Executive Order Directs Critical Infrastructure to Build in GPS Resilience
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 | Comments

President Trump signed an executive order that directs U.S. critical infrastructure to build in resilience against disruptions to GPS or any other single source of positioning, navigation and timing (PNT).

Under the executive order, NIST and other federal agencies will work with the private sector to identify and promote responsible methods of using PNT services — from GPS and other sources — that appropriately manage risks. These efforts will leverage the existing national infrastructure protection plan and NIST cybersecurity framework.

In addition, NIST will maintain its independent source of precision time and make it available for the public and private sectors to access in support of the needs of critical infrastructure owners and operators.

According to a study commissioned by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), GPS-based PNT services have enabled more than $1.4 trillion in U.S. economic benefits since GPS became available in the 1980s. The same study estimates that a hypothetical disruption to GPS could result in $30 billion to $45 billion in economic losses over a 30-day period.

PNT services provided by the U.S. GPS have become integrated into the fabric of the American economy. These services have enabled productivity gains across multiple industries including agriculture, telecommunications, electrical power distribution, financial services, oil and gas, and mining, according to a Commerce Department statement.

“President Trump’s commitment to making America safe and resilient is put into action by this Executive Order that will make the PNT services that keep our country running more reliable,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross Jr. “The efforts resulting from this action will help protect against costly disruptions in PNT services that can put Americans in harm’s way.”

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