President Biden says he pushed wireless carriers to accommodate the aviation industry’s reservations about 5G

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President Joe Biden donned the jersey of Team Delay by making it clear he had pushed for airlines to get more time to account for certain kinds of legacy aviation equipment. “What I’ve done is pushed as hard as I can to have the 5G folks hold up and abide by what was being requested by the airlines until they could more modernize over the years, so 5G would not interfere with the potential of a landing,” Biden said. He spoke the same day AT&T and Verizon began launching their new 5G service — and as the Federal Aviation Administration continued to work out details of what planes can safely land where. This latest wireless squabble was public and messy enough to add pressure for the administration to smooth the interagency process for handling airwaves controversies in the future. That could mean anything from a national spectrum strategy to an updated memorandum of understanding between the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Biden didn’t mention any potential government fixes, telling reporters the 5G spat was a collision of “two private enterprises” — wireless and aviation. “Anything that happens that’s consequential is viewed as the government’s responsibility,” he added.

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