Dysfunction Among Federal Agencies Slowing 5G Rollout

Issue 104

On Sunday AT&T and Verizon were asked by U.S. regulators to postpone the distribution of some of their 5G services out of fear that the technology may impact aviation travel. The U.S. telecoms’ chief executives John Stankey Hans Vestberg have spoken out against 5G stating that it may cause significant interference with aircraft technology that is critical for taking off and landing flights.

5G rollout plans were initially scheduled for December 5th but have continuously been delayed for further safety reviews. A compromise was reached in which both AT&T as well as Verizon would continue to expand 5G services but would incorporate exclusion zones around airports.

Both companies have fought back after investing over $80 billion in the development and production of 5G services and have argued that the C-band spectrum used to offer 5G services has been deployed in over 40 countries and shows no signs of aviation interference. The Department of Transportation as well as the Federal Aviation Administration have asked for the delay of the total 5G rollout until effective studies have been conducted. Without proper data to support the safety of 5G, the FAA has stated that the full implementation of the product will result in widespread disruption in transportation, and flights will be diverted to other cities or canceled.

Federal communications commissioner Brendan Carr stated that the request to further delay 5G “is part of a dysfunctional trend among certain federal agencies that disagree with the process that Congress has established for reaching sound decisions about spectrum policy”, and that “Anything short of the wireless carriers lighting up their C-band operations on January 5 pursuant to the FCC’s regulatory regime would mark an unacceptable setback for US leadership in 5G.”

Source: Financial Times