost et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Five
INSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL ASSESSMENT

This chapter discusses institutional and legal issues that can affect how GPS signals and signal augmentations are provided, including alternatives for managing and funding these services. It first identifies the basic institutional capabilities necessary for managing, operating, and funding GPS and uses them to define criteria for assessing management and funding options. It then assesses a range of institutional arrangements for GPS that address possible funding and cost-recovery mechanisms. It also addresses recurring themes -- often presented as criteria for preferring one set of options to others -- in GPS policy debates, and attempts to inform the debate with relevant legal and historical background. This chapter provides a framework for thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of the various institutional options and clarifies terms in the policy debate.

Here, we assume that the domestic benefits of making GPS available for nonmilitary uses exceed the risks of misuses of GPS and the cost of countermeasures against the misuse of, or interference with, GPS signals by terrorists, smugglers, or hostile military forces. These countermeasures could conceivably include converting the GPS system to one with greater control over usage or access. Today, the only barrier to the use of the GPS Standard Positioning Service is the retail-taxed price of GPS receivers. Although it might seem that the marginal cost of delivering GPS to any new user in its broadcast range is zero (like any radio broadcast), the expanding use of GPS can create additional costs and risks in the need to protect GPS signals that are not reflected in current equipment prices. A larger percentage of the benefits that are derived from GPS might need to be devoted to ensuring the continued reliability of ISPSdependent systems, whether through taxes, fees, or private investments.


GPS MANAGEMENT, OPERATION, AND FUNDING OPTIONS

As policymakers evaluate the implications of increasing civil, commercial, and military uses of GPS, institutional questions on its future can be reduced to two

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The Global Positioning System: Assessing National Policies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures ix
  • Tables xiii
  • Summary xv
  • Acknowledgments xxix
  • Acronyms xxxi
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - National Interests and Stakeholders in Gps Policy 11
  • Chapter Three - National Security Assessment 45
  • Chapter Four - Commercial Assessment 93
  • Chapter Five - Institutional and Legal Assessment 163
  • Chapter Six - Conclusions and Recommendations 195
  • Appendix A - Gps Technologies and Alternatives 217
  • Appendix B - Gps History, Chronology, and Budgets 237
  • Appendix C - Gps Policy References 271
  • Appendix D - International Legal References for Gps 293
  • Bibliography 305
  • Gps Interviews 361
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