According to reports, on Monday, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Peter DeFazio urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to postpone the auction of some key frequency bands (the C-wave auction) originally scheduled to start on Tuesday. According to him, this frequency band may endanger aviation safety. He pointed out that the Radio Technology Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) conducted a six-month review of the performance of 5G network radiation and safety-critical radio altimeters. The review found that it poses a serious risk of harmful interference to all types of aircraft.
Defazio called on the FCC to cooperate with the Federal Aviation Administration and aviation industry experts. This is necessary “to ensure that the safety of hundreds of millions of Americans who travel by plane each year is not threatened by the FCC’s hasty plan”.
FCC has no plans to postpone the bid
FCC spokesperson Will Wiquist said the committee “has no plan to postpone the bid”. According to the FCC, its rules “will protect radio altimeters used by aircraft”. Furthermore, he claims that “there is currently no reason to believe that C-band 5G services will cause harmful interference to radio altimeters”. The C-band is a spectrum block that provides video and radio programming to 120 million American homes.
The FCC also added…“The altimeter is more than 200 MHz away from the C-band spectrum to be auctioned during operation. The United States provides more protection than some other countries”.
Last month, the American Air Transport Association raised concerns about the C-band auction. This association represents major airlines such as American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. It also represents major aviation associations such as the Aviation Industry Association and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
On November 17, the association stated in a letter to Congress that the RTCA review showed that “this kind of risk is widespread and may have a serious impact on U.S. aviation business, including in the absence of appropriate mitigation measures. Under circumstances, a catastrophic failure may occur, leading to the death of many people”.
As of now, there is no information on what the U.S. government will do. However, FCC has made it clear that it will not postpone the auctions. Nevertheless, it is important to look into RCTA claims. The lives of people are more important than the use of the 5G network.