U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the top of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Friday requested AT&T and Verizon Communications to delay the deliberate Jan. 5 introduction of recent 5G wi-fi service over aviation security considerations.
In a letter Friday seen by Reuters, Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Steve Dickson requested AT&T Chief Government John Stankey and Verizon Chief Government Hans Vestberg for a delay of not more than two weeks as a part of a “proposal as a near-term answer for advancing the co-existence of 5G deployment within the C-Band and secure flight operations.”
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The aviation trade and FAA have raised considerations about potential interference of 5G with delicate plane electronics like radio altimeters that might disrupt flights.
“We ask that your corporations proceed to pause introducing business C-Band service for a further brief interval of not more than two weeks past the at present scheduled deployment date of January 5,” the letter says.
Verizon and AT&T each mentioned they acquired the letter and had been reviewing it. Earlier Friday, the 2 corporations accused the aerospace trade of searching for to carry C-Band spectrum deployment “hostage till the wi-fi trade agrees to cowl the prices of upgrading any out of date altimeters.”
Buttigieg and Dickson mentioned below the framework “business C-band service would start as deliberate in January with sure exceptions round precedence airports.”
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The FAA and the aviation trade would establish precedence airports “the place a buffer zone would allow aviation operations to proceed safely whereas the FAA completes its assessments of the interference potential.”
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The federal government would work to establish “mitigations for all precedence airports” to allow most “giant business plane to function safely in all situations.” That may permit deployment round “precedence airports on a rolling foundation” — aiming to make sure activation by March 31 barring unexpected points.
The carriers, which gained the spectrum in an $80 billion authorities public sale, beforehand agreed to precautionary measures for six months to restrict interference.
On Thursday, commerce group Airways for America requested the Federal Communications Fee (FCC) to halt deployment of recent 5G wi-fi service round many airports, warning 1000’s of flights might be disrupted: “The potential harm to the airline trade alone is staggering.”
Sara Nelson, president of the Affiliation of Flight Attendants-CWA, representing 50,000 flight attendants at 17 airways, known as the Transportation Division proposal “the suitable transfer to efficiently implement 5G with out utilizing the touring public (and the crews on their flights) as guinea pigs for 2 techniques that must coexist with out questions for security.”
Wi-fi trade group CTIA mentioned 5G is secure and spectrum is being utilized in about 40 different international locations.
Home Transportation Committee chair Peter DeFazio Friday backed the airline group petition warning “we are able to’t afford to experiment with aviation security.”