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Biden Thanks Verizon And AT&T For 5G Delay, Will Avoid ‘Potentially Devastating Disruptions’ To Air Travel
US President Joe Biden speaks about the hostage incident at a synagogue in Texas as he arrives to pack food boxes while volunteering in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service, at Philabundance, a hunger relief organization, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 16, 2022.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

On Tuesday, Verizon and AT&T agreed to “voluntarily” delay the rollout of C-band 5G technology near key airports, following a warning from the country’s largest airlines that the deployment would cause “major disruption” to flights across the country.

President Joe Biden thanked the telecom giants for agreeing to delay the deployment for a third time.

“I want to thank Verizon and AT&T for agreeing to delay 5G deployment around key airports and to continue working with the Department of Transportation on safe 5G deployment at this limited set of locations,” President Biden said in a statement. “This agreement will avoid potentially devastating disruptions to passenger travel, cargo operations, and our economic recovery, while allowing more than 90 percent of wireless tower deployment to occur as scheduled. This agreement protects flight safety and allows aviation operations to continue without significant disruption and will bring more high-speed internet options to millions of Americans. Expanding 5G and promoting competition in internet service are critical priorities of mine, and tomorrow will be a massive step in the right direction.”

“My team has been engaging non-stop with the wireless carriers, airlines, and aviation equipment manufacturers to chart a path forward for 5G deployment and aviation to safely co-exist – and, at my direction, they will continue to do so until we close the remaining gap and reach a permanent, workable solution around these key airports,” Biden added.

“Verizon is proud to lead the nation in 5G. Tomorrow, Verizon will launch its 5G Ultra Wideband network which will enable more than 90 million Americans to experience the transformative speed, reliability and power of this game-changing network on the go or in their homes or businesses,” Verizon announced in a statement. “Americans have been clamoring for 5G and tomorrow we will deliver it. As the nation’s leading wireless provider, we have voluntarily decided to limit our 5G network around airports. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and our nation’s airlines have not been able to fully resolve navigating 5G around airports, despite it being safe and fully operational in more than 40 countries. Thanks to the best team in the industry for delivering this technology which promises a revolutionary next step in wireless communications including tremendous benefits for our nation.”

“At our sole discretion we have voluntarily agreed to temporarily defer turning on a limited number of towers around certain airport runways as we continue to work with the aviation industry and the FAA to provide further information about our 5G deployment,” an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement.

The concerns raised by both the aerospace industry and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) relate to potential interference of 5G with flight technology such as radio altimeters.

“[R]adio altimeters cannot be relied upon to perform their intended function if they experience interference from wireless broadband operations,” the FAA said, adding it would require “limitations prohibiting certain operations requiring radio altimeter data when in the presence of 5G C-Band interference.”

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

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