The FCC is urged by leaders of several house committees and subcommittees to delay 5G radio frequency spectrum auction which is scheduled to be held on March 14. There are concerns about it that it could lead to interference with weather sensors in space. Representative leaders from Science, Space and Technology committee along with three House Appropriations subcommittees have asked for delay as there is likelihood that noise limits will interfere with signals of earth observation sensors that are used for forecasting weather and climate since they operate in adjacent spectrums.
They wrote a letter to FCC chairman requesting for delay of spectrum auction until concerns of NASA, DoD and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration departments are met. The FCC had announced auction of 2909 licenses in bands of 24.25 and 25.25 GHz of electromagnetic spectrum. Meteorologists have expressed concerns that soon after this there would be several 5G signals providers in this bandwidth that will interfere with microwave sensors in satellites that gather data about atmospheric water vapor within 23.6 and 24 GHz band. Chairs of several house appropriations committees stated their concern about potential impact of this auction on federal investment of expensive satellite fleet that is designed to support defense apparatus and provide weather data.
Commerce Secy Wilbur R. and NASA head Jim Bridenstine expressed concerns about the 5G plan of FCC and invited Chairman Ajit Pai to discuss the details in a detailed meeting which was rejected by him stating that he is committed to Trump’s plan of rolling out 5G at the earliest. Leaders of House Appropriators and subcommittee emphasized that they are not against introduction of new technology as it will help to advance the nation’s telecom infrastructure. But they insist that this advancement should not affect the security and safety of its people.