NTIA Director David Redl Resigns

Coverage Type: 

David Redl, assistant secretary for communications and information in the Commerce Department, abruptly resigned, days after criticizing US 5G policy in a speech. Redl, who headed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, had clashed with Trump administration colleagues over a range of issues related to 5G rollout, including federal policy for allocating airwaves. The conflicts within the Administration occasionally had played out on Capitol Hill in recent weeks. Then in a speech on May 6, Redl took the unusual step of openly criticizing US policy on 5G, saying the government’s process for allocating airwaves was becoming hopelessly bogged down by the battles. “Our current approach of piecemeal, band-by-band spectrum policymaking is not sustainable,” he said in prepared remarks. “The opportunities are drying up and it is an inefficient process that too often devolves into a zero-sum game.”

Apparently, Redl's departure comes after internal disagreements.

  • Redl and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai were at odds over the auction of millimeter-wave spectrum due to NOAA and NASA concerns about possible interference with sensors used for weather data collection. 
  • Internally, there was friction between Redl and Earl Comstock, deputy chief of staff to Secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as tensions surrounding the administration's 5G announcement in April.

Michael Platt, who was assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the Commerce Department, also resigned this week. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross thanked the two men for their service and wished them well.

Senior Official on U.S. 5G Wireless Rollout Resigns Commerce official resigns amid 5G tensions (Axios)