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Ajit Pai and Tom Wheeler agree: The FAA is behaving badly in battle against FCC

Six former chairs of the Federal Communications Commission yesterday criticized the Federal Aviation Administration's fight against a new 5G rollout on spectrum that the FCC has studied and deemed safe to use. Republicans Ajit Pai and Michael Powell joined with Democrats Tom Wheeler, Mignon Clyburn, Julius Genachowski, and Michael Copps in writing a letter describing their concerns about how the FAA has tried to undermine public confidence in the FCC's decision-making process. ( More...

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Tim Dyck 5
If there is any chance the 5G could create a safety concern to aviation then I expect the FAA to make sure all concerns are adressed.
Frank Barber 3
When the money changers are in the church then no one is safe.
skylab72 3
Both agencies have functional and credibility issues. Many of them are legacy and many more related to more recent history. BUT, the real issues in this particular question are both technical and potentially life-threatening. They, therefore, need to be addressed by knowledgeable practitioners of the RF arts not the court of public opinion. As a veteran of both FAR battles and bandwidth wars, I have fairly high confidence a reasonable solution can be found, and a near certainty the optimum solution will not.
Roy Hunte 6
I'm still trying to figure out why the huge push for 5G, I can't figure it out!
Denny Rossbach 8
The "less interference and blazing speed" applies to the 20-30 GHz band requiring high density micro-cells that will initially appear only in high population areas. The build-out will take years to decades. So telecom convinced the FCC stop-gap 5G expansion is needed in lower bands providing only modest speed increases. Why? To be able to sell the excruciatingly expensive smart phones that are 5G capable. In order to "Grab" and auction the needed valuable spectrum FCC has been relocating other services at serious expense (both time and dollars) to those services. Hence the friction. While this is not a trivial national economic issue, the FCC has been tone-"hard-of-hearing" to safety concerns about their spectrum reallocation. Some FCC Leaders are likely destined for rewarding jobs in telecom and face no legal jeopardy for their decisions. So it only requires following the money.
Dick Heine 4
The last sentence says it all. The accuracy of NWS forecasts are also possibly jeopardized by 5G.
paul trubits 3
Online gambling.
Torsten Hoff 5
Ironically, one is less interference.

5G has shorter reach, so the transmissions are more local, and devices will have to deal with less crosstalk.

The higher transmissions rates are also nice.
weecosse 1
Me too. I just came back from a trip to rural Tennessee and had trouble getting two bars in my 4G phone.
Dr Stephen Vadas 1
Follow the money.
Jack White 2
Follow the money.
tsberry901 2
Sorry FCC, but I side with the FAA.
Denny Rossbach 3
Of Course former commissioners agree. Four of the last eight FCC Commissioners joined the same private equity firm on resigning. It is true that equipment designs that do not meet the requirements of prior authorizations are a serious piece of the potential problem here, but they were employed by aerospace in good faith. A little like finding out your bullet-proof vest isn't bulletproof but that doesn't make you feel safe.
avionik99 1
I guess the FAA thinks America's 5G is somehow different then that of other countries 5G? Idiots!! Just another junk science covid power struggle between the FAA and the FCC all the while ignoring the true science that it does not interfere!!
elnino54 3
I don't get it - The FCC are responsible for controlling the radio spectrum and are aware of the frequencies in use by aircraft but seem dumbfounded that there is interference between aircraft and 5G that they have approved for use in America.

Either the FCC should not have allowed the 5G frequencies or given fair warning that there was interference between the two and informed FAA that aircraft using these frequencies will need to be updated to avoid the interference.

I don't see how FAA is at fault here.
w2bsa 4
The FAA is claiming interference when there is none. The FCC allocated the exact same frequencies as used in other parts of the world. There are no reports of interference anywhere else in the world.
Denny Rossbach 1
Also check the United Nations Agency ICAO;
It is not clear that arstechmica is apolitical or that its reporting may be assumed to be fact.
Denny Rossbach 1
There was no issue from Boeing's MCAS until there was
Phil Caron 1
In the end the SWAMP will rule, money is first. How else do you explain politicians becoming multi-millionaires while in office? Nuf said.
Brent Fritzke 1
Sad when politics gets in the way of progress.
William Cavico 1
The question is Is it more important for Betty Sue to hear from Barbara Joe if Davy is going to ask her to the dance or should an airplane with a 100+ people on
board land safely ?
Craig Good -5
That is not the question at all. Not even close. There's no evidence that 5G is a danger to anything, and plenty of evidence that it isn't dangerous. Which you would know if you read the article.
William Cavico 2
The response is always "there's no evidence..."

Remember there is no evidence that Al Capone was anything other a legitimate business man who had tax issues.

P.S. back about 50 years ago I had a commercial First Class FCC Radio Operator's

The FCC knows where its butter is and the FAA will cower and shift some of its cut and dried responsibilities to the pilots who will always be found responsible regardless.

Bill C.
Dr Stephen Vadas 1
Tax paying American citizens realize that the FCC is getting kickbacks from the sale of the spectrum. Wake up!
Bayne Just 1
The FCC is getting kickbacks and lost track of their primary mission, regulating frequencies. Follow the money, 5G is not needed and it interferes with more than GPS frequencies.
Phil Howry 1
This federal government agency "playground" feud, documents the obtuseness of the FAA. In light of this encounter, why did the media blindly legitimize the FAA's accusation of unilateral dereliction of duty by an aircraft manufacturer?

If you want to know what people think listen to what they say, if you want to understand their character observe their behavior.
Craig Good 0
The FAA is behaving as though someone there were an anti-5G conspiracy theorist. If there were an actual safety risk it would have appeared in those other countries by now.
GraemeSmith 4
Canadians have banned 5G towers near airports.

FAA has issued an AD regarding risk of interference to existing equipment and adjusting minimums and approaches that depend on equipment that might be affected.

No - there is no problem...........
Gary Eldridge -3
I have no confidence in the FCC and haven't for years. We've done just fine without 5G so why would we need it now? The FCC has lost my vote of confidence ever since they started auctioning off frequencies AS IF THEY OWNED THEM. They have created such a crowded mess on the airwaves, destroying good sounding analog cell phones and replacing them with this horrible garble garble digital stuff and replacing perfectly viewable analog television with stuttering pixelated digital video signals. Give back my analog cell phone. Give back analog television. At least when signal might grow a little weak you could still view it. This is NOT progress and it's because of the FCC.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Curt Cannon 10
Not sure why some people feel the need to grind their political axe on here. How about taking it elsewhere - there are plenty of places on the internet where you'll be welcomed with open arms.
Bill Ross 18
Thanks for veering straight to the toilet and crafting the issue about culture. Stay on task
linbb 12
So you are really off target with this racist comments about people and faiths wow surprised if you dont get booted off of here. What you say is the same type of language being used to divide the country about race problems and also against religion in general. You are JJ the root of many problems in society these days.
Tim Dyck 3
If all your going to post is political hate crap why don’t you go on Facebook were that seems to be acceptable.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Curt Cannon -4
An attempt for the FAA to regain some "safety" credibility after the Max fiasco.


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