FCC to auction off wireless spectrum that could interfere with vital weather data, rejecting requests from US House and science agencies
The Federal Communications Commission intends to move ahead with a plan to auction off wireless radio frequencies that scientists say could negatively impact critical satellite data used in weather forecasting. The auction, scheduled for March 14, will proceed, the FCC said, despite protests from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, as well as two committees in the US House of Representatives.
For months, the FCC, supporting the interests of advancing 5G wireless technology, has sparred with NOAA and NASA, which have fought to protect the wireless radio frequencies or “spectrum” along and adjacent to frequencies weather data is passed. In a last-ditch effort to intervene, three subcommittee chairs from the House Appropriations Committee, and the House Science Committeepenned separate letters to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, asking that the auction be delayed. But FCC spokesperson Brian Hart said that the auction would proceed. "[Thursday’s] 24 GHz auction is an important step towards securing American leadership in 5G,” he said. “While our nation’s international competitors would undoubtedly be pleased if we delayed this auction of greenfield spectrum at the last minute, the FCC will move forward as planned so that our nation can win the race to 5G and the American people can quickly enjoy the benefits of the next generation of wireless connectivity."
FCC to auction off wireless spectrum that could interfere with vital weather data, rejecting requests from U.S. House and scienc