AT&T and Verizon reached a deal with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Steve Dickson, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, to delay until Jan. 19 the deployment of a 5G wireless service, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
The telecommunications companies’ decision, which will provide FAA more time to address flight safety concerns, came after they initially turned down the request of the Department of Transportation and FAA to postpone the planned 5G service rollout, which was scheduled to take place on Jan. 5, Wednesday.
“We felt that it was the right thing to do for the flying public, which includes our customers and all of us, to give the FAA a little time to work out its issues with the aviation community and therefore avoid further inconveniencing passengers with additional flight delays,” Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg wrote in a note to employees Tuesday.
According to a term sheet obtained by WSJ, carriers agreed to limit for a period of six months their 5G signals near airports and will share data with FAA on how and where it will roll out the service.
Transportation officials agreed to “not seek or demand any further delays.” The FAA will provide a list of up to 50 priority airports subject to limited 5G signals for the first half of 2022 and validate the safety of radio altimeters.