AT&T and Verizon turned down the request of the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration to delay the deployment of a 5G C-band service that is set to occur on Jan. 5, Wednesday, Nextgov reported.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Steve Dickson asked the CEOs of the two telecommunications companies through a letter to continue to pause the rollout of the 5G C-band service citing concerns over its potential interference with radio signals used by pilots and airports.
“Failure to reach a solution by January 5 will force the U.S. aviation sector to take steps to protect the safety of the traveling public, particularly during periods of low visibility or inclement weather,” the Dec. 31 letter reads.
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg and AT&T CEO John Stankey declined the agencies’ request in a Jan. 2 letter stating that the companies have allocated resources to ensure the service’s safe deployment and that they have met the Federal Communications Commission’s operations restrictions to ensure that aircraft can safely travel and communicate.
“Our two companies are deeply committed to public safety and national security, and fortunately, the question of whether 5G operations can safely coexist with aviation has long been settled,” Stankey and Vestberg wrote in the letter.
The chief executives said their companies will comply with FCC’s mitigation measures and exclude the 5G C-band rollout around designated zones in select airports. The additional measures will run through July 5.
FAA told the publication in an email that officials “are reviewing the latest letter from the wireless companies on how to mitigate interference from 5G C-band transmissions. U.S. aviation safety standards will guide our next actions.”
The 5G rollout was originally scheduled to come about on Dec. 5, but the two companies agreed to delay the deployment until January after the FAA raised concerns about the planned service.