5G vs Air Safety: The FAA’s False Choice

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In January 2022, America’s wireless providers will begin using a set of radio waves known as C-Band spectrum to expand 5G service to communities large and small across America. But the truth is, we’re playing catch-up. C-Band spectrum is already the backbone of 5G networks around the world because it offers the unique ability to provide high speeds over a wide coverage area, making sure no one gets left out of the new 5G Economy. Nearly 40 countries are already using this spectrum. Recently, the aviation industry and the Federal Aviation Administration have suggested we should delay launching 5G in the C-Band. A delay will cause real harm. Pushing back deployment one year would subtract $50 billion in economic growth, just as our nation recovers and rebuilds from the pandemic. It would leave us further behind the dozens of other countries already using this spectrum, harming our country’s global competitiveness. And it would severely limit our ability to ensure all Americans have access to high-speed mobile broadband just as our nation prepares to invest billions to build broadband infrastructure. Fortunately, there appears to be no valid scientific or engineering basis to justify a delay, and there is overwhelming evidence to support rapid deployment. 5G operates safely in the C-Band without causing harmful interference to air traffic.

[Meredith Attwell Baker is the president and chief executive officer of CTIA, an association of wireless carriers and technology firms, and served as an FCC commissioner from 2009 until 2011.]

5G vs. Air Safety: The FAA’s False Choice