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Thread: will GPS always be free?

  1. #1
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    will GPS always be free?

    Is it possible and feasible that government will somehow eventually make GPS a subscription or licence or anything like that?

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate fantomas's Avatar
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    its never been free.

    The tax payers in the US pay for gps.
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    the gov can turn it off at anytime if they decide.. or make it less acurate
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    Maximum Bitrate brrman's Avatar
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    technically we pay for it, but yes it is an initiative that was meant to be a free service. Of course, no one cat tell if it will "always" be free.
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    Constant Bitrate mindscream's Avatar
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    I would seriously doubt they would be able to. I could be wrong...it has been known to happen.

    The only way possible would be if they came out with a newer version of GPS, say a GPS2. They would have to manufacture new hardware. i.e. Hardware that would incorporate some verification string, similar to the way Dish Network and DirectV receivers work.

    Other than that, there really wouldn't be any way they could. Because, essentially its waves in space from a satellite(s) already in position. There really isn't any maintenance costs on the satellites therefore wouldn't necessatate a need for additional funding.

    Also, it would literally require an act of congress to tax something like that, which would only be for this country and well... that's a political myre that no one would want to pursue until one of the "valued" constituents complained about GPS caused my brain to fry! or something like that.

    Sorry for the slight rant there...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobthebaker
    Is it possible and feasible that government will somehow eventually make GPS a subscription or licence or anything like that?
    GPS will always be free, at least with the current design of the system.
    Just remember, unless you are military, your GPS coordinates will not be exact. The government puts in a margin of error, so that bad ppl can't use GPS systems to plot/plan things to exact positions. I think the margin of error is like 4 feet or something like that.

    I'm not sure about the origin of GPS. I believe it was designed for military, and then they offered it to the public with certain restrictions. I do not believe they can actually determine who is using GPS with just an average hand hend GPS locator. I think the locator receives the satellite coordinates and then computes your position (based on triangulation and whatnot). correct me if I'm wrong - I don't claim to know what I'm talking about

    So with the current setup, civilians are not able to use GPS systems to guide cars to drive down roads. Since the error is like 4 or 8 feet, that makes a big problem when you are driving in a lane that is only like 10 feet wide. You get the idea.

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    Maximum Bitrate mushin's Avatar
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    It's free if you don't live in the US

    It's possible for the US military to turn off GPS, but I don't think they can make it a charge service without changing the signal format (to include info on valid subscribers, which is how other satellite service work, I believe). It'll never happen; having control over GPS is a huge military advantage, and making it free helps ensure that alternatives don't apppear - although Europe is now going ahead with building their own, so as not to be dependent on the US.

    edit: wow, alot of people decended on the question real quick! I guess most of my post was redundant - ah well. As an aside, I believe they are planning on upgrading (degrading less) the civilian signal sometime in the relatively near future.

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    Raw Wave hijinks21's Avatar
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    i also believe there is a version of gps that is really acurate that you can pay for that is encoded.. its like 3 feet or something
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    Low Bitrate phord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob
    Just remember, unless you are military, your GPS coordinates will not be exact. The government puts in a margin of error, so that bad ppl can't use GPS systems to plot/plan things to exact positions. I think the margin of error is like 4 feet or something like that.
    There is no longer an induced error ( for "selective availability" and GPS)

    They can't make it a subscription system at this point. It "belongs" to the American people, and there is now too much industry and emergency services built up on it that would be affected. Fear not.
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    Maximum Bitrate EBFoxbat's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure the US Government regulates the recievers witch determine accuracy. Some GPS-guided bombs (which use the same satilites) are accurate to within 30 inches (probabaly more so). GPS was a great idea and as said, cannot be a pay-per service. Current statalites will work for a while, and there are always mroe going up. I think they are up to 24 now.
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