On Wednesday, some top House lawmakers appealed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to delay a 5G spectrum auction. The fed agency decided to start a radio frequency spectrum for next-generation 5G wireless communications bidding on Thursday. Eddie Bernice Johnson, the Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Democratic chairwoman, and Frack Lucas, top Republican of the committee, sent a letter to the five FCC commissioners. Both raised concerns that the spectrum under review could break in and obstruct technology that empowers weather and climate forecasting. The spectrum for sale could affect public safety. The letter read, after considering the given frequency spectrum and FCC-recommended noise limits, there’s a probability that those signals will interfere with Earth observation sensors which function at nearby frequencies.
The water vapor channel is very crucial to sense, monitor, estimate and warn, and understand weather conditions. So a minor mistake due to obstruction would seriously affect public safety. Last year, in November, the FCC published its first high-band spectrum auction for 5G. At the annual conference of American Meteorological Society, in January, scientist and weather forecasters admitted 5G would provide many social benefits. They also recommend the 5G technology can be initiated in a way that it would not obstruct weather forecast technology. The question arises at what limit the fed will allow 5G signals to spill into and splash over adjacent bands. As per the FCC, a noise threshold should be -20decibel watts. On the other hand, NOAA-NASA analysis suggests a noise threshold of -50decibel watts. The European regulators prefer a noise threshold of -56decibel watts.
Johnson and Lucas recommended the federal agency to postpone the bidding until it sufficiently addresses the issues of relevant agencies and departments. The departments revealing concerns are the National Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA and the DoD. These trio agencies deploy sensors that utilize water vapor data to study weather and climate samples. As per the note, both members are not concerned with 5G technology. But the safety and security of Americans should not be compromised for developing telecommunication. All in all, the 5G networks are anticipated to be at least 100 times faster than the existing 4G network. It will cut delays and result in innovations in various fields.
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