WHY AIRLINES FEAR 5G WILL UPEND TRAVEL THIS WEEK
Techlife News|January 22, 2022
AT&T will postpone new wireless service near some airports planned for this week after the nation’s largest airlines said the service would interfere with aircraft technology and cause massive flight disruptions.

The company said it would delay turning on new cell towers around runways at some airports — it did not say how many — and work with federal regulators to settle a dispute over potential interference from new 5G service.

The decision came after the airline industry raised the stakes in a showdown with AT&T and Verizon over plans to launch new 5G wireless service this week, warning that thousands of flights could be grounded or delayed if the rollout takes place near major airports.

Here is a rundown of the issue.

WHOSE SIDE IS THE GOVERNMENT ON?

Both.

The Federal Communications Commission, which runs the auctions of radio spectrum, determined that C-Band could be used safely in the vicinity of air traffic. The FCC in 2020 set a buffer between the 5G band and the spectrum that planes use to resolve any safety concerns.

But Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson, whose agency is responsible for aviation safety, saw a potential problem. They asked AT&T and Verizon to hold off activating C-Band 5G near an undetermined number of “priority airports” while the FAA conducted further study.

HOW DID AT&T AND VERIZON RESPOND?

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