Blog Editor’s Note: Ms Diana Furchtgott-Roth served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation. She is an adjunct professor of economics at George Washington University, and an RNTF member.
We applaud her commentary in the Wall Street Journal today. We especially like her sum up at the end of the piece:
“Americans depend on GPS too much for the federal government to wait for it to fail. A reliable backup is needed as soon as possible.”
Will We Be Ready if GPS Goes Down?
The Transportation Department has ideas for a backup, but it needs money from Congress.
GPS is vital to Americans, but hacking it has never been easier. Protecting the civilian Global Positioning System, an invisible utility the federal government pays for, falls to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. He would do well to use the results of the Transportation Department’s January report on technologies that can back up GPS and keep the country moving in a pinch.
Three separate laws, most recently the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, assign the Transportation Department the task of providing a backup to GPS. The LoBiondo Act required the secretary to put in place a backup system by the end of 2020, but no funds were appropriated, so the department couldn’t proceed.
Although Congress hasn’t followed through with the money, the DOT’s new report lays out a road map.