‪Congress tells FCC to reverse 5G ruling opposed by US military - or it will‬

Pentagon and other agencies said plan could interfere with vital GPS signals.

Published: April 23, 2020 3:41pm

Updated: April 23, 2020 8:46pm

Bipartisan leaders of two powerful congressional committees told the Federal Communications Commission to reverse a ruling allowing a Virginia company to activate a 5G network that could disrupt military and other GPS signals.

The leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees wrote in an appeal Wednesday that they would force the issue through legislation if the FCC does not overturn its own decision to allow Ligado Networks to implement a network on the L-band spectrum.

Ligado’s plan to use the L-band would risk interfering with signals that are important to national security, wrote Sens. Jim Inhofe and Jack Reed, along with Reps. Adam Smith and Mac Thornberry, who are the chairmen and ranking members of the two committees.

The four leaders noted that the country’s current most pressing concern is the coronavirus pandemic.

“But the Federal Communications Commission has used the crisis, under the cover of darkness, to approve a long-stalled application by Ligado Networks – a proposal that threatens to undermine our global positioning system (GPS) capabilities, and with it, our national security,” the leaders wrote.

The proposal from Ligado is opposed by multiple U.S. agencies, the leaders also reminded the FCC.

“The departments of Defense, Commerce, Interior, Justice, Homeland Security, Energy, and Transportation – as well as NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration – all strongly object to Ligado’s plan.”

The committee leaders asked those FCC to cancel the Ligado ruling.

“If they do not, and unless President Trump intervenes to stop this from moving forward,” they wrote, “it will be up to Congress to clean up this mess.”

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