23 September 2015. New Space journal publishes paper authored by ESPI Resident Fellow Serge Plattard on the possibility of considering global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) open signals as a new world public good.
Continuous and ubiquitous availability of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) open signals to almost the entire world population, delivered free of charge, introducing a tremendous amount of associated applications, poses the question of considering the primary source of GNSS signals as a new world public good (WPG) or service. When following the traditional definition of the usage of a WPG which is non-rivalrous, non-excludable and available practically worldwide, there is definitely some relevance to this question. After recalling the continuously growing pervasiveness of GNSS signals usage and what characterizes a world public good, the paper analyses if such signals indeed could qualify to be considered as a new WPG. It concludes on the central importance of the free-of-charge access to GNSS for having shaped the end-users market and wonders what would happen if a fee was to be imposed in a distant future. Yet, for the time being the nomenclature of WPG seems to fit.