Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) sent letters to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioners Michael O’Rielly, Brendan Carr, Jessica Rosenworcel, and Geoffrey Starks with concerns about the FCC’s plan to auction radio frequency spectrum for 5G wireless communications tomorrow. The frequency spectrum being considered has a potential for signal interference with Earth observation sensors for weather and climate forecasting which operate at adjacent spectrum frequencies.
“The water vapor channel is critical to weather sensing, monitoring, forecasting, and warning, and understanding climate patterns. Any interferences with this channel would therefore seriously impact public safety,” Chairwoman Johnson and Ranking Member Lucas said in the letters.
They continued, “Our concern is not with 5G technology. We are strong supporters of advancing America’s telecommunications infrastructure. However, advancements in telecommunications should not come at the expense of the safety and security of the American people. We are therefore asking for you to delay the auction of 5G spectrum until NOAA, NASA, and the DOD have been adequately consulted and their concerns have been addressed.”
Copies of the full letters are available below: