Critical weather data threatened by FCC ‘spectrum’ proposal, Commerce Dept and NASA say
The Federal Communications Commission has proposed policy that could jeopardize the collection of vital information for weather prediction, the heads of the Commerce Department and NASA say. This data is disseminated across wireless radio frequencies known as “spectrum.” It enables transmission of information from satellites, weather balloons, ocean buoys, weather radars and other technologies that are used by government agencies and the private sector. But some of this same spectrum is coveted by commercial wireless providers for their next-generation 5G networks. The federal government’s science-focused agencies and the FCC are battling over spectrum policy and its allocation. The question in this dispute boils down to in essence: What’s the bigger priority — the 5G network for wireless providers or accurate weather forecasts? A Feb 28 letter from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine urged the FCC to remove a policy paper on its website containing a proposal that “would have a significant negative impact on the transmission of critical Earth science data — an American taxpayer investment spanning decades and billions of dollars with data supporting public safety, natural disaster and weather forecasting." The letter said the FCC posted the proposal when “there was no consensus in the interagency on this topic.” On March 8, the FCC replied to the letter and rejected the request.
Critical weather data threatened by FCC ‘spectrum’ proposal, Commerce Dept. and NASA say