Taking Over the Skies

As a society, one thing we must learn is how to coexist with different forces present in the world at a given time. This is important for many reasons. For starters, once we learn that, we get a better sense of opportunities around us, therefore allowing ourselves to build upon more reliable growth avenues. However, that’s not the only reason in play here. You see, at times, the forces we try to live beside aren’t always positive in their nature. The repercussions of such a reality, as you would expect, can be devastating beyond expectations. In fact, it functions within a very likely chance of causing some irreversible damage along the way. So, to curb such situations from taking place again and again, the world will setup dedicated regulatory bodies throughout the spectrum. With a watchdog monitoring all operations, we were able to establish a much-needed order, but it all received major turbulence once technology arrived on the scene. All of a sudden, the regulatory bodies were expected to fight a battle for which they were not prepared to the slightest. They’ll certainly gain a good enough view of technology’s dense realm over time, but unfortunately, that won’t be sufficient in closing the gap between regulators and the rule breakers. This has now left the former party in a very awkward position, and the most recent representation of it came through an ongoing battle between telecom and aviation industry.

On Friday, we got to see another chapter of the back-and-forth between telecom and aviation industry, when US Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, along with FAA’s administrator, Steve Dickson, wrote a letter to telecom companies, asking them to postpone their 5G deployments. According to a report from Reuters, the letter requested Verizon and AT&T’s CEOs to not execute these deployment plans for another two weeks, as the regulators continue their assessment of where the technology won’t impact airline operations. A two-week delay might not sound like a big deal, but it’s actually adding significantly to what is already a month long holdup. Even with potentially lengthier wait, the telecom companies can still face “certain exceptions around priority airports.”

Verizon and AT&T have, so far, done a ton to hype up their new 5G spectrum, which, by using C-band frequencies, can hit a sweet spot between higher speeds and long distances. The technology enables relatively quicker 5G deployments than the current LTE setup. While it sounds promising, the government has been somewhat concerned about C-frequencies interfering with fight altimeters. If it happens, any use of guided landing systems can get severely disrupted.

The whole buying-more-time approach, however, has created an unhappy telecom industry. Following the recent request, Verizon slammed the airline industry for throwing spanner in the works.

“This industry which got a $54 billion taxpayer-funded, government bail out over the past couple years clearly has much bigger issues to worry about,” Verizon told the Insider.



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