Blog Editor’s Note: The next step in this high profile dispute. The Senate Armed Services Committee will also hold a hearing on this issue next week. See announcement at bottom of this post.

 

Bipartisan lawmakers call on FCC to reverse Ligado 5G decision, citing GPS interference

KEY POINTS
  • A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers is threatening to block the Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision regarding the deployment of a 5G network that may interfere with GPS signals.
  • The FCC voted unanimously to allow Ligado Networks to deploy a low-power nationwide 5G network despite objections from federal agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Commerce and Justice.

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers is threatening to block the Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision regarding the deployment of a 5G network that may interfere with commercial and military GPS signals.

Last week, the five-member FCC voted unanimously to allow Ligado Networks to deploy a low-power nationwide 5G network despite objections from federal agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Commerce and Justice, as well as major U.S. airlines.

The 5G network will use an L-band spectrum that has the potential to disrupt commercial and military GPS signals, therefore raising concerns that the technology will impact U.S. national security.

The chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, representing both parties, called on the Federal Communications Commission to reverse its unanimous decision in an April 22 op-ed.

“It’s clear the FCC commissioners made the wrong decision regarding Ligado’s plan, which will set a disastrous precedent while impeding ongoing work on spectrum sharing. The vulnerabilities to our national and economic security are not worth the risk, particularly for a band of spectrum that isn’t necessary to secure a robust 5G network,” wrote Sens. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. and Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Reps. Adam Smith, D-Wash., and Mac Thornberry, R-Texas.

“Unless President Trump intervenes to stop this from moving forward, it will be up to Congress to clean up this mess.”

READ MORE

 

Department of Defense Spectrum Policy and the Impact of the Federal Communications Commission’s Ligado Decision on National Security

United States Senate Committee on Armed Services

30 April 2020

Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Time: 03:00 PM

Agenda:  To receive testimony on Department of Defense spectrum policy and the impact of the Federal Communications Commission’s Ligado decision on national security.

For this hearing, the Senate Armed Services Committee will follow guidelines developed in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP), the Senate Sergeant at Arms, and the Senate Rules Committee to protect the health of Members, witnesses, staff, and the public. This includes maintaining six-foot social distance spacing in the hearing room.

Pursuant to this guidance from the CDC and OAP, Senate office buildings are not open to the public other than official business visitors and credentialed press at this time. Accordingly, in-person visitors cannot be accommodated at this hearing.

We encourage the public to utilize the Committee’s livestream of the hearing, available on our website.

Questions about the feed or general questions about media attendance can be directed to SASC_Press@armed-services.senate.gov

Witnesses:

  • Honorable Dana S. Deasy, Chief Information Officer, Department Of Defense
  • Honorable Michael D. Griffin, Under Secretary Of Defense For Research And Engineering
  • Admiral Thad W. Allen, USCG (ret.)
  • General John W. Raymond, USAF, Chief Of Space Operations And Commander, U.S. Space Command

For more information, visit: https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/hearings/20-05-06-department-of-defense-spectrum-policy-and-the-impact-of-the-federal-communications-commissions-ligado-decision-on-national-security

Brad P

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